Thursday, February 4, 2010

There is something to be said for good upbringing

My Poppy.
As a kid, early Saturday mornings were filled with sounds of saws and falling boards as my poppy ripped up wood to build the designs my mom would put together. We always had projects going on at our house; a tree house, a sand box with a swing set, a porch with an opening for a tree, a rabbit hutch, a swimming pool with a HUGE deck. To this day the smell of fresh cut wood sends me on a trip down ol' nostalgia lane.
Do it yourself is in my blood, passed down by example, slightly less organized and a little more frivolous.
But never the less, my parents have been my biggest supporters. Encouraging me through the weird phases and setting me straight when I had insane ideas, like building my own furniture with nothing but a dremel tool.

This year mom asked what I wanted for Christmas and instead of being reasonable, I blurted out that I needed regulators for my new torch. I laughed and said it was the only thing keeping me from building my own bezels for large stones because they are so expensive. I had started to piece things together when I received money from the book but dire circumstances had halted that progress and my little smith's torch had sat, unused.
Well, they went and got them anyway! I opened my package from mom and pop on Christmas and found not just regulators but 3 fresh tanks and the cutest little holder my poppy had put together. They had saved me like $500!

This awesome gift has allowed me to move forward in my quest for metal manipulation at a rapid rate.
I have melted the ends of heavy gauge wire to create these sweet bones;

And these wabi sabi enameled headpins using Barb Lewis's instructions;

You can solder thick patterned wire with a propane and oxygen set, like this 5mm oak leaf band;

Most importantly you can build bezels;
Which I'm having a reaaaaallllly fun time doing.

The back plates are a little wonky. I'm sure a professional stumbling upon this blog post is chuckling. My goal is not perfection but rather functionality right now. I want rustic, aged, primitive worked metal because I like it. It has more mystery and character then the precise, pristine, high polish I strove for when going through my certification course.
I feel empowered with my new torch set up. Like I can do anything and there will be no stopping me.

I have my parents to thank for that feeling.

Jamie and G.G


  1. I love your Mom & Dad they sound like great parents! I am lucky to have the same in my in-laws and husband, no matter what I ask for they never think it is strange. I love your bezels...who needs perfection? That's on my "learning" bucket list this year...bezels.

  2. What a great gift, and your new bezels and other goodies are AWESOME! Perfection, in my opinion, is for the birds, and is definitely not as interesting or beautiful.

    :-) Molly

  3. I love when other woman understand me! I haven't felt that any where but the jewelry community! Thank you, Judy and Molly!

  4. I so enjoyed this post and I am really pleased for you that your parents gave you such a great Christmas gift.

    You have made really beautiful things from the gift. I like you prefer the old wonky look to the pristine new look, you are right it does create more mystery.

  5. how liberating to have that new 'power' behind you to make your imaginings a reality... so nice to be able to think, then execute... and how nice to be completely understood in your desire to create... your parents sound awesome - how proud they must be of you... (though parents tend to be proud of their kids anyway, seeing the beauty you create and the many ways you do it would make them extra proud for sure!)... what you have made is great... i am with you, the imperfect has a real-ness to it, an earthiness, seems easier to connect to... for a while i wondered if i 'should' be refining certain techniques and realized that wasn't the point, it was making it feel true to me... rustic and distressed is real - we are all a bit banged up but stronger for it... bezels are so much fun to make - and i felt so empowered when i did it... though mine are much simpler than yours, it is nice to be able to do for yourself... oh, the places you will go now with your enameling!

  6. i meant 'resin' not 'enamel' - we got in late last night and this was done before 7 - i am tired!! :0)

  7. How wonderful of your parents Shannon! I am excited to see where you take your new skills. Your bezels are fantastic, love the rustic-ness of them. I think they would look awesome filled with polymer clay. Have fun with your new toy!

  8. What great parents! You are a very lucky daughter. I love the way your bezels look.

  9. Yay for parents! I am in the same boat as you were with the torch. It's hard to progress when the cost of equipment stops you cold. My Dad gave me a tumbler and work station for my Dremel (yes, you CAN build anything with a Dremel!) this x-mas and just those simple things have helped me out so much. :)
    I cannot wait until I can have a "real" torch set-up! Oh, the fun!

  10. wow, such wonderful parents - no wonder they have a wonderful child! I hope I can do things like that for my kids, too!
    I too love the bezels..

  11. so beautifully stated! cant wait to see what you do with your new toos!

  12. okay, is there anything you don't do brilliantly!


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