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