After years of wondering how high-detail charms are made and longingly fantasising about making my own I suddenly found myself flirting with the idea of making jewellery when everything-is-possible-Chris said that I could easily get my designs cast in silver in Bangkok.
Could I?! I could! And then almost immediately I realised that maybe I couldn't- or rather, shouldn't- because I had no idea what I was doing. I can make small things, sure. I LOVE making things. So why would I want to hand over a design for someone else to make for me when I imagine that the process itself is both maddeningly rewarding and enjoyable?
Why can't I do this myself? Simply, because without any knowledge of the process, I was floating adrift in a tide of endless material possibilities- and that was even before I was in a position to understand that the first charm you cast isn't a design solution; it's just the start of a longer process of cutting, filling, polishing, soldering - it's not even the first charm; it's the the mere outline of the final product...I mean I'm glad I didn't know this because I'd have talked myself out of such a big undertaking immediately. Happily, I kept thinking I was "just one more step" away from being able to make my own jewellery. 80 of those later and hey, presto! I am making my own jewellery.
I decided that if I was to be a new-medium flirt, I'd have to start from scratch and find someone who I could assault with questions. Initially a combination of low confidence and fear of sacrificing my level of productivity in art meant that my initial outlook was lazy; I wanted to say "can you make these? And then put them on necklaces? And send them here for me to sell?" largely because I doubted my own access to resources and ability.
They say the best restaurateurs have worked every job in the business, right? I figured 'fuck it'. I wanted to work from the ground up.
So off I went to meet Terry from In The Studio, for a two-day sleepover to learn as much as I could about carving wax and casting it in silver. It's high up there on the list of things I'm happy I did - and in no short measure due to feeling incredibly lucky that I found Terry. She's a no-bullshit lady with decades of experience and whipping sense of humour. The weekend itself was also really good for me- I can't remember the last time I met a perfect stranger who could make me laugh a full face of make-up off, but I did and her name was Sara and she's an absolute Betty.
Refining a design, getting it moulded and playing the guessing game of order fulfilment has turned out to be the time consuming part of the process and as such, most of my designs are still in the works - but watch this space, because they're coming.