the first piece i ever metal smithed….

Welcome to the etsymetal blog carnival for September!

This month’s carnival celebrates our humble beginnings, as we were asked to show a photo and talk about the first piece we ever made in our metal careers…
This photo is a necklace I made at the not so ‘wee’ age of around 12! It was created by drawing out 3 separate pieces of 14 gauge sterling silver wire, using only hammers and anvils. To create this simple necklace I learned how to forge metal, which, simply put, is the process of coaxing a piece of metal into a different shape, via repeated heating and hammering.   At the time, I believe silver cost about $3.75 an ounce. (who knows…that was back in the day when my Mom paid all my bills!..thanks Mom!). I made this necklace in an enameling class I was taking at the local ‘Y’ because I had already blown through all the projects my instructor had given us, and she wanted to give me a project that would take me a long time. She is fairly well known in the world of enameling; she even wrote a book on the subject that is still in print. Later on, in high school, I became her apprentice. Felicia, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you taught me…I use the wisdom and knowledge you passed on every single day.
    As you can see, my aesthetic has made some huge shifts in the years since. Jewelry making has such a long learning curve, and its easy to forget how many years of practice it has taken to get you to were you are now in your skill set…so, it was really FUN to pull this thing out and just look at it again. 
   For those of you who follow my work, this method is the complete opposite of how I create now….carving an extremely soft material, and casting it…yet I have to say,  no matter what kind of journey I take, getting to  that final product, it is still, after all these years, such a joy to hold a finished, shiny piece in my hand…
Here are the links to the rest of the carnival participants  I hope you have some fun reading about more artistic ‘humble beginnings’…..

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  1. Twelve is a darned fine age to be making a queens neck plate… This reminds me of something Isis or an Egyptian Queen would wear…

    Wonder what you were thinking when you created this piece:)

  2. you know Michaela, I think all I was really thinking was that couldnt believe Felicia was going to make me hammer all that metal! 🙂

    and yeah, Andes, Cynthia and Elizabeth, I was really 12!…now that I am a 'grown up' I kind of cant quite believe it…I have some cloisonne I did in that same class, but couldnt seem to find them…a ccording to my parents I have had some sort of abnormally amazing fine motor skill set since I was born…family legend says I was doing 'freestyle embroindery' on my Dad's old hankies as a tot!..

    yet, for the record, I have never been able to run fast in my life…even when I was six!…guess you cant have it all! 😉

    thanks so much for stopping by, all of you!

  3. Wow. That's quite impressive for TWELVE!!! And a beautiful piece, too. I did the industrial arts classes and art classes in school, but I never did the jewelry. Oh, how I wish I had, now! But, I'm combining those now and enjoying…many, many years later. It's so incredible to see how your talent has develooped to where it is now.

  4. Wow, That is so cool that your mom signed you up for classes so young! I love the necklace. It is very soft and forging is no easy thing to do! You did a great job, and thanks Mom!

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