Saturday, August 23, 2008


Today I took some bold (baby) steps. For me anyway- I've dreamed for ages now of learning to silversmith, to become a true "jewelry artist". Even though I love beading and wire wrapping and will always do it, something made me feel like I just wasn't doing enough to consider myself a real designer. I need to forge my own pieces and push myself to learn new skills. Maggie once told me someone [rude] said "any monkey can string beads" and while I am defensive, thinking "we all have to start somewhere- at one point you [rude person] learned to string your first beads too!" somewhere in the back of my mind I've thought "do monkeys wield torches and saws?"

So, after a long winded intro I get to the point- I took a few classes this summer- both revolved around ring making but because there was only one other person in the class, we had lots of chat time with the instructor and she took some time to teach me a few things besides soldering. Based on my experiences, I've decided that I like the sawing and filing as much as I do the soldering and in that vein, today I purchased some tools so I can begin doing some metal work.

One of the things my instructor, Amie Plante, told me was that there's a terrific place to buy supplies right here in RI. It's called The Contenti Company and the prices are very reasonable- in some cases even much cheaper than some other supply places I've used. They have a giant selection of saws, files, hammers, punches, soldering supplies, etc etc etc. Today I bought two files made by a company called Grobet and a bench block. To date, I've been using a tiny little anvil for the small hammering I do to my pendants and it is truthfully pretty aggrevating to work on.

Over the past week I've also won some auctions for tools on eBay- I bought a sawframe and some blades, a third hand base and tweezers for soldering and a benchpin. I can't afford my torch yet so I decided I'd get the basic things I needed to just work with sheet metal and I'll work on improving my sawing techniques and maybe I'll make a few sellable pieces that can earn me some money towards the torch!

The torch kit I am looking at is made by Gentec- It is a propane/oxygen combo (I'm told that acetelyne suppliers in the North East are becoming increasingly expensive and harder to find) and is just under $300. So anyway, that's my babble on tools and supplies and plans for today- I'm very excited to start this new chapter and will post with the progress I make soon!



Maggie said...

You go! I can't wait to see what you do!

Amie Plante said...

Thanks for mentioning the class. I'm glad you enjoyed and are excited about metalsmithing.