Why I Love Metal Smithing

Metalsmithing for me is a treasure hunt. Sometimes I look around the studio and see so many once discarded but beautiful things being reused and recycled and it reassures me that almost anything and everything has a use and a purpose for someone. I started metalsmithing in the summer of 2014 and it was out of pure curiosity. I had no previous knowledge of what metalsmithing consisted of nor did I know how exactly to get started, but I took to it rather quickly. Jewelry crafting ignited something inside of me that was already there, it just needed a spark.

Working with my hands to create something small and wearable has a been a great journey. I decided to sign up for metalsmithing yet again and now I find myself digging through rocks and craft stores in an attempt to utilize ordinary objects to create extraordinary jewelry. One of the most inspiring things about the course is the fact that there are so many small business owners that run their jewelry brands out of  the UAF metalsmithing studio.

When I make jewelry I never really have a plan, that is just not how I art. I can't plan out things, I sort of just put together materials that feel right and hope for the best result. Combinations like turquoise or malachite and copper have become near and dear to me just due to the fact that they are not only complimentary but they look spectacular together.

My motivation for this semester is to make items that I would wear. Not only just that I would wear, but special pieces. They might share similarities but each individual piece will have its own unique essence that cannot be duplicated. When I think of a good necklace, ring, or a pair of earrings, I ask myself how many times can this be worn?  Can it pair with multiple outfits. I think back to the one piece of jewelery that I've seen on others from day to day and I wonder what makes it something that they choose to carry everyday. That's what I want out of metalsmithing, honestly. I may not open my own business, but if I can handmake a piece of someone's life that they will take on all of their travels than I will feel accomplished as a metal smith. I want to and I will create things that are simple enough to be wearable  but interesting enough to be memorable.    


1 comment

Brandi Bradley said...

Being a master of a craft is very admirable. My husband has been a blacksmith for 35 years, and is quite good if I say so myself. It's sad that we live in a world full of plastics and composite materials, but it only makes me admire my husband even more. He builds things with his own hands that pass the test of time.

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