me and metalsmithing, not a love affair

me and metalsmithing, not a love affair

When I began this journey I thought I wasn’t very creative. I have knitted, crocheted, sewed (very badly) and cooked since I was a kid. Every girl I knew did that, it was just something we did, not something artistic. And I wasn't artistic, not me.

Through a long and strange series of events one day I found myself in front of a lamp work torch with the intention of turning this new obsession into a job for myself, a lifestyle job. It is not a job in the sense of a traditional job, where you work from 9 - 5, taking a 3 week vacation every year. This is something that is so woven into the fabric of my life that there is no real boundary between work and play. Work is play, play is work. 

From being someone who didn’t consider herself to be creative, I found myself donning the robe of “artist, craftsperson, artisan” and learning to embrace it. I had to learn how to listen to an inner voice I didn’t even know I had. I also found myself trying out all sorts of techniques and disciplines to see where my path was. This life is a path of learning to trust your instincts to see where you are meant to be. Along that path I looked at metal, silver and gold, and thought, “hm, that would be really cool mixed with glass”. So my experimenting with silversmithing began. 

Ah metalsmithing. I should have loved it. A little fire, a lot of banging and hammering, playing with oodles of tools, what’s not to love? Turns out for me, most of it is not to love. 

It’s not that I hate it, I just don’t love it. And one thing I have learned is that if you don’t love something it shows. 

I find metalsmithing tedious and boring. You have to be SO precise. When lining up a join you can’t be out even 1/10 of a mm. You can spend hours filing until it’s perfect, staring through a magnifying glass at a teensy little detail until it is just right. I admire those who can do this, it makes me want to scream. 

Glass is hot and fast and immediate. I like that. I love that. I love the colours, the fluidity of the hot glass, the feel of glass cooling and stiffening into its final form. I find this so satisfying. 

It is important to listen to that voice within. My voice told me to put down the soldering torch and stick to the bigger torch. While I do some metalsmithing it is on an as needed basis for now. Maybe one day it will appeal to me more, for now I just want to play with hot liquid glass. 


catherine winter

Thanks for breaking it down. Now I know I don’t have to waste my time either, trying it. The lampworking is tempting.

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