Friday, 26 October 2012

Five reasons to start silversmithing

Five reasons to start silversmithing

1. You will be able to make yourself all those jewellery pieces you’ve coveted.

If you’re anything like me, you love buying and receiving jewellery and have an Etsy (or otherwise) wishlist containing hundreds of rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and other shiny things you have coveted for ages. You might also, like me, occasionally treat yourself to the odd thing on your wishlist, but mostly feel a little bit guilty for splurging on jewellery for yourself (it’s not like you actually need more jewellery). The great thing about learning to silversmith is that you can make everything you want for yourself! Simple things are obviously easier to start with, but when you learn a more tricky technique to make a more complicated piece, it really feels like you’ve earned it!

2. It’s extremely satisfying wearing something you have made from scratch.

“Oh, I LOVE that ring you’re wearing! Where did you get it?”
“Thanks – actually, I made it myself”
Those of you who make jewellery will recognise the above conversation. It’s really satisfying seeing some plain old silver sheet and wire turn into something beautiful, delicate, three dimensional, functional, modern…

3. There are always new techniques to learn.

There are lots of other good creative hobbies around. I tried making stained glass panels a couple of years ago, which was a lot of fun too, with similar practical elements (cutting glass, soldering, etc)… but I did feel it was quite straightforward after learning the basics. The difference with silversmithing is that there are so many techniques to learn and master that the hobby never gets old – and new techniques seem to be evolving all the time – just look at the invention of precious metal clay (clay which can be moulded like dough into a shape, then fired to burn off the clay and leave pure silver).

4. You will be able to give the best, meaningful gifts to your family, friends and loved ones.

It’s always nice to be able to give someone special a handmade gift. I think that’s especially true when it’s silver or gold jewellery that it something they would love to receive anyway, and you can design and make it just for them and their tastes. Personalisation is a great touch.

5. It’s not hard to learn.

It might seem difficult to start silversmithing – with all the mountains of tools needed and lots of unfamiliar names and techniques – but actually, in reality it’s not that hard to make simple things. I’m pretty confident that most people could do it. There are also a lot of short taster courses out there for complete beginners and books – so I thoroughly recommend giving it a stab and seeing how you get on!

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