I have recently started a silversmithing course and I thought I would blog about how it is all going.
I started another silversmithing course last year but I found the class was too full and I left more frustrated and depressed than having learnt anything and feeling inspired. I therefore decided to quit the course as my confidence really had been knocked and find another one.
I had heard good things about a course that a local jewellery shop called Wink runs so I signed myself up. It is a 4 week course one night a week for 3 hours and my tutor is called Becky. She has over eight years’ jewellery making experience and is very down to earth. The maximum they take in one class is 6 people and our class is made up of 4 which is a really nice number so we all get a lot done each class and get a good amount of attention.
Week 1 –
I had seen a lovely bracelet by Lily Belle with hammered bangles and a heart charm dangling from it and thought I would use this as my inspiration.
I decided to make some hammered bangles but make a butterfly charm to hang off them to match the butterfly on my Pierrine logo. In my first week I stretched out some silver until it was flat enough to cut into 2 bangle lengths. I then shaped them into circles and soldered one of them together. I left feeling inspired, positive and really looking forward to returning the next week.
Week 2 –
This was a frustrating week unfortunately and lots of things seemed to go wrong which was a bit demotivating but as I saw it, just one of those things that you learn from and move on from. I soldered the second bracelet together and then started hammering them to make a very rough effect. I soon realised I had not also turned them upside down to hammer them so instead of the circle being parallel it went out at one side. I then melted a bit of one of the bangles with the torch during the annealing process. I am not sure how I did it as had really only just put the heat onto it. The point in this bangle was then weak and when I went to hammer it again this part of the bangle just collapsed really. I therefore spent most of the rest of the lesson re shaping them.
I decided to start my butterfly charm and put the bangles to one side and as I was sticking the paper with my design onto the silver I stuck two fingers together with super glue and it really hurt to pull them apart! I went home hoping that I could put this week behind me and start a fresh on my third week. I therefore took a picture of my bangles at this stage so I could hopefully remind myself at the end of the course what they looked like before more work was done on them:
Week 3 –
I went with a positive attitude and thought I would put the bangles to one side and carry on with the butterfly charm. Whilst cutting out the shape I seemed to break so many blades. Becky then told me I had a bit of the blade tooth in it which was causing them to break to my relieve. I really enjoy cutting shapes out but I am not very good at turning corners but am getting better with practice. I then smoothed the corners of the butterfly by filing them and then polished it. I love polishing as you only then really see what your hard work has created. I then drilled a hole in the charm which the jump ring will go through. I then had to file this down a bit so it was not as nicely polished but we are going to sort that out next week aswell as making my own jump ring and re-sizing, polishing and finishing off the bangles.
I left the lesson feeling much happier than last week as I am really happy with how my charm is coming along and am looking forward to sorting out my bangles and seeing everything put together.
Week 4 –
This week started off slowly but I managed to re-size my bangles, re-shape them and then polish them. I also started making a third bangle which I will finish next week along with finishing off polishing the inside of my two other bangles and the butterfly. I managed to find a jump ring big enough to still look pretty but fit the butterfly charm and the three bangles. By the end of the class I felt like I could really see the finished look. Looking forward to one more week to finish everything off and be able to take it home and wear it proudly. It has been an interesting journey so far and I still have so much to learn but after only 4 weeks really feel like I have built my confidence up and will make something that resembles what I had in my head at the start – always good.