Saturday, August 23, 2014

I did a jewellery course

I do not have a creative bone in my body. Keep that disclaimer in mind when reading this post. I don't have a 'handy' bone either. Putting together Ikea furniture works really well in my logical, ordered head, but put that allen key in my hand and I lose it. Luckily for me I married someone who could build a car the way I can build a spreadsheet (with his eyes closed) and always knows the exact way to turn a jar to open it. Unlike me, who stands there almost willing the jar to open before cracking it and wanting to throw the jar against the wall. 

I've been wanting to do a creative type course for ages, in a way to try and change this. In the past I have had a tendency for signing myself up to stupid things that I regret- wedding invitation making for example, which was the biggest waste of a painful hungover Saturday ever. I didn't go back for week two. 

Years ago a friend of mine did a silver jewellery course as an extension of a creative-type degree (ie, not boring Commerce like mine) and I was mega jealous. She still wears the ring she made to this day, and it still looks fantastic. I also never thought I'd be able to do anything like it, I just wouldn't have the ability. 

I researched lots of courses, looking for one for absolute beginners, but I still wanted to take away something wearable and good. With genuine time constraint excuses, I put off enrolling for ages, until one day I pulled my finger out. I wasn't exactly signing up for a PHD. The course that looked doable was Silver Jewellery For Beginners through Sydney Community College, and I can't recommend it enough. 
Copper test ring and the beginnings of a silver ring
Copper ring. Deceptively smooth here despite my terrible filing
My textured silver ring, and a warning not to do this course if you value your fingernails!
The finished product. I do get a little bit proud every time I look at it. 
We practiced with copper before they let us loose on actual silver, and it was bloody hard. Apparently it's not uncommon for people not to come back for the second week when they learn it's all done by hand, and it's not just machines that do all the work. 
The teacher was lovely and a jewellery designer in real life. She had great ideas and catered to everyone's skill level, from hopeless me to the guy who used to be a watchmaker (!!!) with way more patience than I have ever had. 

There are definitely parts of the process that I am still useless at, and I'd no doubt win the award for the most saw blades broken in a class. But I don't feel totally hopeless like I did when I first walked through the doors. I dreaded going back the second week, I was that bad, but I can't wait for the final week to finish off another ring. 
I already want to go back and learn more, and have been Pinteresting like mad for project ideas. I'm not sure if it's something I'll be continuing at home- check out just half of the 'basic' tool kit- but I'll definitely be doing another course. I'm pretty happy with my unhandy self! 

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