Monday, 17 November 2008

Using my hands

And speaking of craft, yesterday was day two of the really wonderful and rewarding City Lit course 'Jewellery: Making a Silver Ring'. I have, in fact, made a silver ring! The course runs over two sundays and is designed to be the perfect grounding in working with metal. In order to make a ring you have to learn to cut metal, anneal it (the fiery bit), clean it (the acid 'pickle' bit), shape it, saw it, solder it, make it round, decorate and polish it. Ray Duncan was a very approachable, experienced and patient tutor, who plunged us straight into the fun stuff with minimal chatter as we cut slices of copper for our test version.

I was forcibly reminded of GCSE art, in which I worked harder than in any other subject but was never going to get more than a 'B'. I am sadly lacking in manual dexterity and will not be becoming a master jeweller any time this millenium. But I had a wonderful time using my hands and learning new skills, and I have produced a ring that is round, shiny and wearable. The join is almost invisible, a victory for much filing! The decoration is not very sophisticated - another time I would try to do more with texture using the motorised tools or a contrast of matt and shiny finishes - but it doesn't look grossly amateur either, at least not to a layperson. Profoundly satisfying and a bargain at less than £100 for the course and all equipment and materials (if you wanted a wider ring or to do more you would need to buy your own).

I'll add a photo when my computer stops falling over every time I open the photo file...

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