Tuesday, August 26, 2008

making jewelry = a happy soul

I've come to the conclusion that the only sort of job I could truly be happy at is one where I'm my own boss. I hold high expectations of myself when my creative work is representative of who I am (whether it's making jewelery or making a five-course dinner); when doing what I love I can keep going for hours and hours without even thinking about glancing at a clock; I thrive off of the attention and knowing that someone else likes something that I made so very much, that they'll shell out their hard earned money so they can have it. It's a high for me.

I help staff the booth for the jewelry group i'm part of when we're at art and craft shows, and when I see someone try on a piece I made, or comment on one, or *gasp* buy one . . . it's indescribably awesome. I get all smiley, I can hear the blood rushing to my head, I get nervous and panicky; then as I see the person walking away, bag in hand and smile on face, for about 3 seconds I have this feeling come over me that I can only describe as the closest thing to "zen" as I'll ever attain.

I would love nothing more than to make jewelry all the time. And I could. Selling it is the only catch. I've been approached regarding another jewelry selling opportunity, and if the company's propritor likes the pieces I've presented, he'll buy them from me outright. No waiting for art shows or people to stumble on a website. That would be so freaking sweet. Especially for someone like me, where jewelry was only a minor in college . . . by the time I figured out I liked it as much as I did, that it was an addiction not just a bunch of classes, the financial aid would have run out before finishing school.

I found a program that I really want to attend. Once I have enough saved. Like, $15,000 saved. It's the New Approach School out of Virginia. It's a 12 to 15 week program where I would be a certified bench jeweler at the end of the program. I know 2 people who have gone through it and they are the most skilled, proficient, and technically perfect jewelry artists I know.

Do I really want to attain perfection? Isn't the reason why my jewelry is so popular because it's whimsical and has an unpolished, unperfected, raw appeal? Yeah. I've been told so. I would also like to know how to set a facted stone. I did some in college, but I set them in nontraditional ways (set stones upside-down, set them in prongs coming from the top and bottom, set them in tabs, and set them using the natural tension of the metal). I'd like to learn those other skills and really do it well. Then I could get a job at a jewelers'. But, I'd probably start to not like jewelry . . . I'd spend most of my time repairing other peoples stuff instead of creating my own. What if all those newfangled skills mess up my mojo? Stunt my passion for questioning what's considered to be precious? Stop using found and recycled items? Don't think I'd like that much. I'd rather make a ring out of a piece of a broken plate I dug up in my yard while gardening versus setting a 2 carat diamond any day.

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