Sorry about the lack of posts recently. I got out of the habit of posting over a rather hectic halfterm and it's taken me a bit longer than expected to get back into it! The Daisychain Household has been busy with family birthdays, halfterm fun, magazine deadlines (as always!) and lots of lovely tuition. I've had five people over for private tuition this month, and although I didn't manage to take photos of everyone's work (forgot to set up the photo studio as we were too busy, well, making jewellery!), the photos below show you a few of the pieces they made.
Photos 1 and 2 are the pendants that Amy designed and made when she visited for a day at the start of February. She is the first private tuition student I've had who has come ready with a detailed sketch book - I was very impressed! Her designs involved a lot of melting silver to get the hammered balls you can see on both pendants.
Photo 3 shows the ring and bangle that Snita made during her day. She doesn't have the bangle she made any more, though, as a friend of hers loved it so much that Snita, lovely lady that she is, gave it to her. Don't worry - she's already booked to come back and make another one!
Photo 4 shows the pendant that Debi made last Friday. I love the hammered finish. She also made a bangle - and she's had her first orders already as several friends have asked her to make bangles for them!
When I first started offering private tuition my aim was to teach one person at least every 6 weeks. Well, it turns out that I under-estimated slightly. I had one booking roughly every month for the first 4 months or so, and then people started recommending me to their friends and others also googled me after reading articles I'd written for Beads and Beyond. This year I've taught at least one person a week. March is full, April has one date available and I've got bookings for May, July and August already. I really do love teaching jewellery making and silversmithing - I love that I can combine what I was originally trained to do (teach!) with my passion, and, (although this is going to sound really cheesy!) I love that I'm passing on skills that have been in use for centuries. I sometimes get asked why I'm teaching people how to make jewellery for themselves when those people could (and some have!) set up a jewellery business that could compete with mine. My answer is always that the skills I learnt aren't mine to keep, I have a responsibilty to share them. One of my favourite books is Creative Stonesetting by John Cogswell. What that man doesn't know about setting stones just isn't worth knowing, but I've mentioned him now because the introduction to his book really strikes a chord with me. I won't quote it all because a) this was supposed to be a quick "hello, look what my students made this month" post and b) well, there would probably be some copyright issues there, but this part is really important:
"I am one link in a social order, a metalsmithing tradition, that stretches back to the dawn of human civilization, and which will, I hope, stretch even further into the future. As workers in precious metal we are - every one of us - stewards of our profession, privileged with the gift of information handed down to us, prehaps adding a little something to it, and then passing it on. With privilege comes responsibilty, and this gift of knowledge is actually less a gift than a loan."