Make It Work

I decided to take a metals class because I needed some inspiration, wanted to tweak my skills and challenge myself to think outside the box (so to speak). No disappointments here! The past few weeks have been tough on me as I’ve tried to think differently and push myself. The first project, which was a sample granulated ring, wasn’t too hard but then I had to take that granulation, add a stone (set creatively) and make something interesting. I knew that with my advanced granulation experience that Sarah was going to expect more out of me than the students who had just learned the craft. Pair that with setting a stone (which I don’t like to do) and I’m sure you can see the challenge for me.

I finally decided on a design. The piece would set a flat round river rock, with a faux garnet set in the middle, in an oval with high walls that were granulated on the outside. The stone would look like it was floating and the oval would lay horizontal on the hand to show finger cleavage. Then, that would set on a u-shaped granulated band. Not bad, but I wasn’t feeling it. It didn’t help that when I was almost done granulating the large oval, I began to melt part of the piece. As I was lying in bed that night feeling the frustration of a ring design I didn’t like and granulation that was becoming a melted mess, I started designing something new. I got excited about it and worked out the entire piece before I fell asleep. When I awoke the next morning I felt good about my redesign and was ready to start on it. I granulated the new walls then gathered my supplies to head to school.

I wanted to talk to Sarah about it, but didn’t want to sound like one of those whiney students who are never sure of their work and constantly need reassurance. When I mentioned to her that I’d scrapped the original piece and was starting over she said, “Well, are you going to share this design with me?” I sat down and talked it out with her and she pointed out some important things: 1. making the ring set vertically on the hand changes the dynamic to something boring. If I set it horizontally, it will be much more wearable and much more sexy. 2. Why make the entire thing square when the stone is round? Why not create some curves? 3. Why am I so hung up on granulating the band? The assignment must contain granulated parts but doesn’t say it has to be the band. See, this is why I love her so much as a friend and teacher! She’s so honest. While we were talking, I reformulated the redesign and left feeling really good about what I was creating. I drew down some round wire to make it rectangular then came home to work on the piece. It’s about halfway done now and I’m very excited to see it finished. I promise to share the final piece when it’s done.

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