Thursday, August 2, 2007

How Jewelry Designing Chose Me

I always felt I was looking for something "creative" to do to feed my soul. I tried Photography...I liked black and white artsy shots like Ansel friends and family wanted me to take pictures of their weddings, baptisms, babies, parties, etc. On occasion, I think I was on the guest list because I had a camera and I worked for free. Then, I tried Graphic Design...I was so-so at it...I tried Interior Design...I was "pretty good" at family and friends had me help them "design" their living spaces. They all said how good I was at it...of course, my services were free, which, I am sure heightened their excitement about the results! Eventually, I opened my own business, with my partner (partner as in "business partner", not "life partner"...I've recently been told by a friend that these days the term needs further explanation.) It was a Computer Graphics business in Tucson, Arizona...where I was born and raised. Unfortunately, I was the "Administrative" partner, while he was the artist. I eventually began to hate every day of my life. Constantly looking at an empty bank account and trying to find imaginative ways to meet payroll and constantly "chase" technology. One day, Chris, who worked for me, and who was, by the way, quite a pistol, came in and showed me a ring she was wearing...she said she made it...MADE IT! It was sterling silver and had a "cabochon" of turquoise set in a silver bezel...(all terms which were Greek to me!) I asked where she had learned to make something so coool?!! She had taken night classes in Adult Ed through the Parks and Rec Department. It was beginning Silversmithing. I knew I had to try it! I was very intimidated with the idea of designing a piece of jewelry...from the dormant creative recesses buried deep in my subconscious. What if I couldn't do it?!!! What if everything I made was ugly!!! I decided to let loose of my inhibitions and just go for it. It was as if the blank pieces of silver and the stones had a mind of their own...they had some kind of destiny to be something, and they were in control!!! And when I followed their lead, I was always happy with the results. I still pull out my box of stone "cabochons" (stones that are domed on top, flat on the bottom and polished) and my pieces of sterling silver (some nothing more than scraps from another project) and I say, "OK, who wants to become something today?" And I wait till they reveal themselves, and I listen to what they say! I was 45 years old when metalsmithing and jewelry design "chose" me...and I am happy they did!


Sandi said...

I'm one of those friends who got free interior design help. And I still think of you when I set things up in my house. You were always creative and talented and it's great that you finally found a way to "create" full time!

Jenni said...

Welcome to bloggerland! I'm glad to see that you found a creative outlet that gives you so much joy. One that you get to do as a real job!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story! I think there are quite a few of us who found the jewelry-making world later in life. :)