Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Introduction? thank a mentor

Here's the thing- I jumped in to blogging without a plan other than to start. to dive.

Like I jumped into metalsmithing....innocent to the path it would lead me

Now I realise that I should at least introduce myself! I'm going to give a little history of my involvement in metals..

(in installments, so it's not as daunting a task)

so, here goes nothing----"the early years"

It all started By Chance and My Mother's Lament over my immense un-hire-ability

Metalsmithing discovered me back in 1986 when I couldn't get a job during summers home from college. The owner of my mother's favorite jewelry store took pity on a scruffy artsy punk rock girl and offered to take me in as an apprentice..

I worked my bondoonie off. 6 days a week that first summer, driving 30 miles each way from my home in New Hampshire to the coastal town Ogonquit Maine, and Perkins Cove. Summerwind Silversmiths' owner, Mel Reisz would spend a couple of hours each week training me to perfect my techniques. Believe me, I went through a Huge amount of silver that first month! (thank God for refining) All summer I mostly made silver chain and earrings..nothing too exciting but great practice. Invaluable.

I hauled my sorry butt every morning to my rickety Gum-and-Wire-Hangers Ford Fiesta and trekked to the cove, shaking myself awake all the while. (the car helped shake too) My shoulders ached from forging and my teeth suffered from the presence of the penny candy shop next door..One night my hand slipped while I was cutting 10 gague wire, and I ended up with 10 stitches holding my finger together...(middle finger) It was rough at times...

BUT- By the end of that first summer, I could solder like a madwoman and forge chain like a pirate!

I look back on that summer and see the impossibility of it all. One of those moments where I think, well, "what if?" and I think I owe gratitude to my early mentor for giving me a chance.

Now that I have " a few links under my belt" I enjoy teaching metals to beginners..and have seen the excitement when my students start to become proficient...My hope is that 20 years from now one of them is passing their passion about craft on to an apprentice as well....

Thanks Mel.


Elise said...


That pic...totally takes me back!

I could never be 10% as punk as you. Or, more accurately (in my opinion)...New Wave.

Femin Susan said...

your history is really exciting

Dina Cuomo said...

Very interesting post!

CarolynArtist said...

Lol! I like the line about your mother lamenting your un-hire-ability! I can sooo relate it to myself!!! Ah to be an artist...anyway very cool introduction!!! I can see you've had years of experience looking at your work!


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