(One of my first fabrication projects. 4 layers of colored aluminum, pierced and riveted. The red and black snakes were supposed to line up exactly - *that* was difficult. You can see I failed miserably. And thank goodness. It's so much better with them offset a bit. This is one of my most favoritest things that I've ever made. It's now a refrigerator magnet.)
Step right this way... Each month a group of jewelry artists use their blogs to get together online and answer the same question - each in their own way. This month the topic is:
"What is the most difficult piece of jewelry you've ever made and why?"
I'm really not sure I've ever made anything that I'd categorize as difficult. Time consuming, yes. Fiddly, certainly. Frustrating, you betcha! Hm - Well, maybe time consuming, fiddly and frustrating pieces *can* be defined as difficult after all.
With metal clay maybe it was my first box form. I made it with no real instruction, hadn't taken a class and just knew a bit about construction from my old friend Bob Villa. I've learned a lot of tricks from This Old House!
Or maybe it was my PMCC Certification Level 3 hinged box. I was going to take the class at Arrowmont, but found that I couldn't make the first day. All Senior Instructors must be certified in all levels before they are "legal" and I still had that one level to finish. But what to do if I couldn't make it to the venue in time! Well, I got the instructions and just figured it out on my own. Since I had two days to work on it - at home, in my pajamas and without the pressure of a class experience and it's time constraints - I must say I did a fabulous job. It's definitely one of my favorites.
I had made hinges before (also self taught with some insight from Bob) so I knew that portion wouldn't be difficult, but the seam kept splitting, my decoration broke three times and had to be repaired, the tubes for the chain had to be drilled out after firing as I hadn't made them wide enough inside to accommodate the chain I wanted to use - fiddly. Annoying even. But not difficult.
With hard metals fabrication - I've made chain caps, a double loop in loop chain, started a box in copper that was too big for my knowledge and experience (and patience level) and scrapped the idea before it went too far, pierced out quite a few intricate designs with a jewelers saw and learned to solder with "a big girl's torch". All considered difficult at the time.
Perhaps making jewelry is a bit like childbirth. They say that as soon as it's over a Mother forgets all the pain of pushing and just revels in the new life. Never having been a Mother myself, I can't attest to that. But I certainly don't remember giving birth to a particularly difficult piece of silver wear. Just lucky? Or just not advanced enough? I think "difficult" is a combination of the fear created by doing a task for the first time and a lack of skill or experience in that particular activity. Meh! Who cares. I love what I do. I find it relatively easy to do the making, the construction. The *design*? Now that's difficult. But that's also another subject and beyond the scope of this post. (I love saying that)
Make sure to stop by the other Carney's blogs to see what they have to say on the matter: