I still remember that back in 2011 – during my final year as a jewellery design and making student in Italy – I promised myself that I will never return to the jeweller’s bench once I graduate. Don’t get me wrong. Jewellery making is interesting but what I realised was that I lacked the patience required to become a jeweller. After all, the idea of designing jewellery appealed to me more. It is also much safer and doesn’t involve the use of flame.
Who would have known that for the first time after 6 years I felt the need to return to the jeweller’s bench? As mentioned in an earlier post, the experience with the first jeweller I hired to make my calligraphy-inspired ring had an unfavourable outcome. The second jeweller I encountered put a lot of his OWN interpretation into the piece even though I specifically asked him to follow the drawing as it is. I thought that nothing could go wrong if I were to provide a very detailed technical drawing that comes with 6 different perspectives but I guess I was too naive. On top of that, he even suggested that I make a prototype so to make things easier for him. Alas, I realised that the time has come for me to take action.
I dug out the toolbox that I used as a student from the bottom of the shelve and relearned the techniques that I was taught by the masters. I was fortunate to have a friend who very kindly gave me access to her studio already equipped with all the basic tools and supplies. I spent two afternoons sitting at the jeweller’s bench – the first afternoon by bending silver wire and soldering to achieve the desired form, the second setting stone and polishing the piece. Viola!
The whole experience has been transformative. I discovered that I have developed a lot more patience overtime and enjoyed every steps in the making. The frankincense that wafted throughout the studio space also helped calming my nerve and got rid of any anxiety and uncertainty that I may have had developed throughout the process. It occurred to me that jewellery making – the idea of building something with my own hands – can be therapeutic. So I made another promise to myself: I will set up my own studio & workbench in the near future.