3 things I’ve learned as an aspiring metalsmith

1. Start with what you’ve got. You don’t need to buy fancy tools or materials…yet. Until you are sure you’ve been bitten by the jewelry bug, it’s best to keep your investment light while you learn basic techniques and find out if this is your thing. If nothing else, you can easily “gift” all those practice projects to your family and friends and they will just LOVE how talented and thoughtful you are.

2. Watch and learn. There is an incredibly generous community of metal smiths willing to share their knowledge, techniques and even mistakes. I’m still lurking on the outside looking in because there is so much to learn and I’m still feeling like a newbie, even though I’ve taken jewelry design workshops, opened an etsy shop, invested in better equipment and am convinced I’ve found my creative calling. As long as you continue to be inspired by others and want to challenge yourself, you’ll grow.

3. Don’t give up. It’s easy to be intimidated by all the amazing and successful jewelry designers out there. But they all had to start at the beginning – just like you and me. I still have to remind myself of that every day. It’s also easy to become blasé about your trial and error projects and think your creations couldn’t possibly be good enough for anyone but your mother to love, but that’s not true. You are creating beautiful things using tools, techniques and materials that take skill, knowledge and passion. Even when you end up accidentally sawing or burning flesh instead of metal, just keep calm and solder on. 🙂

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