Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Jewelry Blog Carnival -- The Most Challenging Piece

The jewelry blog carnival is hosted by a diverse group of jewelers to collectively ponder a topic of the month. Please visit the other members' blogs (links at the bottom) to see their views.

The topic of discussion for February is the most technically challenging piece we've ever made. I've given this a bit of thought and decided that this is a trick question.

Obviously, the most challenging piece is always the NEXT original! Unless I'm doing production work, just turning out inventory in a style that I'm familiar with, I'm given to working on original designs that challenge my skill level. As a scientist, that's where I want to be - on the edge of my abilities, charting new ground, at least new ground for me. Experimenting is my love in life, whether in the lab, the kitchen, the garden, or my studio.

That means that some pretty basic things might be on my challenge list, just because I've never done them. Now, that's not to say that some skills aren't more difficult to master than others. However, I tend to pick up hands-on skills pretty quickly in general. If something is extra challenging, I just love it better. That's part of what draws me to glass -- it's the hardest thing I've done (besides parenting).

So, what's the next piece; what's challenging me now? Glass with metal, including enamel. Enamel is glass, after all, so it's hard. Chemical reactions are an issue -- as a chemist I find that irresistible! There are several enamelists whose work I admire intensely, so that I crave that mastery. But since it's work in development, I have no photos to show.

I guess if I could interpret this as the piece that gave me the biggest disaster, I'd probably pick my carved bronze clay cuff. The first try gave this, due mostly to inexperience:

The second try was a huge step up:

And I need to go give the third try a go!

Please visit these other sites for the perspectives of other fine artists:

Tonya Davidson
Andes Cruz
Tamra Gentry
Elaine Luther
Angela Baduel-Crispin
Lora Hart
Lorrene Davis
Marco Fleseri