So, for YEARS I've been wanting to learn how to solder and set stones in metal... but the timing has always been off. Last October, I approached a woman about some classes and she referred me another local jeweler, Joanne. We set up classes to start the beginning of January. The First Step had been made! No turning back now!! Luckily in October, I was able to go to the Asheville Gem Show and pick out some cabs for stone setting... I chose a mix of Labradorite, Moonstone, Tanzanite, Garnet, Blue Sapphire, amoung others. I probably spent more money than I should have, since I didn't know what we would be doing in the classes -- but picking out stones is half the fun!
As the days drew closer and closer to my classes, so came the holidays. Two days before Christmas, our house got robbed and among the items missing -- the money I'd been saving for my jewelry classes! Was it a sign I shouldn't take the classes? I started to become anxious and worried that I wouldn't be good this new method of design. I hated the feeling of self-doubt but I've been wanting to do it for so long I was worried I would disappoint myself. Finally, when the weekend of my first class approached in January, Asheville had a snowstorm and we had to reschedule for the following weekend. Of course, in my head, I said to myself, "oh no, another sign!"
Finally, the first day of my class... Joanne taught me how to make a lap-joint solder ring. It wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be and started to feel at ease and more confident. The next day, she taught me how to solder copper to sterling silver... again, I built more confidence in myself! The following weekend I learned how to make a sterling silver chain and clasp. And in my last class, which I was most excited about, I learned stone setting and made a Labradorite ring.
After a few weeks and with Joanne's advice, I was able to purchase all the tools I needed to create my own little mini-studio. I can't wait to share with you my future designs!