“Rome wasn’t built in one day“.
That was the quote my childhood friend K directed at me a summer long, long ago and rolled her eyes at me when we were clearing out the hayloft in the huge barn to the back of my dad’s house in order to create a space we could have sleep-outs in. I was of course ahead of proceedings once we’d shifted just a few bales of hay and some old furniture stored there, already visualising the cool hang-out we were turning it into despite us still being so far off finished. I just knew how awesome it would be and couldn’t hold back my excitement.
That’s me – it’s just my nature. I’m all full throttle and grand visions of the future when a plan is still pretty much a thought and still far from reality. I count my chickens before they hatch, always in the steadfast belief they all will. Of course!
And so now that I have got all the tools for making jewellery, I’m slightly taken aback by the fact that the ring I just created is a little… ..ahem…. ..wonky. The tube I’ll set the stone in isn’t soldered to the ring perfectly which means I’ll have to heat the whole thing up again to make it come off, then file away some more before I get it into its home again to solder it in place anew. Working with metal is a craft that requires not only precision (which does appeal due to a serious case of OCD and being a perfectionist) but also patience and that’s the one thing I do not have in abundance. Or at all. Perhaps that’s why this is so good for me though.
It is actually doing me a world of good I reckon, and on several levels. A full throttle nature does mean that I’m also heavy handed – it’s all fast and furious with me – I snap off the saw blades because I go too fast and push too hard, and I end up filing too deep because I’ve gone at it too frenetically without taking care to go soft and often check. A fraction of a millimetre means the result is all too often a piece that’s hard to rescue once you’ve gone too far.
I do try. I take care to file a little, have a look, carefully angle everything right so I don’t ruin the profile of the piece. I’m getting there. It’s starting to turn out quite great. I’m still sticking to silver until I’ve knocked out a few good’uns, but with a content little smile on my face I glance over at the selection of metal and stones noting the gold tube for setting the sapphires and emeralds soon. The difference in cost between silver and gold is staggering so even a tiny piece of gold tube to set only a little stone measuring 4mm in diameter would be a terrible waste if I didn’t get it right so – THAT BLOODY WORD AGAIN – patience!
Remember Rome, remember Rome!! I need to turn off the part of me that’s all IKEA furniture you cobble together to an acceptable standard in the blink of an eye and switch on some deeply buried part of me that understands that a piece of the finest workmanship is a SLOW process. At the very least, slow or otherwise (I guess experience and skill will decide that and thus far I don’t have heaps of either), one you just can’t rush beyond its limitations.
So there we are. Not sure yet if Santa will be delivering anything from this particular workshop this Christmas – I should be so lucky – but I’m certainly aiming for next year.