Eilisain aka Lisette in Gaelic

Welcome to my blog, where I document my process in making jewelry, muse on the influence of art and the joy of making beautiful objects.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

how I became a metalsmith and jeweler

Me at my dining room table chasing a copper lid.

Often when I catch up with old friends or make new ones I get that question, how did you get into working with metal and making jewelry? I find that most people are intrigued because it's not the common profession, to become a metalsmith.

At first, it can be a scary and daunting journey - to take that first step of moving forward and even knowing where to go but it is so gratifying!

Back in 2001, I graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelors Degree of Liberal Arts and Science in Anthropology. My last semester at UF, I took a wire wrapping class in jewelry making at the student union. From the first class on, I was in the studio every night. It was like returning to my roots.

So there I was, graduating with a degree in which I had no idea what I was going to do and then rediscovering a lost passion; jewelry and being creative. And I asked myself, how do I get into the field of making jewelry?

I really didn't have much of a choice, upon graduating, I still had to make money! Long story short, I worked for about 8 years in the non-profit field, specifically environmental and human rights. In my spare time I took jewelry classes on the side and towards the last 3 years I began to work part time for professional jewelry artists and in a jewelry/silverware repair shop. Somehow, I made the time to study with other artists: on week nights I took enameling and raising and forming classes, then on the weekends I worked at the shop.

Some days it was tiring (juggling a full time job and part time job) but also very motivating and it pushed me to save money and build up my portfolio. Not only did I get great professional experience and knowledge but also I met very talented artists and craftspeople. Finally, I made the decision to go back to school and get the technical experience I still lacked.

It's the best decision I've ever made, thus far, in my life.

My best recommendation for anyone that wants to get into the arts field is this: find people like you that are interested in the craft, take classes, read about it, and do your research.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my journey and feel free to share your own.

Pin It

No comments:

Post a Comment