We recently joined Lizzie Grimwood at Ayla Silver Jewellery for a day’s introduction to the basics of silver smithing. This is not the first craft day we have taken together, last summer we joined Vinegar Hill Pottery for a day of pot throwing, and it now feels like these days turning into a bit of a tradition for us all at PAD studio - we are already on the look out for our next challenge.
On the day each of us were able to decide what we wanted to attempt to make; Ricky, Collette and myself all wanted to make a necklace (although we were quite different in our approach), Wendy decided to craft a beautiful and intricate sugar spoon and Ben decided to try to create a thistle pendent.
The first task was the sketch some designs, this is always the point I feel slightly out of my depth having no art or design qualification past A Level – I feel I’m doing well, then I look at the drawings the rest of the team have produced and I know why they are the architects.
After, what felt like a very short time sketching our designs, we were let loose with the hammer, saw, solder and files, teasing and moulding the metal into something that looked like our original ideas.
The original rectangle of metal had looked quite uninspiring, it had been hard to believe Lizzie when she promised that we would be able to craft our designs from this small piece of material. As we worked with the metal it was amazing to feel it change and bended to our will, at each stage I was delighted with my achievement and fearful I would still manage to ruin it somehow. It took great confidence to cut and hammer at the work, it was a delicate balance of knowing when we still needed to keep working the metal and when to stop.
I had an incredible sense of achievement at the end of the day, to have crafted something by hand which I now proudly wear.