I was going to draw a magpie but needed a colour infusion to brighten myself up and drizzle some sunshine dust into my head. So, ‘Not a magpie’ was born. I’m not a magpie by nature – I don’t hoard shiny things (or pinch them!) but have long hankered to have a go at making jewellery from scratch rather than with a kit. While my visitors were here in Ireland, we booked an afternoon session at a silversmiths to try our hand at making something. Well, it was just wonderful. The bloke who runs it, Ed, was a really nice guy and didn’t show any surprise or irritation at the number of times I broke the tiny little fretsaw (I think that’s what it was) blade I used to cut out some little hearts and a door for the phone case charm (see picture below).
The fretsaw blade was as fine as a spider’s leg almost and strong like gossamer (tensile strength of gossamer is very high) but still delicate and easily broken. We cut, soldered, hammered and polished. Ed demonstrated and explained every step of the process and the time just flew by. His workshop was a place of awe and wonder (wonder what that’s for?!) with many incongruent bits and bobs like an electric guitar on the wall and a national dressed doll (he found it in between a bricked up area when he knocked through a few walls and things). He also had a glass showcase with some of his pieces – crafted by the hands of an artisan. Stunning and beautiful!
By the end of the afternoon we had each made something. Mine is the house – I will be threading through a thin leather lace and attaching it to my phone case. The other two are pendants. Unfortunately, I have no pics of a thumb ring that Ms A made. It was simple but was tapped all over with a felted hammer to give it a beautiful surface texture.
We had a great afternoon and will be going again, for sure. Here you go – take a look. I would say if you ever get the chance, try it. It’s absorbing, interesting and a really nice way to spend a few hours and you don’t have to be a magpie by nature to want to!