misadventures in jewellery making & everything else in between

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January: a month of firsts, and of pledge renewals from New Year’s past. Ja-new-ary. Now that’s an alternative spelling befitting its origin. Did you know January comes comes from the Latin word ianua, meaning door or gate? I didn’t, but a quick Google search will easily tell you that. When I feel I’m scraping the bottom of a barrel for writing inspiration, I choose a word and look it up in the dictionary – a practice which enables me to approach a topic or idea from another angle.


Though I know in my heart that life is fleeting, I always thought transience would look me in the eyes on days when most people would expect it – a death in the family, an illness; perhaps even when there is cause for celebration. I have never been gravely ill, although when my father passed away in the beginning of winter eight years ago I spent a few years trying to survive the inevitable grief. I was too busy flailing my arms and legs in a deluge of tears to even ponder upon my own mortality.


Apart from cafes, Trinity College must be second on my list of most popular meet-up points. As a former student of the university, it was a no-brainer of course.


Before and after: from wire to ring. July is the month majority of the tools I had ordered online arrived. Slowly, one by one, they are each finding a suitable and semi-permanent space to inhabit near my workspace (i.e. the kitchen), subsequently and exponentially expanding the scope of my experiments in ways even I have yet to find out. While this is in no way an implication that I have perfected the art of piercing and filing, I also feel it will be beneficial to learn a few things at once. We all have our own unique approach and switching it up is one of the things that helps sustain my willingness to finish a job.


Despite my brief yet undoubtedly eye-opening foray into the world of jewellery making, I still find it hard to soften the disconnect between walking into a jewellery shop and working at a jeweller’s bench. It’s as though my mind refuses to collate these two things which are clearly two ends of a spectrum. (I’m sure my mind will get around to it eventually!)


As silversmithing progressively drew more and more attention from me, the less I took photographs. Besides, my fingers were consistently grubby with metal particles, polishing compounds, etc. When you’re fully immersed in something, it’s hard to do much else! I begrudgingly took the compulsory tea breaks, even though I thoroughly enjoyed the socialisation aspect of it.


I have a confession to make: prior to my attendance of a silversmithing course, I had never once thought of metal crafts as something I would personally enjoy. In fact, it was one of the options I automatically relegated to my mental list of ‘Least Interesting Courses’ whenever I pored over college prospectuses. “It’s all manual, frivolous work,” I thought, instantly closing a door of opportunities for a long time to come—opportunities that may, or also may not have, expedited my journey of self-exploration.


The presence of something new is certainly a double-edged sword. It provides a great deal of excitement, though it could also veil our perception with the impression that everything is going to be different ‘this time’ around. Which was exactly the case when I enrolled myself into an introductory course on silversmithing earlier this year.

| journal | life | on the bench | process | musings | dublin | in photos