Write What You Know Part Three

How It All Started…Or I’ve just always been like this

I didn’t actually realize that I wanted to be a jeweler until 1974 when I took a beginning silver soldering class.  I went to an adult education class in Encinitas, California.  It only cost me $20 for a few tools; a jeweler’s saw, a small propane torch, some jeweler’s files, sterling silver sheet and solder.

I learned how to solder silver pieces together, make a ring, do pierced work and overlay.

I went home and that night I had a dream. I dreamed of a silver ring with a coral piece in the center.

I made a drawing and made it in the next class.  I was hooked.  That was it. I finally knew what I wanted to do.

My first workbench was part of an old door on a couple of old wooden bean crates.  I had no chair and sat cross-legged on the floor. Not a problem, as I’d been doing Hatha Yoga since 1969.

My first polisher was an electric drill (with a cord) in a vice, clamped onto the table.  I attached polishing buffs to a spindle and it worked fine.

I was very poor.  I bought some tumbled stones because they were cheap and mounted them in bracelets with prongs. I finally sold them and I was thrilled.  I remember waking up at 6 am every day and I couldn’t wait to start working.  I purchased a copy of Murray Bovin’s book “How to make jewelry” which appears to be out of print or has been reprinted as a school textbook. My copy actually fell apart and I punched holes and made it into a 3 ring binder.  I worked my way through each section and teaching myself most of the techniques in the book including, enameling, acid etching, engraving.

Laura M. Wilson Copyright All Rights Reserved



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