Thursday, 26 September 2013

A little more detail - Jewellery

On Tuesday I tried to write a general summary of things - it ended up a little long winded and I think focused a little more on why I'm doing this and less on exactly what it is I'm doing. So today I want to put a little more detail into what The Silver Hide is and does.


Many years ago (quite possibly half my lifetime ago, which is a bit weird to think about o.0) I went on an evening course to learn how to make sterling silver jewellery, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
It was actually quite a few years on before I really did much with that knowledge though, and initially I worked with the materials readily available in craft shops. Usually this meant silver plated or enameled copper wire and various beads, and often preformed components.This didn't really involve much of what I had learnt other than some basic things about working with wire, but it was cheaper and easier to start with.

After getting positive feedback from friends and family, and eventually selling things to Complete Strangers (not sure I'll ever stop feeling that sense of utter amazement whenever someone I've never before met in my life chooses to spend actual money on something I made), I eventually found the confidence to move back up to working with sterling silver.

Now, I don't want to be negative about plated jewellery, or costume jewellery, but I will always personally prefer sterling silver both as a medium for working with and in what I myself choose to wear. Partly this is because like many people my skin reacts to most costume jewellery, which tends to have a higher nickel content. This also becomes a problem with plated stuff in time, as the plating can wear thin and expose the copper or other metal core.

The other reason is that sterling silver is vastly more versatile to me; I can hammer it, file it, heat it - melt it even. I can't do that with plated wire, because the plating will flake off or otherwise be obviously damaged, ruining the look of the work.

So! I work with sterling silver wire. For the most part I'm still working using non-heat based methods, mostly due to workshop restrictions. Working from home + blowtorches and mild (really mild, but still) acid baths = high risk of interior decorating mishaps, if you ask me. I am saving up to get myself a proper workshop, but for now there is plenty that can be done without the risk of setting the furniture on fire.

Style wise, my work usually focuses on the shaping and textured finish of the wire, with one or two beads for accents. Oh yeah - I'm a bit of a bead snob. I stay away from plastic beads, am pretty picky about my glass beads, and thus end up mostly using semi precious stone beads.

I guess that'll probably do for the 'Jewellery' post. Looking at the length of the post, I shall leave leather to another day!

Tara for now!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

3, 2, 1... Go!

So I've decided to be self employed.

I have also decided that I want to keep a blog - aside from being a handy way to discuss future work-based stuff without cluttering up the website, I hope it will also be a useful sounding board when I inevitably drive myself loopy from time to time.

I'm going to try and keep this first post fairly short, just a summary of what I want to do and maybe a brief bit of the thinking behind the decision.

So... what am I doing?

I am designing, making & selling my own jewellery and leather goods - which sounds like an odd mix every time I say it.
I've been making jewellery on and off for a good dozen years or so, with a general leaning towards working with sterling silver wire as my main material.
Working with leather is more recent, although thinking about it I've been doing that for maybe 5 years now? I'm still building my confidence with the leather, as I'm completely self taught and prone to self-doubt -.-

Why am I doing this?

In short: because I want to.
Now, those that know me may be questioning if I really have the right mind set/attitude to do this - I know I question it (pretty much daily at the moment).
I'm really not great at self motivation. I suffer from an ongoing lack of self confidence, and even when I do manage to find some it is very easy for me to lose it again due to little things that really shouldn't have such a huge impact. I'm improving, certainly, but I still have a long way to go before I'll be shouting from the rooftops about how blindingly awesome I am (without then melting into a puddle of utter shame and embarrassment).

...Wait, why am I doing this again?

I Love Making Things (enough for it to deserve the capitalization), and I love seeing other people like the things I have made (who wouldn't?). I can't deny the appeal of being my own boss, and the freedom to wake up on a Monday and say 'you know what, I'm starting an hour later today'. Yes, I do need to maintain the discipline of then finishing an hour later, but the flexibility is a big thing for me.
Now, on a deeper level, I think I'm also fighting my own demons. I have a fear of failing and of 'letting people down', and I think this has stopped me from really committing to things - if you don't jump you can't fall right? However I am fed up with backing down and giving up. I want to do better. I want (need is probably a better word here) to take charge of myself and prove to myself, more than to anyone else that I can actually commit to something and stick with it.

So that's the plan. I do not expect this to be easy - hey, it's taken me months just to start the blog >.< - and I do not expect it to get any easier any time soon. I still need to try though, so that's what I'm gonna do.

...That ended up a little longer and a little more soul-baring than planned, but that may be a good thing.
Tara for now!