Greater Than the Sum of Our Parts

a miscellany of the wonderful and the banal

The end result is delicate but the process is anything but.

with 3 comments

Jewellery-making seems like such a contradiction. The jewellery at the end is frequently some delicate and beautiful confection that looks like it might fall apart in a passing breeze (and in the case of my inadequately-closed jump rings, probably will do just that), but the interim involves soldering irons and blowtorches, molten metals, intractable gemstones, or at the very least pliers and a lot of swearing.

I am still at the the “pliers and plying of vicious curse words” level, having been thwarted in soldering by the absence of the right kind of solder (which I didn’t find out until after in my impatience to make my electrical solder stay on the silver charm I pressed it with my thumb and invented some other new swearwords). This afternoon I thought I’d reward myself for having writen 500 words on types of bus systems used in digital audio, a subject on which I know approximately nothing (although it is minutely improved on the absolute nothing I knew before I started) by making some jewellery, as it is a nice change from squinting at a computer screen and wondering why words won’t magically fire themselves from my fingertips without my brain getting involved somewhere along the way. At least, not usable ones.

Over the course of this refreshing and relaxing activity I’ve worn a hole in my side from reaching down over the edge of my chair for the jump rings, because lowering the arm of the chair or, say, putting the correct number of jump rings on a tray on the desk hadn’t really occurred to me (the desk is as ever buried under computers, empty cups, stereo speakers, and an ashtray with a teabag in it – I think it was actually meant to be a candle-holder but I don’t do candles). I have pinched bits of my hand with wire clippers, fired bits of clipped wire into my face with a ferocity that would have blinded me were I not wearing glasses, and invented a lot of new swearwords for pliers with a grip as feeble as a politician’s excuse, and the entire concept of gravity.

After a while I put on the audiobook of The Silver Chair as read by Jeremy Northam in the hopes that soothinng children’s literature would stop me from trying to dig up Newton and kick him for making my life difficult; what actually happened was that I spent about half an hour shouting “BUGGER” and other, stronger things as jump rings slipped from my grasp, crystals slithered off the desk and into the mechanism of my printer, and Jeremy Northam talked about why Jill Pole was blubbing in the shrubs with Scrubb behind the gym.

The end result was precarious, if pretty to look at for the five minutes before it inevitably falls apart:

Image of bracelet 1
Image of bracelet 2
Image of bracelet 3
Image of bracelet 4


Written by Amelia &/or Delilah

December 17, 2010 at 8:56 pm

3 Responses

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  1. I do get amused when people complement some of the stuff I’ve made, saying they could never do anything so delicate. Yeah, ’cause forming metal by brute force, subjecting it to very high temperatures, hitting it with a hammer *a lot* and then polishing it with a machine that’ll take your hand off – that’s delicate work, for sure.

    (It is also why I have flat fingertips. Damn hammers.)


    December 17, 2010 at 10:22 pm

  2. It’s very pretty though and there must be some satisfaction in the creation of it.


    December 18, 2010 at 1:56 am

  3. It has a bee charm! šŸ™‚


    December 18, 2010 at 3:59 pm

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