Lately I've been doing a new series on the blog called makin' it in which I show some behind the scenes photos of my fabrication methods in my studio. In some posts I just show my inspiration behind a piece and the end result. No matter which way I choose to present my process, it is just that, my process. These series of posts are meant to give my customers an insight to my process to better understand and appreciate the tools and materials I use and the effort I put into making each piece. It is also meant to show my inspiration, my thought process and my passion for my work.
And while it may not be my direct intention, if my makin' it posts help other metalsmiths discover a new trick or a tool that can make her life easier I am more than delighted to help my fellow artisans. For instance, I received many emails requesting the name of my casting company after my post about fabricating my aster earrings. When I come across a company I love of course I am more than willing to share this information. I want their business to thrive and if I can help by referring other artisans to them, I am more than happy to do so. For those of you who didn't ask, I use Racecar Jewelry. They are amazing and easy to work with and local, which I love!
Now I get to the part where there is something I need to say about this makin' it series. I do not write these posts with the intention of inspiring so called "artisans" to rip off my work. I do not find it appropriate to be contacted with the request of knowing which gauge of silver I use to make a hair pin. Admitting to me that you want to make a replica of my design is not flattering. In the art and craft world copying is not the sincerest form of flattery. Copying means that you have no original ideas of your own and therefore aren't really a true artisan. Artisans make things with their hands and imagination. Being an artisan means you can design objects and master the skills and tools of your trade. This isn't to say that everyone craftsperson starts out with all of the skills they need. We all started not knowing the basics of our craft, but we take classes, ask questions, listen to professors and start blind and feeble but keep pushing on to become the artisan we strive to be. As I mentioned already, I am not opposed to helping fellow artisans. Asking what gauge of silver I work with for ear wires, enameled pieces or necklace clasps is one thing. They are all questions we need the answers to. And these questions don't mean you are stealing my design, it means that you just need some assistance becoming the artisan you want to be. For those questions I am more than happy to help, please feel free to email me at any time.
My series of makin' it posts are my way of showing my process for items I have a passion to create. They are pictures and stories of what I do for a living. These posts are about my livelihood and they are a means for me to connect with my customers. These posts are not DIY posts. I write those too and they are clearly marked as DIY. I am more than willing to give you all the tips in the world on those posts. And if you are local, I'll stop by your house and get my hands dirty helping you refinish furniture or we can go thrift shopping for displays to refinish.
Please, please, please respect artisans who make a living off what they make with their hearts and hands. Copying is not the sincerest form of flattery. [Unless you want to copy my shoe collection.]