My daughter’s got the jewellery bug! :-D

by helen hill on February 21, 2009

Well so much for my “weekly journal”!  I seem to write nothing for months and then write loads of posts all in one go!  It’s like buses, you wait for ages (for the buses, not my posts), then they all come at once. 😉

My husband and I took our daughter Chloe (almost 17) to a jewellery trade fair a few weeks ago.  She’s since decided that she wants to leave college and get a job in the jewellery industry, starting with retail.  Well, actually I told her that if she wants to eventually work with me (in my “business” that isn’t even paying me at the moment, never mind my daughter), then she needs to prove herself serious by getting a job in the industry first and learning the ropes, while I teach her how to make jewellery in her spare time.  She walked round the trade fair with a grin on her face like a Cheshire cat!  She was so happy and she has hated her time at college so I’m happy for her to follow something that obviously gave her such pleasure.  It was a light bulb moment for her.  My other daughter, Melissa, who was planning to go to art school to learn jewellery making has sadly lost interest, but that’s okay too – I don’t do putting pressure on the kids – it’s their life.  Chloe has already had her first interview, following her spending a whole day writing her CV and a covering letter (with my guidance) and dropping them off to all the jewellers in our town and the neighbouring town.  She’s also now a member of Orchid so she’s definitely proving herself to be serious about this.

She’s been on half term holiday from college this week and so we’ve been in my workshop teaching Chloe some basics.  I dug some scrap pieces of silver sheet out of the sweeps drawer and had her flux and solder them.  Each time something went wrong, we discussed it so that she understood why it went wrong and then it was a big achievement when it went right.  She louped her results each time, sometimes going back again, refluxing and resoldering where there was a gap in a seam.  She soldered some bits together using a solder pick and others by placing pallions of solder.  She really got the hang of it  thoroughly enjoyed it!  I started her off with easy solder and then she went onto using hard solder.  Once we were happy that she was confident with all the steps, Chloe marked out and cut a bezel from sterling sheet.  She then bent it round and soldered it beautifully with hard solder, pickled it and rounded it up and stretched it on a bezel mandrel to fit a peridot stone which she had picked out.  It fits the stone beautifully.

Tomorrow, I will talk her through soldering in the bearing for the stone to sit on, before getting her to cut the seat, file and sand it smooth.  We’ll post a picture of the finished article when it’s done.  I’m extremely proud of her commitment so far and think I may have lost my bench!

Helen Hill

helen hill

helen hill

helen hill

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Helen Hill February 22, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Hi Beth, thanks so much for your lovely message and I will pass it onto Chloe. She’s following the post with interest. Although Chloe and I have always been close, we’ve never really had a shared interest that we could enjoy together – apart from when she dabbled in playing guitar for a while, which my husband and I do. So it’s lovely to be able to share this with her. I’m SO glad that we were able to take her to the fair and plant the seed of her excitement, as her attendance was accidental. Melissa was supposed to come with us and had a ticket booked but she couldn’t make it in the end and so Chloe came along. It was obviously meant to be! 🙂

Beth Wicker February 22, 2009 at 10:33 am

Helen – kudos to you, and luck to Chloe! My daughter has been working with me, making jewelry and selling her own work since she was about 10. She is not doing soldering, but she does wire work and stringing, and has created her “own” chain pattern. It really is special to share your love of jewelry with your daughter! And I know EXACTLY what you mean about wanting your bench back!! I have my work space set up in a sort of almost closed square, and when my daughter was home one table was “hers”. When she went off to college I rearranged, thinking she would not be interested in making jewelry any more. Wrong!!! She was quite huffed to get home over Christmas and find that I had rearranged “her” space! 😉 Give Chloe my best.

Helen Hill February 22, 2009 at 6:32 am

Yes, it’s wonderful to have Chloe in the workshop. Thanks for your lovely comments Michael. I am, however, looking forward to having my bench back on Tuesday when she goes to college! 😉 She’s not left yet as she’s not yet had a job offer. I’m loving the looks of enlightenment she gets every now and then when she gets a concept. Teaching can be so rewarding, and as you say, when it’s your daughter, it just brings you closer together.

Michael Johnson February 22, 2009 at 3:40 am

The best part of showing someone else, especially a loved one, how to do something that we are passionate about, is that it brings them into our world. For me, having my daughters work at their bench next to me is one of the most wonderful feeling in the world. I ask her to hand me the 4mm hart bur, and she knows which one. I am very happy for you. I know when my daughters are either jamming on the strings or working at the bench we are all closer. I hope you find the same happiness as my family shares. Well, there are those times I huff because I have to wait on her to finish setting a rivet with my favorite hammer :o)

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