Kris Kringle

by Suzanne on December 28, 2011

In the past week my laundry time has been focused on my 11 year old son.
He had a Kris Kringle at school and picked a girl’s name out of the hat.  He decided he’d like to make her a ring…”Please mum?”  It had to be in silver, of course, and I wasn’t allowed to tell anybody what he was doing.  God forbid if word got out at school that he was making this girl a ring!
I took this photo but he quickly grabbed my torque bangle so he couldn’t be seen working on it.

Without giving away names, he wanted to make a ring with a V.  So I got some wire and with a bit of planishing, solder and polishing, this is what we came up with:

We didn’t just launch into production blindly.  I made him work with artistic wire and we got a few ideas together about how he could make it work.  We even did a couple of drawings.  The idea was a) not to waste silver and b) to instil a bit of the design process into him…Me: “Things just don’t happen, they are planned and thought through.” Him: “Yeah, yeah, can we start now mum?”  One can only but try!  To his credit, he was very patient and took everything I said on board.  He had no choice of course, if he wanted to be near any equipment he had to listen to instruction intently or I just froze the production.  He caught on pretty quickly that I mean business especially with regards to safety and proper process.

I would have liked him to engrave a line to make the the ring look more of a V than a Y but he was happy with his design and that was that.  It was a great success and everyone  guessed he’d made it, hence the cone of silence over the project has been lifted.

He then went on to make his teacher a pendant!  Lucky teacher…I was welling up at the thought and seeing his determination to maker her something special was a reflection of his admiration.

I was really pleased that my workshop had got at least one child thinking outside the box and doing something a little different.  Last year it was the turn of my daughter and her Market experience (Stuck).  All this makes The Laundry about so much more than me.  Another proud mum moment!

For my full blog please visit The Laundry

I hope everyone had a Happy Christmas.


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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Huan Wang January 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm

I’ve been traveling for the past year because My 11 year old daughter is in Billy Elliot the Musical National Tour, along I took my one and half year old baby boy Bryan with me, he’s been on tour ever since he’s three month old.
Start a month ago, I think Bryan’s old enough to leave me some hands free time so I brought some tools with me. I started with some personalized pieces I designed for the Billy Elliot cast members using only Sterling silver, this way it’s easy for work while traveling. So there’s lots of hammering. Bryan would sit on my lap with me hold my hand while I hold the hammer. some times I caught him climbing on my chair, grabing my hammer and give my soldering board strong solid blows, which was nothing like a baby playing with toy tool set… I can see soon he will be making rings for girls and teachers too


Suzanne January 8, 2012 at 7:23 am

I love your story. The cast and crew must love your jewellery made on the road, a very personal touch. I admire you for making good use of time with Bryan.


michaeljohnson January 4, 2012 at 4:18 am

Hey!! great job!! on the teaching end and the doing end. I think the process is the key to making little self-propelled craftsmen. My daughters also want to jump into the making part before the thinking and designing part too. I think most of my students do too.
The ring looks great, and you’re getting share a bit of the magic with your son. Awesome!!


Suzanne January 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Thanks Michael…My son doesn’t see the magic but I do. It makes the whole process worthwhile. The proud look when he went to school with a little something special…says it all.


Cat Williams December 30, 2011 at 10:05 am

Lovely story! I hope my niece will want to work at the bench soon 🙂


Suzanne December 30, 2011 at 4:28 pm

I’m constantly amazed how curious children are especially if doing something out of the ordinary. I’m sure your niece will catch the bug too.


Anonymous December 30, 2011 at 2:08 am

Nice Story… Feel a bit more inspired today, Thanks


Barbera Ploeg December 29, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Hello Suzanne,
I love this story, the commitment shown by your Son and your teaching qualities and enthousiasm for bringing on the knowledge. My oldest Son is 3years old now so I hope to find him as creative and interested as yours in à couple of years 😉
Best regards,
Barbera Ploeg, The Netherlands


Suzanne December 30, 2011 at 6:14 am

Thank you Barbara,
I copied your comment to my main Laundry site with a link to your website. Your work is stunning! Your son will be interested in anything you do. I’m finding that my children soak in everything…the good and the bad!


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