In college, I studied jewelry making. This happened in a roundabout way, after transferring from my first college and changing my major. It was both surprising and not surprising for people who knew me. I've always had an affinity for making things. Even though I seldom use my exact metal skills now, I've never regretted studying jewelry. I got to learn the ancient and somewhat lost art of metalsmithing. I got to make beautiful, functional art with my hands. Jewelry was especially challenging in that its end goal was to be wearable, and I enjoyed working within that parameter. But, my pieces never felt like me. It sometimes felt like a battle between me and the metal. In the last year of my degree, I started making books, and using metal as the covers for them. These felt more like me, and they still felt "serious" enough for art school. After school, I made jewelry for several years on my own. I set up a small studio in my apartment. And then, we moved into the house I live in now, and I never set up my torch. Or the chemicals that I used to remove soldering scale from metals. Eventually, I forgot about my tools until my husband would unearth a file or metal snips and I would find it on his work bench in the basement.
Several months ago, I was out for a walk and had a brainstorm to make collage brooches. My collages are so personal, and I thought it would feel good to wear them. So, here are the first few. My friend Maria has tirelessly test driven her little flower and deemed it durable. Making them was a delight and brought me back to the wearable aspect of jewelry making, which was always the most satisfying part.