As week one closes of the Graduate Bench Jewelers Program at New Approach School for Jewelers, I am amazed at how much I have actually learned. These are all skills I had coming into the program: sawing, filing, piercing. However, I now do them much more efficiently and logically while viewing the techniques with a new appreciation of the process.
With a new approach (ha! pun intended) to holding my saw frame, my files and flex shaft, I gained a new control over techniques that I have never experienced before this program.
Death grip on the saw frame no more. Three gentle fingers give me better control over the frame and blade action. Files can actually be used in the backwards motion. Who knew? I was previously taught it would clog my files and ruin the "teeth" if I ran a file back and forth over a surface. I am not really finding that "rule" to be true. The flex shaft actually seemed to be the biggest eye opener. I held the flex shaft in a "potato peeler" grip for most operations. I have now learned that a pencil grip will give me better control and smaller fine motor control. I certainly did not think that putting my finger on the shaft of a bur (while running!) was a good idea before this week. Now, I can't imagine having the control I need without using it that way.
I really thought I would sail through this week and maybe even be bored. So, so, so not the case. I gained a whole new level of control and finesse. Now to break those bad habits...they are already starting to fade. :)
All jewelry is handmade in Franklin, Tennessee, just south of Nashville. I use recycled, responsibly sourced metals + gemstones. All designs + images are property of Panicmama Jewelry by Renee Ford and Renee Ford Metals 2016