Tuesday, 22 February 2011


The bench arrived in August and all of a sudden I had a workshop.  I even got the last of the Japanese library index drawers I had been eyeing off for ages. Put it on wheels and voila, a fantastic toolbox at my fingertips! 
 I unpacked all my tools and university paraphernalia that had been in boxes for 10 years.  Needless to say, I can’t remember what I used half of it for. I was impressed by all the work I had done though.
My daughter then declared she wanted to save for a mobile phone before heading to high school.  She asked if she could make jewellery and sell it at the local craft market.   I thought that was a fair request given she’d been attending Gem Club and was already producing work.
So away we went mother and daughter exploring options for her to sell at the market.  We came up with the idea of paper beads, great for getting rid of old newspapers and magazines.  Thus far the workshop has been used for this venture and nothing else.
She now has her phone and is busy at high school so I can reclaim my space.  I have to say having the two benches is wonderful.  It enabled us to sit back to back or side by side working together. It’s just precious time with my daughter.  For some reason in the workshop I seem to have cred, more so than in the kitchen!  It’s actually quite bizarre as I have never beaded in my life and I was suddenly thrown into it to help her.  Anyway, I’m really proud of her achievement and it’s a positive of The Laundry project that I won’t forget and, hopefully, she won’t either.
 Another fantastic side effect of this is her learning to deal with people and present herself and her work in a positive light.  People loved her little stall and were impressed with her work, which I have to say kept me up late on the odd occasion to help get her ready.  Now she just takes herself off without any assistance and is selling alongside all the grow-ups.  She's 12 years old.
My forge is set up and works like a dream.  We put cement sheeting on the wall and a removable sheet on the bench, the pickle sits directly under the fan.   I opted for the “budget jeweller's torch” which uses good old easy to access BBQ bottled gas.  Also very handy if the BBQ runs out (Australian remember)!   The big danger I have now is clutter from my daughter’s bead work. To clear it however I need to take over my space and get a project up and running. 
The problem is I’m writing this instead of being at my bench.  Why?  I’m stuck!  I’m finding it really hard get back into making even though I’ve had ideas on the boil for more than 10 years.  I’ve organised my time so I can be in The Laundry 3 days a week and you won’t believe it,  I’ve done everything except get the tools out!  I feel like I have reached a full stop. 
I've also set up an Etsy account and got a domain name just in case I start producing and want to sell.  At this stage it seems a long way away but I thought I'd get some of those things in place. All this has delayed getting to my bench!
I’ve decided to enrol in a silversmithing “intensive” which is roughly 12 hours over 2 days.   I really don’t want to do another course but I’ve come to the conclusion that it might just get my head back into the zone.  I’m also going to set up a private session with someone whose work I admire to get a refresher on tap and die.  Never quite mastered it and would like to.  I’d love to find a mentor I could work with one day a week, the sort of thing that was part of my degree but didn’t take up because I was busy having two children.  I think that’s for students however you never know.

So this is where I’m at, stuck!  I have The Laundry and my beautiful bench, wow!  This blog is again up-to-date enabling me to tick that box as done bringing me one step closer to working at my bench…I hope. 

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