Tools of the Trade
February 11 2016
**This post was originally published in 2011 in my other blog, but since that blog is no longer being updated, I decided to repost it here with new pictures.
Never in a million years would I have thought that I would be exercising self-control over purchasing …..hammers. In fact I’m chomping at the bits because I would like to purchase some hammers. Yes, hammers. Jeweler’s hammers that is. But still hammers.
You might be thinking what is she talking about, and I understand because until about two months ago, my relationship with hammers was very limited. I’d use them to strike a nail to hang a calendar or when making jewelry, straighten out a warped metal piece and maybe to texture a little.
So what’s with this obsession with hammers?
I’ve always been fascinated with metals in fluid form imitating flowing fabric or curling leaves or petals. The fact that something so rigid could be transformed to look soft and sensual and have movement appealed to me immensely. For past 7 years, I’ve been busy learning the basics of metalsmithing waiting for a chance to learn to create those forms that I admired so much. Then about 2 months ago I got that chance. Master metalsmith Betty Helen Longhi was teaching a workshop locally and I jumped at the opportunity. She is the expert on metal folding techniques and her work is amazing. It was in this workshop I learned about all the possibilities these simple tools possessed. How these instruments are used to manipulate raw material into exquisite forms to be admired and coveted. I was hooked. I AM hooked.
Four hundred dollars later, I realized I needed at least four hundred more dollars worth of hammers to feel adequately prepared. Yes, I do realize the need would be insatiable, so for now these “jewels” have to do.
When I first wrote this post, I think I had 5. Obviously, I have acquired more since.
When they are not in use, they are protected by baby booties.
Hammer forged pieces:
Above: Silver Petal