Although I have been making and selling jewelry for years I have only been silver smithing for just over 1 year now. When I started out I didn’t have an exact plan of what I wanted to make I just wanted to learn something new and I since I am a sterling silver addict silversmithing intrigued me. I remember my first day of class I told my teacher what I wanted to make and showed him a sketch. He looked at me with surprise in his eyes. I had drawn a sketch of a pendant that was pieced together with different shapes that would have to be individually cut out by hand and then filed sanded and carefully soldered. As I cut the metal into pieces and he watched me he said to me.. “You must do arts and crafts”..I laughed as I thought of my life long relationship with the craft stores, Michaels, Beverly’s etc. Growing up as a child I always liked the artsy crafty Christmas gifts a potter’s wheel when I was 8, an art kit with oil pastels when I was 9 and so on. When I was about 12, I was cutting hair of my friends and siblings. I later became a cosmetologist at 17 and ended up owning my own salon a few years after. I found it so ironic that I was sitting there in silversmithing class still cutting things with my hands. I went from paper for scrapbooking or other projects when I was younger, to cutting hair, to now cutting metal with a saw. He patiently explained each step along the way and walla..I created my first pendant. He proudly took a picture to store in his phone. He took photos of all of his students first pieces. I took my pendant home to show my hubby and I remember saying to him "I'm hooked"! Oh yes, I am. As I took more classes and learned more techniques I would ask myself what kind of artist am I. What do I like to make the most?.. As the year has gone by I started looking at all of my files of etsy photos and I started to see a pattern. I love mixing my metals, cutting out shapes and piecing it all together. This Jan. 2010 I went on a trip that we take every year and met a family friend that lives in another state who is also a silversmith. He was asking about my jewelry and I showed him a few pictures of what I had been making..he said "How do you stand piecing that metal and all of those pieces together"? He doesnt like to do that. The first words out of my mouth were I Love it! I love mixing my metals. I realized it then. So back to browsing through my photos..I think I am seeing who I am in the work that I have created. It is so interesting when that happens..It kind of exciting too. I heard John Mayer (the singer) say something interesting the other night while watching him perform on StoryTellers..he said "It is my inability to be(sing) like my idols that has made me become who I am as an artist". I thought about that and can completely relate to what he was saying because along the road I have admired a few special jewelry artists "my idols" who have inspired me and in trying to create beautiful jewelry like them, (not exactly like them), but it has inspired me to create and find my own style and for that I am thankful. This jouney to find out who I am is just begining and although I dont quite know where it is going..I cant wait to get there.