In June, unexpectedly and miraculously, a retail space became available on a trendy block near my home. Somehow, myself and a friend were able to snap it up and within a few weeks we were opening our doors for business.
I've always wavered over the idea of someday owning a store. I became self-employed, in part, because I value a flexible work schedule. Now, with the opening of our little boutique, there will no longer be extended vacations and taking a "beach day" simply because it's sunny and I dont feel like working.
But on the flip side, now i have a dedicated, permanent space for my jewelry and a place to share with others the awesome satisfaction that comes with making something by hand. So, I've begun teaching "Intro to Metalsmithing" classes once a week. Students sign up for a 4-session series and learn some basic skills that open the door to the amazing possibilities of jewelry design.
I love making jewelry. I really and truly have stumbled onto my "passion." Certainly, I gripe about it and theres times when I'm so sick of making a particular design, I could just SCREAM. But I never, ever have been sick of sitting down at my bench and firing up my torch. So now I have a chance to teach others this skill. And, with every group that I've taught, (we've have five groups so far!) I find myself continually blown away with what they've come up with! Some people stand out for just having natural artistic talent. Others shock me with the creativity of their designs. Sometimes, I'll look at a finished piece made by a beginner student and KNOW that it would be a bestseller in our store if we were to sell it.
Since we began offering the Intro class, word has been spreading about it, and now I'm getting a few emails a week from people asking when we're offering it next and how they can participate. It's pretty cool to know that other people are as eager to learn these skills as I was when i first started out. Metalsmithing is such an inclusive medium --- i really believe that anyone who has even just a pinch of creativity and a lot of passion can produce amazing jewelry. I'm so grateful to be spreading this skill that i love so much with others!!!