When my sons were little they never ever used a toy the way it was intended. It was completely taken apart ad totally repurposed, used in multiple ways. Their lesson was not lost on me, they taught me well They were very imaginative and very inventiv , it was a quality all 3 still have and that I admire
They are grown now and me, I'm not a 'fancy woman' I chose simplicity over complexity every time. Life is complex enough so why add to that.....I love making jewelry, simple.
I have an array of hammers but I use my favorite 4 dailly.
I don't have the fancy stone setting gadget (though I dream of having one). I use either a multi-positional vise that is about 30 years old, though new to me to set ring stones.
For the other pieces I use my wonderful steel block. It is big, solid and beautiful no bounce back! To set my stones on it I use masking tape to hold down my pieces down, leather scraps if I need to support parts of the piece. I also use this block to level a piece, to flatten a part of the design, to chase a design, to hammer a little element and sometimes for a WIP photo op!
For me to buy a tool it must be quite extraordinary and of course multi-purpose. Most of my favorite new tools are made for me by my friend Keith Keefer; a set of bezel pushers, although I never push a bezel I hammer set the stones, my precious steel block and some of his amazing stamps. Like my other tools these too are multi purpose!
Each tool has several uses they make my work easier, faster and most important they give me the ability to better express myself in metal!
Making a piece of jewelry is not a solitary thing it is a symphony of players each has a vital role. The vision of the lapidarist when they cut a stone, the tool makers vision when he creates his tools and then the metalsmith who is inspired by all these people!
I may sit in my studio alone, but I sit in gratitude of so many.
Thank you to each and everyone of you I couldn't do it without you!