I speak metal. (First Blog Post 8.26.08)

Greetings!

Once trained as a writer, and seemingly never at a loss for a story or opinion to share, I have often been urged to “write those things down.” Well, here goes….

I have wonderful work to do every day. I go to my studio and translate people’s stories into metal pieces they wear on their bodies – jewelry. I am not a jeweler on a quest to sell the grandest diamond in town. Instead, I use jewelry and metals as a medium for something much more valuable.

I am a metalsmith.

I am a studio jeweler.

But, I am also a storyteller. I speak metal.

I remember a client whose husband had recently died. She and her two young sons were healing slowly, taking each day as it came. She brought me her husband’s wedding band. She extended her hand, the large size 14 white gold band resting in her palm. She looked at the ring, then looked up at me and asked me to make it smaller so she could wear it, and use the extra metal to make something for her sons, crosses perhaps.

It would be my pleasure, I told her. When the band has been reduced to a size 7, normally I would polish it, restoring it to a like-new state. But as I now held his ring in my palm, I noticed all the scratches and wear patterns on the ring, all marks of the man who wore it. Let’s leave them, I told her. Because he put them there. So, that’s what we did. I sized it down, cleaned it, and intentionally honored his marks by leaving them there. Marks left behind and memories were all she had left.


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