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I find myself part of a Study on Craft

Posted on by Eleanor Swinhoe

A couple of weeks ago I had a professor from Cardiff University come to spend some hours with me in the studio. He wanted to do one of my workshops and also spend some time chatting and watching me work to understand the process as part of a general study on artisans and crafts workers. He has written a beautiful piece about the process of making his own silver ring.

He sent me some pictures and here is a little snippet of his words:

"Like many makers I have met, Ellie conveys a great sense of calm, not least because she has the confidence in the things where I lack confidence. The actions that for me are clumsy are assured and habituated for her. But of course, unlike my trying to learn from a book or instruction manual, say, she can see what is “enough” and guide me appropriately – as well as offering general encouragement and advice. My silver ring is definitely another trophy... The measure of success lies in the work and knowledge that went into making it rather than the object itself. I am none the less gratified that the ring is as it was intended: round, shiny, the right size. Just as in other studios, there is a gratifying sense of entering a domain of long tradition."  (Professor Paul Atkinson)

At the bench - teaching the Professor

At the bench - teaching the Professor

Soldering a stone bezel to the ring shank

Soldering a stone bezel to the ring shank

Teaching in the studio

Posted on by Eleanor Swinhoe

I love my studio space, and had a moment of struggle in my mind about sharing it, but happily I had the loveliest time teaching over a couple of days.  All teaching will be one to one as the studio is set up that way.  We soldered, pierced, domed, and set moon stones onto pendants that Susanna will be selling.  It was great to talk techniques and to remind myself of some basics, such as tool names, which, because I use them everyday, but don't discuss them had flown from my brain (maybe that says a bit too much about me though!!).

Polishing with the pendant drill

Polishing with the pendant drill

Piercing (sawing) silver and managing not to break a single blade!

Piercing (sawing) silver and managing not to break a single blade!