Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Something Old to Me Is New Again

I'd like to share a little bit of me with you, if that's acceptable?

When I was 16, I quite school. Not the best move on my part I admit.
However,  as it happened, it allowed me to apprentice with my Dad and work along side 
both of my parents for a number of cherished years.
My Dad is a goldsmith and he offered to apprentice me when the reality
of my scholastic decision came full circle, and believe me, that didn't take long!
And so began my journey. I watched, he taught. That's how he was trained in Germany.
My Mom observed this for a couple of weeks and finally had to speak up.
"The best way to learn, is to let her get her hands dirty!"
Dad agreed, and I rarely sat on the sidelines after that. 

I love different.
 I love working with my hands. 
I love metal and stones.
 I love the feel of the tools in my hands.
 I enjoy the questioning look on people's faces when they asked what I did as a job,
and how the look would change from quizzical to amazed when I explained just what I did.
I was passionate about what I was doing.

We worked and laughed together in our little shop for 16 years.
The decision to close the shop was a hard one, economics dictated.
My parents retired and pulled up stakes. They headed to Arizona for their first winter.
I continued on but in my home, and my customers followed me.
New customers contacted me, I was a busy gal. I moved into my parent's home
and people still came. Things were good, heck things were great!

Then my Mom became ill and died 50 days after they had arrived in Arizona.
Everything came to a stand still in my life. I couldn't move. 
I had lost my best friend.

My Dad came and lived with us until the next spring, then he moved east to be close to my brother.
After much deliberation, I decided that I needed to be with my family
more than the partner I had at the time. 
I went east as well and during the eight months I was there,  began to breathe again.
A coworker of my SIL asked about a customized broach.
 Then a couple wanted new wedding rings crafted just for them.
Before I knew it I was setting up shop once again in my Dad's storage room,
and the work just kept on coming.

I moved back out west when my Dad decided he wasn't cut out for any more eastern winters
and my brother accepted a transfer west as well.
I got married.
I stopped goldsmithing.
 I got divorced.
I met Phil.
I had two strapping boys.
However, something has been nagging at me lately.

I had an epiphany!
I pulled out some of my tools my Dad had given me.
I started to play and it felt good.
Hell, it felt great!!
So, I am going to transform my space upstairs for not only sewing but for
my smithing so I can make more of this

and this

I'm really looking forward to setting all the wheels in motion.
I have missed this feeling and I have missed this connection to my past.
Besides, my youngest is showing an interest. Maybe the tradition will carry on.
(he will be staying in school though) 


  1. Amazing! I am so impressed with the beauty of your work! I can't wait to see what you are doing. Please share with us! XO

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. I'm in Germany now and I do like the apprentice approach, but more than that - I appreciate your love & loyalty to your family :)

  3. wow, what a beautiful story
    thank you for sharing that part of you with us <3
    Really can't wait to see what you're going to create as this first piece is already very beautiful !!
    and please please...share with us =)

  4. You go for it, girl!!!

  5. Thank you for sharing this wonderful piece of you. What a great talent your Dad gave and you took the opportunity! Looking forward to your creations...all are golden!

  6. Such an amazing post! Your work is absolutely stunning. Can't wait to see what you create.

  7. Politicians want us to believe a college education is a must. No child left behind etc. BUT Not everyone is suited to college and universities don't give us carpenters, plumbers, mechanics etc. Somewhere along the way we lost our trades. Apprenticeships seem to be a thing of the past. Try hiring a good carpenter. He might be able to build some steps but not a cabinet. A true carpenter learns the trade inside out and along the way becomes an artist. I am a huge believer in education. I taught for 35 years. But we don't learn everything in school. How lucky you were. Make sure you pass it on.

  8. sadly, so true lefuntz. I want my best friend to be a plumber, or a mechanic. My sil is an electrician and nephew is in HVAC.............got those needs covered. :)
    Trade craft is what we need more of and your story is lovely.

    1. Thank you Sue Ann for your comment. Sorry it has taken me awhile to reply, you landed in my spam file :(

  9. What a beautiful and touching story, thank you for sharing.

  10. Good for you Carolyn! I sewed and quilted all the time and then quit for about 12 years. It feels wonderful to be doing it again and I'm sure you will feel the same way.

  11. Totally gorgeous and I hope you continue to share your work with us on the blog. I loved hearing your story and only wish you the best as you proceed with another phase in your creative life.

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  13. Your life story almost had me in tears. Life choices, life events… I hope you find joy in your beautiful jewellery making and in teaching the next generation. Your father gave you something special.
    Visiting via the 2014 GYB Party from Wales,
    Catherine. www.ditsygranquilts.blogspot.co.uk


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