Saying Yes


Today’s artists don’t usually have the kind of apprenticeships they used to, but there’s a modern version that is practiced by many of us. After college I was lucky enough to work for some talented jewelers in this way, and I learned so much. One of these amazing artists taught me, among a great many other things, about the value of saying yes. This yes is about trusting your skills, learning on the job, rising to the occasion, and allowing for happy accidents and unexpected discoveries. Her gentle encouragement led me to take on my first (non-familial) wedding ring clients. I certainly made some mistakes, but I learned incredibly valuable lessons.

This project was unique; they had sand from a beach that was meaningful to them, and had been trying to find a jeweler who would use it in their rings. If you Google “sand ring”, you will find plenty of smooth plastic-y epoxy resin with embedded sand, and lots of sandblasted matte-finished metal. This is great if that’s what you’re looking for, but it's not what my clients had in mind. After both fun and frustrating experiments, I ended up with a solution that they loved and a texture that I’m excited to use in my work now. I can’t seem to get enough of it, and continue to experiment with the possibilities of this texture and the technique that made it possible. It's surprising how well things can work out when you follow good advice!

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Kate Eickelberg