How freaking frustrating. I had such a great idea for silver jewellery that I’ve decided to call Lucky Boobies. Metalsmithing really is a test for me because it requires me to be all the things I am not: patient, precise, gentle and conscientious. My default setting is fast and furious (surprised, much?), but working with metal and setting stones forces out The Really Good Me – I have no choice but to pay painful amounts of attention to every last little detail and there is no point skipping over a grade of sandpaper because unless you go through all the grains you can’t get the scratches out from the one before. The fingertips on my thumbs and index fingers are really sore today, and it turns out yesterday’s hours of work on one itty-bitty-titty can just be written off as PRACTICE.
I do everything by hand and from scratch, using freaking ancient techniques and there I was – carefully measuring out a circle on a sheet of silver that I then cut out using a hand saw. File, file and file some more to get rid of the rough edges and when I was satisfied it was reasonably round, I hammered it into a perfect little dome that if it were a boob would not be the remit of Mother Nature but the work of the fine people along Harley Street and look awesome on Barbie. Next, I drilled a hole – again, Harley Street style, high and proud – for a gemstone nipple, after which I set about creating a hoop for a neck chain and soldered this on to it. This took three attempts before the little fucker was straight. I spent the best part of an hour filing and sanding the piece until it was smooth and shiny, and here I went against all better judgement and went for a shortcut – instead of the swivel pin and creating the little angled seat for the stone, I shoved the burr into the dremel and went a little Highway to Hell as opposed to Requiem Mass in D minor. And a little too much heavy handedness and I’ve drilled right through.
Here I had an opportunity to abandon my AD/DC approach and revert to Mozart but hell no, I just selected the next stone up and changed the drill bit to a larger burr. Madness = doing the same thing yet expecting a different result. I’ve done plenty of that, so I should know. Mad as a hatter, that’s me. And yes, through I went and it just wasn’t possible to set the 4mm stone, a sparkly, bright pink Swarovski crystal this time. In my burring frenzy I’d also managed to squeeze the little dome into an oval shape so it was now what you might find in a gallery showing botched plastic surgery for metal boobs. Poor Barbie. She’ll need corrective surgery on that one. So today when I get home, my last attempt will be to set an even bigger stone, 5mm wide this time, using the swivelpin and NOTHING ELSE. If it were a real boob it’d have a nipple the size of a frisbee based on those proportions. But hey, I love the idea and this little exercise just shows how ridiculous I really am: I’m new to metalsmithing, yet I totally believed I would create this perfect, tit pendant at the very first attempt. It’s a real flaw of mine, this stupid thinking that I’ll always get it perfectly right straight away. And here I am trying to educate my son that practice makes perfect when I’ve expected to be the best at absolutely everything without any practice whatsoever since as far back as I can remember.
I will absolutely get those Lucky Boobies right and as much as it pisses me off I might have to fuck up a whole bunch of them before they’ll get good. I think once I’ve figured out how to do it, they’ll be super cute.
I completely fucked up E’s opal, which cracked due to aforementioned heavy hand when I was trying to set it but pushed it too hard, but by mustering patience I do not have and perseverance that stands in direct conflict with everything I am, I ended up setting the irregularly shaped glass bead that is testament to how I do actually have it in me. A critical eye would be able to see the seam I nearly melted open again when I soldered on the hoop for the umpteenth time and overheated the piece, but after painstaking filing, sanding, pushing and bending, it’s looking pretty good.
As I said – it’s good for me. It really forces me to be The Very Good Me.
But back to why we are here. Or why I am, rather – it’s my blog after all: drinking. Nice, even number today with my app telling me I have been sober for 140 days. Aw, ain’t that nice? I quite fancy heading to the Tuesday meeting on the green this evening. It’s a little earlier than a lot of other meetings that start at 8pm and thereby fuck your whole evening. This one’s at 6pm, which means I can still have a life. I know, I know – without my sobriety there IS no life so this whingeing about late meetings is pretty pathetic, but there we are. I like afternoon ones that mean you have the rest of the evening free. Just texted Ivy to see if she’s going. Hah! I kind of know how that’ll turn out – I’ll get home, will want to unwind, then correct the silver boob with the now huge gem nipple and head out for a long walk before hubby gets home. But perhaps it’d be a wise investment to head off to sit in that church hall with my homies? Although I’m not a flock animal it’s sometimes nice to be with your own kind and there’s always something someone says that I take away with me. Something new to ponder.
Well. Whether I decide to go or not (oh, you can tell by the tone, can’t you, that I don’t even believe myself that I will), one thing is for certain: today I won’t drink.