Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wax on, wax off

No, this isn't one of my wax-carved rings. My filing & piercing class at F.I.T. is finally over.

I took the class as a way to break the monotony and hone my skills. And honestly, how hard can it be to file? I've been doing this for over 10 years, right?

Within the first two weeks I was getting Ds and Fs on my projects. I couldn't file a flat surface and keep it completely flat. And I couldn't keep a surface 90 degrees from it's side. And after filing the same thing for 3 hours in each class, your fingers numb, your eyes blurry from staring at a tiny piece of metal... and to know that I was getting Ds... I just wanted to give up. I was a terrible jeweler, what was I doing trying to make a living doing this? My work stinks. I stink.

I felt like a failure, but I also knew that I was learning a lot about myself. I learned that when I'm not 'the best' at something I will give up quickly so that I am not seen as a 'failure.' I also tend to make excuses why I'm so bad but everyone else is so good (I have a kid, I don't have time, they have plenty of time, etc.). The truth is that everyone has something that could keep them from being great at what they do. The truth is that the ones who succeed are the ones who don't give up.

And eventually, one day in the middle of a 3 hour filing torture-- I came to accept these things as part of who I am. And I embraced them. Yes, I'm not the best but I can work hard to get better. Yes, I don't have a lot of time but no one else does either-- they make time and I need to make time, too.

Today I marched in with my final project. There were a lot of mistakes but I worked really hard to make the piece, spending over 20 hours on it, and was so pleased of how far I came in the class. So I proudly handed my ring over to my teacher. A smile slowly formed as he turned it overatnd over in his hand. He pointed out the mistakes and I nodded in agreement. Then he said, "This is some really good work." Then he leaned over and wrote in his book, "A."


Leah said...

I love this ring & think you did a great job. Congrats on the A too!

trentongal said...

you worked hard & deserved it!

Dashery Jewelry said...

Congrats on the A and on finding out so much about yourself!

Eve said...

Yay for personal triumphs! The ring is beautiful!

Those things you found out about yourself are the same ones I grapple with as an artist. I'm also working to get over them and to produce more art and to put it all out there regardless... not everyone is the best at everything even though it sometimes looks that way from the outside. And it doesn't mean I enjoy the process of creating any less.

This is AllAboutEvelyn from Etsy, btw. :)