I am often asked to what extent my work is handmade. I always respond with the same answer..."All of it (with exception of the chain - which I still buy in bulk and finish to length, lobster claw clasps and the occasional jump ring)." All of my designs start out as wire, chain, tube or sheet metal and are then cut, formed, hammered and wrapped. Today I spent the morning working in the shop with my Dad designing jigs to accomplish cleaner, better cuts for my tube designs. It is also fun Father/Daughter bonding time.
It is easy to post pictures that are edited to look just right and make it seem simple. It is like those DIY shows that reno a whole kitchen in a half hour. "I could so do that!" Then three weeks later it's still not finished. Coming up with ways to make jewelry is similar. It is time consuming and a lot of it is trial and error. This is the fun of it for me. I enjoy the ingenuity aspect. Shortly after taking these photos a piece of silver went flying and it took us a good 5 minutes to find it. Clearly that jig didn't do what it was supposed to. An hour or so later we worked that kink out, but there are still a few more to work through.
I am mostly self taught and develop many of my designs through simple experimentation. Discovering a new technique or applying an old technique in a new way is very exciting for me. I often have middle of the night "brain waves" and some not so brilliant, "brilliant ideas." It is what keeps the process fresh.