It has taken me exactly since the end of February to get to this point. I've had this mound of damaged jewellery to recycle for someone. The first few weeks were fine. I had been doing a lot of circuit training, eating a lot of milled linseed (not sure what bearing this had) and was feeling strong and brave and happily went about destroying and rebuilding the more straightforward pieces.
Then it was time for the Christening bracelet and I got cold feet and cold hands and started to sweat about the whole thing. I kept thinking, this person has had this (and worn it) from the time of drooling and diapers, over sixty years ago. It's a classic piece of silver as far as I'm concerned. To cut it up just seemed wrong and a bit disrespectful and no matter how many times I picked up the snips, I couldn't get myself to make the cut.
I wondered if first-time surgeons felt this way. I thought of Weird Al and that damn surgeon song. The one he sung to the tune of that damn Madonna song. I don't like Weird Al or Madonna so that made me sweat more.
I thought, 'what if I screw it all up? What if I get jeweller's block or something?' Then I talked myself down from my latest self-imposed anxiety attack and realised that (1) this wasn't brain surgery and (2) I've been at this for a long time and, somehow, things always turned out alright.
So today, after days of staring at the bracelet, of nights lying awake designing in my head and in general driving my long-suffering husband demented with a steady stream of, 'do you think it will be ok's', I did what you see in the photo above. In fact, I was fairly aggressive about it and dissected a second bracelet (just in case the first bracelet didn't think I had the guts) in the process. I started looking at old designs and thought, 'yeah, I should cut you up too'. I viciously chopped a few silver earring hooks for the springs. I was on a spree and it scared me. It reminded me of that zombie apocalypse show, of all the adrenaline it would take to keep wielding your big knife/fancy sword/axe/arrow-shooting gun thing because the walking dead simply won't stop attacking. It must have scared Ms Sparkles too because she did one of her flying leaps onto the desk. She's very good with the 'ole reality checks.
It took several hours of work with intermittent staring breaks, some pacing and I think lunch (not sure about that one) to arrive at these. I burned my hand on the drill twice, hammered my fingers a few times for good measure and said the 'f' word at least a million times. But at least they're just about done.
A moment of blissful peace descended. I felt calm, at ease, everything was right in my world. I went outside to the polytunnel. Maybe I could take a break now, dig in the dirt a bit, water the seeds, look at the pretty flowers. As I reached for the watering can on the table a picture seemed to cloud my vision. My work table - snips, knives, drills and the discarded remains of the Christening bracelet. Waiting. Watching...
Telling stories and making jewellery since the days of big hair and eyeliner.