Tag Archives: metalsmiths

Lead a Life Truer to Your Dreams – TED Talk

Wouldn’t it be a better world if we could all live a life truer to our dreams? Jane McGonigal thinks so, and has the science to prove it. I first heard Jane on an episode of Morning Edition on National Public Radio as she talked about a traumatic brain injury that resulted in a healing and helpful video game called SuperBetter.  Then tonight I ran across a video of her on TED, giving a talk on the value of playing. She’s a gamer. Oh, yeah, a video gamer. She convinced me why it is important to engage in fun, games, and living your dreams.

I especially like what she has to say about living longer and be healthier by taking breaks every hour. My fellow metalsmiths who are in the flow at the bench every day – take note!
I love bringing dreams to life in metal, and no matter what the business end of this sometimes solitary and demanding life brings, knowing that I might be lengthening my life and improving it just by doing what I love is rewarding to the extreme. Plus, maybe if I stick with the tiny tasks the video game sets out for me, it will cure my perpetually stiff “jeweler’s neck”!

Ten Things Metalsmiths Love, Plus Two

I’d like to share this list of “10 things to make a metalsmith smile”, directly from the Lapidary Journal/Jewelry Artist Newsletter called “Flashcard,” written by the amazing and inspirational Helen Driggs. If you every make anything at all, you can be assured of a few trials and tribulations. There is celebration when things go right, and here are ten little causes for celebration, plus two of my own!
1. When the hammer hits exactly where you intended it to, with exactly the right amount of force. And it’s a brand new hammer, too.
2. The bezel really fits and you aren’t in denial.
3. You find a 2” x 6” sheet of 18-gauge silver you forgot you bought. (this actually happened to me in December!)
4. No firescale.
5. The ring fits the finger you made it for.
6. No scratches.
7. You put exactly the perfect size solder chip right where it needed to be.
8. The eagle eyed cat looks right at the 3mm faceted stone you just dropped on the floor until you pick it up.
9. The sawblade doesn’t break when you know it really should have.
10. The phone call that results when your best friend e-mails you a photo of the piece she just finished at exactly the same time you were e-mailing her a piece you just finished.dscf1814a1
11. Helen Driggs is Managing Editor of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist Magazine, and an accomplished metalsmith, toolhound and teacher, and I’m a big fan. I love her Flashcard e-mails. I’ve made some of her projects (see bracelet image, right). Her is often the only newsletter I consistently read, word for word. I always learn something, and often get a smile just from Helen’s down-to-earth, soul-filling writing style.
12. Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist Magazine is the mother ship of Flashcard. It’s a hold-it-in-your-hands paper periodical full of tips, tricks, inspiration and techniques for lapidarists and jewelry artists of all skill levels. Metalsmiths and rockhounds covet issues the way some covet the beautifully photographed and written National Geographic magazines. In particular, the January 2010 issue contains so much good stuff that my issue is already dog-eared, bent up, underlined with ink multiple times and highlighted for good measure. I’ve thought of placing it on my forehead before retiring in the hopes of awakening the next morning, imbued by osmotic effect with all the wonderments of knowledge contained in the ink.
It’s a great day when a metalsmith can appreciate any one of these ten + two things. What makes YOU smile?
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