Wednesday, December 18, 2013

An Interesting Find at the Pembroke Mall Christmas Craft Fair

If there's one thing I've learned this month, it's that you need to talk to the other craft fair vendors about which shows are "good" and which ones are not.  There was a large one at Pembroke Mall this past weekend, which everyone was talking about.  It was a two day fair.  I chose to do smaller craft show at Red Mill Elementary School and watch the Army-Navy game on Saturday, then check out the larger show on Sunday.

I took my daughter with me and we went in search of gifts for the boys.  I won't tell you what we got them just yet, but there were tons of vendors.  Most were reselling things they either bought wholesale or via direct marketing companies (IE Tupperware, Avon, etc.)  I did, however, come upon a lady who was selling potholders and other sewn goodies.  We started talking to her because she had DumDums, which is like a magnet for little kids.  Anyway, in a corner of her table, she had a display of really awesome silver jewelry, each piece under $10.  WAAAAY underpriced.  Turns out, her father in law was a silversmith and when he passed, the inventory was split among the grandchildren.  The work was breathtaking and I would've snapped up several pieces for study and inspiration.  Of course, she only took cash and this was after we'd bought our gifts, so I could only pick one.

Although this is a design and size I would never wear, I very much admire the delicate work that went into this piece.  Every last part of this ring was made by hand, and I most definitely would have "burned through" the delicate scroll work.  Not to mention, the stones are of excellent quality- peridot, garnet, and rutilated quartz.  Honestly, I didn't realize the quartz was rutilated until I had a chance to see it in the sun.  There were some pretty spectacular bails and bezels, and more valuable stones in some of the other pieces... however, the work in this piece shows a lot of patience and confidence.  It's easy to take a proverbial "sledgehammer" when silversmithing by using too much solder and blasting it with the torch, "just to be sure the joints are really joined," and then there is knowing that you really did cut that jumpring exactly the right size and that the joint is strong.

I'm getting there.

I just need to remember to be patient.

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Fe Adamsonn said...

The ring looks great and I love it considering the price.

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Mandy Snell said...

Yep, it was a great deal! I've only been silversmithing for about 3 years, so I really enjoy looking at work done my master artisans.