Jewelry Rendering & The Metal of a Man

A year or so ago I awoke with these images of necklaces in my mind’s eye based on the star constellations for each sign of the Zodiac. I immediately took to roughly sketching them.

This seemingly random burst of energy led me to seek out metalsmithing and jewelry making classes in my area. Until recently I had only ever done beading. So this was all unknown territory to me and like with any Art there is so much to know and understand.

Whether sculpture, painting, photography, woodworking or metalsmithing the materials, techniques and artisans all change. With clothing I can visualize a garment; Know what materials I want to use, illustrated the design, make the pattern and create the finished product. But metals?

So I sought instruction and found a fabulous school Danaca Designs. Slowly I have begun taking different classes. A few weekends ago I attended a Jewelry rendering class by Nanz Aalund.

In a first for me (I am not lucky by nature) I won the textbook; my name drawn from the hat. So now I really have no excuses not to keep at it.

Jewelry Illustration by Dominique Audette

Nanz talked of metal smiths and their history as freemen. That the saying the “metal of a man” referred to the silver imbedded in a silversmiths hands. When asked to show his metal these marks would show whether or not he used quality materials.

That any skill took practice. That there is a mathematical equation or number of hours needed to work at something in order to master it. Basically equating to 7 years. Hence some of the top apprenticeships tend to last 7 years. For me this conjured up another meaning all together to the 7 year itch.


As I stare at my jewelry sketches I haven’t the foggiest notion how to create my vision. There is far more that I don’t know in this artistic venue then what little I do know. So slowly I have been picking away at it. My goal ultimately to fabricate each of my twelve necklace designs. Hopefully before 7 years is up.

By no means do I expect mastery. I just hope to reach the visualization of my goal, meet new people and pick up a new skill or two along the way.


One thought on “Jewelry Rendering & The Metal of a Man

  1. Pingback: The Piscean | DCTdesigns Creative Canvas

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