by Pamela Dudrow.
(In my dining room, kitchen, bedroom…! Woodsboro, MD)
I’ve been making jewelry for over 15 years.
Up until that time I had been very active; riding horses professionally and participating in triathlons.
I was also a critical care nurse taking care of bariatric patients after their surgery in the PACU or Recovery Room. These patients are morbidly obese and have surgery that enables them to lose large amounts of weight. They may weigh upward of 500 pounds, and after surgery they’re asleep and unable to move themselves….
In the midst of this active lifestyle I injured my back and became disabled. Needless to say I was devastated.
I began creating jewelry as a way to deal with my depression.
I began to look forward to my time at the bench and started creating jewelry to sell. My pieces were the usual stringing using beautiful stones and beads.
I was selling at craft shows but nothing sold online.
I needed to find a niche; something not too many other people were selling. I needed to stand out and be noticed!
Finally, after 3 years of searching, I discovered my niche – and it was fold forming metal!
I picked up a book on my shelf that I had never read called Fold Forming by Charles Lewton-Brain. Through trial and many errors, I taught myself the technique!
And realized I’d discovered my niche! I only needed basic tools to get started; aviation shears to cut my metal from a sheet, a propane torch for annealing (“softening”) my metal, an anvil, and a few hammers!
Fold – hammer – anneal – open – repeat (lots!) The final result is always a surprise!
Refiner’s Fire by Jesco Jewelry