Some Self-Coaching Would Have Been Really Helpful

I’m going to be selling a small pendant tomorrow for $30 — check back on my page! I need to wait for daylight to photograph it, so you’ll see it here sometime tomorrow morning. But for now, I’ll tell you the story of why it’s only $30.

I had some frustration today in my jewelry workshop. I was working on a small piece in copper and silver, and planned to use a green amber stone in it. When I was almost finished with the pendant, I carefully set the stone in the setting to see the effect, expecting the pleasure I usually feel at seeing a piece almost completed. But this stone was domed really high, and when I actually saw it in the setting, it looked weird to me.

So I looked in my collection of stones and found a malachite, also green, and the same size. It was cut much flatter, and when I held it in front of the setting, I liked the look of it better.

But when I went to actually set the malachite, I discovered it was ever so slightly bigger than the green amber. What I should have done was grind the stone a little smaller, but I was feeling tired and impatient to be done with the piece, so I tried to force it into the setting anyway — really bad idea. And I knew it was a bad idea. I specifically thought about it being a bad idea. But I did it anyway. And guess what: it got stuck in the setting but it wasn’t completely all the way down. Duh. I don’t know what I expected.

Now is the point in the story is where I should tell you how I used my life coach skills, and coached myself. But I didn’t. I got mad. And I started pulling at the setting with a pliers, trying to get the stone free. When that didn’t work, I pulled out a mallet and whacked the stone, hoping it would got the rest of the way down into the setting. Well, guess what happened? I cracked the stone in half. Duh. I don’t know what I expected.

Dang, I felt down. I hate it when I wreck a piece partway through. I was so mad at myself and discouraged. Several hours of work down the drain. But I finally did something smart. I set the piece aside and went and took a nap. And when I got up and went back out to my workshop, I worked on something different for a while. Then, all of the sudden, as these things so often happen, I had an idea for how to fix the piece. I worked on it again, this time going back to the original green amber, and modifying the design to change the part I had wrecked earlier. And it worked out! The piece isn’t perfect, and if I look at it critically, I can still see evidence of my misguided attack. That’s why I’m going to be selling it tomorrow as imperfectly beautiful, for a reduced price. But actually, it came out prettier than it would have if I had just gone with my original idea. Having to fix what I damaged made it better in the end.

Hmmm…isn’t there a life lesson in here? 😉


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