Warming Up My Chicago Home Studio
When I moved back to the US from Istanbul, I had a jeweler's bench made and shipped it to my home in Chicago. It was a bench/table from a small shop that specializes in making jeweler's tables of various sizes in the Tavuk Pazarı, outside of the Grand Bazaar. My teacher helped me to procure it and I shipped it through the Turkish Postal Service (PTT), keeping my fingers crossed that it would make it and all in one piece. As it turned out, the PTT was extremely quick and efficient and my table was delivered a mere few days after I'd shipped it. I had been bracing myself for a wait of several months and was overjoyed that it had arrived so quickly.
I slowly set out to gather the materials I would need to have a functioning studio- gas for my torch, a "pickle" to clean the metal after soldering, polishing compounds, a ring sizer, and various other odds and ends that would help flesh out my home studio. At first, I lamented the loss of my go-to places in Istanbul for these materials, but soon saw that they could be easily obtained here too and collecting them became a small treasure hunt.
In the weeks that followed, I slowly started picking up a few projects- some that I'd started back in Istanbul and never finished and some new ones as well. I found a half-cut Ottoman design in my tool kit that I finished cutting and will turn into a pendant. I got inspired by the shape of the leaves of a plant I found on my way home one day and used the shape to cut a pair of earrings. It felt good to whet my skills again and to know that I would continue building on the foundation I developed in Istanbul. I miss my teacher's guidance and the wonderful people in my Sunday afternoon class in his Kabataş studio, but for now, it'll do.
|My jeweler's bench, straight from Istanbul!|
|Cleaning the earrings|