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Ringing in the New Year

Many years ago, when I was doing a short jewellery-making course, I made this solid sterling silver ring. It was cast using the lost-wax method, which meant I had to carve this design out of wax. It was actually quite difficult to carve the letters straight and true (pun intended), and as a result the entire ring is quite crude and chunky. It is also enormous and heavy – far too big for my little hand, and even large on a man. I oxydised the entire ring (ie, turned it black) using liver of sulfur, and then polished off the top face to show off the letters.

The concept for the ring came from one of my life’s mottos: This above all, to thine own self be true. (Shakespeare) That quotation was deeply impressed on me by an English teacher, who wrote it on the blackboard when I was about 16. Since then, I adopted it as an excellent motto to live by.

It’s not always so easy of course – I learned some hard lessons this year. There were some very tough months in the latter half of the year (it’s one of the reasons SNAP hibernated through the winter and spring), requiring me to ask and answer some difficult questions, but I am thankful that I came through them as honestly as possible. The process, and the answers might not have been comfortable, but they were true, and that was the most important thing. There is no growth without pain of some sort, is there?

The truth is sometimes as hard and unyielding as the solid silver of this ring (this knuckle-duster certainly would pack a punch), but it really does set you free. So I for one will be very happily and thankfully ringing in this New Year. Bring on 2015! Have a safe and happy evening dear Snapettes.

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