SUSAN EWINGTON JEWELLERY TURNS 10!!
Well I can barely believe it, but this month of November, 2017, sees my humble little business turn 10 years old! In this month of 2007, I was graduating from my Tafe course and opening my first little shared studio with 3 of my fellow graduates. It was very humble beginnings let me tell you. I had just barely grasped the skills of some of the most vital parts of jewellery making - soldering, filing, saw piercing - there was, and still very much is to this day, a whole lot of skill to learn yet.
This year I have been reflecting on my journey so far, pondering the highlights and challenges along the way, and considering what the next 10 years may hold.
For those of you in a similar career, branching out on your own creative path, studying the trade, or simply interested, here's a little debrief which may help or interest you somewhat. There are no two paths the same, no one way to go about things, and no final destinations.
Over the past 10 years I have worked on growing my business - days, nights, weekends, any minute I could squeeze in between part time employment in the industry to grow my knowledge base and skill set. I have worked in jewellery retail, for trade craftsmen, a precious metal merchant, but by far the singular most beneficial placement was with Robyn Wernicke at Small Space Jewellery. It was here that I really began to grow my skill set, to learn from her was an incredible experience which gave me the confidence I needed to really feel like I was going to be able to do this!
In the early years, for me there was a fine balance between choosing the path of the artist, or the path of the craftsperson. In my opinion, they are not able to be pursued equally at the same time, however perhaps there is an option to slowly shift between the two with the ebb and flow of life and career.
These two paths have challenged me over the years, and I still continue to struggle with the creative mind's constant pulling, insistent on stealing my attention and have me wishing there are more than 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week.
Throw in 2 children, an interstate move from bustling Melbourne to coastal Noosa, the new juggle of family life and working from a home studio, and the logistics of running a predominantly online business, I guess you could say that I am currently at capacity!
However what I have found, and what continues to drive my passion for this trade, is that I will never truly be at capacity. The incredible thing about a craft/trade/art is that you can absolutely never know it all, it will continue to teach you new techniques, new approaches, and new perspectives until the end. And for as many highlights and achievements, there will be even more self doubts, knock-backs, set-backs, and instances which steer you in a new direction to realise a new challenge, making those highlights even more satisfying.
So here's to the next 10, 20, 30 + years. With the utmost respect and gratitude to those that have taught me, supported me, and those who are yet to, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.