Wednesday, 2 April 2014

A Fixation with Filing

This is a subject about which I feel very strongly.  I don't often concern myself with how others execute their wirework - it's a personal journey, and I'm happy to plod on in my own sweet way without presuming to judge the skill level of anyone else.  There are MANY people who have far greater skill than I, and if I worried about that too much, I'd crawl into a hole, start rocking gently and never come out. ;)

But the one thing that really upsets me is when I see wirework that hasn't been properly finished.  I don't mean the odd nick that you just can't get to with the file no matter how hard you try - I mean working ends of wire that are going to make contact with skin, in particular earwires.  When I see an earwire that has not had the end smoothed properly, I wince, imagining it tearing the earlobe of the unsuspecting person who's about to wear it.

To my mind, there's no excuse for not finishing an earwire properly.  There's no great skill involved - just time.  My earwires are filed, filed and filed some more, then rigorously tested with my fingertip to check for any sharpness.  I spend a long time getting the finish right - this is why you often have to wait a few days when you order findings from me.  And I never use coloured wire, as the only way to retain the colour on the ends would be to leave them unfiled.  (I should mention that this applies to handmade earwires only - proprietary ones will have had the colour applied after the earwire has been made.)

Anyway, I'll step off the soapbox now - I'm not suggesting for one moment that my work is perfect, it's just that earwires with sharp ends really make me cringe!  And I do sometimes buy earwires from other handmade artists, which are beautifully made, and thankfully give me no cause for cringing.  Does anyone else have something that sets their teeth on edge in the same way?


Christine Duckhouse said...

I had the same fixation when I worked with stone, no sharp edges...ever.

Christine Duckhouse said...

I had the same fixation when I worked with stone, no sharp edges...ever.

Angela Pyke said...

Do I have a bug bear? Oh YES!!! It pains me when I see people thinking they can just take up a craft & start selling their work straight away! No thought into the product or finish. I'm sure they do it as they think it's a quick money spinner & don't realise that us genuine artists have been practicing until we master the art, before we even think about selling it to the general public!

Louise said...

I agree, you definitely don't want sharp edges on stone, Christine!

Yes, when I think back to my very early work, I do a bit more cringing, Angela - I couldn't even turn a loop properly! ;)