Witch, Empath, Sensitive.
22, Male, Gay.
Metalsmith, artist, and wine-lover
Ethan was a skinny lad who I knew when I was a sophomore and junior in college. He was funny, sarcastic, a bit smarmy, and had a passion for showtunes. Admittedly, I had a bit of a crush on Ethan, but he identified as straight at the time (and to the best of my knowledge, still does).
I’ll never punish my daughter for saying no.
The first time it comes out of her mouth, I’ll smile gleefully. As she repeats “No! No! No!” I’ll laugh, overjoyed. At a young age, she’ll have mastered a wonderful skill. A skill I’m still trying to learn. I know I’ll have to teach her that she has to eat her vegetables, and she has to take a nap. But “No” is not wrong. It is not disobedience.
1. She will know her feelings are valid.
2. She will know that when I no longer guide her, she still has a right to refuse.
The first time a boy pulls her hair after she says no, and the teacher tells her “boys will be boys,” we will go to her together, and explain that my daughter’s body is not a public amenity. That boy isn’t teasing her because he likes her, he is harassing her because it is allowed. I will not reinforce that opinion. If my son can understand that “no means no” so can everyone else’s.
3. She owes no one her silence, her time, or her cooperation.
The first time she tells a teacher, “No, that is wrong,” and proceeds to correct his public school, biased rhetoric, I’ll revel in the fact that she knows her history; that she knows our history. The first time she tells me “No” with the purpose and authority that each adult is entitled, I will stop. I will apologize. I will listen.
4. She is entitled to her feelings and her space. I, even a a parent, have no right to violate them.
5. No one has a right to violate them.
The first time my mother questions why I won’t make her kiss my great aunt at Christmas, I’ll explain that her space isn’t mine to control. That she gains nothing but self doubt when she is forced into unwanted affection. I’ll explain that “no” is a complete sentence. When the rest of my family questions why she is not made to wear a dress to our reunion dinner. I will explain that her expression is her own. It provides no growth to force her into unnecessary and unwanted situation.
6. She is entitled to her expression.
When my daughter leaves my home, and learns that the world is not as open, caring, and supportive as her mother, she will be prepared. She will know that she can return if she wishes, that the real world can wait. She will not want to. She will not need to. I will have prepared her, as much as I can, for a world that will try to push her down at every turn.
7. She is her own person. She is complete as she is.
I will never punish my daughter for saying no. I want “No” to be a familiar friend. I never want her to feel that she cannot say it. She will know how to call on “No” whenever it is needed, or wanted.
Lessons I Will Teach, Because the World Will Not — Y.S. (via poetryinspiredbyyou)
I should open by saying that in modernity, the lines between the disciplines of metalsmithing are quite blurred, and even antiquated. In learning centers and universities, most of the techniques taught come from a range of the below disciplines, particularly goldsmithing and silversmithing, which come together to create the curricula of most modern ‘jewelry & metalsmithing’ university programs.
Often, these practices are taught by having students work primarily in non-precious metals (such as copper, brass, bronze, and nickel silver) because of the relatively recent skyrocketing of precious metal costs. In truth, few silversmiths have the financial security or luxury of practicing their trade with its namesake, save for those whom are either traditional silversmiths, or those who are quite well-paid and well-respected in their field.
In truth, most of the techniques in question are taught traditionally and through the lens of the arts, which has left an extremely interesting mark on what is, essentially, a craft discipline.
Below are very brief, and rather incomplete, descriptions of the traditional ‘disciplines.’ In fact, there is quite a lot that can be said about all of the disciplines, and I hope that as I talk about the processes and techniques of smithing in relation to smithing witchcraft I can make that clearer. If you have more specific questions, as always, my ask box is open.
Blacksmithing relates to the forming and shaping of steel, and is often what people first picture when they hear the term “metalsmith.” A blacksmith’s shop is often called a ‘forge,’ or more commonly a ‘smithy.’ Blacksmithing is most commonly used for the crafting of tools (hammers, tongs, etc), hardwares (hooks, knobs, nails, etc), architectural structures (such as railings and gates), and sometimes cooking wares (like iron frying pans, for example).
Silversmithing relates to the working of silver and is historically linked to hollowware, tablewares, silverware, and other household items. In recent years, silversmithing has become a more generalized practice (especially in relation to the rising prices of precious and semi-precious metals), but is still usually linked to the historical techniques of the silversmith such as angle-raising, forming, and forging.
Goldsmithing is historically linked to jewelry-making practices and stone-setting. Like silversmithing, the techniques of goldsmithing are still taught, but typically fall under the more open terms “metalsmith” and “jeweler.”
*Goldsmithing and Silversmithing have both become linked academically, and are often taught side-by side as complementary (or the same) discipline.
Tinsmithing is the working of tin for common household and utilitarian items.
Pewtersmithing is the working of pewter to create utilitarian items, most typically drinking and service vessels. Pewter has a long history as ‘the poor man’s silver,’ and its softness and other working qualities have often been scoffed at. Additionally, pewter is considered a contaminant as it eutectically bonds with silver, reducing the melting temperature of the silver it comes in contact with, ruining it.
Whitesmithing is a bit of a confusing term. It has been in use to refer to grinding, filing, sanding, and polishing metal (particularly blades on knives and weapons), and also has a history of use for those working in ‘lesser’ white metals such as tin, pewter, and aluminum.
Redsmithing is the use of copper and copper alloys to make artifacts and items ranging from jewelry to functional housewares to architectural forms.
I was going to jump right into working with metals in witchcraft, but I thought it might be helpful to first describe some basic terms, properties, and working capacities of metal(s).
Despite its reputation as being extremely hard, one of the things that makes metal so wonderful is its incredible malleability, ductility, and plasticity. Nearly all metals exhibit these qualities, among others, in varying degrees under varying conditions.
Malleability is the property of a metal which allows it to be formed under compressive force (i.e. hammer blows). Malleability is expressed in the ability for a metal to be formed into a sheet.
Ductility is the property that allows metal to be altered through tensile force (i.e. stretching) and is expressed in the ability of a metal to be stretched into a wire.
Plasticity is the property which allows metals to be altered irreversibly through various forces. This differs from elasticity in that elasticity is reversible (like an elastic waste band being stretched and returning to its original shape).
Thank you for pointing this out! I should have made myself more clear in my original post and will edit to do so per this response. You are absolutely right, and it doesn’t just go for silver. All metals can be toxic or result in toxicity. Even copper, which plays a vital role in the human body and is essential to health, can be extremely toxic in some cases.
When I wrote that silver was hypoallergenic, I only meant its inert forms (when worn on the body), but even those release silver salts and compounds into the body (ever notice when a tarnished silver ring leaves an oh-so-subtle mark on the finger?). In response to argyria, argyria is not a serious medical condition, and rarely leads to many side-effects (aside from cosmetic ones), and is generally rare except in those with prolonged chronic exposure to silver compounds. Additionally, it is impossible to ignore the benefits of silver in healthcare professions. I’m no expert on the issue, though, so I will be doing more research myself on this.
Personally, I plan on reading Silver in health care: antimicrobial effects and safety in use (link), but based on my preliminary skimming, it appears that this doctor of medicine would disagree and say that toxicologically, silver is not a concern when absorbed, except in those people observed to have a silver sensitivity.
That being said, it is still important to note that ALL metals, especially when made to be particulates (through filing, grinding, cutting, etc.) can be harmful to health, especially when inhaled where the fine, but very sharp, particles can do horrible damage to the lungs. Particulate metals (or anything, really) can also do pretty nasty things to eyes, skin, etc.
As another note, if any of my followers are curious about argyria and just how we learned about the disease, look up colloidal silver. It is a solution of silver compounds dissolved in water that is drunk as an elixir. Turns ya blue as a smurf.
DAMN this is hard! And all of the advice and samples I’m seeing online are for writing MFAs. I mean, I know that they’re similar and the letters should be formatted similarly.
But seriously. It would be great to just see someone elses Studio Art SoP….