Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A few words about Grace

Grace, that's the name I chose for this new piece in my Elegance collection when she was about 90% complete (or I thought she was about 90% complete).  My intention was to name her after Grace Kelly, also known as Her Serene Highness Princess Grace.  I wanted to name her this because she is "blonde", lovely, and graceful… like Princess Grace.  It was a bonus that I considered this to be a "serene" piece, and that Princess Grace was known as "Her Serene Highness".

And then… when I had finished all the sanding, buffing, polishing, and stone setting… and all I had left to do was attach her chain (99.9% complete)… disaster struck…  You see the little rings on the top that connect the chain, one of the original rings had a faulty solder joint - it had looked & felt strong, but when I went to twist the ring slightly to straighten it out the joint failed… Argh!!  I tried to repair while leaving the stone in place (I have a couple tricks that I tried), but the thickness of the metal she's made of prevented me from being able to get the solder to flow without heating the whole piece… so…  I had to remove the stone, solder a new ring on, etc...

Those who don't know the processes & time involved with making handmade jewelry may not appreciate the work involved… lets just say that I was set back several hours…

Then, when I was reworking it (2nd attempt) I again got to about 85% complete, had done quite a bit of prep buffing/polishing, was placing the stone in… and that same little ring fell off again… ARGH!!

On the 3rd attempt to finish her I had an equipment failure… my torch nozzle suddenly wasn't behaving… switched nozzles & the new one tried to work, then failed… changed tanks… finally some sticky yellow "goop" came out of the torch handle when I tried opening up the valve without a nozzle attached… that explained a lot… so I had to clean & dry my torch tips (drying involved leaving them setting in uncooked rice for a couple days)…  But… I finally got that ring attached… and I decided to set her aside for a while…

The first failure occurred on April 3rd, I had started her a couple days earlier on April 1st, and I finally finished her today - April 24th.

Pardon me while I get a bit wistful…

I am a person of prayer (apologies if this offends, but this is who I am), a Christian with a very real vibrant relationship with my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ.

When this piece broke the first time it was heartbreaking, and I cried out to God.  I begged & pleaded for His help to keep from having to do so many extra hours of work - after all I wanted the hours of work already invested to pay off.  That was when God got my attention, He reminded me what His Grace is about, His Grace is not earned by any work - it is a gift, plain & simple.

The timing of the struggle was also telling, it was as I was trying to finish the piece before getting to Church for Choir practice (I was running a bit late), it was just before I got a call from my husband telling me he had been injured in a hockey game (not serious), and it was the evening before my one day of the week (Thursday) that I devote to preparing my Bible Lesson for a group I teach; this provided me with ample opportunity to reflect on how God has blessed me, and how I shouldn't let a "thing" cause me so much anguish.

Like that solder joint that looked & felt strong, but failed more than once, I also had (to others) looked & seemed strong, but fell apart when a little pressure was applied - ugh.  But what a beautiful reminder that God's Grace means I don't have to be strong, I don't have to be perfect, I'm accepted and loved just how I am.

So this is "Grace", a solid piece that reminds me of Grace Kelly but is also a solid reminder of God's Grace.

Yes she's for sale… you can find info on how to buy here.

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