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Building confidence

Hi, I have been metal smithing fairly successfully at a non- professional level and have sold some nice pieces at shows etc… The last couple of pieces I attempted to make failed miserably. I know I just have to get back at it and overcome how I’m feeling but I’m having trouble finding a foothold.
Anyone have any advice to get me energized again?

Clean your shop, buy new or scrape off your soldering pads, change all your chemicals and make sure that your torch tips are clean. I forget how to solder once in a while. This routine intervention seems to help. There are more serious ones if this doesn’t work. Good luck…Rob


Try something totally different - that helps get me moving & then back on track .


Sometimes when I feel stuck or stymied, I set up a new challenge: a doable challenge and then increase the challenge so it is more difficult. And remember mistakes are steps to mastering. Keep on practicing and repeat. It changes and it gets better.

I agree with Rob. Cleaning and polishing up the tools is also a great refresher of the spirit, as well as the bench. Madeline and Patty are also right. Pivot to a new technique. Taking a new direction will allow you to circle back to where you were with a wider perspective.

Failure is part of learning. Everyone does it. I don’t think one can progress without being willing to fail.

Sometimes when I mess up I hunt for videos on whatever technique I was using, pick up some tips, and try again. When trying a new technique I often have ridiculous beginner’s luck, I think “well, this wasn’t as hard as I thought”, and then the next few times I try that thing I mess up completely. That’s typically when I go to YouTube for a refresher.

Also, often if a piece doesn’t work out I just shelve it for a while, sometimes a really long time. When I go back to it I might see new possibilities, or I might have new skills by then, so in the end even it doesn’t look like what I had initially hoped for, it’s still something I’m pleased with, or even better than the original.

Also, sometimes if I’ve been stretching myself too much, I’ll make something nice that I know I’m good at, just to remind myself of how far I’ve come :slight_smile: