Well, for me it started with a series of books by Michael Scott
Rohan where the hero figure is a metalsmith. I was already interested
in metals and stones but the stories just focused these intrerests.
Probably just as well coz' I was seriously considering joining the
SAS in England at the time. I looked around and saw that there was no
place to learn blacksmithing so joined the jewelry class at the local
Technikon. After 3 years od study, I got my diploma but discovered
the negative stigma in the trade against those who were not
apprentices. So I spent 9 years doing various jobs, enginering
injection moulds for shoe soles, working in Fimo to make beads and
now I've been back in the trade for 2 years and am loving it.
Although my second love, knifemaking is calling loud and clear now. I
guess wherever one is there is always something else to learn and
knifemaking seems to need all my skills and more. So there lies my
next adventure :)