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Metalsmithing Mammas


#1

Congratulations on your lovely boy- I am also a mom - my “baby” just
turned 4 last Monday.The only way I have been able to keep on
smithing during this time is because my husband has a good career
and I don’t have to worry too much about making ends meet. I did
keep things as simple as possible for the first three years and cut
my galleries down to a managable number - that way I felt that I
could honor my comittments to my clients while spending as much time
as possible with my child. I figure that I only have this one time
with Cosmo as a “baby” and I wanted to treasure it as much as
possible.

During the first years “Mr C” spent some time in my studio while he
was little in a playpen- ONLY when I was doing non-toxic things like
sawing or filing. If I needed time to solder I either waited until my
husband was home for the night or I would hire a trusted babysitter
to play with him in the house for a couple hours- (while I listened
in for any problems with the monitor-a little overprotective maybe
but it helped settle my mommy guilt)He began daycare at 18 months-
just 2 mornings a week- which gave me some more flexability- not
much, but I had enough time to participate in a couple group shows
and think about new work…(think??? ) Boy- those first years were
rough!

Cosmo now goes to preschool 5 mornings a week and I modified my
studio so that there is a walled off play area that I can supervise
easily from my bench.I also made sure that the ventilation system in
my new space was up to date. He is very aware of which handtools he
can handle and which are “owies”- His favorite tool is a ring clamp-
I often have to go searching for them in his play room! He also
knows that no shoes no studio- I don’t want to have any niblets of
metal meeting cushy kid feet! He brags to his teachers at school that
his mom knows how to “make jeweleries” and pretends to solder and
design his own work- (actually pretty interesting conceptual stuff
involving shells and the waxy rind off of cheese)I love that he is
getting the message that tools and hardware are mom things (my hubby
is an egghead-very sweet but not so handy as me) I am looking forward
to the day that I can convince him that polishing is fun (a la Tom
Sawyer) and am hoping we can do some interesting projects together.
My advice to anyone facing impending parenthood is to give yourself
a BIG break the first year and just go for the amazingly exhausting
and fascinating ride that your kiddo will take you on.

Good luck! Oh and I would be totally remiss if I didn’t mention that
I have pictures of Cosmo posted on my website (along with my
jewelery of course!)

www.bzapdesigns.com
Ciao for now- Maureen BZ