Clare, Jas, and three of our guests visited Sam at Pure Mettle Jewellery this week. Here Clare tells us how they got on:
“Sam’s studio is in Queens Park and it is incredible! She makes bold geometric jewellery, mostly from silver. She runs workshops where participants have the chance to make a ring under her supervision. Despite a site visit and a full brief from Sam well in advance, I had no idea how much autonomy our guests would have!
Sam explained each part of the process and everyone got the chance to sand, file, polish, solder, saw, and hammer their pieces of solid silver into beautiful D-shaped rings. The highlight for most guests was the blowtorch – melting the silver down to make it malleable, and then attaching the second bar across the top of the ring. Such a hands-on, creative activity gave our guests a real sense of pride and accomplishment.
If you happen to be on a volunteering shift at the Mission any time soon I am sure you will be cornered and given a blow-by-blow account of the entire process! This experience was a “thank you” from us to the three guests who have spent the spring and summer volunteering at our drop-in and kitchen. The bonds created there, in washing dishes, prepping vegetables, and working side by side, were so apparent as they laughed their way through the workshop.
One guest was hilariously outraged that I was not getting to make a ring for myself and invited me to participate in every stage of the process with him. I was particularly struck by the trust shown when he held the tiny piece metal down for me as I sawed at it with a blade as thin as a hair. There was no room for error and there was not a moment’s hesitation.
I was extremely pleased with some of reactions – “You made my day”; “That was absolutely amazing” and “So much fun”. The sense of trust, of belonging, family, and camaraderie is the result of years of investment from the whole staff team, and this joyful sharing of the experience was one of the highlights of my year.”