Day 5 as a participant of FloCoiMo (Floyd County Imagination Month)!  I have challenged myself in writing a blog post every day of the month, definitely having to become quite creative.  One inspiration that I have found is by participating in this, there are actually people reading my blog!  Each morning I post on my Facebook personal and business pages Then I post on The Jacksonville Center for the Arts page, And as of yesterday, a link to my blog is now on Ad Hominem, a really cool art review that is following the progress of FloCoiMo! Thanks for tuning in, and here is today’s post!

Over the summer I took a Beginning Metal Smithing class at The Jacksonville Center for the Arts with instructor Barb Bauer. Our first project was using the jeweler’s saw to cut Lincoln’s head out of the penny.  It was a really fun lesson in learning how to control the saw and become more accurate with the blade.  For me, I have known how to use a jeweler’s saw for 15 years, but I had never used the really small saw blades, and 6/0’s are now my favorite!

The project ended with Lincoln’s head and the rest of the penny for me to take home.  Well, I am not one to waste anything if I can help it. I had sawn out a few pennies, and while waiting for my classmates to catch up, an idea came to me to make these penny parts into finished pieces.  I continued to saw pennies, drill holes, solder jump rings and finish up the class with a set of penny earrings and matching bracelet.

From this project, my penny earrings, bracelets, and key chains are some of my hottest selling items.  All of my earrings are matching dates, which I can specify the year on up to 1981.  In 1981 they stopped making pennies out of copper, and they are now made of zinc, which melts instantly from the heat of the soldering torch.  I have some older wheat pennies which I have not had the heart to cut into, YET!

My best sale EVER of penny earrings was at a show this fall.  A girl came into the booth and straight to the pennies.  She picked up a pair of  earrings and could not believe they were pennies.  I explained my process and told her that each pair was a specific date.  She asked could I look at the ones in her hand and tell her the date: 1975.  She said, “No Way!  My name is Penny, and I was born in 1975!”  She got a really good deal on those earrings because they were made for her!

I’ll leave you with a few Lincoln quotes that I have above my work bench. Happy Day to you!

“Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.”   Lincoln

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important that any other.”

“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.”  -Abraham Lincoln

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About Mountain Light Jewelry

My name is Carly Burke and I am a jewelry artist living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of VA. I turned my hobby into a business September 2009 and have enjoyed using mostly copper and argentium silver wire and semi precious stones to create unique wearable art. I have also appreciated the challenge of jewelry photography, marketing, selling and learning to be a salesman.
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