It's okay to make mistakes.
It's all too easy to fail at something and then get down on yourself for decisions or situations that didn't turn out as originally planned. I ran into this recently with my second project for Beginning Metalsmithing class.
I was still high off the success and speed at which my pierced piece came together. I felt like I was on a fast learning curve and that it was also super easy. Then with the second project, we were going to each make a ring. I was excited since the project felt more three-dimensional and accepted the challenge. I came up with my design, cut out the metal, soudered the pieces together, and then tried it on. It was too big on my finger, but that wasn't a huge deal. I cut off a tiny piece of the band and pushed the separated parts together to shorten it. Then I went to go souder the band together and ended up melting it.
I was so upset. All that time I had put into it was haunting me as I tried to fix it. I attempted to resusitate the ring by cutting off an odd melted piece and then filing the top. I also tried to gently hammer the ring back into a circular shape again. My teacher came by and told me that there were a few parts of the ring that looked like they were going to break, and that I should probably start over.
This may have been bad news for someone else, and though it was for me, I also felt a huge sense of relief. I realized that it was going to be okay. As I talked to some of my other classmates that had taken the class more than a few times, they told me that working with metal almost never goes as planned. You only have so much control over the piece, and it's okay for these kinds of things to happen.
I've always been way too hard on myself when it comes to the quality of any work I do. This kind of attitude leads to good grades, but can wreak havoc on my sense of well being. It's things like this ring I am showing you today that help keep me level-headed.
As painter Bob Ross would say, "We don't make mistakes, just happy little accidents."