A commonly asked question by curious customers would be, how did Buffalo Bannon come into fruition? In other words, where did it all begin?
My journey with jewelry started in an unlikely place, was put on hold for a long while and then one day, that desire to create showed back up to the party and refused to leave! Let me paint the picture for you.
When I was in middle school, my older sister (four years wiser) would sometimes come home from high school with new, interesting looking jewelry that I’d never seen before.
“Where is this coming from?” I asked.
She replies, “metalsmithing class, duh!”
Metalsmithing class?! What in the heck is metalsmithing and where do I sign up? She explained that smithing is one of the oldest metalworking occupations and a metalsmith is a craftsperson who fashions items out of various metals like brass, copper and silver. It’s not a class that’s often taught in high school, but we’re lucky enough to have it offered as an elective art credit. Upon hearing this, high school could not come fast enough!
Four years later, I finally signed up for metalsmithing and even convinced my best friend to join me! That year, we were taught all sorts of techniques like etching, soldering, enameling and how to make glass pendants in a ceramics kiln. It truly opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities, but was I good enough to pursue this? I wasn’t yet convinced.
The first glimmer of hope presented itself at the end of the year. Around our area, high school students are encouraged to enter their work into a special juried art exhibition at the Hyde Museum. I remember this show being a pretty big deal but it felt like such a far-fetched fantasy. It’s judged by professionals and only 10% of over a thousand entries are selected. Needless to say, I didn’t get my hopes up.
And to make matters worse, the piece my teacher was pushing me to enter was the UGLIEST thing I made all year!! A brooch?!
“You want me to enter this…thing into the show? What about my cool bracelet or pretty glass pendant? Those are way easier on the eyes”
“Tess, you have to trust me. You’re entering this.”
There was no arguing with Ms. Casey. I dragged my feet, but I did what I was told. A couple weeks later, she proved me wrong.
At the show, once all of the artwork was put out on display, it was truly mesmerizing. Walking around, I couldn’t believe all the talent sweeping through our small community! One painting, in particular, made me stop dead in my tracks. It was a colorful, almost psychedelic self portrait with free flowing brushstrokes. It felt like the girl was going to float right off the page. I remember being electrified with the joy of witnessing true, raw talent. The artist you ask? None other than the extraordinary Hannah Williams!! Shout out girlfriend. :)
I hate to admit it, but I felt like chump change in comparison to all the other real artists out there. Although, when I saw my piece for the first time, all shiny and behind glass…I had a sense of calming, almost peace. I thought to myself,
“It doesn’t look so bad”.
That is how the seed was planted. Almost 10 years ago now. I’ll never forget that day, that exact moment when I finally allowed myself to feel good enough. I am good enough. Good enough to do anything…
So with my newfound confidence, I moved on to *cough* graphic design. I know, I know, not what you were expecting but it’s true! I figured, if I’m good at metalsmithing than I must be good at other mediums too, right? I dabbled in drawing, web design, photography, I tested it all. However, true love stories never have endings and this my friends… was only the beginning.
Thank you so much for reading.
The Origin Story: Part 2 will be publish next Saturday, 12/8/18 @ 2pm EST.