My Great Grandpa left Germany in the 1930s when the Nazis took control. We’re not Jewish, he just didn’t like Nazis and didn’t want his son in their youth groups. That same son, my grandpa, grew up to become a metal worker. There were always a ton of machines in his basement, which was wear I spent my summers as a kid. My dad took over the metal business (his brothers were uninterested) and built a woodworking business along side it. Which is all to say I have grown up around saws, lathes, punch presses and men missing bits of their fingers. Some in our basement, some in the garage, some in a shop nearby.
But, I never knew how to do any of this my self. Sure, I helped push wood around on table saws and sanded projects to help out in the summer. But handle a blow torch? Hammer out wire? No thanks.
Until now. Walking around my dad’s shop this past weekend, I was struck by what a treasure trove of DIY + Antiquing supplies he has among his everyday things.
In an old work bench that would have made Joanna Gaines swoon, we found a bunch of my grandpa’s scrap metal… it may even have been my great grandpa’s. It was certainly older than me.
Sentimentally, I had my dad help me heat it and hammer it out. It was a joint project and my lack of skill led to a few “happy little accidents” as Bob Ross would say. But the resulting jewelry is by far my favorite collection to date.
It took more time than some other projects … but we’ve got the hang of it now. And every piece has a little bit of my family’s heart and soul hammered in. That’s not just scrappy. It’s pure gold.