The Hammering Hag

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My name is Jess and I am The Hammering Hag. I use traditional metal smithing tools and techniques to create jewellery from silver, copper, brass, pearls and semi-precious stones. I work from my home on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia.


When I'm not at my bench, I share my time between my two small children, my husband, my chickens, and my garden. For the moment, I am enjoying part-time jewellery making. However, I hope to expand to become a full-time creator once my youngest starts school.


I have a background in science but I have always wanted to be an artist or crafts-person of some type. During the disruption of Covid-19 and lockdowns, I discovered live-streaming and online content creation. Before long, I realised that I wanted to work from home doing something creative that I could stream live and promote online.


I explored a few different mediums before I eventually discovered the metal smithing community on TikTok. I was amazed at how quickly I was accepted into that community and I have completely fallen in love with the craft.


I chose to sell my jewellery on Madeit because it is an Australian owned and operated brand with competitive pricing that is easy to understand. Part of why I am happy to stay is the amazing support network and community that this site has. There is fantastic communication between Madeit managers and the makers. Plus a wonderful community of makers who interact and help each other.

 

My creative process usually begins with pencil and paper. I might make a rough sketch, or a very detailed design showing the layers of metal construction. I then transfer my design over to the metal.

 

Using a combination of traditional tools (such as a jeweller's saw, hammers and anvils, files etc.) and modern tools (such as an electric pendant drill and a butane torch), I shape, texture and solder the metal according to my design. It is so satisfying to turn blank sheets of metal and strips of wire into objects that people might cherish for years to come.


I have a broad European ancestry and it has been very inspirational to explore my heritage by researching the ancient jewellery designs and metal smithing techniques of my ancestors. I think that growing up in Australia, I felt a bit disconnected from my ancestral culture. But I find that researching and exploring ancient crafts from countries such as Scotland, England, Sweden and Germany, gives me a sense of peace and connectedness.


Like many ancient metal smiths, the majority of my inspiration comes from the natural world. I might be inspired by a simple gemstone, the crescent shape of the moon, or even a vegetable (I'm working on a design that turns a ruby into a beetroot - we'll see if that works out).


I love the creativity and freedom behind handmade jewellery. Nothing that I create is ever identical to another piece. I love that there is so much potential to collaborate with other craftspeople (such as the lapidists who cut the stones that I use and customers with special requests).


I have the freedom to source ethical supplies and to be thoughtful about any of the waste that is produced through my creative processes. Ethical jewellery is really taking off at the moment and it is exciting to be part of that process.

I try to be selective about what natural stones I buy and love to celebrate created stones. Semi precious stones are often difficult to completely trace, but I look forward to supporting the movement towards sustainable and ethical gemstone operations.


A big part of ethical jewellery-making is the avoidance of fast-fashion trends. I aim to make jewellery that will be cherished and stand the test of time. None of my metal is plated, which means that wear and tear will not change the metal.

I encourage my customers to embrace the natural patina that develops on copper and brass when they wear it. Your unique body chemistry and beauty products will determine the colour and pattern of the tarnish that your jewellery develops, further adding to its unique character. It is also quite easy to clean tarnished metal and I encourage my customers to try this before considering replacing their jewellery. 

Visit The Hammering Hag to find more hand-forged jewellery: TheHammeringHag

 

 

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