Oh man. You guys, my partner surprised me right before we left town for the holidays with a brand new flexshaft. Which meant that for two weeks, I had to live in a horrible limbo state where I knew I both had an amazing shiny new tool to use and that I was hundreds of miles away from said tool at the same time. It was rough.

This is what my “SOON” face looks like.

But now, I’m comfortably back home. I set up the flexshaft and jumped right into experimenting with it. Strangely, my first project wasn’t on metal or even on stones. It was on shells.

I spent a few days doing some beach combing in Sarasota. I used to have to hope I could find shells with naturally made holes in exactly the right places. While it is pretty awesome when that happens, its pretty hard to find them like that. This time, I brought home a handful of spiny jewel boxes and cockles and made the holes myself. After I finished that, I smoothed out the sides of a shattered shell using a few filing attachments.

The things I did were small and not super impressive, but hugely satisfying. I wish I could explain how insanely triumphant I felt at the end of working on a handful of shells, but I don’t think I can. This tool opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for me as a jeweler, and I can’t wait to keep playing.