all I really need is a hammer (loving the job, part 2)

Every job has it’s frustrations. Those necessary but piddling things you’re forced to do. The kinds of moments captured in the movie Office Space. Or those times when you’re at a loss as to how to solve your latest problem, overcome the newest hurdle. As much as I love this new endeavor of mine, those moments are still with me. No job is perfect.

But this job has a pretty cool way of dealing with the craziness of worklife and, well, life in general. When I’ve had a crazy day or feel like I’ve been chained to a desk for too long, I go to my studio or to my workbench. I pull out a piece of metal and a hammer. And then I beat the metal into… something. I create something. Frustration gone. No fancy fixings, not even a goal in mind. Just me, the metal, and a hammer.

It might take a couple of hours to create a complete piece, or it might take several (long) minutes. It might require finish work to make it sparkle or a file to make it smooth. It might lead to my newest favorite piece or I might wonder how the heck to use what I just made. I may not even know whether or how it fits in with my broader collection.

The consistent thread, though, is creating something interesting and releasing the tension of the day. A length of metal sheet or wire can become… a ring or a bangle or earrings.

Hammer Time Icicles - Zabe Bent Metals

I don’t think I can adequately capture how good it feels to create something derived from these feelings. Take the worries or irritations of the day and allow them to fuel a thing of beauty. It’s like sipping a fine wine, unleashing a load of sarcasm, or taking a kick-boxing class. It’s a form of therapy for me. When I realized just how cathartic this activity was for me, I realized that I had rediscovered the artist inside me. It was a revelation and I just knew I had to do it again. And again. And… you get where I’m going.

I was a bit worried when I tipped the balance between artist and urban planner. Art was my release from the craziness of working long hours in a demanding environment. Would I still find that catharsis? Would I still enjoy the things fueled by it? Or would it become a chore? And then I created this super simple silver bracelet–just me, the metal, and a hammer. And, hey, I think I’m doing alright. What do you think? How do you deal with your day-to-day frustrations?

Untitled Part 002 - Zabe Bent Metals


  1. I love hearing about people who love what they’re doing, even more so when they’re my family or friends 🙂 *thumbs up*

    1. aw, thanks, hon. I appreciate the thumbs up. it’s still hard work, but I had to follow the art, just like you ;-).

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