My protective studio gear has arrived. I don't care if I look like Darth Vader when I'm soldering. I want to be healthy jeweler when I'm 90.
In my quest to lead a more creative and productive life, I overlooked the most important ingredient: my health. When the year began, I focused all of my energy into my work, and in doing so neglected my body. The price I paid was to spend the last month in bed with influenza, feeling weak and vulnerable.
When I first got sick, I thought I had contracted metal fume fever, a respiratory illness caused by inadecuate soldering safety practices. Fortunately this was not the case, but it could have been, due to the harmful chemicals and improper ventilation system I had been using for the past six years.
After many tests, a wonderful doctor (Dr. Juan Tamayo), gave me the correct diagnosis: I had not been eating well and my undernourished body could not fight the virus. This came as a surprise, because I considered myself healthy: I never eat sugar or refined foods, I don’t smoke, I hardly ever drink alcohol, and I practice yoga every day, but I was clearly not eating enough nourishing foods to sustain me.
From now on, my task is to improve the safety measures in my studio*, and make sure I eat wholesome and varied meals every day. To do this, I’ve been studying my favorite cookbooks: The Plantpower Way, by Rich Roll and Julie Piatt; The Medicinal Chef, by Dale Pinnock; and Crazy Sexy Kitchen, by Kris Carr and Chef Chad Sarno. If my dear sister had already published her Noble Baking cookbook, I'd also include it (her wholesome baked goods are the best I’ve EVER tasted!).
I am learning to prepare delicious and healthy meals with the same love and creativity with which I make jewelry, motivated by the fact that with every bite, I recover the strength I need to return to my studio (which I miss dearly!).
Fellow jeweler, please follow these precautions when you work. Your future self will thank you for it:
-Sparex –the pickling agent most of us use– is toxic! Use a warm vinegar and salt solution instead.
-Use a ventilation system that directly reaches the fumes that come from your soldering station. If the ventilator is suspended above your head (as mine was), you will inhale the fumes first.
-Always wear a face mask and a respirator whenever you sand and solder.
-Wear finger tape to safeguard your fingers from cuts. I never did, and it took weeks for my wounds to heal.
I am Jennifer Musi, the jewelry artist behind MUSIBATTY, and this is my blog archive.
Here you can find posts from December 2013, to May, 2016.
I will no longer update this site. Please click on the link below to see my recent work.
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I made this blog to share my work with you. I believe in generosity and I want to live in a world where we all inspire each other.
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