I estimate that I am still about 5,000 hours short on the reported 10,000 hours of work one must put into their craft to be considered a master.
I sometimes think that by about half way in I shouldn't be making the mistakes I do.
My worst enemy has always been lack of patience. I had to replace a stone in the above earrings, and I should have annealed the bezel before resetting. It has taken me making that mistake twice to finally get it.
I read recently a comment by another smith that gave me permission in my own mind to embrace the way I work as "acceptable". I guess being self taught does that to you. Doubt.
The comment was: I spend as much time finishing as I do fabricating.
I am always learning. I'll "try" ;) to stop myself from periodically wondering if I wasn't spending too much time trying to get something finished. I feel like I am just now beginning to fully understand how important finishing is. The filing, sanding, polishing.....and that leads me to another comment I saw a few years ago that I still remember.
That comment was by a fine jeweler who was appalled at the finishing he sees. Lots of great new designers, but terrible craftsmanship. Ouch!
I'm happier with these. No weird bezels ;)
I look forward to continuing to learn. I guess one day it will just all come together and I'll remember to do it all just right. At least I hope!