Jean Campbell is the senior editor of Beadwork and a
contributing editor to Beading Daily
I recently packed up my 1998 Honda Civic and drove to Colorado to
make a video on personalizing your jewelry. Seemed like that little old
vehicle of mine was filled with everything but my first born--very
Clampettesque! The folks in the video department at Interweave were
certainly wide-eyed as I unloaded box after box of tools and materials.
Hammers. Drills. Resin. Paper. It seemed never-ending, even to me. The spread in the video studio looked like my twelve-year-old
daughter's room after a fashion crisis.
The good thing about bringing absolutely everything to a photo shoot
is that you have everything. The bad thing is that there's so much there that you might forget you need it. So there were points in the shoot where I
thought I was all set up and working with a project only to realize I'd
forgotten some sort of tool mid-sentence . . . For instance, I'd say, "And now I'll use my
scissors . . . (oh, dang, Cameraman, I don't have those here! Hold on while
I jump up to find them in all this mess . . . okay, got them and am sitting
back down . . . now tell me where were my hands and what was I
saying?) . . . to trim the paper just like so." After this experience I'm so thankful for the magic of editing.
That scramble happens a lot in my studio, too, especially when I'm making personalized jewelry. I'm always scrounging around for the right tool. But there are lots of no- or low-tool ways to make jewelry uniquely your own. Here are just a handful:
1) Color. Utilize your favorite colors, team colors, or colors that remind you of a special event like a wedding or vacation--this is just about the easiest way to express yourself through jewelry. For instance, my Pacifica Bracelet reminds me of my favorite ocean.
2) Photographs. Incorporate photos into your jewelry to instantly express yourself. Resin and a bezel or button are the only supplies required. Here I've incorporated photos onto buttons.
3) Alphabet. Use letter beads or pendants to monogram your pieces.
4) Charms. Favorite images, like religious symbols or a hobby motifs, woven into your jewelry making help you speak volumes about who you are. I especially like these beads from Green Girl Studios, who seem to capture my aesthetic completely.
I explore these and lots of other ways to personalize your jewelry in my nifty new (magically edited) video, Mixed Media: Personalized Jewelry Capturing Handmade Details. What other no- or low-tool ways might you share with the rest of us for personalizing your own pieces? Let us know on Beading Daily.