3 Tips for Expressing Your Jewelry-making Vision

Jul 31, 2013

When I started learning basic jewelry-making techniques in high school, I did it for a variety of reasons. Most of all, though, I wanted to find a way to create handmade jewelry that would stand out and be completely different from the jewelry I saw in department stores and catalogs. I wanted to express my individuality through my jewelry-making projects, something that I still try to do, over twenty years later.





Of course, I still buy handmade jewelry from friends and artists whose work I admire at craft shows and online, mainly because I just don't have time to learn every single jewelry-making technique out there. But what attracts me to the work of these other jewelry artists is how they all have a knack for expressing their unique artistic jewelry-making vision in their work. If you're still searching for ways to express yourself through your jewelry-making, here are three tips you can use to get started:

1. Look at the work of other jewelry artists -- or don't. When I was teaching myself how to make glass beads, one of the things that my teacher told me was that I shouldn't spend too much time looking at what other glass bead artists were doing. He was partly correct on this one, since looking at the work of artists seemed to give me serious lampwork envy.

On the other hand, I learned a great deal from looking at the work of artists like Althea Donathon, Loren Stump, Kim Miles, Cindy Jenkins, Christina Logan, and Kimberley Adams. After a while, the bead envy dissolved into excitement at what other glass bead artists were doing, and I went to my torch feeling confident that my glass bead making skills would allow me to create something that was my very own!

2. Figure out what you love and let it kill you. Well, maybe not literally, but the idea here is to figure out what stirs your passions when it comes to jewelry-making and find a way to incorporate it into all of your designs. Do you love using





upcycled materials in your jewelry-making projects? Are you obsessed with a particular color scheme? Is there a gemstone that speaks to you whenever you sit down to make jewelry? If you listen to what your jewelry-making urges are trying to tell you, chances are, you'll find something that is uniquely you in all of your jewelry-making projects.

3. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. I don't know if it's true or not, but it seems that there are a whole lot of perfectionists out there in the world of jewelry-making. Fear of failure is natural when you're learning a new jewelry-making technique, but don't let it stifle your creativity. When you sit down to create a new piece of jewelry, approach it with the idea that whatever happens on your work table is going to be okay. Even if you end up making a mistake that can't be fixed, or you feel like your finished jewelry-making project is nothing like what you originally imagined, you can consider the time you spent working on it as an investment in future jewelry-making projects!





No matter if you're a beginner, hobbyist, or a full-fledged professional jewelry maker, there's loads you an learn from watching your favorite jewelry artists demonstrating new skills and jewelry-making techniques. If you love to learn online, check out all the videos available on Craft Daily! For the cost of just one online class somewhere else, you get access to over one hundred crafting videos covering beading, jewelry-making, wire work, knitting, crochet, mixed media art techniques, and so many more! Subscribe to Craft Daily today and see how far your jewelry-making skills can go.

Do you have a special tip for expressing your unique personality through your jewelry? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog, and let's share our ideas and inspiration with each other!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer


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Comments

on Jul 31, 2013 5:37 AM

I make 'Tea Time' jewelry,  so for me it's all about tea!  It does create a niche, which in turn means that my marketing has to be more focused - I need to market to fellow tea lovers and the places they gather, but my pieces are unique, can be custom made and available only through me - this lead's to lots of repeat customers.

I don't know if it's appropriate, but here is a link to my Etsy shop - you'll see what I mean - www.sunshinecottage.etsy.com.  I love what I do!

Nuttybead wrote
on Jul 31, 2013 9:44 AM

I make jewelry to sell. With the current economic condition, alot of people are not willing to spend much on jewelry therefore my price cannot be high. This makes it difficult to keep cost down and yet make really nice pieces with quality materials. Is there any online article that can help with this kind of situation?

Nuttybead wrote
on Jul 31, 2013 9:50 AM

I am a full time handmade artist selling jewelry. With the current economic condition most people are not wiling to spend much on buying jewelry. It is not easy to keep cost down and yet make really nice pieces with quality materials which makes it difficult to attract buyers. Is there any online article(s) that can help with this situation? Or is it possible for Beading Daily to publish such an article?

momcat560 wrote
on Jul 31, 2013 10:06 AM

I was so happy to read about being "obsessed" with a particular color scheme.  I LOVE the southwest colors - turquoise, dark red, black, dark yellow, bright green, bone, etc.  I have always felt that I plan too many projects around that theme.  Glad to know it is ok! LOL!

on Aug 1, 2013 8:45 AM

I like marbles and one  day saw some inexpensive beads that looked like the old white and colorful swirls ones. I paired them with crystals and pewter and made a pair of earrings. I made several pairs in different colors and everyone that saw them wanted a pair. I went back and bought more and made as many as possible. Even putting them into a necklace. I sold all except one pair of earrings that I kept. I loved working with them and find that if I come up with an idea and the right beads I will make a whole series, have fun and usually sell most of them.

claylady01 wrote
on Aug 3, 2013 11:57 AM

I really enjoyed this article.I had to stop and think about the beads I have made and realized that some of them are created with NO core and they were fun to figure out and create a necklace with.

Valbeads wrote
on Aug 4, 2013 11:56 AM

I can be a ridiculous perfectionist at times.  Part of being a Virgo, I guess.  Sometimes, I just have to walk away and come back.

Having said that, my recurring theme seems to be sometimes delicate, sometimes very elaborate antique style jewelry.  I've always had a total love-on for the Regency England period, not to mention the Roaring 20's, especially anything having to do with Downton Abbey!  So nearly all of my pieces will have at least hints of one or the other in them.  What can I say?  I'm such a mina bird!  I love sparkle!