Saturday, December 4, 2010

where to begin?

'let your mind start a journey through a strange new world.
leave all thoughts of the world you knew before.
let your soul take you where you want to be...
close your eyes and let your spirit start to soar,
and you'll live as you've never lived before.'
~ erich fromm

for me,  jewelry designing began with purchasing everything i used from craft stores and my local bead shop... it was handmade because i put it together in my own way... a start... 

then i found etsy, and well, i was smitten - not only were the beads incredible - i could get to know who made them... beads of ceramic, glass, polyclay, pewter, pmc and on and on... and findings as well... loads of beautiful handmade findings... 

but as i desired beads (that rightly so) cost more than the ones i had been purchasing, i was wondering how was i going to do this financially... what was i going to trade off on?

(the seed for this post came from patty's last week on silver pricing)

it was the findings, things i could make with wire - ear wires, hook clasps, ball end headpins... you save so much money when you know how to create your own findings... and it really isn't so hard... even though i am known to groan about having to make ear wires (i am just a baby sometimes i guess)... 

did you know that in the back of each step by step wire jewelry magazine there is a tutorial section with some of these pieces? that the wig jig is a handy little tool that lots of people use to make their findings (see www.wigjig.com)? i happen to use my pliers and my favorite pencil for ear wires... we all have our own 'way', have found what works for us... i learned from a sharilyn miller book 'bead on a wire' that my friend gave to me... 

you can make your own ball end headpins with a small butane torch from home depot & sterling or very fine copper wire... here is a video done by beth hemmila of hint jewelry... 

i recommend beginning with copper wire for ear wires and clasps - you can get a roll from the hardware store for about $4... but i recommend using sterling for ball ending headpins - sterling melts really smoothly and at a lower temperature than copper... 

so, yes, it helped defray the money i was putting out... but more so, there was a sense of accomplishment that i did it myself... 

that was the beginning... i now strive to make my pieces completely from raw materials... that's me... and it took a lot of time and practice to get there... but it is liberating - and helps me to express myself fully... allows me to channel my intentions and energies into the work i make... 

a really stunning example of what you can do when you begin to work with wire and make your own focals was shown this week by renate starke-krammer... 

look at that beautiful garden gate!

my point? in your journey of making handmade jewelry with handmade components, don't forget what you can do for yourself to accent those beautiful beads you are getting! 

what was the first step you took to head down the handmade road?

6 comments:

Spirited Earth said...

great post..
the ongoing topic at the gallery opening last night was the price of silver.

MaCarroll Beads said...

My first step down the handmade road was when I was on a mission to find beads that were different than I was finding at Joann's, our local bead store and everywhere else I looked online. I was seeing lots of ceramic pendants, but not a huge selection of beads at the time. I did see a few and came across a couple of videos that I watched. They were done by Natalie Pappas (nkpbeads) and Mary Harding (maryhardingjewelry). I was hooked. Bill brought home a teenie tiny kiln from work (he's an art teacher), made a little bead tree, bought some clay (at the time it was earthenware) and glaze and it turned into a business that I hadn't really planned for. That's my long winded first experience!!! Now, I'm onto copper and finding out what I can do with that medium :O)

stregata said...

It is about finding my own style - which is a journey all in itself. Thank you for your kind words about my focal. I was trying to express a thought with my own aesthetics.

TesoriTrovati said...

totally a goal of mine, to make more of my own components but also to honor the spirit of artists like yourself that make incredible pieces. i like the idea that the artists had the vision and i am just the hands that put it all together. that piece from renate was STUNNING! with a capitol STUN! i have wanted to make my own ear wires for sometime. maybe you have inspired me, miss mj!
enjoy the day!
erin

For My Sweet Daughter said...

I began making jewelry after attending a handmade jewelry party and knowing I could make things like that. I started at a craft store and stringing for a few years then one day decided I wanted more. So I got a kiln as a gift and a torch from my husband and began making PMC and etched copper pendants. I love saying I forged the headpins, clasps and ear wires in my pieces.
I hope in the future to make even more unique and interesting pieces for my jewelry.
Shannon

Patty said...

You have a wonderfully gentle inspirational way about you, Mary Jane! Thank you...for helping us all soar to greater heights. The benefits of making your own are so much more than just the cost savings, and extend to the heart as well.

face
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...