Sunday, June 26, 2011

Behind the Scenes: In The Beginning There Was Inspiration…

(For the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be doing a short “behind the scenes” series on the process of creating my jewelry pieces.)

A couple of times, friends have asked me how my jewelry ideas come to me. The creative process (at least for me) isn’t a magical experience where waves of creativity hit me and I get this huge rush where I make a dozen jewelry pieces instantly. Most of the time, I can just look at crystals, gemstones, etc. and something just clicks color or design wise. 

These ideas seem to come at the most inconvenient times and I have to quickly sketch out the idea on whatever writing materials I have on hand.  These include scrap paper, napkins, church bulletins (I pay attention to the message I promise!), inside of book covers, and the back of ticket stubs. 

Here’s one jewelry piece that I’m still in the middle of working on.  It’s an idea that came to me when I saw a butterfly shirt that a kid wore at my job, so I had to hurry and sketch it there:

Once I actually have an extended amount of free time, I sketch out my ideas in colored pencils.  I really don’t consider myself a good drawer, but it really helps to have everything laid out on paper, so I know what materials to purchase, figuring out measurements, etc.  These drawings are two pieces that I made in May:

I collect these sketches in a binder and often refer to them as I create the pieces.  Although it takes a while to sketch them, time passes quickly as I commit my ideas to paper.

Coming soon: a not so exclusive behind the scenes look at my jewelry “studio” where I create my sparkling pieces of art!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fifteen Things to Accomplish Before I Turn Thirty

I’m going to deviate slightly from the topic of jewelry to introduce my official list of items to accomplish before I turn thirty years old in December 2012.  Some of these items do involve my jewelry making business, so I thought I would include it on my blog!  Here is the official list and I bolded the jewelry related items:

1)      Shoot a handgun (at a nonliving target)
2)      Climb a REAL cliff
3)      See the Pacific Ocean in person
4)      Make $3,000 in jewelry sales (Very ambitious I know!)
5)      Play “Greensleeves” on guitar (my favorite Christmas carol)
6)      Read the entire Bible cover to cover (working on this one….)
7)      Fully memorize fifteen Psalms in the Bible
8)      Go horseback riding
9)      Go on at least five dates (preferably with the same guy)
10)  Finish translating Aletheia discipleship course into French (my church’s Bible study course)
11)  Go on the zipline at Massanutten Resort near Harrisonburg, Virginia(completed this one on June 3, 2011)
12)  Read all of Jane Austen’s novels
13)  Find a place to volunteer once a week
14)  Lead a complete Bible Study one night
15)  Make a ring completely out of wire

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Copper: The New Black (at least for me!)

For the past year, I have almost exclusively worked with sterling silver wire and chain in my jewelry pieces.  However, as some of you are aware of, the price of silver has risen dramatically in the past couple of months.  Since, I am only in the beginning stages of my jewelry business; I started to worry that the cost of materials would greatly slow my growth.

However, my friend, Emily, asked me a month ago, to reconstruct a necklace for her, using copper wire.  I first warmed up to the metal, when I went to the bead shop to buy supplies for her project and noticed the large gap in price between silver and copper wire!  As I wire wrapped her necklace, I noticed how easier it was to form the copper wire with my pliers and from then on it was a match in heaven! 

I learned through a bit of research that copper is one of the oldest metals used by man, dating back from 6,000 B.C.  It was used for weapons, armors, art ornanments, pottery and jewelry (of course).  The Bible even references the material, when Jesus saw the poor widow in the temple give her humble offering of two small copper coins.  I am proud to continue in this historical tradition and have to thank Emily for helping me open a new creative path! 

Here’s a few examples of my new pieces of copper jewelry: