This was Linzi Alford's first piece of of Linzi- made jewelry. Not bad at all...but just think!
She went from this, to this....
Her first book! You can pre-order it here:
Linzi explains that when she first began, she'd seen a television program about a girl in the UK (Linzi is in the UK, too) who had a market stall in London. Linzi found her process compelling, especially how the woman would take apart and re-work any of her designs that hadn't sold in a certain amount of time.
She thought, I could do that!
Devouring jewelry-making books, she taught herself many of the basics long before the internet was popular and free videos at You Tube were available. Beads became an obsession.....and that is how *I*, B'sue, found Linzi...or she found me....at Ebay, back in my Ebay days.
Linzi advises: Start small, buy the basics you need and can afford, watch tutorials and read as many books as you can. Facebook groups are a big help! Share ideas, let your imagination go wild, keep a notebook or Pinterest board for inspiration. Have fun and ENJOY! Embrace imperfection, and from your first tentative attempts will eventually come great work. Dare to dream!
This is the first assemblage piece Marcia Tuzzolino ever attempted, after watching one of my You Tube videos!
This, of course, was not Marcia's first piece of jewelry....but it WAS her first piece of jewelry made in a new style, a style she had not tried before.
When *she* began, she spent a lot of time at the local bead store, exploring the varieties and colors and educating herself as to types of beads. She strung them first, then she made basic earrings. She read a lot and took a lot of classes, as this fueled her creative fire.
To begin with mixed media, she took a class from a friend who showed her how to use Gilder's Paste and alcohol inks to color metals. Success was quick, she sold the cuff she made right off her wrist!
Though many are just starting, others are jewelry artists stuck in a rut, needing to get jump-started. Marcia advises, when that happens, go back to the basics. Go to your collective library of photos and tutorials and have fun browsing through them. Remember your initial joy at selling your first piece, or making something you never thought you could make. Visit with other artists in groups like The B'sue Boutiques Creative Group at Facebook
You'll find a lot of support and new ideas in a group like ours!
Speaking to being in a rut, Michelle Mach, who has had her projects published in print many times, says that sooner or later every designer feels uninspired. She says that when she's feeling creative, she has fun making very simple earrings with a few beads and charms. Once she gets started, the creative floodgates open and she is able to move on to more challenging pieces.
Here is a simple pair of earrings that Michelle made on such a day:
Cindy Cima Edwards says that when she first tried to tackle jewelry design, she bought the basic tools, some beads, beading wire and a few other basic items. She read the magazines and books, especially the beginner books. It took time to get rolling with it, but eventually she thought she had something she'd submit for publication.
Here is that piece,named Anastasia. It was published in BEAD TRENDS in September 2010:
Francesca Watson mentioned an experience as a metalwork jewelry maker, a little farther along in her journey:
"The first time I tried to do a complicated bezel wrap by myself, I completely screwed it up. I had done really well in the class, which made me a little cocky. I had a hard time accepting that I needed more practice with the basic skills before I was going to be ready to tackle the next level, and that every expert was a beginner once. I thumbtacked that screwed up bezel to my inspiration board in my studio, even though it was sterling silver. It stayed there as as reminder to stay humble....and do the work."
Francesca has done the work....and the soft opening of her new gallery/teaching studio is coming right up!
Read about the workshops she offers, here:
Kate Mulligan, of Mulligan Stew Jewelry, told me:
" A few years ago, I needed a hobby. I had retired, and found that I had too much time on my hands. I tried a number of things, but none kept my interest. Over the years, I'd gathered craft supplies from yard and thrift sales for that 'someday' when I would have time to learn. In that box I found a book for children entitled, HOW TO MAKE JEWELRY, along with a few beads and findings. I searched my husband's work shop for a few tools, and I started with page one. My first creation was a pair of earrings, and I still wear them. I found more than a hobby, I found a creative passion."
Here are those earrings:
The best thing you can do if you want to make jewelry is simply BEGIN. Start simple, and build a foundation of knowledge. Stick with a technique until it feels second-nature. Build a body of work, even if it is simple.
Continue to explore online groups, Pinterest and publications for inspiration and new ideas. If possible, try not to learn by copying. Some folks learn best that way, so if you must copy, copy once for the learning experience, but a copied piece is not for sale....it's for the learning.
From that piece take it to the next level and build on the technique, making it your own.
There is so much more to say on the subject and I'm sure our Design Team will be happy to share it, as time goes on!
YOU may feel free to comment here, about your own journey and how YOU started. It may prove to be encouraging to someone else.
Your art is your own, it's true! But it grows, when you share it. ;-)