Learn To Bead

At Land of Odds / Be Dazzled Beads – Beads, Jewelry Findings, and More

Archive for the ‘design thinking’ Category

New Book By Warren Feld! Conquering The Creative Marketplace

Posted by learntobead on January 20, 2023

CONQUERING THE CREATIVE MARKETPLACE:
Between the Fickleness of Business and the Pursuit of Design

How dreams are made
between the fickleness of business
and the pursuit of jewelry design

This guidebook is a must-have for anyone serious about making money selling jewelry.   I focus on straightforward, workable strategies for integrating business practices with the creative design process.   These strategies make balancing your creative self with your productive self easier and more fluid. 

Based both on the creation and development of my own jewelry design business, as well as teaching countless students over the past 35+ years about business and craft, I  address what should be some of your key concerns and uncertainties.   I help you plan your road map.

Whether you are a hobbyist or a self-supporting business, success as a jewelry designer involves many things to think about, know and do.  I share with you the kinds of things it takes to start your own jewelry business, run it, anticipate risks and rewards, and lead it to a level of success you feel is right for you, including   

  • Getting Started:  Naming business, identifying resources, protecting intellectual property
  • Financial Management: basic accounting, break even analysis, understanding risk-reward-return on investment, inventory management
  • Product Development: identifying target market, specifying product attributes, developing jewelry line, production, distribution, pricing, launching
  • Marketing, Promoting, Branding:  competitor analysis, developing message, establishing emotional connections to your products, social media marketing
  • Selling:  linking product to buyer among many venues, such as store, department store, online, trunk show, home show, trade show, sales reps and showrooms, catalogs, TV shopping, galleries, advertising, cold calling, making the pitch
  • Resiliency:  building business, professional and psychological resiliency
  • Professional Responsibilities:  preparing artist statement, portfolio, look book, resume, biographical sketch, profile, FAQ, self-care

548pp.

Kindle, Print, Epub

OTHER BOOKS BY WARREN FELD

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

So You Want To Be A Jewelry Designer reinterprets how to apply techniques and modify art theories from the Jewelry Designer’s perspective. To go beyond craft, the jewelry designer needs to become literate in this discipline called Jewelry Design. Literacy means understanding how to answer the question: Why do some pieces of jewelry draw your attention, and others do not? How to develop the authentic, creative self, someone who is fluent, flexible and original. How to gain the necessary design skills and be able to apply them, whether the situation is familiar or not.

588pp, many images and diagrams Ebook , Kindle or Print formats

The Jewelry Journey Podcast
“Building Jewelry That Works: Why Jewelry Design Is Like Architecture”
Podcast, Part 1
Podcast, Part 2

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

I developed a nontraditional technique which does not use tools because I found tools get in the way of tying good and well-positioned knots. I decided to bring two cords through the bead to minimize any negative effects resulting from the pearl rotating around the cord. I only have you glue one knot in the piece. I use a simple overhand knot which is easily centered. I developed a rule for choosing the thickness of your bead cord. I lay out different steps for starting and ending a piece, based on how you want to attach the piece to your clasp assembly.

184pp, many images and diagrams Ebook, Kindle or Print

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS:16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

In this book, I discuss 16 lessons I learned, Including How To (1) Find, Evaluate and Select Craft Shows Right for You, (2) Determine a Set of Realistic Goals, (3) Compute a Simple Break-Even Analysis, (4) Develop Your Applications and Apply in the Smartest Ways, (5) Understand How Much Inventory to Bring, (6) Set Up and Present Both Yourself and Your Wares, (7) Best Promote and Operate Your Craft Show Business before, during and after the show.

198pp, many images and diagrams, Ebook, , Kindle or Print

___________________________________________

Posted in architecture, Art or Craft?, art theory, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, creativity, design management, design theory, design thinking, Entrepreneurship, jewelry collecting, jewelry design, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, professional development, Stitch 'n Bitch, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

CONQUERING THE CREATIVE MARKETPLACE: What You Need To Know When Preparing A Portfolio

Posted by learntobead on January 19, 2023

Your Portfolio

Your Portfolio will most likely be the first impression a gallery, store, or collection gets of your work. You want to make it a positive and lasting one.

As with the Artist Statement, you do not want to follow anyone’s template when designing your Portfolio. This won’t serve you well. In reality, too many Portfolios look the same.

You will most likely want several versions, say 3 or 4, of your Portfolio in anticipate of different audiences and different ways you might use this. Specifically, you might want versions differentiated by one or more of these characteristics:

· Document without dates for jewelry pieces

· Document with dates for jewelry pieces

· Organized by theme

· Organized by audience

· Only those pieces representative of the brand you are trying to sell to a particular venue

· All your pieces

· Digital, including an online copy, an online copy with some graphical animations, an ebook, or a video online

NOTE: Your digital versions should be responsive. That means they are created in such a way that no matter what browser or what device (computer, tablet, phone, TV) they are viewed on, they will look good.

NOTE: I suggest sharing your digital copy with a URL link to where it would be posted online, say on your website. I suggest not sending a digital copy on a CD, disc or flash drive. I think the potential viewer might get annoyed having to set up their computer to ready it to read the digital copy off these formats.

· Print, including something you print yourself off an office printer, or something available from a bookseller as a print-on-demand.

· Presentation folder: basically a binder with plastic sheet holders, into which you can place sheets of printed images of your work and related text.

· PowerPoint slide show. Can easily be shared on a Tablet or Computer or Notebook Computer.

· With or without prices

Your Portfolio will include images, short text descriptions of each piece, its materials, techniques, and inspirations. You might include your Artist Statement, Testimonials, resume, copy of a significant press article about you. Of course, you would have all you contact information present.

Look Book is a more focused portfolio. It includes a limited number of your best pieces and pieces representative of your brand. The images are the stars. There is limited text, most often in the form of captioning or a short relevant quote. The Look Book should feel cohesive and feel like it targets a very specific audience.

Look Book by Laura McCabe, cover
Look Book by Laura McCabe, inside pages

In Print: These days it is easy and very inexpensive to develop a print-on-demand book for your Portfolio. You have many size options. It can be printed in high quality color. You can have a hard cover and/or a soft cover. You can go with a high quality paper if you want. A printed Portfolio is something that you can give away or sell. This format ups your legitimacy and credibility significantly. You only have to print one copy at a time. It is not difficult to keep the book updated.

Check out kdp.Amazon.com and Ingram Publishing for information about print-on-demand book publishing.

The print version would include,

· Front cover art, back cover art, and side binding art

· Back cover text

· Bar code

· ISBN number

· Library of Congress number

· Your content with images

Designing Your Portfolio

STEP 1: Decide who this is for.

Research and delineate who their audiences are and to which they have to be responsive. For example, a gallery and its collector patrons. Or a store and its core customer base.

Given who it is for, what format and content would they prefer? How do you want them to respond after they view your Portfolio; what action (of course in your interest) do you want them to take?

STEP 2: Select your content.

Ask yourself:

· How consistent and coherent is my content? Have I described each project from inspiration to aspiration to designed outcome to production and distribution? If it is important to present yourself as a brand, how well does your selected content support your brand image?

· Does my content clearly show and demonstrate how I think and problem solve when designing jewelry? Have I identified the design challenges for each project, and how I solved them? Some design challenges might be time constraints, selecting materials, selecting techniques, availability of technologies and tools, consistency with fashion and style expectations.

· Does my text support my images, and vice versa?

· You do not want to settle for a laundry list of projects. You want a set of projects and their related content with which you can create a story.

STEP 3: Organize your content.

Does your organization reaffirm your communication and presentation skills? Have you made clear your style, process and design philosophy? Do the substance, look and feel support an image of you as a professional jewelry designer? Does your organization tell a story, with a beginning, middle, and end, and some takeaways or learnings? Does it have a good narrative flow?

You might organize by theme or color or technique or silhouette. You might organize by price point. You might organize by the context in or types of outfits with which the jewelry might be worn.

NOTE: Cognitively, it is much easier for the reader to digest 3 or 4 pieces of information at a time. So, you might group projects into collections of 3 or 4 pieces. For each piece, you might present 3 or 4 critical pieces of information. And so forth.

STEP 4: Design the cover.

This can be all image, all text, or a mix of image and text. How well does the cover coordinate with your jewelry and brand image?

STEP 5Evaluation.

Does anything seem too vague or incomplete? Are the words you use strong, active, sufficiently descriptive and powerful? Does the narrative flow make sense, or can it be improved?

Ask yourself and some of your designer friends whether your Portfolio, given your audience and how you want them to act in response, prove that you are the right fit.

Given your audience, what questions can you anticipate that you think they might ask you? Example, what was difficult? What might you do differently if doing the piece again? Why would someone want to buy this piece? What kinds of related designs have you considered?

Some Advice

· Layout doesn’t matter nearly as much as the content and how you present your work

· Include some photos which demonstrate the scale of your work and the wearability of your work

· For a gallery, retail venue, or agency, show the retail prices you believe your work should sell for. Don’t include dates. A buyer might wonder, given an earlier date, why the piece hadn’t sold.
For other audiences, you can decide whether or not to include either prices and/or dates. You might want to show your evolution and history as a jewelry designer.

· Keep images separated from text. Don’t interrupt a series of images about a particular piece with text. The viewer will have a visual journey that is a very different experience than a reading journey.

· Keep only 1–2 images per page.

· Make it easy for the viewer to know what you are showing them: detail name of piece, materials, size, technique, price.

· You might include several SOLD pieces, clearly marked as sold.

· Back up all your digital files!

· Unless asked to, I would suggest not sending images on 35mm slides.

· A vertical (portrait), rather than a horizontal (landscape), format will work best. If one of your pieces looks best presented horizontally, take that horizontal image and embed it on a vertical formatted page.

· Include a TITLE PAGE after your COVER. Acts as a visual transition to the images of your pieces. The Title Page should have the artist’s name and some kind of tag line or catchy informative heading.

· 8 ½ x 11” is always a good size, but you do not have to limit yourself to these dimensions.

· A white background will work well, but you do not have to limit yourself to white. Be sure your font colors will easily be seen when printed on a color other than white.

· Where using text, always have a HEADING LINE, which usually is a larger font, than the text you use in paragraphs.

· Start each piece on its own page. Usually, consistency in page/text/image formats from piece to piece will be more pleasing to the reader.

· Ideally, showing 20–30 pieces is a good goal. Depending on how you intend to use the Portfolio and who your audience is, you might present more pieces, but not less than 20.

· Create a BACK PAGE or BACK COVER. This might include a photo of yourself, some biographical information, and contact information.

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Saying Good-Bye! To Your Jewelry: A Rite Of Passage

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

__________________________________

CONQUERING THE CREATIVE MARKETPLACE: Between the Fickleness of Business and the Pursuit of Design

This guidebook is a must-have for anyone serious about making money selling jewelry. I share with you the kinds of things it takes to start your own jewelry business, run it, anticipate risks and rewards, and lead it to a level of success you feel is right for you, including
Getting Started, Financial Management, Product Development, Marketing, Selling, Resiliency, Professional Responsibilities.

548pp.

KindlePrint

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

So You Want To Be A Jewelry Designer reinterprets how to apply techniques and modify art theories from the Jewelry Designer’s perspective. To go beyond craft, the jewelry designer needs to become literate in this discipline called Jewelry Design. Literacy means understanding how to answer the question: Why do some pieces of jewelry draw your attention, and others do not? How to develop the authentic, creative self, someone who is fluent, flexible and original. How to gain the necessary design skills and be able to apply them, whether the situation is familiar or not.

588pp, many images and diagrams Ebook , Kindle or Print formats

The Jewelry Journey Podcast
“Building Jewelry That Works: Why Jewelry Design Is Like Architecture”
Podcast, Part 1
Podcast, Part 2

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

I developed a nontraditional technique which does not use tools because I found tools get in the way of tying good and well-positioned knots. I decided to bring two cords through the bead to minimize any negative effects resulting from the pearl rotating around the cord. I only have you glue one knot in the piece. I use a simple overhand knot which is easily centered. I developed a rule for choosing the thickness of your bead cord. I lay out different steps for starting and ending a piece, based on how you want to attach the piece to your clasp assembly.

184pp, many images and diagrams EbookKindle or Print

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS

16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

In this book, I discuss 16 lessons I learned, Including How To (1) Find, Evaluate and Select Craft Shows Right for You, (2) Determine a Set of Realistic Goals, (3) Compute a Simple Break-Even Analysis, (4) Develop Your Applications and Apply in the Smartest Ways, (5) Understand How Much Inventory to Bring, (6) Set Up and Present Both Yourself and Your Wares, (7) Best Promote and Operate Your Craft Show Business before, during and after the show.

198pp, many images and diagrams, Ebook, , Kindle or Print

___________________________________________

Posted in architecture, Art or Craft?, art theory, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, creativity, design management, design theory, design thinking, Entrepreneurship, jewelry collecting, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, professional development, Stitch 'n Bitch, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

CONQUERING THE CREATIVE MARKETPLACE: Smart Advice When Writing Your Artist Statement

Posted by learntobead on January 19, 2023

PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES:
Artist Statement

Guiding Questions?
1. What is an Artist Statement?
2. How do I write one?

Your Artist Statement

Simply, your Artist Statement is a description of you, your work and your design philosophy. It is usually 1–2 pages, with the first 3 sentences able to stand on their own and substitute for the longer version. Note: some applications will set a 200–250 word limit.

Your design philosophy is all about how you think through the designing process. You make choices about materials, techniques, styles, silhouettes, colors, patterns, construction. You anticipate the kinds of customers who will wear and purchase your pieces. What are all these choices? Explain what you think about when making these kinds of choices. How does making these kinds of choices lead to pieces which are appealing, wearable, collectible, situationally appropriate, whatever?

When writing your Artist Statement, you do not want to follow anyone’s template. This won’t serve you well. In reality, too many Artist Statements sound the same.

Make the Statement deeply personal. You want the Statement to feel like you are speaking to a client, but maintaining a professional tone of voice. Visually, you want the look to be comparable in relation to your brand identity.

You share your Artist Statement with venues in which you want to sell your jewelry, such as a boutique or gallery. You share it with sales reps and agencies. You share it with your customers and collectors. You share it with the press. You share it in print. You share it online. It can be written from the first person (that is you) or the third person (referring to you).

Your Artist Statement tells your audience who you are, what is significant about your work, your methods and techniques.

As with most things in business, you will probably want to have more than one version of your Artist Statement — one for galleries, one for stores, one for the press, and one for submissions to juried contests, competitions, shows and other venues.

Topics which might be included and get you thinking:

1. How you got started

2. Your inspiration(s)

3. Your design approach and process and philosophy

4. The challenges you face as a designer

5. Artistic influences

6. How people understand you and your work

7. What about you and your jewelry makes you stand out from the crowd

8. The materials you use

9. The techniques and technologies you use

10.What makes your jewelry a collection?

Start by thinking about these topics, and make a long list of keywords that you free-associate with these topics.

If you have difficulty thinking of keywords, write down 5 questions you would like an interviewer or reporter to ask you about yourself as a designer and about your work.

KEYWORDS (generate at least 25–30)

Next, organize these key words into 2–3 sentences.

2–3 Opening Sentences

Next, elaborate on each thought, perhaps over 1–2 written pages.

Last, edit. Remove cliches, any jargon, repetitions, and tangents which do not fit or flow.

Strengthen weakly sounding adjectives and adverbs. Your words should be descriptive, visual, active, colorful, powerful.

Can anything be re-written or expanded up to help your audience even better understand you and your work?

Keep things focused, consistent and coherent.

You want to avoid using words like unique or best or other superlatives.

If your work is very varied, do not try to encompass everything with one particular Artist Statement.

Expect to have to generate multiple drafts before you settle on a finished Statement.

Periodically, review your Artist Statement and revise it to reflect what is currently happening in your artistic life.

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Saying Good-Bye! To Your Jewelry: A Rite Of Passage

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

__________________________________

CONQUERING THE CREATIVE MARKETPLACE: Between the Fickleness of Business and the Pursuit of Design

This guidebook is a must-have for anyone serious about making money selling jewelry. I share with you the kinds of things it takes to start your own jewelry business, run it, anticipate risks and rewards, and lead it to a level of success you feel is right for you, including
Getting Started, Financial Management, Product Development, Marketing, Selling, Resiliency, Professional Responsibilities.

548pp.

KindlePrint

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

So You Want To Be A Jewelry Designer reinterprets how to apply techniques and modify art theories from the Jewelry Designer’s perspective. To go beyond craft, the jewelry designer needs to become literate in this discipline called Jewelry Design. Literacy means understanding how to answer the question: Why do some pieces of jewelry draw your attention, and others do not? How to develop the authentic, creative self, someone who is fluent, flexible and original. How to gain the necessary design skills and be able to apply them, whether the situation is familiar or not.

588pp, many images and diagrams Ebook , Kindle or Print formats

The Jewelry Journey Podcast
“Building Jewelry That Works: Why Jewelry Design Is Like Architecture”
Podcast, Part 1
Podcast, Part 2

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

I developed a nontraditional technique which does not use tools because I found tools get in the way of tying good and well-positioned knots. I decided to bring two cords through the bead to minimize any negative effects resulting from the pearl rotating around the cord. I only have you glue one knot in the piece. I use a simple overhand knot which is easily centered. I developed a rule for choosing the thickness of your bead cord. I lay out different steps for starting and ending a piece, based on how you want to attach the piece to your clasp assembly.

184pp, many images and diagrams EbookKindle or Print

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS

16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

In this book, I discuss 16 lessons I learned, Including How To (1) Find, Evaluate and Select Craft Shows Right for You, (2) Determine a Set of Realistic Goals, (3) Compute a Simple Break-Even Analysis, (4) Develop Your Applications and Apply in the Smartest Ways, (5) Understand How Much Inventory to Bring, (6) Set Up and Present Both Yourself and Your Wares, (7) Best Promote and Operate Your Craft Show Business before, during and after the show.

198pp, many images and diagrams, Ebook, , Kindle or Print

___________________________________________

Posted in architecture, Art or Craft?, art theory, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, color, Contests, craft shows, creativity, design management, design theory, design thinking, Entrepreneurship, jewelry collecting, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, professional development, Stitch 'n Bitch, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

INFLUENCE AND PERSUASION: How The Designer Gets Others To Make The Choices The Designer Wants Them To Make

Posted by learntobead on October 14, 2022

I

Abstract:

Designers need to get the approval of and payment from their clients. That means the client has to recognize and share the choices the designer made when creating the piece of jewelry. It all comes down to two aspects of marketing: persuasion and influence. Marketing is about creating persuasive arguments which can influence a person’s beliefs, attitudes, motivations, intentions and behaviors. Influence comes with knowing what the best outcome that the marketer should seek. Persuasion includes the tools you use to get there. Persuasion can take many forms. The marketer’s success depends on a handful of persuasive factors. Marketing strategies follow one or more of eight universal principles of persuasion. Information within any successful persuasive argument is best presented in a certain order.

Influence and Persuasion

Marketing is about creating persuasive arguments which can influence a person’s beliefs, attitudes, motivations, intentions and behaviors. The marketer wants to be able to persuade the client to focus their attention on the jewelry product line, to approach it, touch it, try it on, buy it, exhibit it, share it with others, then, moreover, to further persuade these others (thus making the marketing message contagious) to want to buy it. Influence comes with knowing what the best outcome that the marketer should seek. Persuasion includes the tools you use to get there.

When we are trying to persuade someone, we might be trying to get them to change their mind about something. We might want them to change the weight, ranking or priority they give one thing over another. We might want them to see the interrelationship among two or more otherwise unrelated things. We might want them to re-evaluate the cost and reward calculus they use when deciding to make a purchase.

When trust is present, influence increases and persuasion ends in more positive outcomes.

Persuasion can take many forms. It can be…

· Coercive, done aggressively through direct commands, threats, fear mongering, shaming.

· Informational, spread as biased in some way towards a particular position or idea.

· Leveraging a belief by appeals to logic and reasoning.

· Leveraging a belief by appeals to feelings and emotions.

· Establishing a high level of credibility or character.

A marketer or jewelry designer is not born as persuasive. It is something to be learned, practiced, applied and applied again. The strength of the marketer’s influence centers on a handful of persuasive factors, such as:

1. Commonalities: People like people like themselves.

2. Logic and Rationality: When you see data, it tells a recognizable story.

3. The Target Audience’s Needs, Wants, Values and Desires: It is important to pay attention and hone in on these.

4. Attractiveness: Attractive people are more persuasive.

5. Confidence / Charisma: Confident /Charismatic people are more persuasive.

6. Preparation: Learning, Practicing and Preparing are how you place yourself in a powerful, persuasive position.

Persuasion and Marketing

Persuasion in marketing involves the ability not just to influence people’s actions, but their attitude as well.

Persuasion is a matter of establishing mutual trust or shared understandings. You develop that sense of trust in your client. That means, they believe that you will deliver on any and all your promises, and that your product will solve their problems, needs and/or desires. The marketer presents some type of evidence which the client must interpret as relevant and valid for themselves, whatever that might mean.

Marketing campaigns are various strategies attempting to influence, direct or change client behaviors by eliciting reactions. Marketing campaigns rely on imagery and word associations tied to emotional responses.

To be persuasive, the marketing message must have value and relevance for your target client. She or he might see a reward or a minimization of costs and agree to change their behavior. She or he might be trying to shield themselves from anything which refutes their sense of self and self-esteem. She or he might derive pleasure when they can align their self-concept with that of the emotional message associated with the product. She or he might find that they can meet their needs for understanding and control by finding out more information about your product.

In response to any marketing campaign, the client can do one of three things:

1. Accept

2. Non-commit or remain indifferent

3. Reject

And it is important to think of persuasion as a continual process. You might be able to persuade someone to purchase your product once, but will they purchase your product again?

The Designer As Marketer Should Have A Detailed Familiarity
With Everything Involved With Consumer Behavior

What causes clients to purchase certain products and brands, and reject others? It is important to begin to document client shopping behaviors, motivations and their psychological and sociological underpinnings.

The marketer will want to get a handle on the target audience in terms of

· Psychological Factors: How assumptions, perceptions, understandings, values and desires affect responses to the marketing message.

· Personal Factors: How demographic characteristics, such as age, culture, profession, gender play roles in forming responses to the marketing message.

· Social Factors: How socio-cultural groups, such as income, geographic residence, education level, affect shopping behaviors and responses to the marketing message.

How Can Marketing Affect Client Shopping Behaviors?
The Eight Universal Principles of Persuasion

Persuasion works when the client feels that, by purchasing your product, you and your product have made a positive contribution to their life. There are different ways or principles marketers follow for establishing that sense of positivity.

There are eight universal principles of persuasion the marketer can resort to in order to influence client shopping behaviors. These are,

1. Reciprocity

2. Commitment

3. Consensus

4. Authority

5. Affinity

6. Scarcity

7. Visibility of Consequences

8. Information Exposure

Reciprocity

If you do this for me, I’ll do this for you.

People tend to feel the need to return the favor. You offer or remove incentives and play with client’s natural tendency to be grateful and want to do something for you in return. You might offer them discounts or a free sample. You might put them in a frequent shopper rewards program. You might do a special customization. You might offer them a gift. You might offer something special to first time buyers or to clients who register for your email list.

Commitment

I am a loyal customer.

Once someone is engaged with something, they are more likely to stick to it and commit. They become loyal to the designer, the designer’s business and the designer’s brand. The marketer would do those things which enhance customer loyalty. You might have a special showing or trunk show. You might include them on your email list. You might make them aware a way ahead of time of some deals or opportunities.

Consensus

If it’s OK with them, it’s OK with me.

Sometimes this is referred to as the herd response. If the client sees others doing it, they are more likely to do it as well. The marketer here would demonstrate the popularity of their products with other clients and client groups.

Authority

If such-and-such expert tells me it’s OK, I’ll think it’s OK.

Clients are more likely to listen to an expert they trust, than anyone else. The marketer would have the marketing message put forth by trusted experts who could be seen as authority figures. These authority figures are seen as having already established proof of their knowledges and beliefs. Authority might be actual or implied. Thus, their advice is recognized as trustworthy. You might seek endorsements from well-known figures. You might create an ad where the expert is delivering the message. You might rely on influencers online to spread your marketing message.

Affinity

She bought it, and she’s a lot like me, so I’ll buy it as well.

The client is more willing to follow through on the marketing message and goal if she or he knows someone who is similar to themselves who bought the product. Similarly might be by gender or age or economic class. Similarly might be people who belong to the same church or shop at the same store or attend the same events. The marketer would emphasize shared interests. The marketer would present reasons why conformity is the best choice here.

Scarcity

I better get it right away, if I’m to get it at all.

People tend to want what they think they might not be able to have. When something is scarce, clients tend to assign it more value. Defining the context becomes very important for this principle of persuasion. It might be something that is exclusive. It might be in limited supply. It might have some sense of rarity. It might be subtle clues provided in how the products are displayed to make it seem like you are running out of stock (such as, a very large container with a few items left in the bottom). The product might not be available from any other competitor. The product might be temporarily on sale or only available for a limited amount of time. The marketer might emphasize that this product does what no other product can do. The marketer might emphasize that if the client doesn’t act quickly, the likelihood that they could ever purchase the product will be very low.

Visibility of Consequences

I know what will happen when I purchase and use this product.

The client is more likely to purchase a product if they can anticipate the consequences of their choice. Every purchase is a risk. Will it work? Will it hold up? Will it be appropriate? Will I get the reactions I want? Here the marketer would highlight evidence which makes the consequences obvious, and then more evidence which minimizes the likelihood that any risk and uncertainty might occur. The marketer might emphasize the positive results, and minimize any negative ones. They might point to past successes of this or similar products. They might present the pros and cons and comparative imaging of future outcomes. They might present the pros and cons by comparing antecedents. They might explain that the client will have emotion regrets of they don’t make the purchase.

Information Exposure

I was told it was important now to act.

Clients often have to make choices when they have more limited information upon which to rely. How and when the client is exposed to certain information, prompts, triggers and cues may affect their choice whether to buy a product or not. The client might be distracted. There might be time / timing / seasonal considerations where they pay more attention, say to holiday merchandise during Christmas season, than at other times of the year. Some information may have increased salience, depending on the context. For example, what the jeweler says when standing behind the jewelry counter may have more salience than what that same person says about the same product when randomly meeting that person on the street.

The marketer might present or withhold information based on timing considerations. The message might be different presented during the day from presented during the evening. It might be different in the Spring from the Fall. The marketer might try to connect positive emotional information the client already holds to the product the marketer is trying to sell. This could be a positive memory such as a song or image or experience. The marketer might stress how even with this limited information the client can still anticipate a level of success. The marketer might emphasize negative information about a competitor or competitor’s products. The marketer might use popular phrases and words that have a particular emotional or cognitive association with the target audience.

The Persuasive Argument

Whatever principle of persuasion the designer follows, the presentation of information in their persuasive argument follows a pattern. That is, informational content, when presented in a certain order, makes for a more persuasive argument. This order is presented in the table below.

A Few Cautions

When marketing your products, you have a professional responsibility not to cross the line between influence and manipulation. You might be successful in manipulation in the short term, but this will probably spell disaster for you mid- and long-term. People are willing to be influenced and persuaded, but resent getting manipulated. And if manipulated, they usually find out.

Don’t present yourself falsely in any way. Don’t claim to be an expert when you are not, for example.

Last, don’t over emphasis economic factors — price, discounts, and the like — in your marketing messages. Rely more on one or more of the universal principles of persuasion where you play towards emotions, perceptions and desires.

_________________

FOOTNOTES

Abelson, Herbert I. Persuasion: How Opinions and Attitudes are Changed.
Spring Publishing, 1965.

Clements, Jon. The Power Of Influence and Persuasion in Business.

As referenced in:
https://metamorphicpr.co.uk/power-of-influence-and-persuasion- in-business/

Davis, Suzanne. 7 Sensational Hooks That Grab Readers’ Attention,
7/14/2022.
As referenced in:
https://www.academicwritingsuccess.com/7-sensational-essay-hooks/

DeFalco, Nicole. Influence vs. Persuasion: A Critical Distinction For Leaders, 10/30/2009.

As referenced in:
https://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/influence-vs-persuasion-critical-distinction-leaders#:~:text=Influence%20is%20having%20a%20vision,earning%20their%20sincere%20buy-in.

Druckman, James N. “A Framework for the Study of Persuasion,” Annual
Review of Political Science, 2022.

Feld, Warren. Health Planner Influence. 1979.

Miller, Michael. The Art of Influence and Persuasion in Business.

As referenced in:
https://www.mindwhirl.com/entrepreneurship/business-mindset/the-
art-of-influence-and-persuasion-in-business/

Peek, Sean. The Science of Persuasion: How To Influence Consumer
Choice, 8/3/2022.

As referenced in:
https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10151-how-to-influence-
consumer-decisions.html

Vatz, Richard E. The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion. Kendall Hunt,
2013.

Wikipedia. Persuasion.
As referenced in:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persuasion

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Saying Good-Bye! To Your Jewelry: A Rite Of Passage

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

__________________________________

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

588pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

The Jewelry Journey Podcast
“Building Jewelry That Works: Why Jewelry Design Is Like Architecture”
Podcast, Part 1
Podcast, Part 2

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

184pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS

16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

198pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

___________________________________________

Posted in architecture, Art or Craft?, art theory, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, design management, design thinking, Entrepreneurship, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, professional development, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Selling Your Jewelry In Galleries: Some Strategic Pointers

Posted by learntobead on October 1, 2022

About Working With Galleries

Typically, an art gallery is a small business which exhibits and sells art. Galleries attract different kinds of clientele. Some people who purchase art might want to have something to hang in their home or business. Others would be considered art enthusiasts and collectors. They purchase art as investments. The profits the gallery takes in need to be sufficient to cover the cost to run the business, and have money left over to live on and play with.

The gallery owner, in effect, curates what is shown. The gallery will want to have some variety, but also some consistency in what is shown. Galleries tend to have reputations around what they specialize in. The gallery owner is typically very knowledgeable about art and how art connects with the current culture. Many galleries are biased against jewelry because jewelry is not understood universally as an art form. When you research galleries, you will want to document which ones would be more amenable to carry your jewelry pieces.

Most galleries have physical store spaces, but with a website presence. There are also digital galleries and online sales platforms. Some are open to all artists; some specialize in gallery shop membership. There are auction houses both physical and online. Also places like Amazon and Ebay have fine art and collectibles sections. Most sales are conducted in physical spaces, but more and more online.

Before you approach any gallery, be sure you have answered two important questions up front:

1. Does your work and your needs fit the gallery? Do some research. Look at the lines represented, the artists represented, how things are organized. Contact some of those artists and ask about their experiences with the gallery and how exhibiting there works for them.

2. What benefit(s) does your work offer the gallery, in other words, why should they represent you? It is important to establish and define your professional relationship with the gallery. Determine what the gallery needs from you to make things work out for both of you.

When you work is represented by a gallery, regular communication is important. Be on time with deadlines and materials needed. In a big sense, your relationship is a collaboration.

Gallery representation will increase your reputation, credibility and legitimacy. It will lead to you getting higher prices for your work. It will increase your visibility. It will enhance your brand.

Your Goals

The gallery needs to represent and promote you when you are not around. They will need to know a lot about you, and feel good about you as a designer and as a person.

That means your goals will be to:

· Research galleries which are a good fit between you, your jewelry, and their clients.

· Research artists/designers they represent and visit their websites; make note of their selection, styles, pricing and possible pricing formula they might have used.

· Create a strategy for presenting yourself and your work.

· Make your pitch to the gallery.

· Place your jewelry in a gallery for sale, priced so that you receive a good return.

· Create a collaborative relationship with the gallery owner around how best to serve the gallery’s clientele and collector base.

· Maintain good and frequent communication.

· Create jewelry for the gallery which has a high degree of consistency and coherency with you as a designer and the brand you are promoting.

· Have a high enough level of productivity so that the gallery can be confident you will always have enough jewelry (usually 30–35 pieces available at any one time) for them to sell, particularly if they want to replace pieces which have sold.

First, A Self-Assessment:
Is Selling In A Gallery Right For You?

Step back for awhile and answer these kinds of questions about you as a designer and your work. Be honest with yourself.

1. Is your jewelry consistent and cohesive? Have you developed a distinctive designer style and is this consistently reflected in the jewelry you want to place in a gallery?

2. Is your jewelry made of quality materials?

3. Have you implemented the best standards of technique, technology and craftsmanship?

4. Are your pieces appropriately finished from end to end?

5. How marketable are your pieces? Which are most marketable?

6. How should you refer to your jewelry style and aesthetic in marketing when talking with galleries and collectors? What labels would you give these? How accessible are these labels to galleries and collectors?

7. Where should you concentrate your efforts to find galleries and promote your jewelry to them?

8. Would your pieces fit in the highest-quality surroundings?

9. Are your presentation materials — portfolio, artist statement, business card, jewelry displays — professional and engaging?

Do this simple exercise. Imagine who the typical collector of a particular gallery might be. How does your jewelry look through their eyes? What would the collector think and feel and see when trying on a piece of your jewelry? What are their needs and desires, and how does your jewelry help them to meet these?

Make a good list of anything you can do to improve.

Also, you might get an objective opinion, say from another jewelry designer, or even a gallery representative. What kinds of things do they see which could enhance the appearance and marketability of your work?

Build Consistency Into Your Work

Consistent work makes it easier for the gallery owner to represent, market and sell your work. It makes it easier for the collector to connect with your body of work and purchase it. Consistency means that your jewelry is immediately recognized as designed by you.

Consistency can mean many things. If you are consistent on 3 or 4 factors listed below, then you have some wiggle room with the others.

Consistency can be conveyed by:

· Color, pattern, texture

· Use of point, line, plane and/or shape

· Theme

· Forms

· Rhythm, balance, volume, size/shape distribution

· Medium

· Materials

· Techniques and technologies

· References to history, time, place, situation, culture

· How your pieces are finished off

· Signature elements, like a certain bead or tag, included with your pieces

· Comfort, movement, drape and flow

· Predominant silhouettes

· How your pieces feel and look when draped on the body

· Size adjustability

· Selection of clasp and design of clasp assembly

· Display and presentation

Getting Your Portfolio and Presentation In Order

You will be bringing several pieces of information with you when making your pitch, whether in person, through email or online. At the lease, these will include an Artist Statement, a Portfolio, and a business card or resume or biographical profile, and sample pieces and or images.

Some pointers:

1. Everything should be well organized and reaffirm your designer style and brand

2. You should have very clear images of your pieces; in a few of your pictures you want to demonstrate the scale of your pieces, such as sitting them next to a recognizable object or being worn on the body or laying on your work bench as you construct it

3. You want to have up-to-date information about pricing and sold works

4. In your portfolio, you may want to include current prices, but you also may want to leave off dates; track the dates for yourself in other records not to be shared with the gallery; always refer to your prices in retail values, not wholesale

5. Your pricing strategy should be consistent from piece to piece; it should be based on both the cost of creating a piece as well as your current brand value; it should be based on a simple formula that can be explained to others.

6. The images in your portfolio should represent you as a jewelry designer today

7. If visiting in person, you want to always have samples of your work with you. The samples should be representative of the kinds of things you would want to place in this gallery.

Have A Clear Image About The Typical Buyer Of Your Work

You should be keeping good records of your buyers.

Who are they?

· Average age

· From particular neighborhood, city, area

· Buying for a business or for personal

· Situations in which they wear your jewelry

· Price points they favor

· Income / wealth

· Married / single

· Male / female

Why would your buyer come to a gallery rather than another setting to purchase jewelry?

Why would they come to this particular gallery you are targeting?

Some Notes About Pricing

Use a formula. Keep it simple and explainable.

Don’t undersell your piece. You need to make a profit.

Don’t underprice your piece. This disvalues it.

Keep your prices competitive with those of other designers you are competing with.

In a gallery setting, you want national or international prices. If you live in a lower cost locale, you do not want to base your prices on their expectations.

Don’t overprice. You won’t get repeat business that way. Keep your prices competitive.

Review your pricing regularly.

As you make more and more sales, adjust your prices upward for all your pieces accordingly.

It is better to suggest pricing to the gallery owner rather than ask their opinion of what prices to set. In this way, you come across as a more established, experienced designer. Depending too much on the gallery owner to set prices might make you come off as a novice with unproven market value.

Finding Target Galleries

Do online searches. Ask other jewelry designers.

Begin with galleries that are nearby to you. Do not limit yourself to the most prominent galleries. If at all possible, visit each gallery in person.

You want to answer for yourself these kinds of questions:

· Is the location good, bad or indifferent?

· Are the staff friendly and approachable?

· Are the staff knowledgeable about the pieces in the gallery?

· Do I like the way the pieces are displayed and labeled?

· Would the gallery be a good fit for my work?

· Does your work fall out of the general pricing of other jewelry in the gallery?

Making The Pitch

You can make your pitch by email, phone, online, or in-person. In-person is the best, if possibleCreating a personal connection with a gallery will make them more likely to want to work with you. Getting recommended to the gallery by an artist, designer or collector can often open doors for you.

Emailing:

Start your emails by asking them if they are currently seeking new jewelry designers.

In your first email, do not include attachments. This makes it too easy for them to reject you. Instead, use this first email opportunity to establish a personal connection. If you get a positive response, follow-through with attached documents.

Galleries can be overwhelmed with emails, so this is probably your weakest strategy for contact. It is easy for the gallery to send a thanks-but-no-thanks form letter in response to an email.

Online Submission Through Their Website

The gallery will present you with guidelines and a form to fill out. This helps them weed out designers who might not be a good fit. This helps the gallery discourage designers from approaching them. It may get you some attention, but do not depend on this approach.

In-Person:

Make sure ahead of time that the gallery is a good fit for your work. Otherwise this will be a waste of time.

If feasible, you might shoe-horn yourself into their operations. Be around. Visit the gallery. Attend their openings. Strike up conversations. Talk to the designers they represent. Ask them how they came to be represented by the gallery. Talk to the clients walking around the gallery and looking at the pieces, particularly the jewelry. Ask them what they particularly like about the jewelry they are viewing. Casually mention you are a jewelry designer looking for galleries in which to place your work. Don’t be sales’y. Perhaps email them after a visit thanking them for the showing or giving your take-aways about the show.

If cold calling or making a specific appointment, be sure your portfolio and presentation are in order. Make the talk very conversational. Try to elicit things which connect you and your experiences to those of the gallery owner. Be prepared with several questions. Also ask the gallery owner for feedback on your work and on your presentation.

NOTE: It is easier for the gallery to reject you if you try to make an appointment by phone, and more difficult to ignore you if you cold call.

Hand the gallery owner your portfolio. Give them space to review it. Don’t do a running commentary as they page through this.

Always make eye contact. Don’t be shy. Don’t look away or look down when you are speaking with someone. Use their first name and repeat it during your conversation.

The gallery owner, if interested in your work, will ask you a series of questions. Always be upbeat in your answers. Keep your answers short and to the point. Often the style of how you answer will be just as important as the content of your answer.

Depending on where your target galleries are, you most likely will be making your pitch in all these different ways. So your materials have to be adaptable — file structure, size, both digital and print files.

One thing the gallery, if representing you, will want to do is tell your story over and over again. Part of your pitch will be some subtle introductory training of them towards this end. Your story should be easy to understand and easy to repeat.

Emphasize the consistency in your work.

Show how your work will fit with other designers the gallery represents, yet at the same time offer something different and special. Tell them how your work can be distinguished from your competition.

Demonstrate your in-depth knowledge of their clientele and their needs and desires. Explain how your jewelry will meet their needs and desires.

Demonstrate that you are serious about your work, and are always striving to improve your technique and further hone your style.

Even if you get a positive reaction to your work at one gallery, do not stop approaching other galleries until you have a firm offer.

Be persistent.

After each interaction, send a thank you note.

Now Your Work Is In A Gallery
What Do You Do Next?

Maintain frequent communication with the gallery.

Keep the gallery informed of your new work. New work often sells best.

If your pieces are in more than one gallery, rotate them from gallery to gallery.

If you have ideas for the gallery, such as changes in displays, offer them as suggestions, not demands.

Frequent thank you notes are a good strategy.

If your pieces are getting a lot of positive responses, you might ask the gallery owner to do a show or special event for you and your work.

Ask the gallery for a letter of recommendation. The gallery owner should mention how great you are to work with, how buyers appreciate your work, and how sales of your pieces have done for them.

____________________

FOOTNOTES

Denter, Carlin. Between Commerce and Art. About Galleries and Market. Art Jewelry Forum, 01/29/2019.

Horejs, Jason. A Post For Gallery Owners | How To Work Successfully With Artists. RedDotBlog, 10/4/2021.

Horejs, Jason. “Starving” To Successful. The Artist’s Guide to Getting Into Galleries and Selling More Art.

Volpe, Christopher. How To Get Into Galleries.

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Saying Good-Bye! To Your Jewelry: A Rite Of Passage

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

__________________________________

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

588pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

“Building Jewelry That Works: Why Jewelry Design Is Like Architecture”
Podcast, Part 1
Podcast, Part 2

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

184pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS

16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

198pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

___________________________________________

Posted in architecture, Art or Craft?, art theory, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, design management, design theory, design thinking, Entrepreneurship, jewelry collecting, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, professional development, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Is Beaded Jewelry Art? If The Critics Say It’s Not … What Does That Say About Me?

Posted by learntobead on July 28, 2022

The other day, I looked up some quotes that Art Critics and Art Theorists have had to say about beaded jewelry and jewelry artists. What do you think?

(1)

“Anything done with beads is not art.”

Here the art critic equates “beads/beadwork” with the canvas of a painting, and not the painting itself. To the critic, beads are merely decoration. In this point of view, it is impossible to use beads in any way so that the finished project would be seen as art.

(2)

“Beading speaks for that branch of culture which is too homey, too functional, too archaic, for the name of ‘art’ to extend to it.”

To this reviewer, art is associated with clarity of choice and purpose, a sense of presence, and the evoking of an emotional response (or unleashing psychological content). To this reviewer, these kinds of things are not associated with beadwork and jewelry. In fact, to this reviewer, they can never be. Thus, beadwork and jewelry are not “art.”

(3)

“Beading as Art Brut — The work of children, asylum patients, and others untouched by artistic culture.”

My local paper in Nashville — The Tennessean — refuses to cover anything that is not fine art in their art pages. Many galleries and museums refuse to display bead art, often justifying this by saying there is no audience for bead art.

(4)

“Objects may only be valued as ‘art’ if they have a link to the academic setting.”

Many galleries and art critics only recognize the art of those artists with formal credentials. The reputation of the schooling of the artist is directly related to the judged “artistic” value of their work. However, there really are very few academic programs in beading/jewelry making. These are mostly involved with technical training, rather than theory and investigation. There are no professional journals where ideas and theories are proposed, discussed, tested and proven. In this model, beaders/jewelry makers stand little chance of getting judged as true artists.

(5)

“An object is ‘art’ if someone is willing to pay for it as ‘art’.”

In this sense, making a distinction between craft and art, or trying to blur the distinction between craft and art, becomes irrelevant. Within this definition, a lot of what gets sold as beadwork and jewelry, which many people would not value as ‘art’, will get included within the concept. When a piece of jewelry can get labeled as ‘art’, and retain this label, it becomes more valuable. It can sell for more. More people will indicate that it is good, rather than not good. It (and the artist) have more power.

(6)

“There’s nothing conceptual about jewelry. It’s mere hedonism.”

Jewelry is seen as visual spectacle. There are no self-reflective qualities to jewelry. There is no artist’ hand involved in its creation.

It seems that the more beadwork mimics painting or sculputre, the more it gets acceptable as ‘art’. A beaded tapestry or a beaded art doll is much more readily accepted as art, than jewelry.

(7)

“The object is ‘art’ if the object shows the artist’s process of conceptualization in its final form.”

Somehow, we must be able to recognize how the artist conceived of the piece, and how the artist implemented his/her conceptions. How did the artist tewst the limits of the materials — in this case, beads? How did the artist exploit the possibilities through the use of beads? How did the artist compose and design the piece?

Within this framework, all the parts of the jewelry — the center piece, the fringe, the strap, the bail, the surface embellishment — are critical to the appreciation of the jewelry as an object of art. Each of these elements of the piece of jewelry require the artist to exploit the possibilities of the material — the beads. Only with this fuller understanding of the piece in its entirety than Classical Art Theory would allow, can the artist, through the jewelry, create something where the whole is more than the sum of its parts. And this, then, is jewelry as art. In Classical Art Theory, the strap, fringe, bail would have to be seen to be subservient to the centerpiece.

Should I Still Call Myself An Artist…
…If The Critics Say I’m Not?

Classical Art Theory is often at odds with my self-image as a jewelry artist and designer. It often denies the very essence of my artistic being, relegating what I do to some secondary status. Who is more right, I often ask myself.

Classical Art Theory holds that if, when talking about a piece, you talk or focus to much on ‘technique’, your piece is not Art. It’s Craft.

Craft is seen as having nothing to do with aesthetics. It is merely a creative engagement with materials.

With paint, the technique to apply it, is seen as virtually irrelevant. What matters with painting is what it says, not how it was made.

If the sense of ‘technique’ supersedes an object of art’s ‘statement’, then the art is really craft, thus a failure… and an embarrassment. Craft is an affront to art.

Art is exploring the expressive qualities of the medium, stoking the imagination of its audience. In fact, crafters supposedly do not play to an audience; art does.

Art critics would want us to talk about beadwork or jewelry making without speaking about technique. With a minimal reference to functionality. With a focus on the central part of the piece, not its strap or fringe or other noncentral embellishment. Apart from our audience as they are wearing our pieces.

The prominence of these are critics and their ideas and beliefs are some of the key reasons people are more willing to pay $5,000 for a painting, but not for most beadwork. They are why these critics see something special about the artist, but nothing special after the craftsperson. There is the pernicious assumption that the jewelry maker does not have to exercise judgment, does not have to worry about presentation, does not need to bring a high level of care and dexterity to the project, uses technique but not really skill, and does not need to take many risks.

Of course, I don’t buy into any of these Classical Art Critics and what they have to say. I know I am an artist. I know my pieces should be judged as a whole, and judged as the pieces are worn.

It is the process of linking the technique to the materials that is “art.” A successful process of jewelry making and design requires an understanding of the intrinsic values of the materials. It requires an understanding of how to manipulate the materials to elicit a positive response from others. It is expressive, intuitive and evokes emotions. The critical focus is not on the techniques. The critical focus in on the linking of technique and material to create something that others emotionally interact with.

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Saying Good-Bye! To Your Jewelry: A Rite Of Passage

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

__________________________________

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

588pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

184pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS

16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

198pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

___________________________________________

Posted in Art or Craft?, art theory, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, creativity, design management, design theory, design thinking, jewelry collecting, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, professional development, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Coming Out As A Jewelry Artist

Posted by learntobead on July 28, 2022

At what point did I first begin to call myself a Jewelry Artist?

Coming out as a jewelry artist is similar, though not exactly the same, as someone coming out as gay. It is fraught with fear and dread. It means very visibly presenting yourself with a new public identity. It means preparing your ego to receive some negative comments, critiques, reviews, perhaps doubt or disbelief, and in some rarer instances, rejection or denial. It means asking others to accept and support you in your new role as Jewelry Designer.

There is a betwixt and between aspect to this coming out process — a rite of passage. And the unknown time and feelings and situations, between the before and afterwards, is often a span of uncertainty too great for many an artist to transcend. Many who want to be jewelry designers, are somewhat afraid to present themselves as such. These closet artists tell their family and friends such things as, “I dabble in this and that, including jewelry-making.” Or, “I consider myself a bank teller slash jewelry artist (and you can substitute whatever profession you are in for the words bank teller).” Or, “I’m making some things for fun or gifts, but not selling things.”

There is some hesitation. “I am a jewelry designer.” Can’t quite get the words out.

“I am a jewelry designer.” But I wasn’t trained and educated to be one. It was not my original passion, though I am passionate about it now.

“I am a jewelry designer.” Keep wanting to say “but” or add some qualification, so other people don’t say, with mocking and astonishment, “You’re a what?!@#$” “Can you make a living at that?”

“I am a jewelry designer,” you whisper to yourself over and over, but don’t tell anyone else.

When you step out of the closet, however, you show others you want respect. As a jewelry designer. You demand from others an understanding. As a jewelry designer. You present yourself as someone with self-esteem and confidence. As a jewelry designer.

After multiple levels of transition, I realize that the only thing that would diminish me as a jewelry artist is if I turned my back on it.

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Saying Good-Bye! To Your Jewelry: A Rite Of Passage

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

__________________________________

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

588pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

184pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS

16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

198pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

___________________________________________

Posted in Art or Craft?, art theory, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, craft shows, creativity, design management, design theory, design thinking, jewelry collecting, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, professional development, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Visiting Jewelry Artisans Studios and Shops in Istanbul, Turkey

Posted by learntobead on July 20, 2022

Before the pandemic, I was trying to arrange some Enrichment Travel tours. One was to Rome. This was part of the itinerary. If any group wants me to lead a Jewelry Discovery Tour to Rome or elsewhere, I would be happy to talk with you about this. — Warren@warrenfeldjewelry.com

Some favorite sites and studios in Instanbul:1. Topkapi Museum, Treasury Section Guided Tour

Once the palace of the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire, Topkapi is a vast treasury of Islamic culture, jewelry, costumes, science and weaponry. This tour is of the Treasury section (7 Halls of Exhibits) of the Topkapi Palace Museum (3rd courtyard) where you will find masterpieces of Turkish art of jewelry from different centuries and exquisite creations from the Far East, India and Europe.(2 hours guided tour of Treasury Section; 1–2 hours free time for guests to wander other parts of museum on their own.)
Open every day except Tues, 9am-4:45pm (til 6:45 in april- october)
2015: most of Treasury Section is under restoration and is closed; check back for when work is finished)

WALKING TOUR OF ARTISAN JEWELRY GALLERIES IN NISANTASI / TESVIKIYE AREA
Nisantasi / Tesvikiye is one of the best shopping districts of Istanbul. It contains designer label stores, very nice restaurants and cafes, a beautiful mall, and a few outstanding hotels. It is home to several galleries showcasing the best of Turkish jewelry artists and artisan jewelry. The store hours in this district are typically 11–7pm Tuesday through Saturday. Need to verify Monday and Sunday hours.

  1. Urart (abdi ipekci Cad. 18/1)

One of Turkey’s most established jewelry companies, Urart makes re-creations, and also chic interpretations, of ancient Anatolian designs and motifs, Hittite symbols of noblesse and glory, the arabesques of Islamic art speaking to the infinity, Seljuk tiles echoing the dreams of the Silk Road or fluid objects of modern life… Design commits to matter, not only the striking form but also the wisdom that abides at the heart of a culture.

2. Fenix (abdi ipekci Cad, Deniz Apt No: 20 D:4)

Fenix aims to bring the beautiful creations of Turkish jewelry brands such as Tohum and Alosh to the enthused consumer.

3. Zeynep Erol Taki Tasarim (Atiye Sok, Yuva Apt No: 8 D:3)

İn her first years, Zeynep Erol was mainly inspired by nature and created forms with her own modern interpretation. İn later years however, her designs have become more geometrical. Zeynep Erol’s Jewelry reflects her spiritual inner world, affections, relations, feelings, desires and change in the philosophy of life. The main materials used by Zeynep Erol in creating her pieces are; green, white and red gold (18k) together with silver (950). The selection of the remaining materials and the precious stones are chosen differently for each particular theme she wants to get across. A wide range of materials such as coconut shells, pearls, brilliants, sapphire, ruby, emeralds, quartz, glass, rose cut and uncut diamonds, sandalwood and feathers are used by her as necessary.

4. Aida Bergsen Jewellery (abdi Ipekci Cad., Atiye Sokak Ak Apt No:7, Daire 8)

Based in Istanbul, jeweller and sculptor Aida Bergsen creates jewellery with different themes that reflect traces of her hometown and its multi-layered cultural fibre. She Draws inspiration mainly from mythological heroes, organic forms and the human anatomy. Each of her wearable sculptures are meticulously crafted in wax then transformed into timeless jewels using traditional techniques.”I try to re-inerprate traditional crafts and skills in jewellery making in order to create a more contemporary approach. I like to have a play on the contrast between light and shadow as I believe it is key in capturing form at a deeper level.”Aida

Bergsen was awarded with the “étoile de mode” at BIJHORCA in Paris and she was named the first runner- up for the very prestigious Couture Show Las Vegas in 2011 and 2014.

5. ECNP Galeri — Elacindoruknazanpak (Ahmet fetgari sokak No: 56)

ECNP Gallery is a contemporary jewelry gallery showing the designs and collections of Ela Cindoruk and Nazan Pak. Partners since 1989, Ela and Nazan’s designs and creative process have reflected their philosophy of ‘less is more’. The duo have participated in numerous fairs in Turkey and abroad; their works can be found in many museum shops and galleries. Ela has received the 2012 Red Rot Design Award. Same year, the creative duo was awarded 2012 Jewelry Designer of the Year Award of Elle Style Awards. On September 2014, the designers opened their new showroom and studio, on the 21st year work anniversary. The showroom also has a gallery under its roof, Ela and Nazan’s a long time dream, a reflection of their commitment to design and aesthetic and their ambition to this gallery hosts design exhibits and aims at becoming a meeting point for the design/art world.

6. Soda, (Tesvikiye Mh, Sakayik Sokak No:1)

SODA, founded in 2010, focuses on contemporary trends in art, particularly of jewelry artists. They are interested in showcasing the use of new materials and design concepts. Some permanent artist representations as well as rotating exhbitis.

7. Alef (Tesvikiye Mh, Haci Emin Efendi Sokak, No:4)

This goldsmith adapts classical goldsmith principles to contemporary techniques and designs. Alef’s founder, jewelry designer Yeşim Yüksek,

8. Boybeyi (abdi ipekci Cad. No: 10)

BoyBeyi is a family-run business that has been around for more than 100 years, their collection features many traditional rose-cut diamonds, as well as modern and colorful pieces, all inspired by the Turkish culture.

WALKING TOUR OF JEWELRY GALLERIES, JEWELRY AND BEAD SHOPS IN AND NEAR THE GRAND BAZAAR

This walking tour takes you in and around the Grand Bazaar, discovering jewelry galleries displaying works by local artists, as well as a myriad of stores in the Grand Bazaar which sell jewelry, beads and beading supplies.

  1. Tiara (yavuz Sinan mah., rakip gumus pala cad. No; 69)

Antique jewelry, award-winning designs, modern designs that reflect trends in the world, some might find at Tiara Jewelry … Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman cultures, inspired by the collections, since the ancient civilizations in history has produced reflections of jewelry. Traditional hand-made items by craftsmen in the production of valuable, native jewelry lovers to win the admiration of the foreign guests

2. Kafkas (kalpakcilarbasi cad.)

Widely considered to be one of Istanbul’s top jewellers, with several locations throughout the city. The cuffs are studded with precious stones, the necklaces are vintage-inspired, and the gold rings are topped with enormous yellow diamonds. The Bazaar outpost is Kafkas’ first store, and you’ll often find the owners presiding behind the glittering displays.

3. Sevan Bicakci (gazi sinan pasa sok No 16)

Sevan Bıçakçı has started his journey as a jeweler when he was only 12 years old as an intern in Hovsep Çatak’s workshop. His first personal collection that he created in 2002 was inspired by the historical Grand Bazaar — Sultanahmet area where he spends a considerable part of his daily life. Since then his unique designs that require intensive craftsmanship have been attracting the attention of collectors as well as some distinguished stores.

4. Walk up Nuruosmaniye Caddessi Past the heart of jewelry and bead stores in the Grand Bazaar

There are piles and piles of antique rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings from Central Asia, as well as walls covered in strands of colorful beads made out of precious and semiprecious stones.

OPTIONAL: 3 block side trip to http://www.haciburhan.com) aka Emin Bead Company, Sterling Silver Handcrafted Turkish Beads. Sell different silver jewelry, beads and accessories for silver jewelry. Wholesale. Eminsinan Mah. Yeniceriler Cad. Evkaf Sok. No: 15 (Formerly 9) Cemberlitas, Fatih (verify store hours)

5. Angel Old Jewellery (kiliccilar sok., cuhaci han No: 36)

When you’re visiting this tiny, poorly lit (the blindingly bright interior doesn’t do their products any justice) store, you will be transformed into a museum where you can purchase anything you want from a collection of princess-worthy jewelry. From tiaras to necklaces, brooches to bracelets, these elegant pieces are bedecked with intricate, precious stones like diamonds. This store has both antique pieces, as well as new jewelry that looks vintage due to a special ageing method they use.

6. Bagus (cevahir bedesteni sok, kapali carsi D: 133)

In the Grand Bazaar’s Cevahir Bedestani, Bagus sells the proprietor’s own reasonably priced collection of handmade jewelry made with silver and semiprecious stones as well as intriguing pieces imported from countries including India, Nepal, Thailand, and Indonesia.

warren@warrenfeldjewelry.com
www.warrenfeldjewelry.com

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Resiliency: Do You Have The Most Important Skill Designers Must Have?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Backward Design is Forward Thinking

How Creatives Can Successfully Survive In Business

Part I: The First Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: Is What I do Craft, Art or Design?

Part 2: The Second Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Should I Create?

Part 3: The Third Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Materials (and Techniques) Work Best?

Part 4: The Fourth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Evoke A Resonant Response To My Work?

Part 5: The Firth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Know My Design Is Finished?

Doubt / Self-Doubt: 8 Pitfalls Designers Fall Into…And What To Do About Them

Part 1: Your Passion For Design: Is It Necessary To Have A Passion?

Part 2: Your Passion For Design: Do You Have To Be Passionate To Be Creative?

Part 3: Your Passion For Design: How Does Being Passionate Make You A Better Designer?

__________________________________

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

588pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

184pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS

16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

198pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

___________________________________________

Posted in Art or Craft?, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, craft shows, creativity, cruises, design management, design thinking, enrichment travel, jewelry collecting, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, Stitch 'n Bitch, Travel Opportunities, wire and metal, Workshops, Classes, Exhibits | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Visit To Jewelry Artisans and Galleries In Rome, Italy

Posted by learntobead on July 20, 2022

Before the pandemic, I was trying to arrange some Enrichment Travel tours.    One was to Rome.     This was part of the itinerary.   If any group wants me to lead a Jewelry Discovery Tour to Rome or elsewhere, I would be happy to talk with you about this.

ROME 1.  JEWELRY GALLERIES WALKING TOUR, ROME.  There are several stores/galleries specializing in artisan jewelry, with both some very famous local jewelry designers, as well as some less known between the Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps) and Piazza del Orologi.     This is a 1.25 mile (2.1km) leisurely jewelry shopping tour along ancient walking streets in the heart of historic Rome, where we discover the works of local jewelry artisans. (5 hour walking tour with dinner break; begin at 3pm (any day except Monday) when these shops are most likely to be open.  Typical hours:  open 10-1:30pm and 3:30-7:30pm).

  1. Damiani, via condotti 84 (All Damiani collection jewels are exclusive and unique creations, combining the allure of Italian jewelry with the unmistakable, always modern and fashionable Damiani taste.)
  2. Nicola Boncompagni, via de Babuino 15 (vintage jewelry)

        3. Oreficeria Franchi, via di Ripetta 156 (works of enrico franchi)

   4. Melis Massimo Maria, via dell’Orso 57 (ancient techniques reproduced in gold)

5. Studio Giorelleria R. Quattrocolo, via della Scrofa 54 (both antique jewelry and jewelry produced in their own workshop studio, including their line of micro-mosaics)

6. Alternatives, via della Chiesa Nuova 10  (Specializes in contemporary. Avant guard jewelry and is dedicated to the promotion of both newcomers and internationally established artists from all over the world)  

7. Del Fina Delettrez, via Governo Vecchio 67 (Delfina Delettrez Fendi is a designer and jeweller based in Rome. Original use of figurative surrealism and natural iconography including hands, eyes, bees, and lips.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ROME 2.  SHOPPING TRIP TO ARTISAN MARKET IN ROME.    Visit to Mercato Monti, 30+ artisans selling fashions, jewelry and accessories, first 3 Sundays and last Saturday of the month, 8am-8pm, inside exhibit hall of Palatino Hotel, via Leonina 46.   (4 hours)

warren@warrenfeldjewelry.com

www.warrenfeldjewelry.com

Posted in Art or Craft?, art theory, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, creativity, design theory, design thinking, enrichment travel, jewelry collecting, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, Stitch 'n Bitch, Travel Opportunities, wire and metal, Workshops, Classes, Exhibits | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Check out these new books by Warren Feld!

Posted by learntobead on April 26, 2022

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

588pp, many images and diagrams
Ebook or Print

You make jewelry. That is what you do.

But when you think jewelry and speak jewelry and work jewelry, this is what you have become. This is your purpose.

Becoming a Jewelry Designer is exciting. With each piece, you are challenged with this profound question: Why does some jewelry draw people’s attention, and others do not? When designers turn to how-to books or art theory texts, however, these do not uncover the necessary answers. They do not show you how to make trade-offs between beauty and function. Nor how to introduce your pieces publicly. You get insufficient practical guidance about knowing when your piece is finished and successful. In short, you do not learn about design. You do not learn the essentials about how to go beyond basic mechanics, anticipate the wearer’s understandings and desires, or gain management control over the process.

So You Want To Be A Jewelry Designer reinterprets how to apply techniques and modify art theories from the Jewelry Designer’s perspective. This very detailed book, by jewelry designer Warren S. Feld, reveals how to become literate and fluent in jewelry design.

Available here: Ebook or Print

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgements, p. 7
An Introduction, p. 11


Section 1-JEWELRY BEYOND CRAFT, p. 19
1. Jewelry Beyond Craft, p. 21

Section 2-GETTING STARTED, p. 27
2a. Becoming the Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer, p. 29
2b. 5 Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For,
p. 39
2c. Channeling Excitement, p. 51
2d. Developing Your Passion, p. 65
2e. Cultivating Practice, p. 79

Section 3-WHAT IS JEWELRY, p. 97
3. What Is Jewelry, Really?, p. 99

Section 4-MATERIALS, TECHNIQUES AND TECHNOLOGIES,
p. 113
4a. Materials — Knowing What To Know, p. 115
4b. Techniques and Technologies — Knowing What To Do, p. 143
4c. Mixed Media, Mixed Techniques, p. 175

Section 5-RULES OF COMPOSITION, CONSTRUCTION, AND
MANIPULATION
, p. 179
5a. Composition — Playing With Blocks Called Design Elements, p. 181
5b. The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color, p. 197
5c. Point Line Plane Shape Form Theme, p. 231
5d. Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating,
p. 253
5e. How To Design An Ugly Necklace — The Ultimate Challenge, p. 289
5f. Architectural Basics, p. 309

5g. Architectural Basics — Anatomy of a Necklace, p. 335
5h. Architectural Basics — Sizing, p. 343

Section 6-DESIGN MANAGEMENT, p. 349
6a. The Proficient Designer: The Path To Resonance, p. 351
6b. Jewelry Design: A Managed Process, p. 377
6c. Designing With Components, p. 387

Section 7-INTRODUCING YOUR DESIGNS PUBLICLY, p. 407
7a. Shared Understandings and Desires, p. 409
7b. Backward-Design Is Forwards Thinking, p. 437

Section 8-DEVELOPING THOSE INTUITIVE SKILLS WITHIN,
p. 445
8a. Creativity Isn’t Found, It’s Developed, p. 447
8b. Inspiration and Aspiration, p. 459
8c. Your Passion For Design, p. 467

Section 9-JEWELRY IN CONTEXT, p. 483
9a. Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A Look — It’s A Way Of Thinking, p. 485
9b. Contemporizing Traditional Jewelry, p. 499
9c Fashion Style Taste Art Design, p. 513
9d. Designing With The Brain In Mind: Perception, Cognition, Sexuality,
p. 523
9e. Self-Care, p. 535

Section 10-TEACHING DISCIPLINARY LITERACY, p. 543
10. Teaching Disciplinary Literacy In Jewelry Design, p. 545

Final Words of Advice, p. 579
Thank You, p. 581
About Warren Feld, p. 583
Other Articles and Tutorials, p. 587

________________________________________________________

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

184pp, many images and diagrams
Ebook or Print

In this very detailed book, with thoroughly-explained instructions and pictures, you are taught a non-traditional Pearl Knotting technique which is very easy for anyone to learn and do. Does not use special tools. Goes slowly step-by-step. Presents a simple way to tie knots and position the knots to securely abut the bead. Anticipates both appeal and functionality. Shows clearly how to attach your clasp and finish off your cords. And achieves that timeless, architectural perfection we want in our pearl knotted pieces.

Most traditional techniques are very frustrating. These can get overly complicated and awkward. They rely on tools for making and positioning the knots. When attempting to follow traditional techniques, people often find they cannot tie the knots, make good knots, get the knots close enough to the beads, nor centered between them. How to attach the piece to the clasp gets simplified or glossed over.

Fortunately, Pearl Knotting doesn’t need to be this hard.

Pearl Knotting…Warren’s Way teaches you how to:

· Hand-knot without tools

· Select stringing materials

· Begin and finish pieces by (1) attaching directly to the clasp, (2) using French wire bullion, (3), using clam shell bead tips, or, (4) making a continuous piece without a clasp

· Add cord

· Buy pearls, care for them, string and restring them, store them

By the end of this book, you will have mastered hand-knotting pearls.

I know you are eager to begin. Let’s get started.

Available here: Ebook or Print

Table of Contents

Intro To Book and Acknowledgements, p. 4

1. Pearl Knotting Is For You, p. 11

2. Materials-Tools-Your Workspace, p. 16

3. All About Pearls, p. 24

4. All About Hand-Knotting Pearls, p. 37

5. Design Considerations, p. 57

6. Measurements, p. 66

7. Selecting and Testing Bead Cord, p. 71

8a. Var1-Attaching Directly To Clasp, p. 76

8b. Var2-Using French Wire Bullion, p. 105

8c. Var3-Using Clam Shell Bead Tips, p. 125

8d. Var4-Continuous Without Clasp, p. 148

8e. About Adding Cord, p. 168

9. Handling Contingencies, p. 171

10. Finishing Touches, p.176

Final Words Of Advice, p. 177

About Warren Feld, p. 180

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this chapter useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

My ARTIST STATEMENT

My TEACHING STATEMENT.

My DESIGN PHILOSOPHY.

My PROFESSIONAL PROFILE.

My PORTFOLIO.

_________________________________

Posted in architecture, Art or Craft?, art theory, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, craft shows, creativity, design management, design theory, design thinking, jewelry collecting, jewelry design, jewelry making, pearl knotting, professional development, wire and metal, Workshops, Classes, Exhibits | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

SELF-CARE: Critical Advice For The Jewelry Designer

Posted by learntobead on January 28, 2022

Warren Feld

Warren FeldJust now·11 min read

Abstract
Balancing work and life is a challenge for everyone, but particularly for creatives. Designing pieces of jewelry involves a complicated process of finding inspiration and translating often-fuzzy images and ideas into aspirations and then finished designs. The designer usually creates each piece of jewelry over an extended period of time, often in solitude and isolation. Moreover, the designer, by the very nature of jewelry, must introduce their pieces to the public, opening the designer to feedback and critique. Balancing work and life can be very stressful, both mentally and physically. If in the business of selling jewelry, then there can be additional financial stresses. Suggested are a series of things the jewelry designer can do to manage the balancing act. These things have to do with acting, organizing, thinking, nourishing, and relating.

SELF-CARE

Finding Work-Life Balance

There is always one more thing to do. One more piece to make. One more component to buy. One more social media post. One more supplier to talk to. One more client to get. One more family’ or friend’s demands to deal with. It’s never-ending and can overwhelm you mentally, physically and financially. There is struggle. Slumps. Getting overwhelmed. Burn-out.

So the problems and resolutions depend on your ability to set boundaries. Limits on the use of your time. Allocations on the use your time. The places where you want to use any of your time. The people you want to interact with and share your time. Work-Life balance is never fully achieved; it’s a continual give and take. More a balancing, than a balance.

This requires a high degree of honesty with yourself. Some facing of the realities of limited resources. Some confronting of your fears to get them out of the way. Some feeding of your soul — your creative self.

We call this self-care. Self-care is a management strategy for managing the ever-present tensions between work and life. Everyone needs a plan and program of self-care for themselves. This can be very formal or informal. It means recognizing when the balance has tilted too far in one or the other direction. It requires a self-care tool box of strategies to employ to correct any imbalances. But you need that balance and a plan and program for maintaining it. You want joy from jewelry creation. You want productivity. You want people to want to wear your jewelry, perhaps buying it. Below I discuss some ideas that you might incorporate into your own self-care routines.

Because creatives love what they do, they may be especially vulnerable to putting in too many work hours. They may isolate themselves too freely or for too long. Yes, you might get a lot of projects finished, but you are also shortchanging yourself. It is not a positive thing to be unbalanced. You need enrichment. You need time to reflect and relax. You need to feel connected to others.

Self-Care Can Be Hard

Self-Care might feel like a long list of to-do’s. Eat. Take breaks. Phone calls, meetings and get-togethers. Time at the gym or salon. Adequate sleep. And so forth. This list might never get done to completion or satisfaction. It might feel burdensome. You might find yourself keep adding things to the list. This list, in and of itself, does not really resolved the tensions between work and life.

Knowing everything you need to do and should do is not the same as doing these. A more selective list where you can see the connections between your wellness and the activity will always make more sense.

Self-care takes work. It uses up time. It is one more thing to keep up with. Exerting effort can feel like a tall order — even when you know you will feel better after doing it. Again, a more realistic set of activities will be more manageable and effective.

For some people, taking time out for self-care generates a sense of guilt and shame. They feel they will be seen as avoiding work, instead of using self-care to enhance their work. Self-care should not be confused with an indulgence.

Handling Stress

One of the greatest challenges jewelry designers have is handling stress. There is the stress of finding inspiration. The stress of translating that inspiration into a concrete design. The stress of finding and selecting beads and other components, as well as colors, patterns and textures. The stress of placing mass within a negative space. The stress of construction. The stress of showing your jewelry to others. If you are selling your pieces, the added stresses of promotion, marketing, pricing and selling. You do not want all these stresses to add up to the point you become paralyzed — unable to start your project, finish your project or introduce it into the creative marketplace.

Stress can be both mental and physical. You need self-care for both.

Mental stress is often associated with doubt and self-doubt. Doubt holds you back from seizing your opportunities. It makes getting started or finishing things harder than they need to be. It adds uncertainty. It makes you question yourself. It blocks your excitement, perhaps diminishing it. You begin to question how to measure your progress and success, perhaps unfairly comparing yourself to other jewelry designers. You begin to fear criticism and rejection, whether real or imagined. While sometimes doubt and self-doubt can be useful in forcing you to think about and question your choices, it mostly holds you back.

Mental stress can be associated with pain. It begins to build and amplify when you think that mental and/or physical pain means you no longer will be able to make jewelry, at least the designs you prefer to make. Put a stop to these thoughts. With tools, physical aids and ergonomic solutions, and a good self-care plan of operation, you will be able to continue to design and make any jewelry you want.

The creative process can result in our feeling vulnerable. Not everything is clear at first. More fuzzy. More experimental. The creative process is messy. Nonlinear. A lot of back and forth iteration. Eventually creative ideas coalesce within a completed piece of jewelry. But this creative process may extend for long periods of time. Living with vulnerabilities is part of any jewelry designer’s daily process. It is something to get used to. It makes having that good support system all that more important.

Making jewelry can take a physical toll on your body. Physical stresses begin as occasional pain, but eventually become major flare-ups. You might find yourself using your fingernails as tools, such as opening a split ring, or forcing a closure, or opening and closing a jump ring. After awhile, your fingernails start to split and crack and break. You might be do the same physical operation with your hands over and over again, slowing getting repetitive motion injuries, where your wrists hurt, the joints in your fingers hurt, your elbows hurt, your neck hurts. Your fingers may cramp up. You may be sitting in one position for a very long time, and over time, you begin to develop neck and back problems and knee problems and leg and foot problems. You may hate to wear your eyeglasses when you make jewelry. You forget the maxim: If you need glasses to read, you need glass to make jewelry.

The immediate solution to physical stresses is to stop making jewelry. Give yourself a rest. Take time off. I know you want to be making jewelry, but you need to listen to your body. It is telling you it needs some time for healing.

The long term solution is to rely on tools and ergonomic furnishings. Tools are an extension of your hands (and other parts of your body). They reduce the stress on your hands (and other parts of your body). Ergonomic designs reduce the stresses and strains placed on your body and channel the negative energy elsewhere. There are ergonomic chairs, arm rests, arm rest and pulley systems, and the like. Also be sure seating is comfortable and lighting is good.

When returning to jewelry making, pace yourself. Take breaks. Do finger, arm and leg stretching exercises. Wear braces to support the wrist, thumb and elbow.

Solutions and Resolutions

How You Act

Work-life balance is really a balancing act.

Look for places to pause your work.

Train yourself to be able to put down your work before it is completed without the stress of leaving it unfinished or undone.

Leave the house. Change locations. Take a walk or a drive. Take the day off.

Take time off to relax and disconnect.

How You Organize

Good organization leads to more efficiency and effectiveness and better work-life balance.

Designate one area of your house for your creative work, a different area for business work, and yet another area for thinking, meditating, reflecting and relaxing.

Schedule sufficient times for creativity, times for business, and times for reflection.

Keep your work area neat and generally organized, but not necessarily perfectly organized. Remember: Perfection is the enemy of the Good.

Budget for things to go wrong. Don’t put yourself on such a tight financial rope that any mistake or any supply issue or other business related issue creates panic.

Plan for enough time in your schedule to acquire materials and supplies, learn a new technique if necessary, and communicate and work with clients, if this is part of your practice.

Keep your website (and other promotional venues) up-to-date.

How You Think

Applying your creativity and finding work-life balance are actually sets of thinking routines where you explore choices, narrow them down, and make selections.

Remember that creativity involves more than staying seated in front of beads and other jewelry components in your work space. Creativity also involves looking for inspirations. It involves thinking through all the options for translating those inspirations into aspirations and then into specific design.

Recognize that taking time away from work for self-care is a positive reflection on you. It is not something to hide or be ashamed of.

It is not hard to set yourself up for failure. Set your expectations that are reasonable and realistic for you.

Set attainable goals and objectives. Revisit these often as you work on any project.

Remind yourself periodically why you like to create and make jewelry.

Make sure you have something to get excited about — an activity or event, a book or movie, an exploration about jewelry design, exercising, yoga, whatever.

How You Nourish Mind and Body

A healthy mind and body will keep your creative juices flowing and make that work-life balance easier to maintain.

Don’t skip meals or avoid satisfying any hungry feelings when they occur.

Hydrate often.

It is difficult to make good jewelry design choices when you are tired. Be aware of times when you are overextended.

Exercise. Take frequent breaks to move around a bit.

Do some focused breathing exercises.

Meditate.

Go somewhere where you can let out your primal scream.

Take a nap.

Do something out of the ordinary for you. Make jewelry using your non-dominant hand. Stick your hands into a bowl of mud.

How You Relate

Most jewelry is created in solitude. Feelings of isolation may build up. If not careful, this can negatively affect your work-life balance.

Surround yourself with people who inspire you. Avoid people who are negative and toxic. Don’t isolate yourself for too long a period.

Spend time with real friends. Build up and maintain a supportive social network.

Don’t compare yourself and compete with others. Keep the focus on yourself.

Talk things out. With others as sounding boards and informers, help each other see what matters and what does not.

Attach yourself to a group, say an online jewelry making group, or a local artist community group. But don’t take up residence there. Moderation, moderation.

Detach yourself from the online world for awhile, if you are spending too much time living there.

Don’t take criticisms personally.

If in business, evaluate your pricing, selling and marketing strategies. Is the price you are getting for your jewelry reflective of your worth as a designer? Are your target markets in line with the styles and prices of your pieces?

If in business, keep your clients aware of your progress.

Turn some of your projects into collaborations.

Attend classes and workshops.

Enter juried exhibitions and competitions.

Take part in group art critiques.

_________________________

FOOTNOTES

Alexis, Renee. 7 Self-Care Tips For Artists and Creatives. Your Art Path, May 2021. As referenced in:
https://yourartpath.com/7-self-care-tips-for-artists-and-creatives

Artwork Archive. 7 Counterintuitive Self Care Habit For Artists. As reference in:
https://www.artworkarchive.com/blog/7-counterintuitive-self-care-habits-for-artists

Branch, Allan and Steven Bristol. Chapter 16, Entrepreneur-Work Life Balance. Business Guide: Run Your Business, Don’t Let Your Business Run You. LessEverything, 2018. As referenced in:
http://lesseverything.com/business-advice/entrepreneur-work-life-balance/

Clark, Alicia H., Psy.D. Why Does Self-Care Sometimes Feel So Hard? These 6 common pitfalls could be holding you back. 2/15/20. As referenced in:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hack-your-anxiety/202002/why-does-self-care-sometimes-feel-so-hard

Feld, Warren. Doubt / Self-Doubt: 8 Major Pitfalls For Designers…And What To Do About Them. 9/5/2020. As referenced in:
https://medium.com/design-warp/doubt-self-doubt-8-major-pitfalls-for-designers-and-what-to-do-about-them-fbbf1bec18de

Hammond, Lee. Artists and Self-Esteem: 4 Tips To Overcome Insecurity. Artists Network, n.d. As referenced in:
https://www.artistsnetwork.com/art-inspiration/art-self-esteem/

Horejs, Jason. Working Alone | Breaking the Isolation that Can Surround the Pursuit of Art. Xanadu Gallery, 9/2/21. As referenced in:
https://reddotblog.com/working-alone-breaking-the-isolation-that-can-surround-the-pursuit-of-art-21/#comments

Mayher, Miguel, Director of Education, Professional Artist Institute. How To Handle Stress.

Mindful Art Studio. Overcoming Creativity Block. What Is Creative Self-Care? June, 2016. As referenced in:
https://mindfulartstudio.com/what-is-creative-self-care/

Tartakovski, Margarita, MS. 10 Ways to Overcome Creativity’s №1 Crusher. Psychcentral.com, 3/3/2013. As referenced in:
https://psychcentral.com/blog/10-ways-to-overcome-creativitys-no-1-crusher#1

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this chapter useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

My ARTIST STATEMENT

My TEACHING STATEMENT.

My DESIGN PHILOSOPHY.

My PROFESSIONAL PROFILE.

My PORTFOLIO.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Resiliency: Do You Have The Most Important Skill Designers Must Have?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Backward Design is Forward Thinking

How Creatives Can Successfully Survive In Business

Part I: The First Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: Is What I do Craft, Art or Design?

Part 2: The Second Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Should I Create?

Part 3: The Third Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Materials (and Techniques) Work Best?

Part 4: The Fourth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Evoke A Resonant Response To My Work?

Part 5: The Firth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Know My Design Is Finished?

Doubt / Self-Doubt: 8 Pitfalls Designers Fall Into…And What To Do About Them

Part 1: Your Passion For Design: Is It Necessary To Have A Passion?

Part 2: Your Passion For Design: Do You Have To Be Passionate To Be Creative?

Part 3: Your Passion For Design: How Does Being Passionate Make You A Better Designer?

Posted in Art or Craft?, bead weaving, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, creativity, design management, design thinking, jewelry collecting, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, professional development, Stitch 'n Bitch, wire and metal | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

BASICS OF BEAD STRINGING AND ATTACHING CLASPS:How To Make The Smartest Design ChoicesWhen Stringing Beads

Posted by learntobead on December 1, 2021

Video Tutorial Series by Warren Feld

PREVIEW (Click Here)

I am so excited to share my online video tutorial with you!

USE THIS COUPON CODE FOR 25% DISCOUNT:   25PERCENTOFF

Learning bead stringing is more than putting beads on a string and tying on a clasp.

Successful designers need to bring a lot of knowledge to bear, when creating a successful piece of jewelry — one which is appealing, functional, satisfying to the client, and durable.

Jewelry designers need to become skilled at making tradeoffs between beauty and functionality, and designer intent and client desire, Jewelry you make needs to be appealing, comfortable, move with the person as the person moves, and be appropriate for the situation or context.

Jewelry designers have to know some things about:

  • Materials
  • Techniques
  • Some architecture and physical mechanics
  • Some sociology and anthropology and psychology
  • Even some things about party planning

In my explanations about bead stringing and the various stringing techniques in how jewelry is made, I reference all these things. It is important that you have more insights and understandings about bead stringing and jewelry design. 

This series of video tutorials takes a comprehensive look at the things you need to know to string beads and make jewelry.

In this video tutorial series, I go into depth about:

  • Choosing stringing materials, and the pros and cons of each type
  • Choosing clasps, and the pros and cons of different clasps
  • All about the different jewelry findings and how you use them
  • Architectural considerations and how to build these into your pieces

On our bead stringing journey, I teach you several different bead stringing techniques. In particular, you will learn:

  • How better designers use cable wires and crimp
  • How designers use needle and thread to string beads
  • How best to make stretchy bracelets
  • How to make adjustable slip knots, coiled wire loops, and silk wraps
  • How to finish off the ends of thicker cords or ropes, so that you can attach a clasp
  • How to construct such projects as eyeglass leashes, mask chains, lariats, multi-strand pieces, twist multi-strand pieces, and memory wire pieces.

https://so-you-want-to-be-a-jewelry-designer.teachable.com/courses/basics-of-bead-stringing-and-attaching-clasps/lectures/27541444

PREVIEW (Click Here)

USE THIS COUPON CODE FOR 25% DISCOUNT:   25PERCENTOFF

#jewelrydesigner
#crafts
#art
#creativity
#jewelrymaker
#beads
#beading
#craftbusiness
#creativemarketplace
#artanddesign
#makers
#beader
#rites of passage
#warrenfeld
#warrenfeldjewelry
#crimping
#necklaces
#bracelets
#beadstringing
#slipknots
#wireloops
#clasps
#attachingclasps

Posted in architecture, Art or Craft?, art theory, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, craft shows, creativity, design management, design theory, design thinking, jewelry collecting, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, professional development, wire and metal, Workshops, Classes, Exhibits | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Is Your Jewelry Fashion, Style, Taste, Art or Design?

Posted by learntobead on October 16, 2021

Warren Feld


Warren Feld6 days ago·16 min read

Earrings by Warren Feld, 2000

Abstract

How does the wearer or buyer of jewelry know they have made the right aesthetic choice? What are the cues and clues people use when making these consumer choices? How does attention to fashion, taste, style, art and/or design help the wearer or buyer lower the risk for making the wrong choice? This article discusses answers to these questions for the jewelry designer. That designer must be comfortable managing these things as they play out in a process of innovation, adoption, and diffusion. That designer must be sensitive to the fact that the rules underlying good aesthetics may or may not coordinate those rules underlying a person’s desire for pleasure.

How Can We Know We Have Made The Right Aesthetic Choices?

Wearers and buyers of jewelry often look for a socially acceptable way to confirm they’ve made the right aesthetic choices. They may have picked a blue necklace, but was it the right blue? They may have decided upon a 24” necklace, but was this the right length? They may have gone with gemstones, but were they the right gemstones?

What are these cues and clues people use when deciding to wear or purchase a piece of jewelry? They could listen to the jewelry designer, if that person is present at the point of a transaction. But more likely than not, the designer is not. They could look at how this designer’s jewelry was displayed. Or the packaging. Or read the designer’s description. Or look at images on a website. Or check out other people wearing this designer’s jewelry. Yet, even if the designer were present, and all this other information were available, however, why should the wearer or buyer trust the designer? Isn’t there still a high level of risk for making the less than or more than right or wrong choice?

Our wearer or buyer is a consumer of aesthetics, when selecting a piece of jewelry. They are probably not experts in jewelry design or jewelry making materials and techniques. They are looking for something appealing, but concurrently socially and psychologically acceptable. They may want to feel part of a larger group. Or, they may want confirmation about a sense of individual identity and a way to distinguish themselves from the larger group. They may want reassurance that they are living life the way life should be lived, at least according to social and cultural norms. And there is a perceived risk here, should they make the wrong choice. We want to experience aesthetic pleasures, but our insecurities often mean we look for validation from other people around us, when consuming those aesthetic pleasures.

The actual ways and the actual clues and cues we look for to legitimize our aesthetic choices will vary from person to person. But we can look at five different ways to define the consumption of aesthetic expression and pleasure to begin to get a kind of understanding for the dynamics of what is going on here. Each is associated with a set of socio-cultural rules and consequences when acquiring products like jewelry. These five expressive-consumption modes are,

1. Fashion

2. Taste

3. Style

4. Art

5. Design

Let’s settle on some initial ideas about each of these, and then elaborate further through the remainder of this chapter.

Fashion: Often considered the substitution of someone else’s taste for your own, and is assumed to represent Good Taste. Fashion satisfies the needs of the person to feel connected to a group, to imitate a sense of good taste, and to adapt to changes around them. It considerably lowers the risk for any aesthetic choices.

Taste: A person’s ability to recognize beauty in whatever form she or he finds it, in our case here, jewelry. Good Taste is associated with how well principles of beauty and art have been applied.

Style: Will vary with particular cultures or events or historical periods or individual identities. Style communicates an expectation about meaning and its expression and what form it should take within a composition as seen by the outlook of the jewelry wearer or buyer. It might be referenced by terms like classic, modern, religious, Gen-X, casual, and the like. The principal forces in the creation of style are tradition and the experience of other jewelry the person is familiar with. Style on one level is the way a person applies their taste when choosing an aesthetic. Styles change and evolve in response to the influence of contemporary life.

Art: Represents beauty regardless of context. Regardless of whether it is worn or sitting on an easel. There are no pragmatic considerations involved.

Design: Represents the recognition of the most parsimonious relationship between beauty and function within any one piece of jewelry as it is worn. Jewelry requires that the piece not only satisfies the aesthetic needs of the person, but also fulfills a practical need.

AESTHETICS

What is the essence of beauty — what we call aesthetics?

When someone wears or buys a piece of jewelry, the choice of any aesthetic, as represented by that piece of jewelry, can become very problematic. The idea of aesthetics must be thought through by the person as she or he decides to touch or wear or share or part with some money or to walk away from the jewelry item.

But one person’s aesthetic sensibility is not necessarily the same as anyone else’s. There are few universal aesthetic ideas. Most things are so subjective and so context- or situationally-specific. Rules defining personal pleasure and rules defining beauty and appeal may co-exist, but they are not necessarily the same or in harmony. We know this because, from person to person, tastes, styles and fashions differ.

One response, where such differences exist, is to rely on fashion and art to define for us how pleasure and appeal should co-exist at any one moment in time. If we cannot find universally-accepted, common rules of aesthetics, then perhaps, we should let the social group or the social majority define it for us. Beauty, then, becomes not a property of the object per se, but an aesthetic judgment based on a subjective feeling. Our sense of good taste or fashion or style or art or design is a constructed one; it is not inherent in any particular jewelry design.

This brings us back to the idea that people want to minimize their sense of risk when making the right choices about wearing or buying a piece of jewelry. There is this inner need for validation. Part of that need is met by constructing and communicating a feeling or thought about what a consensus about taste might look like. Such a consensus, in reality, does not exist. But an idea of it emerges from preferences, assumptions, expectations, values, and desires. An idea of it emerges from how well the jewelry designer has managed the design process. That is, how well the designer has anticipated shared understandings of the various client audiences the jewelry is meant for, and incorporated these into the content of the design.

CONSUMPTION

Fashion, Taste, Style, Art and Design are each closely linked to the idea of consumption. These represent different ways of identifying preferences for certain types of jewelry and which directly affect the wearer’ or buyer’s choices in the marketplace. These preferences do not, however, necessarily trigger the wearing or purchase of a piece of jewelry. The interaction of these preferences with consumption is more complex and more depending on social interaction or personal motivation and strategy. People tend to emulate others (or distinguish themselves from others) or seek to reconfirm certain ideas which create certain habits and preferences, which in turn influence consumption of one piece of jewelry over another.

Yes, people want agency. They want to be free to choose jewelry that gives them pleasure. But they want validation and acceptance, as well. Most of that results from the understandings about the content of the jewelry. That is, how the content relays meanings through the aesthetic and design choices of the jewelry designer. We want the people around us to know who we are and what we have become. Jewelry makes a big statement here.

FASHION

Fashion is the socially acceptable, culturally-endorsed and safe way to distinguish oneself from others, while at the same time, re-affirming membership in a group. The person is allowed to be both an individual as well as a member of a group. With fashion, the individual can have both a sense of taste of their own as well as expect others to share it. Jewelry, from a fashion perspective, is embedded with the same values as our own. It is assumed that the community of fashion is the real community of universal good taste. That assumption means that the rules of beauty and appeal are understood as directly linked to and in harmony with the rules of finding pleasure.

Fashion may be thought of encompassing two things: (1) the jewelry object itself, and (2) the process of gaining acceptance for that object. That process moves from the designer to a client to that client’s audiences and public acceptance. That process extends from inspiration to aspiration to implementation to early adoption by fashion influencers and the diffusion of the jewelry throughout a particular social network. Eventually, though, there is a decline of acceptance over time.

The fashion object — in this case jewelry — must have discernable characteristics. These must be perceivable. They must anticipate how others will understand them. They must be communicative. These characteristics must show value; that is, something about them must be measurable in either relative (example, it’s better than what I have now) or objective terms (example, it is worth twice as much as my other piece).

Fashion denotes a broad social consensus about good taste. If a piece of jewelry is “not fashionable,” it means that, at least in a particular moment, it would be judged as boring, monotonous, unsatisfying or even ugly.

TASTE

Taste is an individuals’ personal aesthetic choices. Taste is how any individual judges what is beautiful, good and correct. These choices are influenced by social relations and dynamics.

Taste denotes preference. If a piece of jewelry is “not your taste,” this means you don’t like it.

STYLE

Style is about agency and choice. It is strongly influenced by broadly accepted social constructs, such as time period, geography, religion, class, cultural identify. Style suggests that anything can be acceptable as long as it makes you feel good and that you are showing your authentic self.

Style denotes the manner in which something is expressed. If a piece of jewelry is “not your style,” this means it does not present your beliefs in the way you want them expressed.

ART

Everyone wants a little art in their lives. They want beauty around them. It inspires them. It makes them feel good. They do not want to be encumbered with practical considerations in every moment of the day. Great color combinations and component arrangements are reassuring, pleasuring, uplifting. Jewelry communicates a sense of the designer’s hands that have touched it, the imagination that created it, and the work that has gone into it.

Art denotes the way the design elements and composition reflect principles of harmony and variety embedded in art theories. If a piece of jewelry is “not art,” this means it is not sufficiently harmonious.

DESIGN

Jewelry, however, is not a framed painting hanging in a museum. It is something that is worn. It is something that must continue to look good, even as the person wearing it moves from room to room, one lighting situation to another, one context to another.

Design denotes the way tradeoffs are made between beauty and function in the most parsimonious way. If a piece of jewelry is “not design,” this means that if you added (or subtracted) one more element to (or from) the piece, the piece would be judged more finished and more successful.

INFLUENCERS: Fashion Change Agents

Influencers are people positioned at the intersection of fashion, style and taste. They are fashion change agents. They are key to the dynamics of adoption and diffusion, coherence and contagion. They may play out these roles in an ephemeral, non-professional way, or, they may be prominent professionals in a community, a network or online. The jewelry designer is not necessarily positioned or skilled enough to adequately influence who wears or buys their jewelry. Today’s jewelry designer needs to get a good sense of how influence and influencers operate within the creative marketplace for the pragmatic purposes of managing adoption and diffusion of the jewelry she or he has created.

Influencers are one of the backbones of internet culture. Their business model centers on ways to shape everything we do in our lives from how we shop to how we learn to how we dress. Influencers are part micro-celebrity and part entrepreneur. They are opinion leaders and have been able to garner a large audience. They have proven themselves to be able to exploit how people distribute their time and attention.

It is important to get a handle on the change-agent role of the influencer. Specifically,

a) The influencer is probably not one of the earliest adopters of a newly introduced piece or line of jewelry

b) The influencer communicates using both visual and verbal representations of the jewelry, and usually needs some assistance from the designer with content

c) Influencers as people are usually more interested about fashion-style-taste than the general public they are trying to influence; they may not be up-to-date on all the current fashions, but they have the inherent skills to communicate and legitimate and instigate any fashion choice

d) Influencers have the creative skill to aesthetically and artistically assemble stylish jewelry presentations; they can articulate what good taste means in the context the jewelry as presented; they are often creators of accepted standards of good jewelry design and dress behavior

The influencer plays multiple roles from innovator, information transmitter, opinion shaper, knowledge base, social legitimizer.

It is estimated that 50% of the female population and 25% of the male population monitor fashion information on a regular basis, from surfing websites, perusing magazines, shopping, and talking about fashion. But it the influencer who best locks in their attention to any particular fashion item.

APPLIED FASHION: Inhabiting Your Jewelry

The jewelry designer needs to be sensitive to how this all plays out from the wearer’ or buyer’s point of view.

My clients and my students repeatedly ask about what the current fashion colors are? Did I see what so-and-so was wearing on TV or at an awards show? But usually, at least in Nashville, TN, a sense of fashion plays a small part in the day-to-day decisions most people make about the jewelry they want to wear.

Buying a piece of jewelry for yourself — a necklace, a bracelet, earrings, a brooch, something else — isn’t a task easily given to someone else. It’s often not a spur of the moment thing either. You just don’t rush off to the local boutique or the local Wal-Mart, grab whatever you see, and go home. I’m not talking about that impulse buy during your leisurely visit to the mall. I’m referring to purchasing those pieces of jewelry you know will have to do a lot of the hard work to accessorize your wardrobe and help you get the compliments and notice of your family, friends and co-workers you comport with and compete with each and every day.

No, buying a piece of jewelry for yourself is a multi-purposed moment, one which must be thought through carefully and one which must be savored. Lest you buy the wrong piece. That doesn’t really go with what you intend to wear. Or is over-priced. Or poorly made. Or conveys the wrong impression about status. Or is out of fashion. Or something one of your friends already has.

The jewelry you buy has to conform to quite a long list of essential criteria before you could ever think of buying it. It is something you will wear more than once. As such, it is your companion. Your necklace is not merely lying around your neck. Or your bracelet around your wrist. Or your earrings dangling from your ears. Jewelry can cause you to lose face with others. It can irritate or scratch your skin, or get caught up in your hair. It might weigh you down or stretch or tear your ear lobes. Jewelry can break without warning in the most unexpected and embarrassing of places. It can get caught on things, sometimes hurting you in the process.

Jewelry conveys to the world something about who you really are, or think you are. As such, jewelry is very personal. Your private, innermost, most soul searching choices made very public for all to see. As you caress it, as you touch the smooth or faceted or crevice’d beads and metal parts or the clasp or the material the beads are strung on, when you twist and move the piece within your hand, you are confirming to yourself the extent to which your jewelry is doing its job.

When you buy new jewelry, the dilemmas multiply. How will the new compare to the old? Will it be able to handle all these responsibilities — looking good, representing you, fitting in with your wardrobe, meeting the expectations of others? Like divorcing, then remarrying, changing your jewelry can take some time for readjustment. And you do not want to be seen as noncommittal to your jewelry. This would sort of be like going to a hotel, but not unpacking your suitcase while staying in the room.

Conveying some sort of social or psychological distance from your jewelry can be very unsettling for others. So you need to inhabit it. You need to inhabit your jewelry, wear it with conviction, pride and satisfaction. Be one with it. Inhabiting jewelry often comes with a price. There becomes so much pressure to buy the right pieces, given all the roles we demand our jewelry to play, that we too often stick with the same brands, the same colors, the same styles, the same silhouettes.

We get stuck in this rut and are afraid to step out of it. Or we wear too many pieces of jewelry. The long earrings, plus the cuff bracelets on both arms, plus the head band, plus the hair ornament, plus the 7-strand necklace, plus the 5 rings. We are ever uncertain which piece or pieces will succeed at what, so hopefully, at least some combination or subset of what we wear will work out.

In a similar way, we wear over-embellished pieces — lots of charms, lots of dangles, lots of fringe, lots of strands. Something will surely be the right color, the right fit and proportion, the right fashion, the right power statement, the right reflection of me.

And our need to inhabit our jewelry comes with one more price. We are too willing to overpay for poorly made pieces in our desperation to have that right look. The $100.00 of beads strung on elastic string. The poorly dyed stones which fade in the light. The poorly crimped and overly stiff pieces with little ease for accommodating movement and frequent wear. It is OK to inhabit our jewelry. In fact, it is necessary, given all we want jewelry to do for us. But we need to be smart about it. We need to learn to recognize better designs and better designers.

This need not be expensive at all.

Just smarter.

FASHIONS CHANGE

Every jewelry designer should expect that many fashion preferences and desires will change over time, sometimes very quickly. Consumers can be fickle. They can get bored with the old. They search out new novelties all the time. They try to keep up with trends and fads. As the economy moves up and down, so too do consumer abilities to purchase at a particular price.

New materials come out on the market. So do new techniques and technologies. Clothing and hair styles change silhouettes. Seasons change. The climate is changing. Popular culture changes. Social media goes in a different direction. Global trading opportunities change. Corporations come up with a catchy marketing campaign.

In contemporary culture, it also has become more okay for individual to develop their own sense of style and fashion.

THE DANGER OF HOMOGENATION

If fashion, style and taste lead to everyone wearing and buying similar things, we begin to lose the need for the jewelry designer. The designer becomes more a technician. The task of design becomes more mechanical, step-by-step, ritualized. More a the design process can be taken over by machines.

It is incumbent upon the designer to not lose sight of the essence underlying jewelry design. At its core, this is to create pieces which translate the designer’s inspirations in ways which resonate with others to be similarly inspired. Jewelry design is a communicative collaboration of sorts between designer and client. This will always lead to a wealth of variety and variation never diminished by fashion, style or taste.

__________________________________

FOOTNOTES

Firat. Fuat A. 1991. The Consumer in Post-modernity. Advances in Consumer Research 18. 70–76.

Gronow, Jukka. “Taste and Fashion: The Social Function Of Fashion And Style,” Something Curated, Helsinki, 8/16/2017.

Hebdige. D. 1983. Subculture. The Meaning of Style. London & New York: Methuen.

King, Charles W. “The Dynamics of Style and Taste Adoption and Diffusion: Contributions From Fashion Theory,” Advances in Consumer Research Volume 07, eds. Jerry C. Olson, Ann Arbor, MI: 1980.

Noro, A. 1991. Muoto, moderniteetti ja ‘kolmas’. Tutkielma Georg Simmelin sosiologiasta (Form, Modernity and the ‘Third’. A Study of Georg Simmel’s Sociology). Jyvaskyla: Tutkijaliitto.

Simmel. G. 1950. The Metropolis and Mental Life. In K. H. Wolf (ed.), The Sociology of Georg Simmel. Illinois: Free Press.

Simmel. G. 1991. The Problem of Style, Theory, Culture and Society 8. 63–71.

Wikipedia. “Aesthetics”. As referenced in:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aesthetics

Wikipedia. “Taste”. As referenced in:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taste

_________________________________________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Follow me on Medium.com (https://warren-29626.medium.com/membership)

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork KITS.

Add your name to my email list.

_____________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

Posted in Art or Craft?, art theory, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, creativity, design theory, design thinking, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Saying Good-bye! To Your Jewelry: A Rite Of Passage

Posted by learntobead on July 14, 2021

Canyon Sunrise, Necklace by Warren Feld, 2008

One of the most difficult things I have to do as a designer is say Good-Bye! to my pieces. I make something. I put it out there for sale. Someone buys it. I will probably never see it again. Yes, I can make another one, but that’s not the same thing. That’s not the point.

I submitted the necklace piece pictured above to a Swarovski Create Your Style Contest in 2008. The theme was be naturally inspired. My inspiration was this sunrise image of the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon at sunrise

I was selected as a Finalist. I was invited to their offices in New York City to attend the awards ceremony. I was so excited.

I had poured my all into this piece. Hours upon hours upon hours perfecting the stitching. Experimenting with using the stitching in a 3-dimensional way. Creating a curvature along the upper sides where normally it would be a sharp edge. Selecting a 5-color scheme and figuring out how to create sharper boundaries between colors when using Swarovski crystal beads. Varying the shape, size and type of beads used within the stitch. Designing a clasp assembly which I hoped looked like a mirror of the rising sun. None of these were easy tasks. Because the fully completed piece took about 100 hours to do and contained over $1500 worth of parts, I did all this experimentation and trial and error using 3″ long samples.

I had to send off my piece to New York prior to the ceremony. And from there, my piece would be flown to Innsbruck, Austria to reside in their Swarovski Museum.

I was proud. Got the big head and paraded it around. Shared my news widely, of course.

But when the day came to pack my piece up, … not a good day.

This day actually dragged on for a week.

First, I started with one jewelry box to place the piece in. Not satisfied. So another box. Not satisfied. And another box. Still not satisfied. I combed my jewelry packaging catalogs, and found 3 more choices I thought would work. I ordered these and had them shipped overnight.

Success. One of the three was perfect.

Next, I had to put this jewelry box into a larger shipping box. Easy to find a box. But my stupid brain could not come to grips with how I wanted to place the jewelry box into the shipping box. How much filler would I need? What type — paper, styrofoam, bubble wrap. Normally, I do not have difficulty making these kinds of choices. But not this time.

I would line the shipping box, sit the jewelry box in one direction, then stop. I would remove the jewelry box, change how I lined the shipping box, replace the jewelry box in another direction, then stop. I would remove the jewelry box, again decide differently how it was to lay in the shipping box, then try to line the box, cover the jewelry box, add some paper work, and seal the shipping box. Plastic tape or paper tape? Another delay while I decided.

I did not want to let go of my beautifully designed piece of jewelry. I let my next choice create a particularly high barrier. Which shipper?

The postal service was less expensive, but less reliable.

UPS was very expensive, more reliable, but what if they weren’t? It was going to New York City. How does any shipper reliability ship to New York City?

FedEx? Maybe, but I was not familiar enough with them.

Insure the package? For how much?

Certified? Signature required?

I struggled considerably over each choice. And I never struggle over these kinds of choices.

Well, at this point, my piece was in its jewelry box. My jewelry box was in its shipping box. My shipping box was sealed. I took my jewelry cum jewelry box cum sealed shipping box to UPS. The clerk had to pull it out of my hand.

And there it went.

Good-bye!

Don’t worry, it arrived safely.

I traveled to New York City for the ceremony. There was champagne and hor d’oeuvres. There were the other finalists mostly from America, but from other parts of the world, as well. There was even the Brazilian consulate general there to represent an artist from Brazil. We were all packed in the very, very bright and sparkly offices of Swarovski.

There was my piece. My Canyon Sunrise. Sitting pretty among the other pieces. Reassuring it was still there. It was in good company. I enjoyed listening to the comments of people as they admired it. I learned a lot from speaking and sharing with the other jewelry designers.

Canyon Sunrise won 4th place.

And, I had a chance to say Good-bye! one more time.

When I returned home, I immediately went to work on recreating my piece, but this time with another challenge. I took the same 5 colors I used in the original piece, and shifted the proportions around. I did not add a pendant drop in the center, nor did I recreate the elaborate clasp assembly in the back. But I had a physical piece — a cousin — to put on display with my other jewelry pieces. I could show people more than a photograph of the original piece. This was very satisfying. I was ready to move on to other projects.

Canyon Twilight, necklace by Warren Feld, 2008

Relinquishing Your Jewelry Design To Others: A Rite of Passage

One of the most emotionally difficult things designers do is saying Good-bye! to their designs as they hand them over to their client or otherwise expose their work publicly. The designer has contributed so much thinking and has spent so much time (and sometimes so much money) to the project that it is like ripping away an integral part of your being.

This is the moment where you want to maintain the conversation and engage with your audience, but look at this from a different perspective. Your relationship with your design is evolving and you need to evolve with it. Its innate intimacy is shifting away from you and getting taken over by someone else.

But you still have needs here. You want that client to ask you to design something else for them. You want the client to share your design with others, expanding your audience, your potential clients, your validation and legitimacy as a designer. And you want to prepare yourself emotionally to take on the next project.

Relinquishing control over your design is a rite of passage. At the heart of this rite of passage are shared understandings and how they must shift in content and perspective. Rites of passage are ceremonies of sorts. Marking the passage from one status to another. There are three stages:

(1) Separation

You pass your design to others. You become an orphan. You have made a sacrifice and want something emotionally powerful and equal to happen to you in return. Things feel incomplete or missing. There is a void wanting to be fulfilled. You realize you are no longer sure about and confident in the shared understandings under which you had been operating .

(2) Transition (a betwixt and between)

There is a separation, a journey, a sacrifice. The designer is somewhat removed from the object or project, but not fully. The shared understandings constructed around the original project become fuzzy. Something to be questioned. Wondering whether to hold on to them or let go. Pondering what to do next. Playing out in your head different variations in or changes to these shared understandings. Attempting to assess the implications and consequences for any change.

These original shared understandings must undergo some type of symbolic ritual death if the designer is to move on. Leverage the experience. Start again. As simple as putting all the project papers in a box to be filed away. Or having a launch party. Or deleting files and images on a computer. Or accepting payment. Or getting a compliment. Or having a closure-meeting with the client to review the process after it has been completed.

(3) Reincorporation

The designer redefines him- or her-self vis-à-vis the designed object or project. The designer acquires new knowledge and new shared understandings. There is some reaffirmation. Triumph. This usually involves a new resolve, confidence and strategy for starting new projects, attracting new clients, and seeking wider acceptance of that designer’s skills and fluency in design.

The designer has passed through the rite of passage. The jewelry or other designed object or project has been relinquished. The designer is ready to start again.

But as a designer, you will always be managing shared understandings. These most likely will have shifted or changed after the design is gone. And new ones will have to be constructed as you take on new assignments.

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork KITS.

Add your name to my email list.

_____________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

Posted in Art or Craft?, art theory, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, color, craft shows, creativity, design management, design theory, design thinking, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, professional development, Stitch 'n Bitch, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT:How Am I Going To Control The Flow Of Money In My Jewelry Design Business?

Posted by learntobead on June 10, 2021

Abstract:

Financial management includes all the things you need to do in order to determine your Return On Investment (ROI).   It mostly involves a system of data collection, monitoring and analysis methods employed by any successful business.   This system relates risks to rewards.    Activities in this kind of system include things such as general accounting and bookkeeping, inventory management, and record keeping.    These include things you do to establish and maintain formal relationships with employees, independent contractors and suppliers.    These include things you do to secure your money, such as with banks, financial institutions, and even such things as crowd-funding online.     This is a lot of numbers and activities, and often, when we look at why people fail in business, it is often because of a generalized fear of getting in control of all this.   Successful business people and successful businesses need to foster a culture which promotes a growth mindset.    Simply this is a culture where you have permission and encouragement and confidence to take risks.    

A Focus On Your Return On Investment (ROI)

You put a lot of time, effort and resources into designing pieces of jewelry and building up your business.    This all has a cost to you in time, money, and even relationships.    You want a Return On Investment (ROI).    You want to see some benefits that exceed your costs.   Joy, happiness, contentment, money, security, less stress, more opportunities and more challenging opportunities to be creative, more fulfilling relationships.  

When you take your creative endeavors and turn them into a business, the core focus primarily rests on increasing your returns on investments (ROI’s) through smartly and strategically managing your finances.   You want to set into place various management structures and routine data collection procedures to assist you in managing risk and maximizing rewards.   You want to minimize the effects of uncertainty on your business.

Sometimes, creative people think that some people are born to take risks, manage them and live with them, and others are not.   This is not true.    Having a business sense is not something innate or genetic.   It’s something that is learned over time, often with a lot of trial and error, many failures, but key successes, as well.   There is no reason, if this is something you want to do, to shy away from thinking about or attempting to monetize your jewelry as a business.  

Towards this end, you want to get a good handle on such things as:

  1. Understanding risk and reward
  2. Tracking your costs and revenues
  3. Tracking your inventory
  4. Other record keeping
  5. Employees and Independent Contractors
  6. Banking, Insurance and Credit Card Processing
  7. Getting Terms
  8. Getting Paid
  9. Crowd-funding
  10. Fostering a Growth Mind-set


a) ROI: Understanding Risk and Reward

It is important to understand risk and reward, and how to manage these.    Part of managing these is putting into place systems which collect necessary data – primarily about costs and revenues – and evaluating the data and its desired impact on everything you are trying to achieve in your business.  Anyone can do this.   But jewelry designers who foster a growth mind-set are often better at managing risk and reward.

What Is Risk and What Is Reward

Risks and rewards are gambles.   They are probabilities.   Chances.    They help define the likelihood for determining whether what happens next will hurt you or help you.

Risk is the likelihood that you will lose either or both tangible rewards (money) and intangible rewards (success, happiness).    

Rewards are the profits, again tangible (money) or intangible (success, happiness), you receive from taking risks.   

Usually, the greater the risks you take, the greater the rewards earned.  But this is not a guarantee.    Losses can occur, usually resulting from the failures to properly manage the relationship between risks and rewards.

Risk management is important in every business because without it, that business cannot clarify what goals it needs to set, and what steps it needs to take towards meeting those goals.   There are more things to do on a day-to-day basis than you could possibly do and get done.    Risk management helps you narrow down the tasks to those most likely to have the greatest rewards. 

Risks and Rewards must be managed in a deliberate, rational, and day-by-day way.   Routinely.   With fore-thought and organization.    This means collecting data.   This means analyzing data.    This means closely looking at risk and evaluating whether it makes sense, or not, to continue doing what you are doing, or what you want to be doing.    Is it sufficiently rewarding or profitable?    What is the opportunity cost?   That is, you could be expending the same amount of resources (time, motivation, money) doing something else that might have a greater return.

Any business is fraught with risk.   If it were easy to start a business, everyone would do it.    But it is not.    Again, it requires routinely collecting and evaluating data.     It takes you out of that creative mode and way of thinking, and plops you down into a very different administrative one.    In order to sell a piece of jewelry, you have to begin to deal with things like marketing and promotion, production, distribution, inventory management, investments in tools, parts, displays and equipment.   You need to closely track all your costs and all your revenues.    It means taking chances you might lose money or fail.   This is scary.   

When managing risks, it is important to remember:

  1. Don’t confuse Risk with Fear.    Fear keeps you from doing things.   Risk aids you in asserting some control over uncertainty.
  2. Simply be aware that both Risks and Rewards exist.     Where there are greater rewards, there are usually also greater risks.
  3. Yes, risks are risky, but should not be reckless.
  4. Make decisions based on the relationship of risks to rewards.   It is not the number of pieces of jewelry you make.   Rather it is the average return you get from each piece of jewelry you make, given the costs and investments you made in order to finish that piece of jewelry and sell it.   This type of information will clue you into such things as what might happen if you too aggressively seek rewards, or too timidly accept risks.
  5. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.  Diversify the types of jewelry you make, designs you do, parts you use, markets you seek to exploit.
  6. Keep things simple.   There is a lot of data, systems and subsystems of information to manage.   Things which help keep things simple:  
  7. standardization of forms, collection procedures, the ways data are organized
  8. use of summary indicators like totals, averages, means, mediums, rates, trends
  9. routines developed for procedures and administration

How Do You Measure Risk and Reward

As a jewelry designer, you will be measuring risks and rewards in a few different ways.

  1. Measuring Risk and Reward: General accounting
  2. Measuring Risk and Reward: Financial Management
  3. Measuring Risk and Reward: Inventory Management
  4. Measuring Risk and Reward: Pricing
  5. Measuring Risk and Reward: Impression Management

1) Measuring Risk and Reward: General Accounting

You will set up a General Ledger (G/L) to track your revenues and expenses, and liabilities and assets.    This is like setting up a giant table or spreadsheet.    You enter every piece of information into this table or spreadsheet that represents some kind of expenditure to you or some kind of revenue received.     Below I go into more detail about setting up a General Ledger.

2) Measuring Risk and Reward: Financial Management

Here you try to reduce things you do to a series of rates and trend-lines.     It is NOT the number or dollar amounts of your sales.   Instead, it is your rate of sales.   Your rates of inventory reduction and replenishment.     Your accumulated debt to earnings.    Breakeven analysis.   Trends in gross profit and net profit.

For some rates, management means maintaining a constant velocity or turn in the rate.     For example, if you need to sell a minimum of 6 pieces of jewelry each week to breakeven, are you able to maintain at least this rate every week in the year?   If not, for those times in the year where the velocity of this rate might slow down, what else can you do instead to maintain your business at least at the breakeven point?   

For other rates, management means maintaining an upward trend or trajectory, even though some weeks the data may decline.    Especially when you first get started in business, your gross profit and net profit might be low or even negative numbers.    The trend line is more important than the specific monthly numbers.

Leverage.  A related concept in financial management is leverage.  This is the degree you leverage someone else’s money to make money for yourself.    You might be paying for some of your inventory, equipment, furnishings or other business expenses using a credit card or relying on a bank loan or leasing where you do not have to front all the costs all at once.    You might be listing your jewelry on someone else’s website or marketplace where they are paying internet and website maintenance costs.     You might be co-marketing your jewelry with someone else who sells a product which can be integrated with yours where you thus are sharing the costs.   You might be buying inventory on terms, say NET 30, where you do not have to pay for the inventory for 30 days.   You might maintain bare minimums of inventory items, where you depend on your suppliers to provide just-in-time shipments, thus having your suppliers foot the bill for a lot of storage costs.

In each case, someone else has made investments in things that either you do not have to, or you do not have to all at once.     Sometimes, you pay for some of these over time.   Othertimes, the synergistic effects create payments for all parties above and beyond what each could do on their own.     All of this is called leverage.    

We have to monitor leverage, as well, to be sure the rewards we get do not exceed the risk we undertake to get those rewards.   

3) Measuring Risk and Reward: Inventory Management

There are three important things to understand about inventory up front:

  1. Inventory is a placeholder for money.     You paid for your inventory, and you get that money back when you sell it.
  2. As a jewelry maker and designer, you will have a bi-furcated inventory, a) an inventory of finished pieces ready for sale, and b) an inventory of parts and pieces of jewelry not ready for sale.
  3. An inventory of digitized files and applications.

Holding inventory ties up a lot of money.    This money is in the form of parts, perhaps restricting and constricting you in what colors, styles, materials, components and the like you will be able to use when designing a piece of jewelry.    Too much or too little of inventory – or the right inventory for the moment – can break your business.

This all means that inventory is something that needs to be monitored and managed.   Your goal is to minimize the cost of holding inventory.     This involves figuring out ways to know when it is time to replenish inventory, change out and update inventory, or buy more materials to manufacture inventory.   After all, you want to prevent these kinds of things from happening…

  • Lose sales
  • Hurt cash flow
  • Buy too many things which don’t and won’t sell
  • Create storage problems, including prevention of deterioration, such as plated finishes which fade over time
  • Needing cash, but it’s all tied up in inventory – you can’t eat beads
  • Reduce your profitability
  • Reduce your resiliency – that is, an ability to adapt to fashion, style, demand and culture changes
  • Losing that balance between efforts directed at inventory management with efforts required for general administration, marketing and promotion

4) Measuring Risk and Reward: Pricing

The price you set for each piece of jewelry has to be based on all the costs you incur.   Not just the costs of the parts.   Not just the time you put in.    All the costs.    These include, parts, labor and what is called overhead.   Overhead is everything else:  electricity, heat, rent, business travel, wear and tear on tools and equipment, and the like.     It is not cost-effective to have to track each and every one of these overhead costs separately, so we typically estimate them using a formula.    From a management standpoint, this formula needs to make sense and come close to its approximation.    It has to be defensible.

5) Measuring Risk and Reward: Impression Management

Much of what we do these days is digital.   We promote and sell our pieces on line.   This might be directly through a website.   It might be through social media.   It might be through an auction site.

In the digital world we track and manage impressions (often referred to as eyeballs).    Measures of risk in the digital world include concepts like Costs Per Click (CPC), Costs Per Impression (typically 1,000 impressions)(CPI), Adds To Cart (ATC), Cost Per Add To Cart (CATC), conversion rate (relates number of visitors to visitors who actually buy something), costs to maintain current conversion rate, and so forth.

Given the velocity or trends in these rates, and the returns on investments for you (such as costs of maintaining a website, marketing and promotion, supporting an inventory, handling money and credit cards, costs of shipping), you ask yourself questions about your various business and marketing strategies, your user experiences, and user impressions.    What is it costing you to persuade people to take a look and to buy?

Some of these analytics will be provided to you in stats packages you can integrate with your site.   Others will involve collecting data yourself, and analyzing them, usually in spreadsheets you create.

Next, you need to translate your understanding of risks and rewards into systems of data collection and analysis, beginning with the basics of tracking the flow of money in terms of costs and revenues.

b) ROI: Tracking Your Costs and Revenues

You set up an accounting General Ledger to track revenues and expenses, and assets and liabilities.   Your goal here is to adequately account for your expenses and revenues, and your liabilities and assets.

What are business revenues?
Business revenues include all the money coming into your business, including payments for products and services, interest on bank accounts and investments, rent you charge others to use your space or equipment, royalties you get from intellectual property.

What are business expenses?  
Business expenses are ANYTHING THAT HAVE TO DO WITH OR RELATE TO OR CONTRIBUTE TO MAKING A PROFIT.  

You might want to secure copies of IRS publications that define each business expense and how it should be accounted for.

What are business assets?
Business assets are the current values of your physical property, from desks to chairs to computers to printers to major software packages.    These are things which depreciate, that is, lose value over time.

A key asset is your inventory.    If you are selling finished jewelry, your inventory will include all your works-in-progress as well as your finished pieces.    For some jewelry businesses, it might become a little confusing to differentiate between your supply of parts and your jewelry, especially if you only assemble pieces after orders are made.    On a yearly basis, the IRS only lets you deduct the costs associated with finished jewelry pieces sold.    The rest of the inventory is treated like it is cash.   You will need to decide what exactly you call inventory and what other supplies you call supplies.   (See COST OF SALES section below).

What are business liabilities?
These are things the business owes money on, from short term net-30-day payments to suppliers to long term credit card bills and bank loans and leases.

BUSINESS USE OF A HOME:  Many jewelry designers work out of their homes.    While these expenses are red-flagged by the IRS, tax courts have consistently ruled that Congress intended to be very liberal and kind to these expenses.  

You would compute the proportion of “business use” space in your home relative to your home’s total space.   This space could be a whole room or part of a room.    This space must only be devoted to business, not personal use.   Based on this proportion, you allocate your mortgage or rent, your heating, A/C, water, sewer, and other maintenance costs to your business expenses.  

Example:   Your home is 1000 sq ft.   The room you use for your business is 100 sq ft.   So your business “use” expenses would be 10% of your rent/mortgage, 10% of your utilities, 10% of you lawn maintenance, 10% of repairs, etc.

For some expenses, you cannot use the straightforward proportion percentage.  If you use a computer, it is a better idea to have a separate one that you use for business, than for personal.  If you use one for both, you have to maintain a use log, and, based on “time the machine is used for business vs. personal”, you allocate the costs and depreciation of the machine to your business.   Telephone costs are allocated based on the proportion of business calls to all calls each month.

Don’t be shy about what to call a legitimate business expense at your home.   Picture a real store.   If they have to mow the lawn, you would have to mow the lawn at your home.   If 10% of your home were devoted to business, then 10% of your lawn mowing expenses would also qualify.   Home repairs, fixing the roof, mortgage, insurance and the like would be legitimate.   At the same time, if you have little income, do not declare these expenses with the sole purpose of gaming your tax liability.  

SETTING UP A GENERAL LEDGER (G/L):  

When you are just starting, you can set up a spreadsheet to track your expenses and revenues or even use a ledger book bought at a local office supplies store.    Or you can purchase some inexpensive software apps.    Many accounting apps have been moving to a “rent” rather than “purchase” model, where you pay a monthly fee to use their apps.   

With a General Ledger, you are basically creating a giant table for the year.   The rows are the days of the month.   The columns are your revenue and expense categories.     You also build in some summary formulas, such as the total Revenue for each month.

There are single-entry accounting systems and double-entry accounting systems.   If you are just getting started and using a ledger book or spreadsheet, using a single-entry system where you record revenues and expenses only is fine.    If you are using an accounting application, these typically are set up as a double-entry accounting system.    Here, part of the ledger accounts for revenues and expenses and the other part of the accounting system will duplicate this information in the form of assets and liabilities.    When you are making $6,000 – 10,000 per year in sales, you will want to graduate to the double-entry system.    It is a straightforward step to evolve a single-entry to a double-entry system.

IN A SINGLE-ENTRY ACCOUNTING SYSTEM, you set up a spreadsheet, and track each of all your revenues and all your business expenses.   The rows are days of the month and the columns are your various revenue and expense accounts.  Each different revenue and cost is referred to as an account (or line item).     All together, these accounts get assigned unique ID codes, and get organized into a Chart of Accounts.   Each revenue or expense entry gets tagged with a specific ID code, and entered into a General Ledger (of Accounts).

Picture your G/L as a very large table.    Again, the columns of the spreadsheet are these revenue and expense accounts.   The rows are the days of the month.   You should compute subtotals for each column at least once a month.   If your business is a busy one, you should compute subtotals for each column weekly.   You should also keep a running subtotal of year-to-date information.

 Revenue-SalesRevenue- ClassesConsumable SuppliesTelephoneRent
1/1/180.00 12.00  
1/2/1863.0035.006.00  
1/3/1842.00    
1/4/18190.00 29.00  
1/31/1843.00  150.00750.00
Jan Totals338.0035.0047.00150.00750.00
Jan Avg67.60 (/5)7.00 (/5)9.40 (/5)4.84 (/31)24.19 (/31)

What Accounts and How Many Accounts Do I Need?

You set up a sufficient number of accounts in order to satisfy two sometimes competing needs.    You should be able to glance over your general ledger each month and come away with some good understandings of how your revenues and costs relate to your business strategies and programs.   This is called good financial management.    If you have too many accounts, financially managing them becomes more and more difficult.

You also want to anticipate issues of IRS auditing.    You want clear categories, and maybe more categories than is easily managed from a financial standpoint.   The IRS will suggest specific categories.  You are not required to use them.    You can use some of them, all of them or none of them.    For example, I use one category I call OCCUPANCY, where the IRS has separate categories for INSURANCE, UTILITIES, MAINTENANCE.

  Examples of Accounts
a) Revenue (sales, rents, royalties, teaching)
b) Cost of Sales (special packaging, shipping inventory to you, commissions)
c) Employee (wages, benefits, federal taxes, state taxes)
d) Other Expenses (supplies, travel, marketing, fees, shipping things to others)
f) Assets (Cash, Inventory, Bank Accounts, fixed like computer or table)
g) Liabilities (Credit card debt, bank loan; money you owe your suppliers)
   

REVENUE ACCOUNTS
The IRS has one revenue account.    From a financial management standpoint, I like to have several revenue accounts.      I like to be able to look at the numbers (and the rates of change) and be able to figure out if any of my revenue-generating strategies is working well or not.

COST OF SALES

This is the most confusing part of the general ledger, because you have to make some rules and be clear about what you are calling “Supplies-Jewelry Making” and what you are calling “Inventory”.   

As a Jewelry Making business, you wear many hats – you are the manufacturer, the distributor and the retailer.   The tax laws are written in a way that assume you are one or the other – not all three at the same time.

At this point in the ledger, you can calculate the first of two Magic Numbers – Gross Profit.   If using a spreadsheet, you can put the formula into one of the cells of the table.

 MAGIC NUMBER (Gross Profit):
Your REVENUE minus COST OF SALES equals GROSS PROFIT.
 

If your GROSS PROFIT divided by your REVENUE is greater than .50,
then you’re doing well.

With the Magic Numbers, you have some easy to access and interpret information to help you financially manage your business.    You look at month-to-month and year-over-year trends.    When you first get started, some of these Magic Numbers might be on the not-so-good-looking-side, but again, pay attention to trends.

EMPLOYEE EXPENSES
(These are the minimum number of employee line items you will need to be able to fill out all the Federal, State and Local payroll tax related forms.   You can always add more categories than those stated here.)   

If you have employees, it may make sense to pay for a payroll service, that both cuts the checks and does your quarterly and annual payroll taxes.

EXPENSE ACCOUNTS

Your expense accounts are how you track what happens when you spend money.

Sometimes it gets a little confusing how to enter credit card expenses into your general ledger.

Now you are positioned to calculate the next Magic NumberNet Profit.

MAGIC NUMBER (Net Profit):  
Your REVENUE minus COST OF SALES minus EMPLOYEE EXPENSES minus all other EXPENSES equals your NET PROFIT.
 

You want this to be a positive number.   However, for your first year or two, it might be negative.   Again, it’s most useful to look at trends.

NOTE: There is NO IRS rule that says you have to show a profit in 3 of the last 5 years, or any rule about the frequency of profit.    As long as you a trying to run a business as best you can, even if you are failing miserably, there are no consequences for showing continued losses.

In a double-entry system, the other part of the general ledger will account for

a) ASSETS
b) LIABILITIES

Example:   You buy $10.00 of beads.    

Debit Inventory by +10.00Credit Cash by -10.00
(increases inventory total by 10.00)(decreases your cash by 10.00)
  
  

Assets are things you own and have value for your business.

ASSETS 501    INVENTORY   (See discussions of inventory above)
502     PREPAID EXPENSES
503     PEOPLE WHO OWE YOU MONEY
504     NON-COMPUTER EQUIPMENT
505     COMPUTER EQUIPMENT
506     FURNITURE
507     ACCUMULATED DEPRECIATION  

Liabilities are things you owe to others, which until these are paid off, decrease the value of your business.

LIABILITIES
601     PAYROLLTAXES      
602     OTHER TAXES
603     SALES TAXES COLLECTED
604     GIFT CERTIFICATES OUTSTANDING
605     NOTES PAYABLE – BANK
606     CREDIT CARD #1
607     CREDIT CARD #2  

You now have in place a system for gathering information about money costs and money revenues. You need to expand this system to gather even more detail, specifically about your inventory.

c) ROI: Inventory Management

The Kinds Of Things You Want To Be Doing
In Inventory Management

Monitoring and managing inventory involve several interrelated activities.     These activities will place time and cost burdens on you.    Luckily, much of this can be computerized.     There is inventory management software available, some of it specialized for jewelry.      If you are selling things online, your shopping cart system will accommodate a lot of this.

These activities include:

  1. Par Levels
  2. Storing and Tracking FIRST IN, FIRST OUT
  3. Supplier Relationships
  4. Resiliency
  5. Auditing
  6. Prioritizing
  7. Forecasting
  8. Timing

To the extent that you can systemize all this, relying on a central, computerized database, the more efficient and effective you will be.    Ask yourself, as well, whether your inventory management system will grow with you as you continue to develop and expand your business.  You always want to have the right stuff, in the right place, at the right time, at the right cost.

  1. Inventory Management: Establish Par Levels

What is the minimum inventory needed on hand at all times?  For example, when doing craft and art shows, you will need to have 4x the amount of inventory from what you want to sell (thus, $1000.00 of inventory to sell $250.00 of merchandise).

Do you have a tickle system signaling times to reorder?

What have you based your par levels on?   Sales rate?    Time it takes to acquire items?

If demand changes, do you have strategies for adjusting your par levels?

Do you need to maintain any samples of your work which never get sold, but are used for displays, promotions, or photography?

Do you need to have finished pieces on hand, or will you make pieces to order on demand?

  • Inventory Management: Storing and Tracking your FIRST IN, FIRST OUT (FIFO)

You want your oldest stock to get sold first.   

Are your things stored and displayed to meet this principle?
Do you have adequate storage space?    Containers?

What is it costing to you maintain your desired storage levels?

When stock doesn’t sell within a reasonable time, what are your plans?   Deconstruct finished pieces and re-use the parts?   Discount or write-off dead parts inventory?

  • Inventory Management: Maintain strong relationships and communication with your suppliers

What is it about some suppliers that you like, or that you dislike?

Will they accept returns?

Can they handle special orders?

If something is not currently available, can they tell you when it will be in stock again?

Will they work with you to waive minimums?

Do you have back-up suppliers in case your primary supplier can’t come through?

  • Inventory Management: Maintaining Resiliency and Doing Contingency Planning

You need to actively and continually do What If Analysis.    

What if…

  • An item becomes especially popular?
  • You run out of cash?
  • Storage becomes an issue?
  • Your tracking and data system somehow goes awry?
  • Parts become unavailable or are discontinued?
  • Parts or merchandise are damaged or spoiled?
  • Customer wants, needs, demands, desires or shopping behaviors change?
  • Other unforeseen circumstances?

Do you have any part of your inventory set aside for use in case of an emergency?

  • Inventory Management: Auditing your inventory on a regular basis.

Auditing will include a mix of big, scheduled activities and some spot checking.  Auditing means establishing a baseline.    It means identifying current inventory challenges.    It means evaluating your current procedures and data systems, and identifying their strengths and weaknesses.

  • Inventory Management: Prioritizing Inventory by Value.

Some value might have to do with how much something contributes to revenue and profitability.     Items with higher mark-ups would get more attention.

Some value might have to do with the rate of turnover.   Items more popular and sell faster would get more attention.

For management purposes, it might be useful to establish 3 groups of value.  Group A might represent things contributing 50% of value.   Group B might represent things contributing 35% of value.  Group C might represent things contributing 15% of value.

  • Inventory Management: Forecasting.

You want to be in a position where you can predict future demand, perhaps over the next year or two.   You want to be able to define seasonality fluctuations.     You want to anticipate the impacts of any upcoming promotions or advertising.      Much of forecasting involves tracking your orders/sales and relating this back to inventory.

  • Inventory Management: Timing.

What time issues/management would be associated with maintaining the lowest inventory possible to meet your demand.    Here you tried to understand if you can shift the costs of storage and securing supplies over to your suppliers.     Customers these days often demand immediate satisfaction, so shifting some costs to supplies may be problematic for you.

The systems you have built to track, maintain and analyze your money flows and your inventory are sustained by a whole set of receipts and administrivia related to banking, insurance, credit card processing, travel, and working with employees and independent contractors.

d) ROI: Other Record Keeping

You want to keep all your receipts together for each calendar year.     You do NOT want to keep all your receipts stored in a shoe box.    File your receipts, say in an accordion file, organized alphabetically by company.

If part of the transactions listed on any receipt are personal and some are business, then circle the business related ones and write something like “business” next to these.

If you did not get a receipt for something business related, write out your own receipt, with the date, purpose, description, and amount.

You must store these receipts (and your other business documentation) for 10 years.   Some places list 7 years, but you will need to store these for 10 years.

Don’t rely on paying an accountant to sort through all your receipts in order to calculate your tax liabilities each year.   The cost of this would be prohibitive.    You yourself need to do that kind of leg-work, and being very organized will help you do this efficiently and effectively.

You probably will also be generating these kinds of forms and documents in the course of doing business, and you need to maintain files of back up copies:

  • Purchase orders
  • Invoices
  • Packing slips
  • Order sheets / line forms
  • Catalogs
  • Checkbooks, and copies of checks written or check requisition forms with check numbers of checks written documented
  • State, local and federal tax documents
  • Leases / rental agreements for property and equipment
  • Account numbers and agreements with each of your suppliers and creditors
  • Travel logs
  • General Ledger entry forms

TRAVEL LOG

All your business travel is deductible, but the IRS has different rules for how you handle various business expenses.   So, you keep separate accounts of


– Auto expenses (gas, depreciation, mileage, car maintenance and repairs);

NOTE: On your income taxes, you can use either a standard mileage rate or actual expenses allocated.   You pick which method of expense tracking you want to use.   You have to use the same method all year.    You can, if you want, change the method from one year to the next.


– Meals while traveling;
– Lodging while traveling;


NOTE:  Within any calendar year, you can only use one way to calculate these expenses.   You can change from year to year.   Either use Per diem (IRS maintains allowable food and lodging rates for every city in the US) or Actual expenses (whatever you spend).


– Ticketed travel (plane, boat, railroad, taxi, limo, ferry);
– Other travel expenses (newspaper, shoe-shine, gym).

NOTE:  IRS RULE:  You should be able to live your life on the road the same way you live your life at home.   If you have a personal trainer come to your home 3 times a week, then you can have a personal trainer come to your hotel 3 times a week, and this would be a legitimate Travel-Other expense.    If you don’t, it’s not.    If you purchase the New York Times each day at home, you can purchase it while away, and declare this as a legitimate Travel-Other expense.   If you don’t, it’s not.

Keep a travel log in all your cars, and record:
DATE, BEGIN MILEAGE, END MILEAGE, subtract to get TOTAL MILEAGE. 
Write down the business purpose of each trip.  

For example, if you’re in business selling beaded jewelry, you can deduct all your mileage for all your trips to any bead or craft store, any bead society meeting, any bead-related or jewelry-making classes, any trip to a museum to see jewelry on display, any trip to a store to do research on jewelry, check out the competition, mail bills at the post office, go to the bank to make a deposit, and the like.

BUSINESS CARDS 
A must!

LOGO
This can simply be how you print the name of your business – font choice, layout, positioning of words.  Or it can be a fancy image.

There are Logo-Maker apps online that you can try.

Once you get your logo, you will want to place it on all your forms, documents, marketing materials, and online webpages.    


You will want to trademark your logo.

e) ROI: Employees and Independent Contractors

Sometimes you need to work with help.    You might hire part-time or full-time employees outright.   You might pay someone on commission or per piece where that person works as an independent contractor rather than an employee.    You might barter and trade teaching someone some skills in exchange for some work, like hiring an unpaid intern or apprentice.

In these situations, you will need to anticipate if, after paying someone, and with employees also paying additional taxes, you can still make a profit.

Some forms to pay attention to:

With hired employees:
forms W-4 (when hired)
forms W-2 and W-3 (annually)

With independent contractors:
forms W-9 (before contract gets implemented)
forms 1099-MISC and 1096 (annually)

f) ROI: Banking, Insurance and Credit Card Processing

BANKING

BANK ACCOUNT:  It is better to have a separate bank account for your business than for personal.   If you use a personal bank account for your business, it is a good idea to have your bank-checks printed up in the business-check size.    If you are a solo proprietorship, you would print your name on the checks, and under your name, you would print your doing business name as (DBA), as in: 

Janet Jackson

DBA Retro Jewelry Designs.

If you have employees, it is useful, from a financial management standpoint, to have a separate business bank account that is dedicated to all payroll expenses (salaries and taxes).

Whether you are using a personal or business banking account, be sure to print your checks using the Business Check format.    On your business checks, it is a good idea to have checks with your business name on it.  You can either open a Business Checking Account, or have your business name printed on your Personal Checking Account checks.   If printed on your personal checks, then again, you list your own name (which is your official business name) on the check, and under your name, you list “DBA, Your Business Name”, where DBA stands for Doing Business As.

INSURANCE

At some point, you will need to purchase business insurance to cover liability and theft or loss of property (inventory and equipment) issues and medical issues (you or an employee getting hurt in the context of the job).    In most places, running a business out of your home violates local zoning codes.  You may not qualify for a company’s business insurance package if you are violating these laws.

REMEMBER: When working with any insurance agent, that agent is professionally obligated to report any violation of the law, including these zoning laws, to the authorities.    This is true, even if your insurance agent is your sister!

So, when you discuss insurance with your insurance agent, you will need to pose your questions as “What If?” questions – “What If I were to start a business in my home” — rather than indicate you already have or absolutely intend to locate a business in your home.  

USE OF A CREDIT CARD:  It is a better idea to use a separate credit card for your business than for your personal uses.  If you do use one card for both personal and business, be sure to mark all original charged invoices as to which use they refer to.

CREDIT CARD PROCESSING

Whatever location your business is in – home, storefront, craftshow – you will need to be able to take credit cards.    Very few customers use cash nowadays.
You will need to be able to accept a lot of different credit cards:   Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express.    Ideally, you want to use a processing company that lets you accept all these cards.

You will need to be able to swipe a card, insert a card to have its chip read, as well as manually enter a card number without the card present.    You might need to be able to let someone touch their phone to your credit card machine to do the transaction.

You may want to open a credit card processing merchant account.   Or you might use a company that doesn’t require you having your own merchant account.   In this case, you would be using that company’s shared account.     Some prominent companies which do shared accounts include PayPal and Square and GoPayment and Stripe.    With the internet, competition for credit card services has gotten so fierce, that many of the rates and combined costs have been converging.    Using a company with shared accounts will reduce the various certification and reporting requirements associated with having you own account. 

Check your options online and do some serious comparisons here.    Comparisons will not be straightforward because different companies which offer credit card processing services make their money in different ways.    They will be inexpensive on some things, and more expensive on others.   Some companies make money by leasing equipment.  Others by charging you a fee for each sale (per transaction fee).  Others by charging you a rate per dollar volume of each sale (discount rate).   

Sometimes you can get used/rebuilt equipment very cheaply on line.    But how cards are processed can change frequently, sometimes necessitating the purchasing of new equipment.

If you are locked into a multi-year lease on equipment or on credit card processing through a particular company, you will be liable for the expense through the end of the contract, even if you close your business before then.    No-contract options are very appealing.    One-year contracts are OK.   Three-year contracts start to get risky, but may be an appealing option, given their whole package.

It is a good idea to check whether the credit card processing company has credit card scanning attachments that connect to your phone or tablet or operate with Wi-Fi.   This is especially important if you are doing sales off site, like at a craft show.

Data systems are in place. Procedures are in place. Basic business relationships are in place. Now you need to create mechanisms to secure all this, that is, to secure the in-flows and out-flows of money so that you are taking the risks you want to take and achieving the rewards you believe you should get in return. These mechanisms include formal and informal arrangements and contracts, such as getting terms, getting paid, and crowd funding your business.

g) ROI: Getting Terms

Whenever possible, I suggest trying to get net terms with your suppliers.    Net terms is a form of trade credit.    Instead of paying upfront for your supplies, your suppliers will give you some predetermined period of time to pay for these goods.    You get your supplies right away without having to pay until an agreed-upon future date.

Usually, you would get Net 30 terms, meaning you would pay within 30 days.   Sometimes, if you have not paid within the terms set, you might get assessed a penalty fee.

To apply for net terms with any supplier, you would submit a Credit Sheet.

CREDIT SHEET

You will want to prepare a Credit Sheet which lists the following information.   You give this sheet to businesses where you want to apply for terms.   When you buy things from businesses, you can pay cash (sometimes check or credit card) – this is considered Pre-Payment.   You can pay COD (cash on delivery), but there is usually an extra COD charge tacked on.   Or you can pay on terms or “on account”, usually signified as Net 30 or Net 10, where you would have 30 or 10 days to pay your bill.   If you don’t pay within that time, the business may take away your privilege to buy on terms, or charge you a late fee.


h) ROI: Getting Paid

Getting paid for your work can range from the straight-forward to the nightmare.    If you are doing a lot of custom work, your clients will probably pay you in increments, say 50% up front, and 50% upon completion.   If you are doing a lot of consignment, the shops may pay for anything of yours that sells perhaps quarterly.   If you are selling wholesale to other retailers, you might have extended them terms, say Net 30, where you expect to get paid at the end of the term period.

For each piece sold, or for several pieces sold at the same time, you will be generating some kind of invoice.    Each month, you might also be following up with your customers with a statement form, showing what has been paid, and what still needs to be paid.

INVOICE or STATEMENT FORMS (2-part forms – one for you and one for your customer).   You can get a blank pad at a local stationery store, or have these pre-printed with your business name, address and phone.

i) ROI: Crowd-Funding

Crowd-funding is when you seek funding from angel investors, government grants, loans or crowdfunding campaigns online, like with Kickstarter, to fund your creative pursuits.    Crowd-funding creates financing opportunities.     You might be looking to start a line of jewelry and mass produce and distribute it.   You might be looking to franchise your business.    You might have a product idea that you believe has great market potential.   Jewelry products can be costume, semi-precious stones and metals (bridge jewelry), or fine jewelry.   

Other crowd-funding platforms include Indiegogo and Ivylish.   These provide a great opportunity for upcoming and small jewelry businesses who have an especially marketable idea.   Each site has rules, requirements and fees.   It is important to research what types of jewelry projects are most successful and least successful on each site.

The most popular crowd-funding campaigns offer a reward to the backers.    This could be in the form of product, money, or an opportunity to participate in an event.   

Crowd-funding gives the designer an opportunity to pre-test his or her ideas and how the market will respond to these ideas.    

Some pointers:

  • Pitches with video presentations work best
  • Have clear and concise goals; any potential backer should be very clear about the parameters of your project and what their money should be going towards
  • You want your audience to be able to visualize your project; show them in images what you have done before, and what you hope to do with this project; make them want it
  • Reach out to your inner circle first, and evidence of their backing will legitimize and validate you and your project as you reach out to the larger market; enlist them as deputized marketers, asking them to spread the word, increasing your visibility and exposure, through their own social media connections
  • Name your donation levels in a clever and tied-in way; you might point out that they could donate the price of a coffee or price of a cab fare to make it easier to understand how to donate to your campaign
  • It helps to offer samples of your work or promotional items like stickers, posters, autographs, even T-shirts with your products branding on these
  • The campaign will be a commitment of time and energy; you will always be hustling; no time to sit back and watch
  • Keep your backers up-to-date with posts, newsletters, whatever
  • If your donations slow down to a trickle, try a new approach to your marketing
  • Remember, many campaigns reach their final goal in the eleventh hour

Accounting, bookkeeping, inventory management, record keeping, business relationships with financial institutions and suppliers are in place. You still won’t be able to achieve that sweet spot between risk and reward without the appropriate business growth mind-set. In the creative marketplace, where your success relies on both your artistic/design, as well as your business, acumen, this can be difficult for you. But it can be done. With that right mind-set.

j) ROI: What Does It Mean To Foster A Growth Mind-Set

Failure is uncomfortable.  Disconcerting.    Too often, we do everything we can to keep ourselves out of situations where we might fail.   We focus on what could go wrong, instead of what could go right.   We think we don’t have the abilities to do the task.    We get paralyzed.   We do nothing.    Or we keep repeating ourselves, producing the same-ole, same-ole, whether there is a continued market for these items, or not.   Or we begin to visualize any risk as insurmountable, way bigger than it really is.

But allowing any fear of failure to become some kind of insurmountable wall works against us.   If we are trying to make a go of it by selling our jewelry, we can’t build these kinds of walls.   Successful business people and successful businesses need to foster a culture which promotes a growth mindset.    Simply, a growth mindset is a culture where you have permission and encouragement and confidence to take risks.    

Risks are OK because they bring rewards.   Rewards allow the business to maintain itself, sustain itself, grow and expand.    Failures are OK, as well, as long as they become learning experiences.    Doubt and self-doubt are OK only if they are used to trigger reflection and new ideas to overcome them.   Not having the skills requisite for the moment is OK because we are all capable of continual learning.   Temporary setbacks are OK because you have had them before and overcame them.

Carol Dweck wrote the seminal book on growth mindsets called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (2006), with a series of related books to follow.    People have either a growth-mindset or a fixed-mindset.   

Those with a growth-mindset believe their abilities are developed through continual learning and hard work.   They are more willing to experiment and try new things, and see failures as opportunities rather than set backs.   

Those with a fixed-mindset believe that abilities are innate – you’re born with talents or not.    They seek out opportunities where specific talents, rather than effort, leads to success.   They prefer to repeat tasks and apply skills they are already familiar with.

Developing a growth mindset means such things as…

  1. Understanding the power of “Not Yet”.
  2. Setting learning and continual learning goals
  3. Being deliberate and constantly challenging yourself
  4. Asking for honest feedback and criticism
  5. Always reflecting on and being very metacognitive about your thoughts and actions, successes and failures
  6. Recognizing if you are stuck in a fixed-mindset, and acknowledging your weaknesses
  7. Focusing on the process, and less-so on the result
  8. Getting comfortable with self-affirmation, rather than needing the affirmation and approval of others

___________________________________

FOOTNOTES

Campbell, Casandra.   What Is Inventory Management? How To Track Stock For Your Ecommerce Business, Inventory Management, 6/19/20.
As referenced in:
Inventory Management

Caramela, Sammi, 10 Essential Tips For Effective Inventory Management, Business News Daily, 4/15/2020.
As referenced in:
https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10613-effective-inventory-management.html

Dweck, Carol.  Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, 2006

Fundbox.com.  Trade Credit: Everything you need to know about net terms for your business.  n.d.
As referenced in:
https://fundbox.com/resources/guides/trade-credit/

Shah, Vyom.   Crowdfunding the Jewelry business, 11/27/14.
As reference in:
https://betterdiamondinitiative.org/crowdfunding-the-jewelry-business/

Posted in bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, creativity, design management, design thinking, jewelry design, jewelry making, professional development | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »