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MARKETING / PROMOTION / POSITIONING: Social Media Marketing For The Jewelry Designer

Posted by learntobead on September 9, 2022

MARKETING / PROMOTION / POSITIONING:
Social Media Marketing For The Jewelry Designer

Social Media Marketing For Very Small Businesses … That Works!

Today’s successful jewelry-designers and other very small business entrepreneurs maintain a very visible presence on the internet. You must have an online way for people to find you and your products. There are many options. These options vary in terms of who controls the site, the costs to be there and update as necessary, and what limitations are imposed on the site or because of how the site operates.

They may have a website that functions simply as a billboard or business card. They may list merchandise on their site, with prices, and information about how to order it. They may present their jewelry on Ebay or other auction houses, or on sites like Etsy or Supadupa. They may let someone else promote their jewelry on-line in exchange for a commission or royalty. They may post images or videos on sites like Instagram and TikTok. They may have a business page on Facebook, Google or Bing. Or they may have a fully functioning shopping cart system on their own dot.com.

Whatever their level of involvement online, they must put into place active and deliberate marketing strategies for creating visibility for their site and their products, and for maintaining and enhancing that visibility over time. It’s all about recruiting and retaining eyeballs, whatever it takes. Take advantage of social medias’ powers for networking.

Digital marketing is not one thing; it is a set of different strategies and pathways for connecting with and influencing people. While initially a lot of what you do will be hit or miss and trial and error, you eventually want to get very organized, developing internet marketing goals, objectives and encapsulating them into a coherent plan. You want to be represented broadly across many platforms, but concentrate your energies narrowly on perhaps 2 platforms only.

You want your website and any web presence to be:

· Optimized for search engines and directories

· Attractive

· Navigate-able and User friendly

· Enticing to first time visitors as well as repeat customers

· As broadly visible and findable as possible

· Broadly bookmarked and linked to

Successful marketing of any kind means:

· Getting Seen

· Getting Known

· Getting Your Competitive Advantage Recognized

· Making the Sale

Make them stop. Make them stay.

To achieve these marketing goals online requires putting into effect various internet marketing strategies, some technical, others not.

Towards this end, I provide insights about the following:

1. Conducting an initial marketing audit of your online presence

2. Optimizing your front door and landing pages

3. Choosing and placing key words and hashtags

4. Optimizing your social profiles

5. Site usability and navigation concerns

6. Intensive site placement and linkages

7. Inexpensive things you can do to get noticed

8. Social media posts marketing

9. On-line advertising

10.Generating an email list and conducting email campaigns

11.Creating visual images and video content

12.Garner online reviews

13.Getting customer feedback

14.Competitor surveillance

15.Establishing baseline site-activity indicators

16.Have a FAQ page which summarizes all your policies and procedures

17.Have a testimonials page

18.Create relationships with online influencers to market your jewelry

You want to choose the right tools and use them in the right way. If the wrong tools, you can waste a lot of time and money and find yourself serving the wrong customers.

1. Conducting An Initial Marketing Audit of Your Online Presence

The first step is to get honest with yourself. How well do your current marketing and business strategies perform, particularly in reference to your online presence? How do they help or hinder you from achieving (a) visibility on the web, (b) credibility on the web, © customer recruitment and retention, and (d) customer responses, reviews and orders from the web?

This auditing activity involve three steps:

1. Assessing current marketing materials, brochures, business cards, stationery, listings, keywords, descriptions, click through ad campaigns, email lists, efforts and activities,

2. Assessing current web-site strengths and weaknesses, from a marketing standpoint, that is, how you are in sync with target customer needs, wants, desires and shopping behaviors, and

3. Setting reasonable and attainable online marketing goals and objectives.

Do all your printed materials reference your website and/or your email address?

Is this information prominent and readily accessible, or is it buried?

Does it convey a sense of pride in your online efforts, or shame and embarrassment?

Do you routinely mention your website to your customers or clients?

Do all your emails end with a business signature, that includes your business name, address, phone, fax, and email?

Does your website clearly and concisely express what your business is all about, and how to contact you — particularly in terms of the information on the front page, any other landing pages, near the top, that would appear in the first screen that your customer would see?

Is your navigation bar/system/strategy easy to manipulate by any customer?

Is each link labeled clearly and strategically?

Does the set of all your links clearly and easily get your customer to each section of your website?

Have you minimized the number of links it takes to get to any one of your product pages?

Is your front page indexable by search engine robots?

Is there sufficient information on this page to index?

Is the organization of keywords on your front page presented to your advantage, or disadvantage, given search engine indexing schemes?

Does your front page load relatively quickly?

Have you kept your graphics on your front page to a reasonable amount so they don’t slow down page loading or obscure any keyword information?

Does your website have the kinds of things that will encourage customers to remain on your site more than a few seconds?

Is it relatively easy to keep your website up-to-date, such as changing information, uploading new images, creating new layouts?

Is your website responsive — that is, will load and be easily readable on any browser and any device, no matter screen size or preset layout parameters?

Now, GOOGLE YOURSELF. This way you have a starting point for how visible you are on the internet.

2. Optimizing Your Front Door and Landing Pages

Your front door page (or any landing page) is your most strategic website asset. It should be optimized in form and content so that it anticipates the indexing and ranking schemes (algorithms) of the major search engines. While these schemes get altered on a regular basis, there are some pointers which will be generally helpful all the time.

1. Don’t use frames. Try to use DIV instead of TABLE html commands. Try to use a CSS style sheet along with HTML5 (or most recent version) coding. Make your webpage responsive, so that it will load up perfectly no matter the browser or screen size of the device.

2. Don’t use a visually wonderful, but indexability awful splash page. You should settle for a slightly less visually appealing page, as a tradeoff for making it more indexable and rank-able.

3. You are selling things. The average person will have the average computer system or cell phone setup. That means, you can’t use the most up-to-date, exciting website technology available. Your pages won’t load up for everyone, some may take too long to load up, and some may even lock up your device. Save the best-of-current-tech for your personal home page.

4. If you are using a template-based host’s WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) website design editor, be sure the final result will be responsive. Also be sure your website will be easy to update and maintain.

5. TITLE: Your title should be about 9 words (not more, not less), with your most important key word first. Don’t repeat the same word twice in a row; separate it by another word. Use lower case letters for your key words.

For example: “beads, jewelry findings, beading supplies — Land of Odds” is better than “Land of Odds — beads, jewelry findings, beading supplies”. [Most important keyword is first.]

For example: “beads, jewelry findings, beading supplies” is better than “Beads, beading supplies, jewelry findings.” [Here bead is capitalized once, and appears as what would be judged as twice in a row.]

6. FIRST TEXT LINE: Your first line of the page (and this will appear after the BODY tag if you are hand coding), should be about 10 words, again repeating your major keywords, not putting the same word twice next to each other, and listing the words from most to least important. Never start the page with a TABLE or Graphic file. Start with words.

7. LINK AND PAGE NAMES: Be strategic in the names you give your active links and webpages. Use your keywords in these LINK DESCRIPTIONS (link-text) and URL ADDRESSES (url-text).

For example: Call your gemstone necklace page “gemstonenecklace.htm” rather than something like “AC402.htm”.

In creating the link descriptions on your page, write something like “Gemstone Necklaces” rather than “Products Page”.

8. PARAGRAPHS: Have about 3 paragraphs of text on your front-door page. Each paragraph might have 3 or so sentences.

Your major keywords should appear in this pattern:

– At the top of paragraph #1

– In the middle of paragraph #2

– Not at all in paragraph #3

If you don’t like the look of all those words on your front door page, you can always put the paragraphs at the bottom of your webpage.

9. IMAGES: For all your images, use the ALT tag. For the ALT tag, use your keywords to describe the image. By using the ALT tag, when someone places the cursor over the image, a yellow box will appear with the ALT tag words appearing. These are also very indexable.

Make your original images into .jpg or .tif or .gif files. The original images should be a minimum of 500 x 500 pixels and 72–96 dpi resolution. Within your webpage, you can adjust image sizes. Preference for using the percent (%) adjustment rather than setting particular pixel width and height sizes.

10.HEADINGS: Set up 2 or 3 heading on your front door page, and use your keywords in the heading text. Sometimes what you code as a heading is the first thing indexed, and sometimes the only thing indexed. On subsequent pages, use more headings, if these make sense for the page.

11.COMMENT TAGS: Put in at least one COMMENT tag using your keywords. In the HTML code, comments start with <! — and end with → . COMMENT tags cannot be seen on your page. They are hidden within the code. There is a 1000 character limit to COMMENT tags. Words in COMMENT tags are very indexable.

12.DOMAIN NAME: If you haven’t already selected a website domain name, you might try to create one using your most important keyword in the URL-text. There are many sites online that sell domain names. Compare their prices which can be all over the place. Compare the amount of space they offer you, any email limits, and whether you can add a shopping cart.
For example, “beadsatlandofodds.com” would do far better than “landofodds.com” in search engine indexing.

You can also envision having more than one front-door or landing page for your website. You might have different kinds of customers, and may want to set up an entrance very tailored to each of them. From the search engine’s standpoint, they do not like to see virtually the same page used more than once. You will lose points here if this is your approach. But you can set up differently designed pages as front entrances, and based on how you get your site listed, you can use any of these as the link-reference point.

3. Choosing and Placing Key Words and Hash Tags

Generate a keyword list of 1000 characters. You can use a word processing program like WORD, which has a character counter. In this list, you would include variations on upper case and lower case spellings, as well as common misspellings.

Think about the words and phrases your customers might use to find you, to understand what you do as a jewelry designer, and how your jewelry will satisfy their needs and desires.

To research keywords, you can go to various search engines, plug in the major keywords you’re interested in, and check out what keywords other sites which pop up in the search engines search, have used. On each site’s front door page, review what words they see to use on this page. Also, you can use the browser’s VIEW button to bring up the Source Code image of a page, and check out what keywords other people have listed in their META TAGS (which are otherwise hidden from view). You can use Google’s ad words program to generate keyword lists.

Hash Tags

A hashtag is a word or keyword phrase preceded by a hash symbol (#). It’s used within a post on social media to help those who may be interested in your topic to be able to find it when they search for a keyword or particular hashtag. It helps to draw attention to your posts and encourage interaction.

If you are using a phrase, do not put spaces between the words.

You want to use hashtags that you think people will search on.

You don’t want to be too general and you don’t want to be too obscure. You can check out what influencers in your area of interest are using on their posts.

RiteTag (https://ritetag.com) : Get instant hashtag recommendations.

You should, if possible, include a branded hashtag, such as #yourname#yourbusinessname, or #nameoflineofjewelry .

Different social media platforms have different expectations for the number of hashtags they view as optimal. Use that number, not more or less, if you can.

Facebook (1 to 2 at most)

LinkedIn (1 to 3 at most; place them within the body of your post, rather than at the end)

Instagram (10 or 11 is best, but you can use up to 30 hashtags)

Tik Tok (100 characters maximum)

Pinterest (1 or 2 at most)

I would suggest using hashtags in all your posts.

4. Optimizing Your Social Profiles

In various social media sites, directories and other places you list your business, you want to have a great, professional social profile about yourself. Think about…

Username: This is the identity of your business in one simple or compound word. If you have the opportunity to verify your name within any site, do so. This builds trust.

Biography: You want a short introduction to yourself and your business. [Refer to your Getting Started Story in an earlier chapter.] List important information about yourself and your business. Tell the reader how you and your design work solved problems for them. Establish some indicators of credibility and legitimacy. Make your business sound approachable.

Photos: Get a good headshot of yourself and another shot of your working at making jewelry. Get another image that defines your business, such as store front, store displays, or a group of employees serving customers. Last take some appealing images of some of the pieces you make and which represent your brand or style. Include photos showing someone wearing your pieces. Photos should be in .jpg format, 500×500 pixels minimum size, and 300dpi (for print) and 72–96dpi (for screen).

Headline or Tag Line: Usually you have an opportunity to add a short line of text after your name or the name of your business. 7–9 words is good. This line should suggest your keywords and hashtag words. This line should be catchy. Test out a few examples and see which ones get the best reactions.

Content: A lot of informative content on your profiles is always a plus. Research what other jewelry designers are posting on blogs and on Facebook for ideas.

When you update your social profile, let all your followers know. This is a good way to keep them engaged with your business.

5. Site Usability and Navigation Concerns

How usable is your website to:

– New customers

– Returning customers

Websites need very clear Navigation systems.

Websites need strategies to keep them from becoming boring. After someone visits a site a few times, and it only takes a few times, the sites become stale and boring to them.

Websites need all your contact information — address, phone, fax, email — right on your first page. Or at least a very visible link/button to CONTACT INFORMATION. Don’t make your customers hunt for contact information.

Navigation System

There is a series of research about the Magical Number 7 plus or minus 3. When people are confronted with 7 or more choices, they psychologically need to re-categorize them, such as into one group of 3 and another group of 4, in order to deal with all this information. Otherwise they get paralyzed and stumped. People can easily handle 4 pieces (7 minus 3) of information, but start to get uncomfortable with 7 pieces, and can also be forced to deal with 10 separate pieces (7 plus 3) information, but that’s pushing it.

From a website design standpoint, you do not want to make someone have to travel more than 4 links to get to the product information they want. As the required number of links to click on gets greater than 4 clicks, your customers will begin to get paralyzed, and not make the next click. Wherever you find you have more than 4 clicks to get to a product, you can re-categorize, so you have fewer links to navigate.

For example, suppose it takes 5 clicks to get from your section on Jewelry to your section on Amethyst Beaded Necklaces:

PRODUCTS — click 1 to — JEWELRY — click 2 to — NECKLACES — click 3 to — BEADED NECKLACES — click 4 to — GEMSTONE BEADED NECKLACES — click 5 to — AMETHYST BEADED NECKLACES.

You might reduce the number of clicks the customer has to travel by reducing the number of webpages they have to traverse:

PRODUCTS/JEWELRY — click 1 to — NECKLACES/BEADED NECKLACES — click 2 to — GEMSTONE BEADED NECKLACES/AMETHYST.

On the PRODUCTS page, you list all your types of products. On your NECKLACES page, you list all your types of necklaces. On your GEMSTONE BEADED NECKLACES page, you list all the types of gemstones.

Avoiding Boredom

Websites get stale fast. Unfortunately, to keep things re-designed and very fresh takes a lot of time and effort. So, you want to come up with some simple, less time-consuming tricks that you can do to keep your website appearing fresh.

One trick is to put something on the page that moves. Build in some kind of “movement” on your front-door page. You can use a .gif animation file, or create mouse-overs and other simple fun things which move using Javascripts.

Another trick is to create a sense of Interactivity — forms, polls, message boards, chat lines, email sign-up, email link, contests, games, ezines, links/resources page listing other sites of interest.

A third trick is to run specials and/or have a What’s New section.

Contact Information

Preferably on the first page, include your address, email, phone, fax, and other important identifying contact information.

If you have a separate CONTACT PAGE, be sure that the link/button to the page is prominently displayed at the top of your front door page.

If you use a CONTACT FORM, I think it is also helpful to list your email address on this same page, as well. If concerned about robots collecting email addresses off websites to use in spam, you can write you email address like this: warren (@) landofodds (dot) com .

Many of your regular customers or clients will begin to use your website like a rolodex entry. Make it easy for them.

Caution: many anti-spam programs reject emails that begin with Info, Contact, Shop and other very generic terms.

6. Intensive Site Placement and Linkages

It is important that you get listed with all the major search engines, directories and social media sites, as well as specialty directories associated with your specific business.

To make this process go as quickly as possible, it is important to have all your information together in one place, where you can cut and paste the information into the online forms, as requested.

Type out your landing page URL as http://www.mysite.com . If you are using a shopping cart system, your URL will most likely start as https://www.mysite.com .

Type out your email contact address: warren@landofodds.com

Besides having about 12–20 of your most important keywords or keyword phrases handy, also have about 12 hashtags ready. You will also want to create 25-word, 50-word, 100-word and 200-word descriptions of your site, heavy on keywords, but no side-by-side keyword repetitions. One more thing: have a 7 to 9-word part description / part tag line for your business. Make this catchy.

Do NOT pay for or use any of the multiple submission services. Take the time to submit your site to each search engine and directory, one at a time. A site submitted through a multiple submission service can get assigned a low ranking by the search engines.

You can use Yahoo or Google or Bing to find specialized directories. Get listed in as many as these as possible.

Many search engines and some directories now charge you for a listing, either as a flat fee, or as a click-through rate. You may not be able to afford all the opportunities, but you might want to follow through on the major ones.

Some search engines will let you buy key words. When someone searches on a keyword, a link to your site will appear. If someone clicks through on that link, you’re charged a per click fee. Google ad words and Facebook ads work this way.

Also, link up with web-rings, web-malls, and other affinity arrangements online. You might create your own affinity arrangement with others businesses you know.

Social media sites, newsgroups, forums, and message boards are great places to get visibility. While you usually can’t put a blatantly commercial post on these, you can (a) respond to existing posts, and put your business signature information at the end of your post, (b) suggest a jewelry-making tip, or other similar tip, and add your business signature information to the end of your post, and © and similar things.

There are many sites which list local resources. Get listed. Facebook’s Graph Search allows you to search for businesses both by location as well as friend’s recommendations. It shows you which businesses your friends have frequented. Yelp and Trip Advisor are critical for local businesses.

You can do a search on the URL web-address of your competitors, as well as on their names, to see where they are listed.

Some of your suppliers may list you on their websites. Some of your customers or clients may list you on their websites.

To get a high ranking, search engines do three things:

a) CATEGORIZE your site in relation to certain keywords, by indexing words on your site,

b) RATE your link-popularity, by checking how often someone clicks on a link to your site, and

c) RANK the link-relevancy of your site based on how long the person stays on your site, once they’ve clicked on their way there.

So, the more places that maintain a link to your website, the more likely someone is to click through to it. The better designed your website is, the more likely someone is to hang around awhile. The better indexed you are (called SEO optimization), the more visible you are in any search.

7. Inexpensive Things You Can Do To Get Noticed

There are many low-cost or free things you can do to increase your visibility online. Some suggestions:

a. Get reciprocal links — “I’ll list you if you list me.” There are your friends and personal associates; other similar businesses; affinity sites such as shopping malls, specialized directories, awards programs.

b. Create educational and information content. Share it with other sites in exchange for a link back to your site. In fact, there are Free Content sites online that act as a repository and exchange for free content articles. Submit your articles there.

c. Respond to people’s questions in forums, newsgroups, message boards, reviews and the like. Start each of your responses by repeating their first name. Include a business signature with a link back to your site at the end of your response.

d. Write articles for online ezines, newsgroups, forums, specialized portals and the like.

e. Join affinity groups.

f. Include a lot of explanatory and how-to information next to each of your products.

g. Run a contest.

h. Set up a group and form your own community within one or more of the social media sites.

i. Set up a business page on one or more of the social media sites, as well as the major search engines such as Google and Bing.

j. Create your own online newsletter.

k. Post images on all the social media sites.

l. Post short videos to You Tube, as well as other social media sites, particularly Instagram and Tik Tok. Videos will generate more interest than images.

m. Create a blog. Keep it active. You can also use micro-blogging posts to lesson your workload. Micro blog posts are short links to other websites or posts online you find of interest. Here you make a statement about why the reader should pay attention to this link. Write the link. Suggest that the reader come back to your blog and offer some feedback.

n. Create an email campaign for your email-opt-in customers.

o. Send birthday wishes to your followers; include an image of your jewelry; tag the follower.

p. Create both business and personal profile pages on various social media sites.

q. Run promotions and discount offers.

r. Bundle 2 or more pieces of jewelry and run a promotion.

s. Shine a spotlight on your employees.

t. Show off your space.

u. Run a contest.

v. Re-share content from other sites.

w. Recognize loyalty; feature your super customers in blog posts or posts on social media channels; give them first access to new products; create a brand loyalty program.

x. Invite customers to react to and test out new ideas before you implement them.

y. Reward referrals.

z. On social media, position yourself as a subject matter expert.

aa. Use social media to find cross-promotional partners.

One thing I do NOT recommend is to send mass e-mailings where your target audience has not previously opted in to receive emails from you. Mass e-mailings generate a lot of positive responses, but they generate a lot of negative responses, as well, from people overwhelmed with spam.

There will always be new tools every year to take advantage of. Sharing text, image, video and audio will always remain in style.

However, you decide to attract attention and increase your visibility, you will pay with either your time or your money. At first, you will probably take a shot-gun approach — that is, trying everything. But in the interests of time and money, you will want to narrow your efforts.

8. Social Media Posts Marketing

Post everywhere. React to other people’s posts. Answer queries. Suggest how-to solutions. Include an image with your post, 1–3 hashtags, and a link back to your website or online presence.

Create a presence on all social media sites, and post to them all. However, select 2 of them to concentrate your marketing efforts.

Things which improve responses to posts: touches of humor, quality of information, your excitement, something weird, something the evokes an emotional response, a feeling of connection.

Keep your posts short. Yes, you are marketing yourself and your designs, but more subtly. You do not want to sound salesy.

Engage your viewer. For example, ask “Which of these 3 is your favorite?” or “A and B are perfect together — Agree?”.

If at all possible, end each post with either a CALL TO ACTION or a TAKE-AWAY / LESSONS LEARNED.

Share photos of events. Share photos of what’s new?

If someone responds to your post, respond back to them. At a minimum, thank them for their post. Remember to cite their first names in your responses.

Pay attention to the number of responses you get, and whether you get more or fewer responses depending on the site, the day of the week or the time of the day.

Plan to make posts on a regular basis. You might plan to use the same posts on different media sites. If using the same post for placement on the same social media site, say in several interest groups on that site, try to limit the same post to, in this example, 3 interest groups.

Instagram has been especially useful, productive and responsive to jewelry maker posts. With Instagram, I suggest planning to post at least once every single day. Remember that those captions are important and you want to make them clever or very personal in some way.

Quality will matter more than quantity.

9. Online Advertising

There are many opportunities for online advertising. For each opportunity, you want to carefully think through the costs and benefits. How many impressions (# of eyeballs) will your ad achieve? For each impression, how many of those people will follow through (click-thru rate) and link to your site? What words, keywords, terms seem to influence people to click-thru more often? What is a reasonable cost per click through?

The first types of advertising you should do are the basic, cheap and obvious. Include your website address and/or email address on your stationery, business cards, business checks, brochures, other handouts.

You add some marketing highlights, address and email as your “signature” for all the emails you send.

You might send out a Press release to your local papers and magazines, or to regional and national publications pertinent to your business. You will want to approach them with a good angle, that you think would be of interest to their readers.

Many search engines, like Google, directories and social media sites sell keywords. You pay a certain amount of money for each click thru to your site. You can set a limit to how much you want to spend each month. It could be as low as a few dollars, or as high as you want to go. When one of their visitors does a search on the particular keyword (or keyword phrase), your name appears with the search results, with a clickable link back to your site. You pay when someone clicks on that link and visits your site. Using a keyword phrase of 2 or more words, rather than a single word keyword will narrow your target audience, but at the same time increase the chances one of these people will click through.

Instead of using keywords, you might also be able to target customers by demographic data, such as age, gender, and geographic location.

You might purchase a banner ad to place on other people’s sites.

You can also purchase ad space or sponsorship listings on various online ezines, magazine and websites.

You can place classified ads. Many search engines have classified sections. There are many specialized websites hosting classified ads.

In a similar way, you can post several of your products on Ebay or other auction sites. Marketing on Ebay is very similar to taking out an ad, but probably more effective.

Note: Social media sites and search engines tend to favor paid posts and ads. These sites probably have applications which help you narrow your target audience, thus maximizing your costs-per-click-thru.

10. Generating An Email List and Conducting Email Campaigns

It is critical to generate an email list of customers. You want them to very formally and visibly opt-in to the list. You can generate sign-up sheets, online forms, and the like towards this end.

You can run your own campaigns, or use an email client like MAILCHIMP (https://mailchimp.com ) or CONSTANT CONTACT (www.constantcontact.com ).

You can segment your email list into smaller, targeted groups.

A monthly contact is reasonable.

Caution: many anti-spam programs reject emails that begin with Info, Contact, Shop and other very generic terms.

11. Creating Visual Images and Video Content

Images: Images get better responses than text. Make your original images into .jpg or .tif or .gif files. The original images should be a minimum of 500 x 500 pixels and 72–96 dpi resolution. Within your webpage, you can adjust image sizes. Preference for using the percent (%) adjustment rather than setting particular pixel width and height sizes.

Show images of your finished pieces. Of you at working making things. Of someone wearing your pieces. Of the inspirations for your pieces. Of works in progress. Of close-up details of your pieces.

Encourage customers to share images of them wearing your jewelry.

Create a slide show of a series of images to tell a story.

Infographics generate lots of discussion.

Write captions for all your images. Don’t just tell them what the image is. Tell them how and why what is photographed will be important to them. Try to use humor and irony. Make the captions authentic. Bring out your personality in the captions. For example: “The bracelet you always wanted to go with that blue dress,” or, “One of a kind necklace which will no longer be available after the 1st.”

More examples:

“My color-picking frustrations paid off this time!”

“Need to finish this ASAP. Didn’t even take the time to brush my hair today!”

“So tribal … What do you think?”

“I think I’ve made a necklace to match the picture I hung in my room. Didn’t even think about that. Or did I?”

“I made all this jewelry today, and now have to leave it to do some vacuuming. I can’t stop looking at it though.”

Videos: Videos are the best way to get attention on the internet. They catch the eye. They can convey emotions. They make demonstrations easy to follow.

There are many formats. The safest one to use is MP4. When you upload to a site, like You Tube, the sites convert your video to their format. Consider purchasing video editing software. For the most part, keep your videos short — either the 1–3 minute version or the 10–20 minute version.

Each social media platform has its own rules and pros and cons for hosting videos. Check out: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, You Tube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tik Tok, Snapchat. Most require a screen resolution of 1920 x1080 pixels, and a widescreen (16:9) format. You would set up a page or channel on each site. It’s a good idea to create a short introduction video explaining what your page or channel is all about.

You Tube: Host all your videos. On You Tube, you can also live stream video. This is useful to make spot announcements, present new products, and the like. Videos available to everyone. People most often look for “how-to”, “demonstrations”, “product reviews.”

Facebook: Videos can only be seen by your friends and followers. People on this site want videos that are entertaining or inspirational. 85% of viewers watch the videos with the sound off. Video size recommended is 1280×720 pixels.

LinkedIn: People like career-oriented videos as well as corporate and business promotions and interviews and conference broadcasts.

Twitter: Videos are very, very short. Usually off-the-cuff remarks shared by cell phone.

Instagram: Videos are square by default. Optimal size: 1080 x 1350 pixels. You want your videos to tell a story, with a beginning, middle, climax, denouement and conclusion.

Pinterest: Similar to You Tube.

Tik Tok: The standard video length is 3 minutes, though you can go up to 10 minutes. Sound is essential. The orientation is vertical, so you want the size of your video to be 1080 x 1920 pixels.

Pointers:

· Keep the viewer in mind. Aim to meet their needs, whether seeking to solve problems, learn something, be entertained, or be inspired.

· In the first 5–10 seconds, be sure the video content is an attention-grabber with a solid hook. Get your name out and your purpose out. Viewership drops dramatically after 10 seconds.

· Make the video mobile-friendly. Make any text large enough to be seen on a small cell phone screen. Make sure there is good contrast between text and the background it is imposed on.

· Always add either a CALL TO ACTION or a TAKE AWAY / LESSONS LEARNED before the video ends.

· Add captions to your video throughout because many people view videos with the sound off.

· Embed all your posted videos on your own website as well.

12. Garner Online Reviews

Online reviews will always be important.

I widely post links throughout my online pages and emails to the various review sites like Google, Yelp, Facebook and Travel Advisor. Periodically I send out an email to my customer list asking them to post a review.

Respond to every single post, positive or negative. Always begin your responses by writing the reviewer’s first name. Real and authentic responses, rather than canned responses, keep the conversation going and allow you to glean more valuable insights from your customers.

Occasionally the reviews might be negative. I know it’s difficult not to take negative comments personally, but it’s only personal if you allow them to be. Still, even negative comments are opportunities for dialog. Respond to them in a sensitive, understanding way, perhaps suggesting something like, (a) a future discount or reward, or, (b) being grateful for calling something to your attention — that this will change your behavior in the future. Thank them for their review.

One contributing factor to a higher search engine ranking is the number of positive reviews for your site.

Make sure you have set up business profiles on Google and Bing so that your customers can see the reviews posted on either search engine site.

13. Getting Customer Feedback

It is important to get customer feedback about your website, your marketing efforts and your products/product mix. Regularly connecting with customers will help you retain them. It will help you keep their information updated. Asking for feedback will get them more invested in your business. It will help you uncover any customer issues which need to be resolved.

When people email or call you, you might ask some evaluative questions of them, while you have their attention. Also ask them how they found you originally.

You can set up a free poll or survey online. There are many websites that offer free online polls and surveys.

Ask your customers for leads.

14. Competitor Surveillance

The internet provides myriad opportunities for you to view your competitors’ marketing strategies. You can analyze specific competitors you know of in your immediate environment. Or you can focus on 3–5 competitors that are prominent in your business.

Think about what they are doing and their performance relative to what you are doing and your performance.

In the search engine locator box, you can:

– Type a keyword, and look more closely at the first 3–5 competitors whose websites pop up

– Type in the name of a specific competitor, and see which websites mention their name

– Type in the URL address of a specific competitor and see which websites maintain active links to them, or have reviews of them

You can:

– Analyze their website and product line

– Determine what keywords are important to them

– Find out who lists them and links to them

– Check their visibility and rankings

What is their business model?

What assumptions do they make about the market for their products?

Where do they think their customers are?

How do they think their customers will find them?

Where do they advertise?

What is their product mix?

What kinds of pricing strategies have they put into action?

Listening tools (from LinkedIn Share): Some online sites which help you monitor competitors, blogs, comments, videos, tips and the like:

Bing: Internet Search

Commentful: Monitors comments on blog postings

BlogPulse: Identifies daily blog post patterns

Complete Blog: Monitors how people use the internet

Cotweet: Monitors discussions about businesses and their brands on Twitter and Facebook

Digg: Members vote on which web content should be shared

Feedky: Scans and indexes video websites

FourWhere: Finds tips and comments on Yelp, Foursquare and Gowalla.

Google News: Highlights news items about businesses and brands

HootSuite: Customized analytics relative to various social media sites

Klout: Rates and ranks brands based on engagement levels in various social media sites

OpenBook: Searches real-time posts in Facebook

SamePoint: Enables you to connect your business to various social media sites

Sideline: Topic search application for Yahoo

Technorati: measures particular position and influence of any website

Trackur: Lets you watch your reputation, mentions, and promotional campaigns

Trendpedia: Monitors social media sites and what people are saying about you and your brand

UserrnameCheck: Find where your username has been registered

Website Grader: Measures the marketing effectiveness of your website

Yahoo Pipes: Helps you aggregate information from all over the internet

15. Establishing Baseline Site-Activity Indicators

It is important to track the activity on your website, and to try to gauge whether this activity level is affected by any marketing effort you might launch.

There should be a statistics package that comes with your website. You can also link to Google Analytics or other available statistical packages online.

From this information, you should gather the following stats:

· # of unique visitors

· Average visitors per day

· Average length on site per vistor

· # of sales per week

· Average doll per sale

· Percent of unique visitors resulting in actual orders

· # of abandoned shopping carts

NOTE: You can easily find out similar information for all your competitors using many apps available online for this purpose.

16. Have a FAQ page which summarizes all your policies and procedures

Create one page, called a FAQ page, which summarizes those policies and procedures relevant to your customer base. Anticipate the kinds of questions your customers will ask you, and provide the answers here.

So, at the least, your customers will ask about:

· Ordering procedures

· Turnaround times

· Shipping time and costs

· Customization

· What to do about lost or damaged merchandise

· Repairs

· Returns and exchanges

· Backorders

· Copyrights, Trademarks

· Disclaimers

· Lead content or other information about materials

· Gift certificates

· Discounts

· Minimum orders

· Exchanging links

· International orders

· Security of site for online payments

· Other payment methods

· Sales taxes

· Wholesale orders or arrangements

17. Have a testimonials page (also can include pages for Press Articles, List of Retailers Who Sell Your Jewelry, Upcoming Events)

Periodically, gather testimonials from your customers who have purchased your product. Set up a webpage listing all these testimonials.

18. Create relationships with online influencers to market your jewelry

There are many people online that function as influencers. Many will market and promote your products in exchange for something. Sometimes this is money. Sometimes this is product. Sometimes this is some other reciprocal arrangement. [See chapter on INFLUENCERS for more details.]

They might share images of your jewelry. They might wear it. They will create a buzz for it.

Start by creating a relationship with an influencer who is relevant to your product line. Follow them everywhere. Interact with their posts. Show that you are interested in what they have to say.

Then pitch a collaboration.

______________

FOOTNOTES

Amin, Arshad. 16 Social Media Optimization Tips You Need To Know, medium.com, 1/18/22.

As referenced in:
https://arshad-digital.medium.com/16-social-media-optimization-tips-you-need-to-know-1a66c20b4564

Gillespie, Chris. The Ultimate Social Media Video Guide. 8/4/2021.

As referenced in:
https://www.vidyard.com/blog/social-media-video/

Hill, Andrea. When Marketing, Be Clear Who You Want To Reach and What You Want To Sell. Digital Marketing Decisions, 2/11/2021

As referenced in:
https://instoremag.com/when-marketing-be-clear-who-you-want-to-reach-and-what-you-want-to-sell/?oly_enc_id=8486A9291356F6C

Less Everything. Unconventional Marketing With No Money, Chapter 5: Business Guide: Run Your Business. Don’t Let Your Business Run You.

As referenced in:
http://lesseverything.com/business-advice/unconventional-marketing/

Main, Kelly. 18 Jewelry Marketing Ideas to Drive Sales Without Spending a Fortune, 12/13/2021.

As referenced in:
https://fitsmallbusiness.com/jewelry-marketing-ideas/

_______________________________

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 bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Success or Failure? Some of my jewelry design students’ experiences at business

Posted by learntobead on July 29, 2022

I’d estimate that 25–30% of my students are in the jewelry making /design hobby to make some extra money. Some see a way to supplement their income. Some see it as a retirement strategy. Others see it as a career transition. Whatever their goals, some have been successful, and others less so. Here are some of their stories.

Cindy

Cindy saw it as a career transition. She made and sold jewelry, went to craft shows and church bazaars, put her stuff on consignment all over the metropolitan area, did home shows, whatever.

After about two to two-and-a-half years, she took the giant leap and quit her full-time legal aid job to be a full-time jewelry artist/entrepreneur. She was successful because she knew how to promote herself, and was very comfortable at this.

Her designs were fashion-current, but not bizarre. One business that had her stuff on consignment told me how great she was to work with.

My only concerns were that she often short-changed some of the quality of materials, and perhaps pushed the pricing a bit too high. But I marvel at her success. if you stick to it, and are confident in yourself, you’ll get there.

Mona

Mona refurbished old pieces into new. She took old brooches, fixed them up, restored missing stones, polished or colored damaged edges. She turned them into pendants, and then created necklaces with the same sensibilities, colors, textures, bulk, and patterns to go with them.

Sold like hot-cakes. She took old, gaudy belt buckles, glued on Austrian crystal rhinestones, found leather belts to go with them, fashioned some tpe of bail, and voila! She had great stories to go with each piece. She also was great at self-promotion. She was very confident. And she got her pieces into all the major stores in the area. She also formed great connections to power-fashion-players, including many people in the music business.

Sharon

Sharon made lampwork beads, and turned these into necklaces and bracelets. She was shy. She tried to sell them to friends and family. She tried to get them into one store on consignment. She tried selling them on EBay. She’s still trying.

Yanxi

Yanxi made Native American style earrings mostly, but some chokers and bracelets, as well. She relied on traditional bead weaving styles of Peyote and Brick. She used traditional materials including Czech seed beads, beading thread, sinew. She used traditional colors and designs. She sold in stores. She sold at markets. She was doing very well for many years.

Until around the later 1990s. Chinese businesses began copying Native American jewelry, and selling their pieces at prices so low, that Native Americans could no longer afford to make a living at making jewelry.

Yanxi’s business faded away to nothing. She was unable to adapt to the changes in the business environment. She could have gone more upscale in the choice of materials and the elaborateness in the designs. But she did not recognize that as a pathway.

Veronica

Veronica made high-end clothing with an edge to her designs. At one point, with her clothing, she decided to create accessories, including jewelry. Necklaces out of old men’s ties. Bracelets out of leather suspender straps from Germany. Odd beads which always catch your eye dangling from old, antiqued, large-linked chain.

She had an acute sense of what jewelry women — of all shapes, ages, sizes, body shapes — could wear to empower themselves. Attract that kind of attention which borders on admiration.

At first, she sold her jewelry pieces to individual stores in various cities she visited. They sold her pieces very quickly. In response, she began working in more of a production mode. She sent these stores boxes of her pieces to be sold as special trunk shows. That idea worked well.

She then worked on setting up a shop-within-a-shop. Several stores were eager to have her store-within-a-store. She envisioned taking over a 6’x8′ area. She created display cabinets, display pieces, and an organizational plan for displaying her pieces. She went to hotel foreclosure sales and purchased old odds and ends to use for displays, such as old wooden clothes hangers which had the hotel logo or name etched in them.

Her jewelry lines overtook her clothing lines.

Debby

Debby made beautiful, elegant, dainty jewelry from bracelets to necklaces to eyeglass leashes. She put them in a few stores. She had been an airline stewardess, and frequently brought her jewelry with her to sell at get-togethers and conventions with past and current airline employees.

Everyone loved her pieces. Everything she made sold. She was reluctant, however, to place them in many stores. She was afraid people would copy her designs. One person, in fact, had copied some of her designs.

Debby wanted to mass-market her pieces to high end boutiques and department stores. She spent years making contacts and connections, which she was very successful at. But she couldn’t reel in the opportunities. Her fears overcame her — people would copy her designs, or they would not manufacture her pieces to her quality expectations, or the manufacturers wanted to make pieces with more mass appeal.

There was always something that got in the way of her making a living by making jewelry. She built walls. She couldn’t climb over them.

Larry

Larry approached Barneys New York about his line of jewelry. He had a personal connection there. He had a marketing strategy for them, which included explaining why the lines of jewelry they currently carried, were not working for them.

He showed them a very full line — jeweler’s tray after jeweler’s tray after jeweler’s tray of jewelry.

With each tray he showed them photographs of jewelry which were carried by their major competitors in New York, as well as fashion spreads in major magazines.

He kept making the point: His jewelry is better, and this is why. His jewelry is better, and this is why. His jewelry is better, and this is why.

Success!

Kiki

Kiki wanted to sell on-line. She knew she needed a web-site with a shopping cart. But she shied away from the $50.00 per month price tag. She knew she would have to hire someone to design her website, but again, the $500.00 quoted price seemed daunting to her. She spent year after year researching web-hosts and web-designers, each time finding something that made her more and more uncertain.

Virtual jewelry, virtual business.

Rosie

Rosie lived in the wealthiest part of town — Belle Meade. She custom made jewelry for the rich for them to wear at special occasions. Her biggest obstacles to overcome: many of her clients were not sure that anyone could actually make jewelry. Jewelry was something that you bought in New York. Not Nashville. Somehow it could only be made in New York and probably by machine. Her clients hesitated, not sure how anyone, let alone anyone local, could actually make jewelry for them.

She took their naivete in stride. She made the making of jewelry seem straightforward. She made the custom designing seem specialized and right up her alley.

She made a necklace and earring set for someone to wear at the Swan Ball.

She made a very unattractive, yet very appreciated by the customer, necklace to wear at a horse race. the colors had to match the specific colors in the horse’s blanket — navy, white and rose. The rose was a special color rose associated with some Queen’s rose somewhere. On the face of things, navy, white and rose don’t usually result in something rich, elegant and status’y looking. But Rosie did a fabulous job. She would not, however, have ever worn this particular necklace herself.

She made a lariat for someone to wear on a cruise. Plus, 5 different sets of earrings, each coordinating with the lariat. Plus, 10 different bracelets, each having a different clasp, and again, coordinating with the lariat.

Rosie’s willingness to adapt to the peculiar needs of her customer base made her a success. And to her customer base, money was no object.

Alejandro

Alejandro didn’t want to design jewelry per se. He wanted to find jewelry designed by others and find places that might sell this jewelry. His mom had gotten breast-cancer (she’s a survivor). And he had this brainstorm.

He visited the Dallas Merchandise Mart. He found about a dozen vendors who represented lines Alejandro thought would do well in the various fundraising events the state’s Breast Cancer Society sponsored.

From these vendors, he gathered information about the products, the minimum units which needed to be purchased at a time, the unit cost, and the suggested retail price.

He determined what kind of commission he needed to make this work and wanted to get.

He sat down with the marketing executives at the Breast Cancer Society. He showed them pictures of the various products and the numbers. He negotiated a deal and a plan.

This is what you call a Win-Win-Win. The vendor wins. The client wins. and Alejandro wins.

Getting Started In Business

You need to look yourself in the mirror, and be very, very, very honest with yourself. Getting started in business is a big step. It’s not all fun and games. There’s paperwork, repetition, tradeoffs to be made. Be honest with yourself.

Ask yourself:

o Why do I want to start a business?

o What type of business do I want?

o What kinds of things do I want to sell?

o What kind of time and energy commitments do I want to commit?

o Where will the money come from to get started?

o Where will I work — kitchen table? craft studio? at a store?

o What will I name my business?

o Where will I get my jewelry making supplies?

o Do I want to do this alone, or with a partner(s)?

There are many different kinds of jewelry you can sell. Necklaces. Bracelets. Earrings. Eyeglass leashes. Name badge jewelry. Rings. Anklets. Ear cuffs. Body jewelry. Jewelry for dogs and cats. Jewelry representing social causes. Beaded jewelry. Wire jewelry. Polymer and metal clay jewelry. Fabricated jewelry, such as with silver smithing techniques. Lampwork jewelry. Blown glass jewelry. Micro macrame and hemp jewelry. Jewel-decorated objects like pillows, lampshades, dinner ware.

There are many different approaches and venues for selling jewelry. these include selling to friends, co-workers and family. Selling at home shows. Selling at craft shows or trunk shows. Selling online. Selling in stores and galleries, either retail, consignment or wholesale. Selling in a truck, driving from city to city, parking, and opening your truck doors for people to come into your mini-showroom. Selling in print catalogs. Designing and/or selling for promotions and events, such as a fund-raiser for breast cancer. Doing repairs.

Whatever the approach and venue, you need to step back, and be sure it is on a solid business basis. This means delving into some bureaucracy and administrivia. You can’t get around this.

Yes, you can make money selling jewelry. But you have to be smart about 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?, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, creativity, Entrepreneurship, 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 »

Tapping Into That Creative Element Is Such A High

Posted by learntobead on July 28, 2022

Translating thoughts, feelings, emotions into color, form, structure. Can never get enough of this. But where does all this creativity come from?

I remember in college — way back when — I took a physiological psychiatry class with a professor name Ina Samuels. Dr. Samuels was one of my mentors. She discussed what was new-thinking then, how the brain is this self-actualizing entity. Thoughts reside less in certain defined areas of the brain, and are more a collection of organized chemical-electrical pathways traversing the brain, all around and within it. Memories are more defined pathways that get traversed a lot.

The brain has the ability to invent, and re-invent itself. It is self-stimulative. The brain pleasures itself with creative thoughts over and over and over again each day. Sexy. Sensual. The act of creating is almost masturbatory. The brain discovers, organizes, reinforces and remembers.

Of course, I did not wax so eloquently on my final exam in Dr. Samuel’s class. She gave me a C, and I was embarrassed to have performed so poorly. I got carried away with creatively building upon my understanding of neural pathways, synapses, and thinking — too much so, that my thoughts were way off course. I carried the discussion to mechanics of three way connections and power boosters and revolving tracks — all ideas never before expressed in texts or classes or on final exams.

Yes, I let my creativity carry the day. While it didn’t earn me a good grade at the time, it sure was fun. To be wrapped up in my insights, imaginations, and good ole fashioned, solid in an organizing way, brain sex.

_______________________________

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, business of craft, craft shows, creativity, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, wire and metal | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Don’t Price Yourself Out Of Business

Posted by learntobead on July 28, 2022

Parts, Labor Overhead

One of my clients, Jan, had taken a few of my classes, was very excited about beading and jewelry making. She began selling her pieces to the people she worked with. She was a traveling salesperson for a health care company, and met lots of people on her travels. And everyone wanted her pieces.

Week after week, Jan would return to the shop and buy a few hundred dollars of beads. and week after week, she enthusiastically reported that she was selling her pieces right and left. After several months, she remarked that she needed to take my Pricing class. As she continued to talk and elaborate about her pricing strategies, she remarked that she typically added $15.00 to the cost of her materials, and that sometimes, her prices were probably lower than the cost of her materials.

Hmmmm….

So if she paid $55.00 for the materials in her piece, she might price it at $70–75.00. A great deal for her customer. But not so great for Jan. I told her to raise her prices.

…And sign up for my online video tutorial about Pricing and Selling Your Jewelry.

_______________________________

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?, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, 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 »

DESIGNWORKS: Getting Credit Terms For Your Business

Posted by learntobead on July 15, 2022

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.

___________________________________

FOOTNOTES

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/

_______________________________

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, business of craft, craft shows, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, professional development, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by learntobead on July 14, 2022

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS

16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

Check out this new book by Warren Feld
Ebook or Print

Doing craft shows is a wonderful experience. You can make a lot of money at craft shows, you meet new people, you have new adventures. You learn a lot about business and arts and crafts designing.

IF… you do your homework when selecting them,
and verify all information

IF… you are very organized in preparing for them,
setting up, selling and re-packing up

IF… you promote, promote, promote.

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.

Table of Contents

What You Will Learn, p. 1

Intro to Book and Acknowledgements, p. 3

LESSON 1: Not Every Craft Show Is Alike, p. 13

LESSON 2: Research All Your Possibilities, p. 27

LESSON 3: Know Which Craft Shows Are For You, p. 31

LESSON 4: Set Realistic Goals / Determine Break-Even
                     Point, p. 39
LESSON 5: Get Those Applications In Early, p. 71

LESSON 6: Promote, Promote, Promote, p. 83

LESSON 7: Set Up For Success, p. 87

LESSON 8: Bring Enough Inventory To Sell, p. 121

LESSON 9: Sell Yourself And Your Craft At The Show,
                     p. 125

LESSON 10: Make A List Of Things To Bring, p. 141

LESSON 11: Be Prepared To Accept Credit Cards, p. 145

LESSON 12: Price Things To Sell, p. 147

LESSON 13: Keep Your Money Safe, p. 151

LESSON 14: Generate Follow-Up Sales, p. 163

LESSON 15: Take Care Of Yourself, p. 167

LESSON 16: Be Nice To Your Neighbors, p. 169

Some Final Words Of Advice, p. 173

Helpful Resources, p. 175

~~~~~~~

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

198pp, many images and diagrams
Ebook or Print

______________________________

_______________________________

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?, art theory, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, creativity, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, Resources, wire and metal | 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

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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.

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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 »

Finding A Job Which Utilizes Your Jewelry Making Experience: Some Expected and Some Unexpected Possibilities

Posted by learntobead on July 18, 2021

Warren Feld

Warren FeldJust now·9 min read

Finding A Job Which Utilizes Your Jewelry Making Experience

There are actually many career pathways for people who have backgrounds in jewelry making and bead working. Besides the obvious pathways of making jewelry to sell, or teaching jewelry making, there are still many job and career opportunities for you.

You may have to do a little more leg work, and a little more tree-shaking. Don’t assume, however, when the linear pathway is blocked, that all pathways are blocked. They are not.

Some types of jobs/careers which might use your talents….

There are a lot of private companies, nonprofit agencies, government agencies, and foundations and philanthropic agencies that work with disadvantaged groups, and need people to provide technical assistance to these groups. These groups might be inner city. They might be rural. They might be overseas.

Very often, projects these businesses and organizations work on have a craft-angle to them. They may need people to teach crafts, to teach people to transfer their craft skills into marketable skills, or to assist people in applying for loans to start up businesses, usually small loans and usually things associated with selling crafts.

Banks

Banks have found it profitable to make “micro-loans”. These loans are very small amounts, and usually given to women in developing countries, to help them leverage their skills — often craft skills — to make a business out of them. Banks need personnel to

o Develop loan forms, documentation and procedures

o Find opportunities for making these loans

o Working with people to teach them how to apply for these loans

o Working with people to teach them how to be more accountable with loan moneys

o Working with people to teach them how to translate their craft skills into marketable skills (called transfer of technology). Often this means helping them find resources to get materials, make choices about materials and what would be most cost-effective, and how to market their products

o Working with people to find markets for, and otherwise promote, their products

o Helping people form cooperatives so that they can buy materials more cheaply, and sell and market their products cooperatively

Government and International Agencies

Government and International Agencies need people to….

o Determine where — what communities, what demographics — they can most likely leverage local talents to better people’s lives. Crafts, particularly beading and jewelry making, provide very useful talents around which to leverage

o Evaluate local technologies — and these include all craft technologies — in terms of readiness and/or capability for cost-effective technology transfer

o Do some community organizing to make local people aware of governmental assistance (or other assistance), and to help them complete applications for this assistance

o Evaluate these kinds of programs to determine success, and make recommendations about how to increase these successes

o Document craft technologies, particularly among native, tribal, or isolated groups that are in danger of becoming extinct

o Similarly, to create ways to preserve craft technologies which are in danger of becoming extinct, or which became extinct a long time ago, and which be restored. A good example is how South Korea restored the art of celadon pottery making, or China’s work at preserving Yixing Tea Pot making.

Military

Military Agencies do similar things as governmental ones, except from a slightly different perspective. They want to know, in an anthropological sense, how people value different local technologies — including craft technologies –, and which ones can military and related civilian advisors assist the locals with, to improve their economy and security.

Philanthropy

Philanthropic Foundations have many missions. One mission is to improve and secure the health, welfare, and social economy of particular areas or population groups. Crafts are one way of accomplishing this, particularly if working with disadvantaged populations or areas.

Crafts are things people do all the time, that are attractive as products (and services if you are teaching), improve the quality of life, and form the roots of good businesses — especially start-ups.

Another mission of Philanthropic organizations is to pre-test different strategies for social and economic development. Again crafts, and beads especially, can form the basis of many strategies for business development, empowerment of minorities and women, assistance for the elderly, technology transfer, and the like.

Philanthropic organizations need people who can…

o Develop grants, rules and applications

o Find community organizations to apply for these grants

o Evaluate the success of grants

o Work with academics and consultant experts to generate experimental ideas to be tested through grants

o Work with local, state and national government agencies to find cost-sharing ways of testing out these “ideas”

o In similar way, find and negotiate public-private partnerships towards this end

Information Technology and Website Development

Information technology and website development companies, with Google a prime example, are in the business of translating reality into tables of data that can easily be accessed and assessed. These types of companies need people who can

o Translate craft terms and activities into categories for which data can be consistently collected, organized, stored and analyzed

o Work with museums and galleries which buy, own, exhibit, store or display crafts, to develop ways to collect and categorize routine data on these collections and their importance to different types of people and groups

o Sell the use of these craft-specific databases to companies or individuals that will use them

o Work with craft magazines, museums, schools, galleries and the like to help standardize some of the terminologies and valuations associated with various crafts, to make it easier to collect and sort data about them

o Assist craft artists in development of websites

o Assist craft artists in marketing their websites, especially through social media sites

o Develop blogs

o Develop advertising and marketing materials

o Develop packaging and branding materials

o Digitize images of craft items

Museums, Galleries and Libraries

Museums, Galleries and Libraries employ craft artists to…

o Catalog and digitize collections

o Document quality of items

o Restore aged or otherwise damaged pieces

o Write brochures and promotional materials

o Organize exhibits

o Raise funds for exhibits

o Advocate for funds among government agencies and philanthropic groups

o Organize a “crafts” section where none has existed before

o Promote fine crafts

o Organize a craft show to raise money and/or awareness

Many museums, galleries and libraries have tons of things in storage that have only loosely been documented, and need much more documentation and organization.

Non-Profit Groups, Agencies and Institutions

Non-Profit Groups employ all kinds of people with all kinds of backgrounds. They always need help with many fund-raising or program-targeting things. Your craft knowledge can play a very useful role here.

For example, take your local breast cancer society. Think of all the kinds of craft-type things you can make, and for which they can sell, to raise money. You could organize a craft brain trust among your friends, and turn out item after item with breast cancer awareness themes and colors. Or you could scour the internet for breast cancer awareness craft items, and make them work for you. And you could repeat this success for many other local nonprofit groups.

One of my friends went to the Atlanta Gift Show, and identified vendors that had products that could easily be adapted for breast cancer awareness. She worked out with each one what the minimum orders would be, how much lead time would be needed between placing an order and receiving the merchandise, and price. Then she went to local breast cancer groups and presented them with the options. She added 15% to the prices as her commission. These organizations fund raise all the time, and are in major need of new things to sell and promote. My friend had to lay out very little money — basically the cost of a trip to Atlanta, some phone calls and paperwork — and generated a very lucrative business for herself.

I remember spending some time in Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital in New York City. This hospital specializes in cancer treatment. I was observing patient activities. One of these activities involved volunteers pushing a cart around with various craft activities for patients to do.

Most of the patients in the rooms in the Ward I was on could barely move their bodies, arms and hands. They were very medicated, and had many needles and IV’s stuck into them during their stay. All the craft projects on these carts required considerable manual dexterity — knitting, beading with seed beads, crocheting. The volunteers would cheerily come into the room, announce themselves, and ask if the patient wanted any of these fun crafts to do. The patients would shake their heads No, and grunt. The patients could barely move. And the volunteers left the room, unconcerned.

I took a trip to FAO Schwartz — the toy store — and came back with sets of interlocking building blocks. The blocks were made from different colors of plastic. They were different shapes. A patient could easily hold one or two pieces in their hands without requiring much manual dexterity. The pieces fit together easily by interlocking two pieces, where a slot had been cut out in each. These were a big hit on the Ward. They allowed creativity, without much manual dexterity. The pieces were large enough, that the patient could manipulate them with their hands, and not worry about losing any, if they dropped to the floor.

In hospitals and health care settings, I’ve helped create programs to assist occupational therapists with improving manual dexterity with the elderly, therapists with improving attention spans with children, conducting memory agility tests with patients, and many more programs, utilizing crafts materials and technics.

There are plenty of social and community problems to solve, many different kinds of businesses and organizations responsible for solving these problems, and many solutions which require crafts — materials or technologies which are workable, do-able, saleable, and implementable. There most likely won’t be advertised positions for these kinds of things. But you would be surprised how easy it can be to create your own job opportunities and ones which utilize your craft experiences and knowledge.

When Approaching These Potential Employers and Consultants, Be Sure To…

1. Be able to clearly define how your craft knowledge/experience can help your prospective employer solve some of her/his (NOT YOUR) problematic situations.

2. Research prospective employers, their websites and marketing materials. Identify the key words and buzz words in their materials. Be sure to include these in your written and oral presentations to them.

3. Approach the prospective employer by phone or in person first. Then follow-up with a resume and cover letter. Don’t assume that, because you can make the intellectual link between job and solution, that the employer will see this link when reading a resume. You’ll probably have to educate the employer a bit. This really doesn’t take much effort.

4. Cite examples of what kinds of things you can do. If you can identify other programs or individuals with success stories, do so.

5. If you make your “job search” also a “mission to educate people about crafts”, you’ll be surprised how much energy and excitement you bring to the job interview situation.

_______________________________

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?, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, creativity, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, professional development, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

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.

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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

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