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So You Want To Become a Jewelry Designer… Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Posted by learntobead on April 20, 2020

Jayden Jones at work in her studio

GETTING STARTED:
 CHANNELING YOUR EXCITEMENT
 
Abstract:
Why are you, or why do you, want to become, a jewelry artist? What drives you? How do you channel your excitement? Is it something to do with what type of person you are? How you view the world? How you want to fill your time? It turns out there are many types of people who become jewelry designers. Although they may have different aspirations and ambitions underlying their excitement about jewelry design, they find common ground and a common way of thinking about making and designing jewelry. But because jewelry design has not yet become a full-fledged, recognizable discipline all its own, it sometimes becomes difficult to get clarity on how to channel your excitement into an avocation or career. Your support group is often made up of a polyglot of crafters and artists, some who do not fully understand jewelry making and design. Advice can be diffuse. Clients have difficulty evaluating the value of your work, frequently expressing misunderstandings about what is good. This can lead to self-doubt, which better designers learn to manage and overcome.

GETTING STARTED:
 CHANNELING YOUR EXCITEMENT
 
What drives you to pursue your passion for jewelry?

“Why Are You A Jewelry Artist?”

As if you had a choice…

It often is difficult for others to understand why you consider yourself a jewelry artist. How did this come to be? How did you get started? Were you always artistic? Is your family crafty? How did you learn these things? Why jewelry? Why do you get so excited about all this? Do you want to make a living out of it? Can you really sell things?

They don’t really feel these things like you do. They don’t feel this pulsing heart, this urge to create, and this passion to make jewelry. When you get started making jewelry, it’s hard to stop. It becomes ingrained in you. What may have begun as a hobby evolves into something you cannot live without. Applying your creative self becomes habit, almost addicting, often relaxing and self-affirming … and painful to do without.

As a jewelry artist, you have a purpose in life. It is something you do because you must do it. It is what helps you function in life. You make new amazing pieces, share these, and make some more new amazing pieces. You have those little conversations with yourself about the various choices you are making, when designing a piece of jewelry, and this can be therapeutic, informative, reaffirming. And, you are ever in search of developing those insightful, smart strategies for merging voice with form, aesthetics with function, your intent with the desires of others.

Jewelry designers are extraordinarily blessed to do what they love for a living. For many, they have turned a hobby into an avocation into a lifestyle.

But it’s not like a regular job. There are many intangibles. Such as, what exactly is creativity, and how do you apply it? What are all the things which have to come together to recognize that creative spark when it hits you in your heart, gut or head, and how to translate that into something real, with beauty, with function, and with purpose? How do you mesh your view of aesthetics and functionality with those of your many audiences — wearer, viewer, buyer, seller, exhibiter, collector, teacher and student?

What exactly does it mean to design jewelry, and how do you know it is the right path for you? This is a tough question. You may love jewelry, but not know how to make it. You may get off on creative problem solving or be a color addict but not know what specific techniques and skills you need to learn, in what organized way, with what direction, leading you towards becoming that better jewelry designer. You may feel the motivation, but not know what the jewelry designer really has to do each day.

You may be taking classes and getting some training, but how do you know when you have arrived? How do you know when you have emerged as a successful professional jewelry designer? How do you know you have mastered the necessary disciplinary literacy — fluency, flexibility, originality? And what are your responsibilities and obligations, once you get there?

Surviving and thriving as a jewelry designer requires an understanding of the way things work and how you will fit into all this — making, presenting, selling, reflecting and critiquing.

Not Just One Type Of Person

There is not just one type of person who becomes a jewelry designer. There are many, many types of people who find jewelry design a common passion. They may have different ambitions. They may prefer to use different techniques and materials. They may have different levels of financial success. They may have different compulsions for creating jewelry. But the excitement is there for each of them.

We can differentiate people who become jewelry designers by their aspirations (1 Neuendorf, 2016) — why they became jewelry designers. Some jewelry designers fit one type of aspiration; others, more than one. But the contour of their lives brings them to similar places within jewelry and its design.

There are 5 basic types of Creatives:
 o Social Interactants
 o Compulsive Creators
 o Lifestyle of Freedom Seekers
 o Financial Success Achievers
 o Happenstance and Chance

Social Interactants

This type of Creative often seeks out other creatives and forms a social network. Social Interactants may be makers. They may be sellers or exhibiters or collectors. But their excitement comes, in part, by looking for ways to interact and meet and share close-knit social ties. Part of the reason is to learn new ideas. Another part is to get feedback and critique. The social group and network will offer support, advice, career and business opportunities and direction. These are people you can lean on when times get tough. There might even be some shared glamour and celebrity, depending on the artists and their group.

Social Interactants typically seek recognition for their efforts and their works. The success of any piece of jewelry depends on the judgements of the various audiences which interact with it. Social interactants allocate a good deal of their time anticipating how others will understand and react to any piece of jewelry. They spend time seeking out opportunities to display their works publicly.

Compulsive Creators

There is this innate, compulsive, don’t-fight-it desire that some jewelry designers have for creating jewelry. This is the Compulsive Creator. Applying creative thinking is at the core of their excitement. Composing, constructing and manipulating design elements is intrinsically rewarding. There is a strong, profound commitment to jewelry design, and this directed energy is often associated with productivity and success.

Compulsive Creators love what they do. It allows them to think creatively. They allocate a lot of their time towards achieving a high level of quality and sophistication.

Lifestyle of Freedom Seekers

These Freedom Seeker designers like to set their own pace, establish their own routines, work when the spirit moves them. A regular 9 to 5 job is not for them. They like to make their own rules and be self-directed. Any financial insecurity and uncertainty that comes with this is worth the price to pay for a lifestyle of freedom.

Excitement equals freedom and the strategies for incorporating whatever comes. These designers believe that this freedom allows them to experience the world around them in a greater depth and to a greater degree. In turn, they have more understandings for how to find and then turn inspirations into finished jewelry designs.

Financial Success Achievers

Financially Successful jewelry designers can do quite well for themselves, but it takes a lot of drive, organization and business and marketing sense. Jewelry design can be a lucrative career with such determination, gaining visibility, and a little bit of being in the right place at the right time. Accumulating money or wealth is a big part of the excitement.

Some designers seek to make jewelry design a self-supporting career. However, many designers primarily look for money to supplement their income or retirement. Some look to make enough money to pay for their supplies.

Sometimes, designers make jewelry to seek wealth, rather than income. They accumulate many pieces of jewelry and many unusual supplies and components to achieve wealth as success.

Financial Success Achievers typically try to create a business around their jewelry.

Happenstance and Chance

Not everyone who becomes a jewelry designer aspired to be one. Sometimes people fall into it. They need a piece of jewelry to match an outfit and decide to make something themselves, then get hooked. They watch someone make jewelry, then get intrigued. They try to repair a broken piece of jewelry by themselves. They accompany a friend to a jewelry making class, then want to try it out. Their excitement evolves over time.

A Myriad of Aspirations and Ambitions

Aspirations and ambitions vary. There is no best way or right way. It becomes a matter of the designer finding that balance of design, self, and other-life which works for them, and drives their passion.

Jewelry designers are motivated to become designers for many different reasons. But motivations are only a start at channeling one’s excitement. These make up only a small part of what it truly takes to be a successful designer. Designers need to develop skills and techniques, creative thinking, design process management, and disciplinary literacy, to continue on their pathway to success.

BECOMING THE BEAD ARTIST AND JEWELRY DESIGNER:
 Your Getting Started Story

When did you first realize you had a passion for designing jewelry?

[While you are thinking about this, now is a good time to get out your pen and paper and jot down some thoughts.]

Everyone has a “Getting Started” story. This is a story you tell over and over again. In it, you express your wonderment and passion. You talk about your excitement, and how you decided to channel it. You go over the steps you went through to discover what it is that drives you to create. You recall who influenced you, when and why. You remember different pathways and crossroads, where you decided to pursue your interests in one direction or another. You reflect on your expectations before you got started, and how these evolved or changed as you began to make and design jewelry.

Sometimes your story begins by touching some beads. Or running a strand of pearls through your hand. Or the sight of something perfectly worn around the wrist, upon the breast, or up near the neck. Othertimes, it may begin by taking a class, or deciding to make a special pair of earrings to match a particular outfit. Or thinking you want to make a piece of jewelry you saw someone wearing on TV or in a photospread in some magazine.

Your Getting Started story is a measure of what you have discovered, and what you need to discover still. It is a foil against which to measure your successes, and some not-so-successful things. It represents your insight and foresight when making both personal development and jewelry design choices.

And, it is very important to be cognizant and aware of how your Getting Started story follows you throughout your career in your marketing and exhibiting. It is part of your business name, your brochures, your advertising. It is part of your description, your elevator pitch, your tag line. It underlies how you talk about yourself and your jewelry. It becomes one of the major ways other people get to know you, get interested in you, and want to wear or display things made by you. You will always need to have a Getting Started story, and you will always come to rely on this story to further your literacy development in design, as well as your creative and business ambitions.

Better designers are very metacognitive of what they do. That is, they are very aware of all the choices they’ve made, and their implications and consequences. This means reflection. It means evaluation. It means critiquing.

Writing your Getting Started story is a necessary, early first step towards developing your metacognitive abilities as a designer.

Doubt / Self-doubt

For the novice, all that excitement at the beginning, when thinking about making jewelry and making some pieces, sometimes collides with a wall of developing self-doubt. It’s not easy to quiet a doubt.

The jewelry artist organizes their life around an inspiration. There is some fuzziness here. That inspiration has some elements of ideas, but not necessarily crystal clear ones. That inspiration has some elements of emotions — it makes you feel something — but not necessarily something you can put into words or images or fully explain. You then need to translate this fuzzy inspiration into materials, into techniques, into color, into arrangements, into a coherent whole.

You start to make something, but realize you don’t know how to do it. But you want to do it, and do it now. However, to pick up the needed skills, you realize you can’t learn things all at once. You can’t do everything you want to do all at once. That initial excitement often hits a wall. Things take time to learn. There are a lot of trial and error moments, with a lot of errors. Pieces break. Combining colors and other design elements feels very awkward. Silhouettes are confusing. You might get the right shape for your piece, but it is difficult to get the right movement, drape and flow, without compromising that shape.

To add to this stress and strain, you need to show your jewelry off. You might want someone to like it. To want it. To need it. To buy it. To wear it. To wear it more than once. To wear it often. To exhibit it. To collect it. And how will all these other people recognize your creative spark, and your abilities to translate that spark into a wonderful, beautiful, functional piece of jewelry, appropriate for the wearer and appropriate for the situation?

Frequently, because of all this, the artist experiences some sense of doubt and self-doubt. Some paralysis. Can’t get started. Can’t finish something. Wondering why they became a jewelry designer in the first place.

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.

While sometimes doubt and self-doubt can be useful in forcing you to think about and question your choices, it mostly holds you back.

Having doubt and self-doubt is common among all artistic types. What becomes important is how to manage and overcome it, hence, my idea of Channeling Your Excitement, so that doubts do not get in the way of your creative process and disciplinary development.

There are 8 major ways in which jewelry artists get caught beginning to fall into that abyss we call self-doubt:

1) What If I’m Not Creative Enough or Original Enough or Cannot Learn or Master or Don’t Know a Particular Technique?

2) What If No One Likes What I Make?

3) What If No One Takes Me Seriously As An Artist And Designer?

4) I Overthink Things and Am A Bit of a Perfectionist.

5) How Can I Stay Inspired?

6) Won’t People Steal My Work?

7) Being Over Confident or Under Confident

8) Role Confusion

1.What If I’m Not Creative Enough or Original Enough or Cannot Learn or Master or Don’t Know a Particular Technique?

Everyone has some creativity baked into their being. It is a matter of developing your way of thinking and doing so that you can apply it. This takes time.

So does originality. At first, you’ll try different ways of personalizing projects. There are always things you can do to bring some aspects of originality to your pieces. This might be the choice of colors, or using a special clasp, or rearranging some elements in your composition. Again, as with creativity, the ability to be more and more original will evolve over time. It is helpful to think of originality, not necessarily as coming up with something completely new, but rather as differentiation — how you differentiate yourself from other jewelry designers.

For almost everyone, you don’t begin your design career at the height of your levels of creativity and originality. Yes, if you look around you, other people are more creative and original than you or have more skills than you. Don’t let these observations be a barrier to your own development as a jewelry designer. You get there through persistence and hard work. You handle your inner critic. You may not be there, yet — the key word here is yet. But you will be.

2. What If No One Likes What I Make?

We all have fears about how our creativity and originality are going to be evaluated and judged. We project our self-doubts to the doubts we think we see and feel from others. What if no one wants to wear my pieces, or buy my works?

We can’t let these outsider reactions dictate our lives and creative selves. A key part of successful jewelry design is learning how to introduce what we do publicly. At the least, it is the core nature of the things we create that they are to be worn on the body. Jewelry is a very public thing.

Turn negative comments into positive ideas, motivators, insights, explorations. Allow yourself some give and take, some needs to step back awhile, some needs to tweak. Jewelry design and jewelry making are iterative processes. They in no way are linear. Your outcomes and their success are more evolutionary, than guaranteed.

Distressing about what others may think of your work can be very damaging to your self-esteem. It can amplify your worries. Don’t go there.

Don’t become your worst critic.

3. What If No One Takes Me Seriously As An Artist And Designer?

Jewelry design is an occupation in search of a profession. You will find that a lot of people won’t recognize your passion and commitment. They may think anyone can design jewelry. They may think of jewelry making as a craft or some subset of art, not as something unique and important in and of itself. They may wonder how you can make a living at this.

The bottom line: if you don’t take yourself seriously as a jewelry designer, no one else will.

People will take you seriously as they see all the steps you are taking to master your craft and develop yourself as a professional.

4. I Over Think Things And Am A Bit Of A Perfectionist

Some designers let a sense that their work is not as good as imagined get in the way. They never finish anything. They let doubt eat away at them.

Perfectionism is the enemy of the good. It’s great to be meticulous, but emotionally, we get wrecked when anything goes astray, or any little thing is missing, or you don’t have that exact color or part you originally wanted.

Go ahead and plan. Planning is good. It’s insightful. It can be strategic. But also be sure to be adaptable and realistic. Each piece is a stepping stone to something that will come next.

The better jewelry designer develops a Designer’s Toolbox — a collection of fix-it strategies to deal with the unfamiliar or the problematic.

Overthinking can be very detrimental. You can’t keep changing your mind, trying out every option, thinking that somewhere, someplace there exists a better option. Make a choice and get on with it. You can tweak things later.

Yes, attention to detail is important. But so is the value of your time. You do not want to waste too much time on trivial details.

Be aware when you begin over-analyzing things. Stop, take a breath, make a decision, and move on.

5. How Can I Stay Inspired?

Designing a piece of jewelry takes time, sometimes a long time. That initial inspirational spark might feel like it’s a dying ember.

Don’t let that happen.

Translate that inspiration into images, colors, words, sample designs, and surround your work space with these.

Talk about your inspiration in detail with family and friends.

6. Won’t People Steal My Work?

Many jewelry designers fear that if they show their work publicly, people will steal their ideas. So they stop designing.

Yet jewelry design is a very communicative process which requires introducing your work publicly. If you are not doing this, then you are creating simple sculptures, not jewelry.

Yes, other people may copy your work. See this source of doubt as an excuse. It is a self-imposed, but unnecessary, barrier we might impose to prevent us from experiencing that excitement as a jewelry designer. Other people will never be able to copy your design prowess — how you translate inspiration into a finished piece. That is unique and special to you, and why the general public responds positively to you and your work.

7. Over Confidence can blind you to the things you need to be doing and learning, and Under Confidence can hinder your development as a designer.

Too often, we allow under confidence to deter us from the jewelry design and making tasks at hand. We always question our lack of ability and technical prowess for accomplishing the necessary tasks at hand. It is important, however, to believe in yourself. To believe that you can work things out when confronted with unfamiliar or problematic situations. It is important to develop your skills for thinking like a designer. Fluency. Flexibility. Originality. There is a vocabulary to learn. Techniques to learn. Strategies to learn. These develop over time with practice and experience. You need to believe in your abilities to develop as a designer over time.

With over confidence comes a naivete. You close off the wisdom to listen to what others have to say or offer. You stunt your development as an artist. You overlook important factors about materials and techniques to the detriment of your final designs and products. You close yourself off to doubt and self-doubt, which is unfortunate. Doubt and self-doubt are tools for asking questions and questioning things. These help you grow and develop as an artist and designer. These influence your ability to make good, professional choices in your career.

8. Role Confusion
 

 
Jewelry artists play many roles and wear different hats. Each has its own set of opportunities, requirements, and pressures that the artist must cope with. It’s a balancing act extraordinaire.

First, people who make jewelry wear different hats: Artist and Designer, Manufacturer, Distributor, Retailer, and Exhibitor.

Second, people who make jewelry have different needs: Artistic Excellence, Recognition, Monetary Gain, or Financial Stability.

Third, the artist needs to please and satisfy themselves, as well as other various clients.

Fourth, the artist constructs pieces which need to function in different settings: Situational, Cultural, Sociological, Psychological.

Last, the artist must negotiate a betwixt and between situation — a rite of passage — as they relinquish control over the piece and its underlying inspirations to the wearer and the viewer, who have their own needs, desires and expectations.

This gets confusing. It affects how you pick materials and supplies. Which techniques you use. What marketing strategies you employ. How you value and price things. And the list goes on.

It is important to be aware (metacognitive) of what role(s) you play when, and why. Given the role, it is important to understand the types of choices you need to make, when constructing a piece of jewelry. It is critical to understand the tradeoffs you will invariably end up making, and their consequences for the aesthetic, emotional and functional success of your pieces.

Some Advice

While doubt and self-doubt can hinder our development as jewelry designers, some degree of these may be helpful, as well.

To develop yourself as a jewelry designer, and to continue to grow and expand in your profession, you must have a balanced amount of both doubt and self-doubt. Uncertainty leads to questioning. A search for knowledge. Some acceptance of trial and error and experimentation. A yearning for more reliable information and feedback.

Jewelry design uses a great deal of emotion as a Way of Knowing. Emotions cloud or distort how we perceive things. They may lead to more doubt and worry and lack of confidence. But they also enhance our excitement when translating inspirations into designs.

· Don’t let your inner doubts spin out of control. Be aware and suppress them.

· Be real with yourself and your abilities.

· Keep a journal. Detail what your doubts are and the things you are doing to overcome them.

· Create a developmental plan for yourself. Identify the knowledge, skills and understandings you want to develop and grow into.

· Remember what happened in the past the last time doubt got in your way. Remember what you did to overcome this doubt. Remember that probably nothing negative actually happened.

· Talk to people. These can be friends, relatives and colleagues. Don’t keep

doubts unto yourself.

· Don’t compare yourself to others. This is a trap. Self-reflect and self-evaluate you on your own terms.

· Worrying about what others think? The truth is that people don’t really care that much about what you do or not do.

· Don’t beat yourself up.

· Get re-inspired. This might mean surrounding yourself with images and photos of things. It might mean a walk in nature. It might me letting someone else’s excitement flow over to you.

· Take breaks.

· See setbacks as temporary.

· Celebrate small steps.

· Keep developing your skills.

· Set goals for yourself.

Surviving As A Jewelry Designer

Designers focus their attention inward, looking, listening, sensing and searching themselves at length, only later to redirect their findings outward, creating jewelry to be displayed publicly or worn by others or sold. Doing this well often requires having several coping strategies.

Designers have to bridge the gap between inspiration and execution. This requires a lot of thought, understanding and skill.

Having both right- (creative) and left- (administrative) brain skills is a good place to be.

Don’t let the craft substitute for your personal identity. It’s always great to get compliments on what you make. This bolsters your self-esteem. But you should have good self-esteem based on who you are as a person, not on the pieces of jewelry you make. Self-esteem should come from within you, not external to you. Related to all this is that you do not want to take negative comments about your work personally. Evaluate and use the feedback objectively.

Take risks. Play. Experiment. Don’t be afraid to try new colors, new arrangements, new techniques, or place yourself in new settings with new people. Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t get stuck in a rut making the same things over and over again. You may find yourself not growing as an artist and as a person.

As best as you can, avoid comparing yourself to others.

Learn to recognize when enough is enough. You can’t be all things to all people for all designs for all situations for all contingencies. You need to set some limits and boundaries for yourself so you don’t get too frustrated or burnt out. You will never have enough parts or enough time or enough creative energy to make everything people ask you to make.

Successful artists are able to define what “success” means to them. They don’t get caught up with what other people might define as “success”.

Successful artists typically dedicate a specific time and place for creating. They develop a routine. They don’t work all hours of the day, or in a disorganized environment.

Create a consistent, coherent body of design work. Encapsulate this in a PORTFOLIO, Artist Resume, and Artist Statement.

Keep some kind of journal documenting your thoughts, design ideas, problems and solutions. This can be something very formal, or something loosely organized.

Usually, if you want to make a living at jewelry design, you’ll need a multi-method, multi-venue approach.

Merging Voice and Inspiration With Form

Jewelry design is an ongoing process of finding how to merge your artistic voice and inspiration with form. As you become more fluent and comfortable with all the vocabulary and materials and techniques, you take on more and more challenges.

Jewelry design is a conversation. It is a quiet conversation between what you come to feel and understand as inspiration, and what logical options you might bring to bear on translating that inspiration into a design. It is a conversation between you the designer and someone else as the wearer. It might also be a conversation between you the maker with someone else as the viewer, buyer, seller, exhibiter or collector.

The conversation is never done. It is a dialog. It is a back-and-forth process of refining, questioning and translating your feelings, impressions, ideas, influences into a visual grammar, forms and arrangements, and content, intent and meanings. Everything comes into play, and everything matters.

Some of the conversation is inward, and some of the conversation is very interactional. Part of the conversation focuses on generating a lot of possibilities. Another part concentrates on narrowing down those possibilities. During all this iteration, your artistic voice gets closer and closer to merging with that final jewelry form.

As your fluency in jewelry design grows, you find that all this conversation and all divergence and convergence of ideas and feelings and choices, gets reflected and sensed within your jewelry designs. This is how you develop and channel your excitement and passion.

This is how your jewelry begins to resonate.

__________________________________________

Footnotes

(1) Henri Neuendorf, A Young Artist’s Brief Guide to Art World 
 Ambition
,
Art World, November 18, 2016
 As referenced: https://news.artnet.com/art-world/4-motivations-that-make- 
 artists-successful-752957
 
 (2) Drew Kimble, Five Fears That Can Destroy An Artist, Skinny Artist, 
 As referenced: https://skinnyartist.com/5-fears-that-can-destroy-an-artist/

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

I hope you found this article useful. Be sure to click the CLAP HANDS icon at the bottom of this article.

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.

Add your name to my email list.

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MAKING THE ORDINARY NOTEWORTHY

Posted by learntobead on July 26, 2013

MAKING THE ORDINARY NOTEWORTHY

makeordinarynoteworthy1

I want to continue the discussion about Jewelry Design Principles of Composition with the principle I call “INTEREST”.

“Interest” means the degree to which the artist makes the ordinary…noteworthy.

Better designed and more satisfying jewelry has more Interest.

The WHOLE will be GREATER THAN the SUM OF THE PARTS.

makeordinarynoteworthy

Towards this end, the jewelry artist might do something of INTEREST when
– selecting materials or a mix of materials
– selecting color combinations
– varying the sizes of things
– pushing the envelope on interrelating lines, curves and planes
– playing with the rhythm
– using a focal point, or using it in a clever way

makeordinarynoteworthy3

THE QUESTIONS FOR YOU….

Among the pieces you have made, can you think of examples you can share with the group, in which you made the ordinary…noteworthy?

Can you think of examples, and share with the group, times where trying to make the ordinary…noteworthy did not work out well? Why do you think that was?

In this same vein, can jewelry artists often try too hard to make the ordinary…noteworthy?

Or not try hard enough? Have you visited stores – boutiques, department stores, galleries – in which everything seems too plain, uninteresting, boring? Too much like blue jewelry for a blue dress, without any distinction?

What kinds of things can teachers do to encourage students to make the ordinary…noteworthy?

makeordinarynoteworthy4

One example of the successful application of this principle…

There’s a company called Firefly, and I have always been intrigued by their jewelry. It is made up of mosaic components they fashion themselves from things you might use every day. I’ve included some pictures of their pieces with this post.

makeordinarynoteworthy5

Their creativity is infinite. In one component, they take a Swarovski square donut and glue a back on it, typically a piece of metal which has been stamped or otherwise decorated, and has two holes or two rings near the top corners. In the center of the donut, they might inlay some seed beads, some crystal beads, some colorful metal shards.

In another piece, they do the same thing with a Swarovski ring donut.

On the back of some bezel settings for drops they etch in words, like Spirit or Hope.

They have beautiful and often unexpected combinations of colors in their pieces.

Often a simple bead drop has that extra, “interesting” touch; it is not only a bead on a head pin, with a loop on one end. This bead would be set off by two small 15/0 seed beads, often of a contrasting color and finish.

makeordinarynoteworthy6

Their website is: http://www.fireflyjewelrydesigns.net/

You can read up on all the principles of composition on this webpage:
http://www.landofodds.com/store/goodjewelrydesign.htm

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COMING OUT AS A JEWELRY ARTIST

Posted by learntobead on June 22, 2013

COMING OUT AS A JEWELRY ARTIST
500-beaded-jewelry-cover
Coming out as a jewelry artist — what does that mean? For those of you who see jewelry making and beading as something more than a hobby — something more defined by art and design — actually calling yourself a jewelry artist or designer, instead of merely alluding to it, is a big step. A very big step.

It’s 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, 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 Artist and Designer.

Please share what this process was all about for you. How you felt. How you managed things.

Continuing with an article I had written….

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.” Keep wanting to say “but” or add some qualification, so other people don’t say, with mocking and astonishment, “You’re a what!#@?” “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. As an artist. You present yourself as someone with self-esteem and confidence. As a jewelry designer. And as an artist.

So what does it take to manage the transition before and after? What does it take to show that you can confront your passions for designing jewelry, not only privately, but publicly as well?

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Carla Reiter Jewelry

Posted by learntobead on April 28, 2010

Carla Reiter Jewelry
www.carlareiter.com

I came across an article describing Carla Reiter’s metal-knit jewelry, and I had to take a look for myself.

I was impressed, so I thought I’d share some images with you.

Her jewelry looks soft, looks like it drapes well, comfortably and would move well as the wearer moved.   It’s very earthlike, rich, organic.  

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Gallery Hopping in August

Posted by learntobead on August 14, 2009

    Jewelry Exhibits at Galleries Around The World

The Sting of Passion
Saturday 11 July 2009 – Sunday 25 October 2009
Manchester Art Gallery
Manchester, England
http://www.manchestergalleries.org/

 

Twelve international jewellery designers present new commissions in response to our Pre-Raphaelite painting collection.

Marianne Schliwinski for Joli Coeur by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Marianne Schliwinski for Joli Coeur by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Jivan Astfalck for Sappho by Charles-August Mengin

Jivan Astfalck for Sappho by Charles-August Mengin

 

 

Guild of Phillipine Jewellers
Winners from Past Design Competitions
http://www.guildofphilippinejewellersinc.com/index.php

 

 

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Dorothea Pruhl
http://www.farlang.com/exhibits/padua-dorothea-pruhl/home

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Dorothea Pruhl is a leading exponent of the current art jewellery scene.
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Her aesthetic stance is informed by abstract impressions from nature, concentration on essentials, eminent sensitivity and sculptural power.

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She makes basic statements in gold and silver – but also in wood, aluminium, titanium and stainless steel – impressions manifest in generously proportioned, clear entities.

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Starting with what is there, she tracks it down to its inmost core, applying to its quintessence a new aesthetic idiom – it might be a flower, the wind, a house, birds in flight.

Born in Breslau in 1937, Dorothea Pruhl studied art at Burg Giebichenstein in Halle before working in industry as a designer of manufactured jewellery.

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Susanne Klemm
http://www.susanneklemm.com/susanne.html

“Art creates memories of nature.”

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An Interview With Vintage Costume Jewelry Collector Carole Tanenbaum

http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/an-interview-with-vintage-costume-jewelry-collector-carole-tanenbaum/

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By Maribeth Keane and Jessica Lewis, Collectors Weekly Staff (Copyright 2009)

Carole Tanenbaum talks about vintage costume jewelry, discussing the major designers (such as Coco Chanel, Schiaparelli, Trifari, and Schreiner), popular fashion trends, and the origins of costume jewelry. She can be contacted at her website, caroletanenbaum.com.

 

jennifer trask: flourish

Susan Lomuto | Aug 11, 2009 |

http://dailyartmuse.com/2009/08/11/jennifer-trask-flourish/

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Jennifer Trask’s latest series, Unnatural Histories: Flourish, begins with the following definitions of the word flourish:

1. To grow well or luxuriantly; thrive
2. To do or fare well; prosper
3. To be in a period of highest productivity; excellence or influence.
4. To make bold or sweeping movements.

The Hudson Valley, New York based artist, best known for jewelry that incorporates snake vertabrae, beetle shells, feathers, bone, pre-ban ivory and sea urchin shells, might have included her own name for a fifth definition. As her new work of removable jewelry mounted on encaustic drawings and paintings shows, Jennifer.Trask.Is.Flourishing.

 

Polymer Art Archive
http://polymerartarchive.com/

This is a site where professional artists working in the medium of polymer will find inspiration. Museum and gallery curators will be able to access documentation about the evolution of this vibrant medium for artistic expression. And serious collectors will discover windows to new works and the medium’s most collectable artists.

Sandra McCaw, Persian Cuff, 2007

Sandra McCaw, Persian Cuff, 2007

 

 

Rachel Carren, William Morris Sebo Brooch, 2009

Rachel Carren, William Morris Sebo Brooch, 2009

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GO VOTE – 2009 7th Annual The Ugly Necklace Contest

Posted by learntobead on May 27, 2009

PRESS RELEASE –5/27/09
TOPIC:  THE UGLY NECKLACE CONTEST 2009
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Semi-Finalists Announced – Voting Begins!
7th Annual 2009 The Ugly Necklace Contest
– A Jewelry Design Competition With A Twist
May 27, 2009 thru July 15, 2009

 

 VOTE HERE

Six Jewelry Artists from around the world have been selected as Semi-Finalists of The 7th Annual 2009 The Ugly Necklace Contest – A Jewelry Design Competition With A Twist, by a panel of four judges from The Center for Beadwork & Jewelry Arts and Land of Odds. Voting begins On-Line on May 27th, thru July 15th for the Winner and Runner Up Grand Prize: $992.93 shopping spree on Land of Odds web-site (www.landofodds.com ) Runner Up Prize: $399.07 shopping spree on Land of Odds web-site.

 

 

OUR SIX SEMI-FINALISTS

 


Lori-Ann Scott
Spokane, Washington
“Sweet”

Deborah Eve Rubin
Rockville, Maryland
“Ode To An Ugly Necklace”

Jolynn Casto
Logan, Ohio
“Four Season’s Necklace”

Sarah Allison
Gresham, Oregon
“Walk In My Garden”

Juli Brown
Wells, Minnesota
“Coffin Nail Necklace”

Lynn Margaret Davy
Wimborne, Dorset, United Kingdom
“The Story of My Beading Life”

 

 

LAND OF ODDS
Attention: Warren Feld
www.landofodds.com
718 Thompson Lane, Ste 123, Nashville, TN 37204
Phone: 615-292-0610; Fax: 615-460-7001
Email: warren@landofodds.com

Synopsis:

It’s not easy to do Ugly!

So the many jewelry designers from across America and around the Globe who entered our 7th Annual 2009 The Ugly Necklace Contest, found this contest especially challenging. After all, your brain is pre-wired to avoid and reject things which are ugly. Think of snakes and spiders. And even if you start your necklace with a bunch of ugly pieces, once you organize them into a circle, the very nature of an ordered round form makes it difficult to achieve Ugly. Yes, “Ugly” is easier said than done.

Who will win? We need the public’s help to influence our panel of judges.

Does our Minnesota entry make even lung cancer look pretty? Or does our entry from Ohio give the four seasons a bad name? Surely, our Oregon entry didn’t mean to step on and crush all the flowers in her garden. Nor did our entry from Washington intentionally put down anyone with a sweet tooth or an obsessed passion for the fork. From Maryland comes this perplexing challenge: can Trash be Ugly? We would assume so, until we try to make a necklace from it. And from England, another kind of trash – bead project trash – comes to signify what ugly things happen when you don’t finish what you started.

Our respected judges evaluated these creatively-designed pieces in terms of hideousness, use of materials and clasp, the number of jewelry design principles violated, and the designer’s artistic control. Extra points were awarded for artists’ use of smaller beads, because it’s much more difficult to do Ugly with these.
Now it’s time for America and the World to help finalize the decision about which of these 6 semi-finalists’ Ugly Necklaces to vote for. The winner will truly be an exceptional jewelry designer. The losers….well….this isn’t a contest where you really can “lose”.

Come see these and the other semi-finalists’ pieces at www.landofodds.com, and vote your choice for the Ugliest Necklace, 2009.
And if you are in the Nashville, Tennessee area, please stop by The Open Windows Gallery (fine art jewelry) at Be Dazzled Beads, where the 6 semi-finalists’ Ugly Necklaces are on display through September 15, 2009.

 

ABOUT UGLY NECKLACES

The UGLY NECKLACE CONTEST (www.landofodds.com/store/uglynecklace.htm) is a jewelry design contest with a twist. The contest presents a challenge not often tackled — at least intentionally. The contest draws the jewelry designer into an alternative universe where beautiful artists create ugly necklaces. It’s not easy to do.

“Ugly” is more involved than simple surface treatment. It is not just laying out a bunch of ugly parts into a circle. It turns out that “Ugly” is something more than that. “Ugly” is the result of the interplay among Designer, Wearer, and Viewer. “Ugly” is very much a result of how a necklace is designed and constructed. “Ugly” is something the viewer actively tries to avoid and move away from. “Ugly” has deep-rooted psychological, cognitive, perceptual, sociological and anthropological functions and purposes.

As research into color and design has shown, your eye and brain compensate for imbalances in color or in the positioning of pieces and objects – they try to correct and harmonize them. They try to neutralize anything out of place or not quite right. You are pre-wired to subconsciously avoid anything that is disorienting, disturbing or distracting. Your mind and eye won’t let you go here. This is considered part of the fear response, where your brain actively attempts to avoid things like snakes and spiders…. and ugly necklaces.

This means that jewelry designers, if they are to create beautiful, wearable art, have to be more deeply involved with their pieces beyond “surface”. Or their pieces will be less successful, thus less beautiful, thus more disturbing or distracting or disorienting, thus more Ugly.

Luckily, for the jewelry designer, we are pre-wired to avoid these negative things. This makes it easier to end up with pieces that look good. Beauty, in some sense, then, is very intuitive. On the other hand, it makes it more difficult to end up with pieces that look bad. You see, Ugly goes against our nature. It’s hard to do.

The Ugly Necklace Contest is one of the many programs at The Center for Beadwork & Jewelry Arts in Nashville, Tennessee, that encourage beadwork and jewelry makers to test their design skills, have fun, and learn some fundamentals about jewelry design in the process.

Call for Entries – 8th Annual 2010 The Ugly Necklace Contest
A Jewelry Design Competition With A Twist

Read the Contest Rules at www.landofodds.com/store/uglynecklace.htm . Entries accepted between 9/15/09 and 3/15/10.
To add your name to our email list associated with The Ugly Necklace Contest, send an email to: oddsian@landofodds.com
and Write “Ugly Necklace Email List” in the subject line.


Sponsors:
Land of Odds www.landofodds.com,
Phone: 615-292-0610; Email :warren@landofodds.com
Land of Odds provides bead and jewelry making artists with virtually all their beads, supplies, books and jewelry findings needs, with over 30,000 products. Retail/Discounts/Wholesale.

Be Dazzled Beads www.bedazzledbeads.com
Center for Beadwork & Jewelry Arts www.landofodds.com/beadschool
Open Windows Gallery – Fine Art Jewelry www.landofodds.com/store/openwindowgallery.htm
Learn To Bead…At Land of Odds Blog blog.landofodds.com

Other Programs at Land of Odds:
ALL DOLLED UP: Beaded Art Doll Competition
www.landofodds.com/store/alldolledup.htm

Jewelry Design Workshops in Cortona, Italy, with Toscana Americana
www.landofodds.com/store/toscananarrativesynopsis.htm

 


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Worldwide Tour of Jewelry Exhibits

Posted by learntobead on March 31, 2009

Jewelry Exhibits Around The World:
Let’s Web Surf

I don’t have the money nor the time to go visit every museum with ongoing or special exhibits on jewelry.   So thank God for the internet.   I can get my cultural fix.

WIRE KNOTTING WITH LOREN DAMEWOOD
New York City 92nd st Y
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http://www.golden-knots.com/

Loren describes himself as “I’m a middle aged guy with a red face and not much hair, at least for now. I was born in the early fifties, observed the hippie generation mostly from the sidelines, and managed to survive the Viet Nam war by dint of becoming a technician instead of a killing machine. The former might not pay as well, but it’s a more marketable skill. That’s what I’ve been doing ever since, anyway, up until the end of 2006, when I retired from the aerospace industry.”

Many of his pieces are based on what he calls the Turk Head Knot.   See the ring above.

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GIA MUSEUM
Carlsbad, California
http://www.gia.edu/research-resources/museum/index.html

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The GIA Museum’s current focus is building the Historical Collection, a sophisticated collection of jewelry, objets d’art and gemstones of known provenance from earlier cultures and periods.

 

 

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Barbara Paganin and Patricia Lemaire

Galerie Orfeo

Luxembourg, Luxembourg

http://www.galerie-orfeo.com/ausstellung.html

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Founded in April 1992 by Susy Ciacchini, the Orfèo Gallery is the meeting point of the Art of contemporary jewellery in Luxembourg.
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Link to other jewelry artists which the gallery represents:

http://www.galerie-orfeo.com/kuenstler_e.html

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LUCCA PREZIOSA
Contemporary Jewelry
Toscany, Italy
Group Jewelry Artist Showing

http://www.luccapreziosa.it/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=205&Itemid=62&lang=en

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