Jewelry Making Ideas: Part II For Beginners

I wrote a post yesterday about the method I use to come up with new jewelry making ideas and there's somethings I'd like to add to that. If you haven't read that post, see it here:

I realize that if you're a newbie wire jewelry enthusiast or aspiring jewelry designer, my method may seem overwhelming or even undoable in the beginning. So I thought I'd back up a bit and address how someone new to wire jewelry making might proceed.

When you start going thru jewelry magazines looking for new jewelry making ideas, you may not have enough experience with various wire jewelry techniques to know if the designs you're seeing or conceiving on your own are actually doable. You may not have the experience to know what techniques were used in the pieces you're using as reference. As a result, you may find yourself frustrated and get discouraged. Just don't fall into the trap of saying to yourself, "I'll never be able to make anything like that". Which is what I did. I also so badly wanted to make my own original wire jewelry that for many years I wouldn't learn anyone else's wire jewelry techniques. I had to create them from scratch. Of course, now I wish that I'd studied other public domain techniques sooner but here's the point: Learn as many techniques as you can whether you become accomplished at them or not in the beginning. The idea is to just understand how the technique is done and what it is.

Why am i saying all this? Well, if you can understand a number of wire jewelry making techniques, then you can understand how the reference pieces of wire jewelry are made. Once you can break that down, then you can focus on fully learning the techniques that most appeal to you. Then you can start making wire jewelry using your own jewelry making techniques.


Make sense? See, if you are gathering photos of wire jewelry pieces that you admire (to use for stimulating jewelry making ideas) it's likely that there with be some similar techniques amongst those pieces. Once you can tell how a wire jewelry piece is made, what technique has been used, then you can much better start coming up with your own jewelry making ideas because you'll know HOW TO MAKE whatever designs you come up with yourself.

Let me give you an example: Early on in my career, I took a workshop with Mary Lee Hu, a famous metalsmith, more appropriately called a wiresmith, whose work I truly loved and admired. If you haven't seen her work, google her name for a real treat. The wiresmithing is sinewy and flowing in the most amazing ways.

Anyway, in that workshop, she presented all of us students with a wide variety of wire jewelry making techniques. She did not, however, spend time on the particular technique she used in making her own stunning wire jewelry pieces. It took me awhile to learn that she twined in making her work. I finally taught myself that technique, gorgeous but very laborious and time intensive. I've made some pieces with that technique although it's not fast enough for my own tastes so I use another technique that produces quicker results although the inspiration I get from her work still inspires me. See?

All that's to say that you may want to consider studying various wire jewelry making techniques at the same time that you're compiling your files of favorite wire jewelry pieces for reference and idea stimulation. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you all.