Okay, that was a terrible title, wasn’t it? Yeah, it kind of was. However it best describes what’s been going on here at the Easily Distracted studio. I’m in full-on experimentation mode and have yet to meet a jewelry medium I didn’t like. Bead stitching? Yep, I’ve been working on that even though my sewing skills are abysmal!
Forever bracelets A Passionate Heart necklaces
Top two: Hugs & Kisses bracelets, bottom: The Empress bracelet
Metal stamping? That too! It’s not as easy as it looks, it requires a firm strike of the hammer on the embosser to make the impression (be sure not to overdo it and strike twice) and it doesn’t take long to learn that Sharpie marker works just as well at highlighting the letters as Guilder’s Paste does. Also, given that Sharpies come in a wide rainbow of colors, it makes the finished pieces far more affordable and just as creative!
The “In Bloom” pendant featuring copper, Myuki seed beads, and a hand-patinated charm.
So why experiment? Because even for the most dedicated of us, doing the same thing day after day gets to be a little repetitive. Even the great artists like Vincent Van Gogh evolved and changed as they grew as an artist. His early works, like The Potato Eaters, were full of dull, drab earth tones unlike so many of his later works such as, The Night Cafe, which featured bright vivid colors including brilliant yellows and rich, deep reds. Had he not changed and grown as an artist, then the world would never have known the deep, velvety blues and purples of The Starry Night.
I’m not saying I’m Van Gogh. Far from it. But I am an artist. Anyone who creates – no matter what they create or how they do it – is. And as an artist, I like to challenge myself. If all I did was string beads onto wire day after day, my career as a jewelry designer would be short indeed.
So when I see a bundle of wire, I think why not learn wire working?
Seedlings bracelet (done in the Chan Luu style) featuring copper wire and turquoise
Across the Universe bracelet featuring copper wire, gold plated wire and Indian Lampwork glass
Or if I really want to get wild, modify a stitching technique and use wire to stitch seed beads and small stone chips onto a hand-made heart shaped wire frame.
An Open Heart necklace
Or if I feel like going smaller, why not take a shot at learning how to scale down and make earrings?
Copper and Pyrite earrings
Cat’s Eye, Swarovski crystal and gold wire earrings
It’s also a good idea to look at current trends to see how you can expand your creations, especially if you sell your works in stores. After all, don’t you know of at least one person who would love a completely customizable Alex + Ani style adjustable bangle bracelet? I know a few who did!
Changles By Bethany
And the hot colored resin trend? Most of it is factory made but if you have the time and the patience (and clearly I’m foolish enough to have both) then why not go ahead and give it a try? As long as your color is not adding more than 10% to the resin mixture, it will harden. It just may take a little longer than uncolored resin.
There are so many amazing things to try in the jewelry world that it makes no sense to limit yourself to just one style or just one type of project. So get out there, get creative, and let the artist in you push the envelope. You’ll be glad you did.