MAKING YOUR OWN JEWELRY
When you start out making jewelry, it is always good to have a teacher. I was very lucky to have one of the best: Eni Oken! (I went to a 3 hour class on wire jewelry, learned how to make a loop, made a pair of earrings, and was hooked! I went home, went on-line, and found Eni Oken’s tutorials – this was before she went big-time and started hosting JewelryLessons.com, a most marvelous site full of tutorials by all sorts of different jewelry artists) I made maybe 10 of Eni’s designs, and then I found that my ideas were migrating – well, actually, they were migrating from the start – Eni said “small beads”, and I missed that, and made my first piece with very big beads, but she talked me through it.
Lately, I have been making the bracelets I showed I my last post. I have purchased and read through and experimented with a number of tutorials from different artists, but, with these bracelets, I haven’t followed any tutorial any further than “take a piece of wire”. I think I saw a tutorial about how to make an all in one piece with a hook clasp a while back, but, when I started making these, it was more like, well, I have seen this picture, and it should work out like this (I mean, I did not sit with a tutorial and follow it to do this). Fortunately, my idea has turned out fairly well.
So, what am I talking about? I’m talking about you, the designer. After you have followed a teacher for a while (in person or through on-line tutorials ), and after you have seen more teachers’ work, then, one day you get an idea in your head, and it is not exactly anyone’s tutorial, but, sort of, something you know you can make.
I love Eni Oken’s tutorials: I started with her Coiled Bangle, which is listed as Very Advanced (can you believe it? That’s like asking a baby to do Olympic acrobatics – but I managed, because she writes very clear, very thorough tutorials), and I still do love the ornate-ness of her work, but I have found that I can break things easily, and, so, I am very happy right now with these bangles I am making because they are pretty strong, and I think I won’t be able to break them anytime soon.
The pieces I am making now are simple in design, so the complexity has to come from the stones I use.
After you work with the tutorials of different designers, or even one, you may well find you are making something that is all your own.
Even if you just continue making the same tutorial over and over, you will probably find that you make little modifications that make the work your own.