April 29, 2012

YOJ Week 17: Gemstone Flower Earrings

Yes, another week and more earrings!  Similar style, but I've got to say the practice is making this much easier. My finger tips are a little sore from all of the twisting though.  These flowers are very easy to make and
can be made with any number of petals.  I had been trying to make something like this for several weeks and I'm happy to finally have it working out so nicely.
I'm in a bit of a rush right now, so I'll have to add more information later.  Enjoy!

April 24, 2012

YOJ Week 16: Bouquet Gemstone Earrings

More earrings, more gems and wire twisting this week.  These earrings were fun to make, but a lot more challenging than most of the earrings I have made previously.  I am getting much better at twisting the wire and keeping it even.  If you twist too much, the wires break - and that happened several times during these earrings.  Also, if the gemstones weren't tight enough, they flop around and that doesn't look too good either.  There were several 're-dos' for that.

These are made with 14K gold filled wire - 26G if I remember correctly.  Twining all of the stems together and getting them to lay at the right height took some work.  It was nice that you could tweak the layout once they were bound together.  Originally, I had these earrings 'flared' out a lot, but I didn't like the way they looked in the photo so I smooshed them (that's a technical term) back together and it looked better.

I also experimented with my photos this week.  That can take as long as making the jewelry does sometimes, so I am trying to capture what I feel works and what doesn't.  Today was a cloudy day, so I took my pictures

April 15, 2012

YOJ: Week 15 - Vine Earrings

I really like the earrings I made this week - and the technique was challenging but not too difficult.  It is similar to the way I made the petals of the flower for last week's project.  You just add the rondelle, pinch the wires around the stone lengthwise and give it a few twists to lock it.    Then you continue twisting the wires to make the 'branches'.  I made this using 26 gauge wire, but it could easily be made with 28 for smaller rondelles.

I tried the technique from my previous post about making ear wires and it worked like a charm.  Fantastic!  I don't think I'll ever make them one at a time again.

April 9, 2012

Use Your Pictures to Sell Your Jewelry

At some point, most people who make jewelry will want to start selling it.  There's only so much you can keep for yourself, or give as gifts, so it just make sense to want to share your creative output.  In addition to making jewelry, I love to buy it and browse it online. And yes, I plan to sell it someday soon.

I've noticed the trend on craft style e-commerce sites (etsy, artfire, etc)  is to have artsy pictures of the jewelry - with a stone or shell in the background.  Or maybe the pair of earrings is poised on a teacup.  Sometimes, the necklace is draped three different ways over the rock or on a tree branch.  Or there are multiple different closeups - each with some portion of the necklace blurry - but the rest of the necklace in focus.    I'm here to tell you that the photos may look lovely - and I often admire the artistic virtue of the picture - but they are not selling the jewelry.

This is only my opinion of course, but if I can't see what the necklace (earrings, bracelet, etc) really looks like - i.e. how long is the chain, how big is pendant in comparison to the chain, how will it look in its entirety - I'm not going to buy it!  I don't need a gorgeous model - but sometimes a model helps.  I can tell you that I never buy jewelry to bring it home and hang it on a tree branch or drape it over a shell or a rock.  If that is the case, why are you showing me pictures of it that way?  Now, if you only have one or two pictures like that - and you always include a picture that answers the question, what will it look like on - then by all means be artsy with your photos to your heart's content.  But if you are wondering why you have such lovely jewelry and no one is buying it, maybe you should look at your pictures and see if they are making people want to wear it.

April 8, 2012

YOJ: Week 14 - Flower Gemstone Pendant

As a designer, I almost always plan my projects in advance,  I have a sketchbook for jewelry that I use to make notes of things I see that inspire me.  It could be a piece of jewelry, a pattern, a color combination or an idea for a whole jewelry line.  I always have a notebook ready to capture it.
This week, I planned to make a gemstone flower.  This is not even close to my original sketches, but I'm still really happy with the way it turned out.  My original plan was
much simpler - like a daisy chain you normally make with seed beads - only using gemstones.  I was having difficulty getting the shape I wanted with the technique, so I gave up and started fresh today.
This pendant is made with 26 and 30 gauge sterling wire.  I am very satisfied with most aspects of the necklace and plan to try and make several more.  I really would like a pair of earrings that incorporates a flower like this - hopefully that is next week's project.

April 4, 2012

YOJ: Week 13 Woven Bracelet

I really liked the necklace I made for week 12 of the YOJ so I decided to stay with the same technique and make a bracelet.  I raided my 'lonely bead jar' to find assorted gemstones to use.  None of this was my original plan, but you need to go where your muse takes you.

I have been wearing the bracelet non-stop since I made it, and I really love how comfortable it is.  You don't even notice that your wearing it.  I don't usually keep my jewelry on day and night, but I really want to make sure it 'holds up' to everyday use (and abuse!).  So far,
it hasn't stretched or gotten dirty (both of which were concerns).  I also pull on it - HARD - to make sure the knots will hold and so far, so good.