The Evolution of Creativity – Part 1

I wrote in an earlier post that I haven’t been a jewelry artist for very long.  I have always done creative/artisitic things-but more as a “dabbler” than as a professional.  So, growing my business, and more importantly, improving my skills is a time (and energy!) consuming pursuit, but certainly rewarding.

It’s interesting for me to look back at my jewelry journey, and see how I got to where I am today.  Hopefully, you’ll find it interesting too!   For those of you just starting out, perhaps something I say may help you in your career.  For those of you seasoned professionals…well, maybe it will just be a bit of nostalgia!!

I started out just collecting and selling vintage costume jewelry.  My dear husband was convinced that I would do so much better making and selling jewelry.  Whenever we went to shows and flea markets, he would look at what other vendors had, and he “knew” I could do better than they were!!

I resisted for a long time.  I loved vintage jewelry, and I thought making jewelry would be …well, boring.   I was getting requests from customers to fix items, and often necklaces that I purchases needed restringing.  I decided that it might be a good thing to learn how to do repairs.  An opportunity came from one of my husbands co-workers wives.  She came to our house with all of her beading supplies, and I hosted a beading party for some of my best vintage customers.  We all LOVED it!

This was the first piece I made.  I had a two strand plastic vintage necklace that I adored, and as vintage necklaces are often wont to do, the string broke, and now the necklace was usesless, because I had no idea how to fix it.  Thank goodness for my beading lesson!

I love this set because it was my first, and I still love those pink beads, so I wear this all of the time.

Hmmm, I thought…there’s a lot of vintage pieces out there that are broken and discarded and could be reworked into something more modern and wearable.  My second jewelry set also sprung forth from a broken vintage necklace.  Again, I love this set, and I wear it quite often.

As you know, once the bug hits you, there is no stopping it!  I ventured out and made my first trip to buy beads in a store!  I was terrified, but excited.   I had very little idea of what to buy, but I took the list I made in my beading class and off I  went to Michaels! I bought some beads on clearance, and some hardware, and came up with this cheesey little number….and yes, you guessed it, I still love it and still wear it all the time!

Pretty soon, I had fairly well mastered the basic stringing technique, so I knew I needed to expand my library of techniques.  Making and attaching a pendant came next.

Next, I wanted to try multistrand techniques.  What ways could I string them?  What ways could I connect them?  I also learned to crochet beads at about this time, and this gave me a whole other design option.  In the bracelet below, I used spacers for the first time.

For about a year,  I learned to perfect the techniques I had been using.  I learned to make simple loops, wrapped loops, and use different types of stringing materials.  I spent a lot of time perfecting crimps after a couple of disasters in which necklaces that I sold fell apart!!

My next lessons involved bead stitching, and loom weaving.  Check back on Sunday for more of my educational pieces-and I’ll talk about where I am now.  I will also share what I have learned about growing as an artist.

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2 Responses to The Evolution of Creativity – Part 1

  1. you saved your original starts, how wonderful…i have reused most of mine…

  2. pinkchapeau says:

    LOL, they are like my children!

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