Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The Beauty of Books

Now I'm a big fan of books of all kinds, but in particular the title of this post relates to the wonderful world of jewellery making books!  My mum brought these for me because I was being Incredibly Grumpy due to a creative lull and she was pretty sick of it.  I also suspect she was pretty sad at the sudden stop in the flow of handmade necklaces I provide her with!

The books on the subject I received were Bead on a Wire by Sharilyn Miller, Wire Style and Hand Crafted Wire Findings by Denise Peck.

Mmmmmm... Books... Nom nom....

For a while all I did was stare at the glossy images in these books blankly.  I brought more books, and then some more, all the while neglecting to actually create!

But eventually I couldn't resist the urge to tinker and out came the pliers!  I had a great time learning how to coil and spiral and create new elements to add to my designs.  I had a great creative outburst, even if it was a bit of a wonky one at times...

Unfortunately a lot of the best pieces I made during this time have been given away to friends and family.  The necklace at the bottom is one of my fav stone combinations, moss agate, snowflake obsidian and garnet, shame I failed to photograph it properly!!

I was also inspired to buy some bigger beads.  Although I drooled over the spectacular artisan lampwork and ceramic displayed on the glossy pages of my shiny shiny books, there was no way I could afford them!  So I settled for some commercial lampwork instead.

The necklace on the bottom is my favourite piece ever, I wear it all the time, can you see the little spots of verdigris where I haven't cleaned it after it got wet?  Oops.  Shame I could *not* get a decent picture.  I blame winter, and I'm going to pretend this picture is 'arty'!
But then I hit another brick wall.  This time it had to do with a pretty essential ingredient in jewellery making - tools!  I simply don't have very many at all.  I have a set of beadsmith pliers that are currently on the verge of dying that are very dear to me!  I also have a heavy duty pair of flush cutters, an assortment of random needle files, a smashing mini anvil and a battered ball pein hammer all donated by a lovely engineering friend of mine.

It's a pretty measly collection all told and it really holds back my expansion of skills.  Trouble is, I'm pretty poor, and getting together a good selection of tools will be an expensive process.  So here's the plan:  I'm going to start selling my jewellery!

I've never sold my jewellery before, I've thought about it but the plans have never really come together.

Problem is my skills are a little rusty.  The jewellery making has really slowed down over the last year, most of the pieces above are at least nine months old.  It's very difficult to create when your best ideas are undermined by lack of equipment.  And yes, this has been making me Incredibly Grumpy.

I need to revisit the skills I have already learnt, and try to perfect them.  Browsing through the may gorgeous artisan jewellery blogs out there has made me realise that by getting down some basic design elements, I should be able to turn the skills I have into some fabulous wearable artwork.

Well at least I hope that is the case!  We shall see shall we?

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