My Jewelry Making Habit
I showed my mother my blog this weekend and she seemed pretty proud. She was surprised, however, that I had not yet done a post about my jewelry making. Actually, I think I might have. It was just so long ago. That’s the thing about these daily posts. You just lose track of them after a while. However, in case I forgot to do a jewelry post, here we go:
I started making strung jewelry. This is pretty much looked down upon those who make other forms of jewelry making: seed beading, wireworking, chain maille, bead embroidery, metal work, mixed media. I have also tried all of these things, with fairly good results, but I love to make a good strung piece. Stringing involves taking a piece of wire-reinforced polymer and placing beads with holes in them onto the wire in a select order, followed by the addition of a clasp at both ends. Some jewelry makers may look down on strung pieces, because the execution is fairly simple, but I still maintain that it takes skill to create a pleasing strung piece. Just throwing random beads onto a string just isn’t going to get it. The arrangement of beads, stones, etcetera is tantamount and the piece must also be put together strongly. You can’t sell someone a piece that falls apart! Here is an example of strung work:
The next jewelry modality I tried was beadweaving. This is performed with tiny beads called seed beads, which are held together with thread, usually nylon monofilament, in a variety of patterns. I got quite good at this, and used to say that I could build an entire house out of seed beads if I wanted to. Sadly, I have had to get away from seedbeading as my eyes have gotten really bad of late, and I have to wear huge magnifying lenses if I even want to see the beads. Here is one of my better seed beadweaving pieces:
Next I tried wirework, which was a lot of fun for me. I’m pretty good at creating pieces in a classroom environment but not so great at coming up with my own designs. Wirework involves the use of wire, usually sterling silver, with beads or found objects to create an artistic piece. Here is some of the wirework I have done:
Next I tried chain maille, which I find very enjoyable. Chain maille is an ancient art that stems from using metal rings to create jewelry or cloth, and is what the body armor was made from centuries ago. Many beautiful jewelry pieces can be made by using these patterns.
Metal work is the most exacting jewelry work of all, and I am a rank amateur. I have managed to make a few pieces that I am reasonably proud of and I keep trying to get better. This is my latest skill acquisition.
Now I will make a shameless plug and state that over a hundred pieces of my work are available for sale here . Hope you enjoyed your jewelry tour!