Tuesday, August 21, 2012

In The Beginning

When I first started making jewelry I was trying all kinds of styles and techniques. Well wait a minute ... I still do that. That is how I keep learning and getting better at making jewelry.

But when I look back at the early work I can see my wire wrap isn't tight. The wrap itself is too long, doesn't quite come to the top of the bead. Even tho, when I look at these early projects I can see that I had so many ideas. I just couldn't bead fast enough to get them all out there. This was about 3 years ago. 

I am beader who rips things apart multiple times. And I am one who recycles materials. If I don't like the piece anymore, I rip, sort and reuse. So when I saw this post and challenge by Art Jewelry Elements to encourage beaders who are just starting out by showing our early work... I admit I had a hard time finding my stuff. 

I started making jewelry on a whim. My brother and his family were coming for a visit and my sister-in-law had mentioned taking a class while they were there. I told her that there was a local bead shop offering classes that I thought might be fun, and would she like to try that? We did. It was an hour class where the woman showed us simple wire wrapping. I walked out with pliers, wire and a handful of beads. From there, I just kept practicing, and practicing. 

My early photography was with a camera that did not have the close up function (usually shown with a flower). But my husband bought me a point-and-shoot Kodak that I still use today. I didn't take pictures for several months because I really was just focused on trying to get the technique down. But after about 3-4 months, I was snapping pictures regularly. Once I had my point-and -shoot camera there was no stopping me. I was pulling all kinds of things into my pictures from around the house. Shells, vases, scarves ... you name it. I was trying to find my 'style' and I was constantly playing with color and background. You really can't do it wrong. It's really about what you like and how you want to show your work.

I started my Etsy site about a year after my sister-in-law and I took the class. She is the one who told me about Etsy, which I had never heard of before. I took the day off in 2010 for my birthday and dedicated the entire day to setting up my own shop on Etsy. I posted a few pairs of earrings, and just went from there. It really is pretty easy to set up an Etsy shop. I did it all on my own by just following the step-by-step instructions on the site. I recommend playing around with all the tabs once you get the shop operational.

I didn't start blogging until about a year later (this past Christmas). I honestly had no idea there were so many blogs out there, or such a large supportive beading community. I have another friend who knits and she said, why don't you try blogger? She told me it was really easy, and then showed me her site. Blogger is also pretty step-by-step. And I learned a lot by just flipping around through all the tabs and playing with the various functions. 

I still feel pretty new to all this, but I forget that there are things that I know that I can pass on to other beaders, and bloggers. This past week I did my first tutorial. I have never done one before, but a friend asked how I do wire wrapping. It's so funny. I don't think of myself as an expert, but I have certainly practiced quite a lot. So I decided to show how I do my wrapping. 

Honestly, don't be afraid. Get out there and try things. Push yourself to try a new stitch, wire wrap style or technique. What's the worse that can happen? You rip it out and give it another try! 

14 comments:

Kaszás Ildikó said...

Csodálatos fülik !!!!!!!!!!

Alice said...

I'm so impressed by your early pieces, and even your photography skills. Thanks so much for sharing!

Kashmira said...

Enjoyed reading about how you started. Reminded me that I did take a class...over 10 yrs ago at a local bead shop, made a necklace, and never went back to it. I think I threw the necklace away too. I blame the teacher. She was just trying to make us buy her expensive beads and tools I think.

You should mention your tutorials in this memoir too..it is so helpful for everyone!

Islandgirl said...

WIsh I'd lived somewhere just once in my recent life that I could have taken classes... Now I try and take one bead (lampwork/silversmithing) class every year... but it usually takes me at least one day to get to where-ever the class is...
But being self taught means I have no-one but myself to blame for my bad habits!

Jennifer Cameron said...

Great post! Love seeing photos of your work and the encouragement you give to others. Congrats on writing your first tut!

Jacquelineand.... said...

I really enjoyed this post; (and your tutorial) getting to see and read about how you began. Your words of encouragement are both wise and timely. =)

Renae said...

Man, this is exciting. Now I have a place to show off my wears in a hop. So fun. I'll be back next week. I don't design or make. I re-purpose; necklaces in to bracelets or earrings, etc.

SwedishCorner ~ DownUnder...Pernilla said...

So impressive :) Lovely jewelry!
~Pernilla

BeadedTail said...

It was fun hearing about how you got to where you are today! Your early work was lovely! The fun thing about jewelry is all the changes we can make and the stuff we can learn!

A Half-Baked Notion said...

Cynthia, I loved reading all your affirmations. Your story about starting your Etsy shop was of particular interest to me: I started with a blog (on my birthday last month!) and selling online is still in the future for me. But your encouraging narrative is the right kind of motivation. I chuckled at your ripping apart projects and recycling; I don't think I'll ever stop doing that!

Thanks for being a positive voice (and sharing the eye candy)!

Sharyl said...

Along everything else I've learned, this reminds me to save a piece or two of the early jewelry and not get rid of all of it!

Miss Val's Creations said...

Fun post! It is great how having a creative business and blog helps us grow and gain confidence! I would consider you an expert in wire wrapping after viewing your tutorial. :)

MM said...

Thank you for visiting my blog today. I wanted to stop in and answer your question about Creole tomatoes in case you don't subscribe to comments. The answer to "what is a Creole tomato" sparks debate. My opinion is that a Creole tomato is a tomato grown in the alluvial soils south of New Orleans. It is all about soil and climate--much like wine grapes. At one time, there was a variety of tomato named "Creole." Now, people want to call practically any tomato grown in Louisiana a "Creole tomato." I still say it's all about the soil found where the Mississippi ran it's course. Creole tomatoes are super juicy with more "jelly" inside than a lot of other tomatoes.

I couldn't help but scroll through the photos of your jewelry. Beautiful! Thanks again for visiting!

Meganne said...

Love it, can't wait to see what you do next! Come check out my blog, maybe we can follow each other!
Material Fixations

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