I thought it was about time I joined the 21st century a little bit more and started my own blog. I'm a bit hesitant as I probably spend too much time at my computer anyway and this will just be another excuse to sit here for longer to avoid the housework! I suppose the real reason for starting a blog is I want to document my journey in jewellery design.
I began making jewellery in the autumn of 2007 when I was browsing on eBay and came across a seller who sold a 'bracelet making kit'. It was very basic - a silver plated large ringed bracelet, a few silver plated headpins, some glass beads and simple instructions. I thought I'd give it a go. I borrowed some of my husband's tools and hey presto! I had made a charm bracelet. I was so proud of it and wore it immediately, showing it off to friends and family. However, it wasn't long before the silver plating discoloured and some of the charms didn't look so secure!
By this time, I had moved on to making earrings with beads, headpins and earwires. The tools I was using were not really good enough for jewellery making and my loops were more triangular than circular. Therefore, the next stage was to invest in some decent tools (round nose pliers, wire cutters and some chain nose pliers). Next I bought some instruction books and my journey had begun...
A few months on and I had presented lots of my friends and family with their own pieces of my handmade jewellery and had even persuaded my local post office to have a display stand in their window. I made little display cards from black card and hand wrote the details and price in silver pen. I even sold a few pieces!
I look back to all that now and see how far I have progressed with my journey already. Each step required more investment in time (new techniques to practise) and money (more tools and better quality materials). It was a big step to move on to sterling silver wire and findings - I hate waste and was worried about making mistakes and having to throw away valuable metal. It was another big step to move from glass bead to gemstones. My latest step is experimenting with Art Clay Silver - an amazing material that when you fire it, it becomes 99.9% pure silver.
Along the way I have realised the importance of finding your own style. I was selling at a Christmas fair the other week and a customer commented that she really preferred chunkier jewellery. I found myself apologising that my jewellery tended to be fairly delicate. Later on, I thought 'Why was I apologising? I make what I would wear myself and that is my style. It doesn't suit everyone and wouldn't it be boring if everyone liked the same things!'
Visit to Mexico! Mexico City. first installment. - And we're off! Breakfast at the Tijuana, Mexico airport. Our group of nine friends traveled to Mexico City and Puebla. No tour guide, just on our own. We...