Thursday, April 30, 2009

Something Blue

I bought the tutorial on doing the Cool Cubes necklace from the Interweave store. It was hard, but a lot of fun! Especially considering I have dozens of square glass beads in every color imaginable. After creating the cubes using 3 different colors of aqua/blue, I decided I didn't want to make the exact same thing as in the tutorial. So I combined all 3 of my current disciplines, beading, wire wrap and chainmaille, to create something more unique. I made sterling silver byzantine links and wired up Swarovski crystals along with the beaded cubes. Here's what I wound up with.

I then decided to create matching earrings and luckily had Swarovski drops in the right color. Amazing how some things work out isn't it?

This was a blast to make and I can't wait to make these cube again... perhaps with fall colors?


Friday, April 24, 2009

Getting people to pay you

I never imagined when I decided to design, create and sell jewelry that I would not only have to be an artist, but a top notch photographer, web designer, graphic artist, marketer and writer as well. Not all of these jobs come easy to me but if you want to sell your creations, you have to be able to show them to people. I can't tell you how it's been stressed in so many other blogs, tips, hints and advice written elsewhere, that taking good photos of your work is not just important, it's essential. You need to capture the eye of people who have a myriad of other handmade artists to choose from. Why should they choose you?

Most jewelry purchases are impulse buys. And that, only when there is disposable income available. Something is is increasingly rare in this current economy. So how do you get people to part with their hard earned cash and give it to you? Not an easy question to answer and there are no hard and fast rules. I will try to share what I'm learning as I make my way to finding these answers myself.

As a newcomer in this market, I am fighting against well established designers. But I also have the advantage of being able to pick their brains on what works and what doesn't. First and foremost I keep hearing about good pictures. And I understand that completely. If I saw the picture on the left I'd never buy it. But the one on the right really makes a difference and catches my eye. While the picture on the left looks ok, by lightening it up, cropping and zooming in a bit the bracelet itself commands center of attention.


Okay, they're not the best but I'm still learning too. BTW, take it from me, natural light is the best but don't forget to change the ASA on your camera to 400 to gather more light.

Well, I'm off to go working on pricing for a show I'm attending on Saturday. Wish me luck.


Monday, April 13, 2009

My First Piece

The very first piece of jewelry I designed I am now using as my logo. It came out so beautifully and I was so happy with it. Of course, because I combined both Silver wire for the jump rings which need to be smoothed out and silver plated wire for the eye pins, it now has to be completely redone. But I was inspired by a simple japanese chainmaille weave and the ladder-like tuquoise intermixed with Swarovski Crystals in such a beautiful color as to remind me of a beautiful, sunny, white cloudy day.

I call it Crystal Clouds.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Starting Out by Miki

Well, I've finally decided to start a blog on the trials and tribulations of being a jewelry designer. There are many of us out there but, like fingerprints, no two of us are alike and we all have our own stories. Some of these stories will come from me, Miki aka Michele. Some will come from Cat, aka, well, Cat. We'll sign pur posts so you know the difference.

Mine started last year when I lost my job and my new, old friend, Cat, started teaching me about the wonderful world of jewelry... designing and making it that is. I've always been artistic. I graduated from the HS of Art & Design in NYC, but never really did anything with the knowledge other than small art projects here and there. I love woodwork and for awhile, finished my own furniture and built small things I needed like a spice rack, bench, etc. Unfortunately I also have Fibromyalgia and doing those things just got harder and harder on my back. I paint, I sew, I crochet but it wasn't until I learned how much fun and fulfilling it is to make jewelry that I feel I've found my niche.

So, as I go though this new learning process and as we work to bring you inspiration and food for thought, let's share together and think beautiful jewelry. It's going to take a little time to bring up some pictures on here. As my camera had to go in for service. Should be back next week and I can only hope for the best.

But welcome to this new experiment at living life out loud... at least for me it's new. Your mileage may vary.



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