Friday, October 17, 2008

Beading and Jewelry-Making Beginnings

When I started making jewelry, I was at a loss on how to start, so I did a lot of internet research to find my way.

First, what kind of jewelry did I want to make?

Well, I knew I wanted it to be linked with nature in some way, so I checked out all the different types of beads out there. I chose gemstones and glass beads over resin, shell and plastic.

Second, I researched tools. The more I learned, the more I realised there were more tools needed all the time. But the basics suited for a while. Basics being: flush cutter/nipper, round nose pliers, beading wire, crimps, and crimping pliers. Not to mention the findings (clasps, bails, spacer beads for accent, etc...)

Third, I subscribed to Bead Style magazine to get ideas on what I wanted my jewelry to look like. Bead Style has all of your basics to get you started as well as jewelry projects, reader's gallery of creations, how-to videos and more.

Another great magazine is Step by Step Wire jewelry magazine for those of us wanting to learn more about wire-wrapping. It has some awesome tutorials!

Fourth, I joined a few yahoo groups on beading and jewelry-making. The networking is invaluable. You meet people who are doing the same thing as you as well as people who have been there and can offer advice.

Here are some groups that I have joined:

Jewelry Making

Bead on a Wire

Wire Wrap Jewelry

Unique Wire Artists

The more I learn, the more I realise that there is much more to learn and more tools to purchase. Right now I am wanting a jewelry tumbler so I can get a nice polish on my pieces, but until then, hand-polishing is in order.


On another note, I will be at a couple of craft fairs next month. Eisenhower High School in Blue Island, IL and Our Lady of the Ridge in Chicago Ridge, IL. I have a bit more tweaking of my display booth to do in the meantime, such as a bigger table and longer table cloth. I'd also love to have a banner made up with my soon as I get a logo made.

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