Have you ever experienced a moment that changed the way you design? I had a moment like that in the Spring of 2011 when I discovered Jewelry Affaire magazine. I hate to really even call it a magazine since it’s much more like a quarterly book. The photographs overwhelmed me. The techniques I saw were different from anything I’d ever imagined. Because of the talented artists featured as well as the efforts of the magazine staff, my mind was opened to a whole new world of jewelry design.
Before picking up this issue (which I’ve probably read dozens of times since) I didn’t realize I was limiting myself by only using new jewelry components. Once I realized that almost anything could be considered jewelry making media, the possibilities seemed endless. A large portion of my designs now incorporate vintage jewelry or findings or found objects. After discovering Jewelry Affaire, I bought both previous back issues (the magazine was new and only published twice a year at that point, but now it’s quarterly) and also bought up the past few years of its sister publication Belle Armoire Jewelry and I’ve bought every issue of both magazine since.
I’m very proud to announce that I will get to join the artists I admire when some of my designs are featured in the next few issues of Jewelry Affaire. Even if you’ve never made jewelry before, I encourage you to check out the Winter issue on sale January 1st. Not only will you get to see some of my work, you’re sure to be inspired in your own creative journey. To see more of my work in the meantime, visit my etsy shop StrandedInTheCity.
I signed up for Erin Prais-Hintz’s Challenge of Color and while I can’t reveal my results yet, I wanted to share this photo of my cat, Sprinkles, contemplating which beads should be used. Since she has gotten brave enough to run past the CatScram upstairs in order to access my jewelry studio, Sprinkles has become quite the little helper. She loves to trot upstairs to partake in some of her favorite activities:
Stare and meow at me for no apparent reason
Roll around like a wiggle worm
Bat at any loose beads laying around
Lay directly on jewelry projects in progress
Take a bath
Settle in for a nap
Look up at the tiny dormer windows anytime a dog or other animal outside makes a noise
Dart out of the room suddenly (again no apparent reason)
Rub her scent on any and everything to ensure the studio is marked as her territory
I have a little, red bead in my possession that I’ve had for as long as I can remember. I don’t recall how or when I got it and I don’t remember how old I was. If I had to guess I’d say it was a loose bead that fell off some jewelry my mom had, and I must have been around 5 or 6 years old.
How this bead has stayed with me for 30 years and made it through at least 3 or 4 moves is beyond my comprehension. Needless to say, although this bead’s monetary worth is probably only a few pennies, because of its persistence to remain with me, its significance to me personally has grown as the years go by.
So what can I do with a bead that means so much more than all the vintage gems and pricey jewels in my studio? One idea is to encapsulate the bead in a glass bottle and create a necklace from it. Thoughts?