We are here, in Asheville, and happy.
Our move was pretty uneventful, nothing too serious happened and thank God we were able to afford some help in moving our boxes and furniture into the new apartment! I am so ready to be done with moving ever again...the chaos and disruption, not to mention the stress of not being able to find anything for about a month, is about over for me!
I met with one of the owners of Copper Fish Metal Arts Studio on Tuesday night about renting a jewelry bench with 24/7 access to the shared studio. I love it there..spent about an hour and half talking about jewelry and design and feel down deep that this will be a great place to work for a while. I have no idea how long, as it all depends on where we find a home to buy, if it has space enough for me to work from home...all those details that I don't have right now.
But for the present, being around all sorts of creatives in a safe studio environment filled with tools and torches I've never used before feels like just the right place for me to be.
Yesterday, I spent all day there, sorting out my sterling silver so that I can turn the scrap in for a credit at Rio Grande. I need some more supplies and turning in my scrap once or twice a year really helps with my purchases.
While I was in the studio, I met some really neat people that were in town visiting and wandering around, as well as some of my new neighbors. It will be so nice to have others to bounce ideas off of, as well as be inspired design-wise with sources not in the jewelry world.
I haven't formally announced this yet, but I received word from editor Denise Peck that I, along with wire artist Brenda Schweder, have been selected as Step by Step Wire Magazine's Featured Artists for 2015. We will be contributing 6 tutorials for all of the issues next year, and my second deadline is coming up on October 1.
I really needed a space fast so that I can continue my explorations with wire and sheet metal, hopefully coming up with some projects that will inspire those of you that are interested in making your own art jewelry to wear.
I also have a couple of new tutorials coming out with Belle Armoire Jewelry in the next few months...and can't wait for those to hit the magazine racks towards the end of this year.
In all of my tutorials, I try to come up with designs that can easily be personalized and tweaked by the readers so that they are not directly copying what I do. Where's the fun in that? There are numerous ways to change any published designs so that they best reflect you and your own preferences.
Some ways to consider are:
- type of metal (copper, brass, silver, bronze)
- gauge of metal or wire
- bead embellishments
- size of design
- textures used on design
- patinas used or not used
- polishing matte or shiny
- varying the length of design elements
- converting an earring idea to a pendant or charm
I had an interesting conversation with another jewelry designer that wondered how I felt about sharing my designs and processes with subscribers to the magazines I've been honored to contribute to.
Really, I'm not bothered by others using my work to learn from and enjoy wearing for themselves.
However, I have seen one or two of my designs copied exactly... being sold as an original design by the maker on sites such as Etsy.
That does annoy me. But there isn't much I can do about it, other than tsk tsk them mentally in my mind, sad that they missed the entire point of why I shared my design. I don't have a problem with someone using my tutorial information to make themselves a piece of jewelry for personal wear, or even for a sister, friend or other close, personal relationship with someone in their life.
I think of that as similar to having someone come into my studio and we do the project together and they get to keep the jewelry as a reminder of the experience and as a touchstone for our time spent together. By sharing my process on a bigger scale, I can hopefully inspire more people to try techniques on their own in their creative space, which will increase their self-confidence to take it further and personalize it.
That is wholly different from someone using the tutorial and selling the exact replica that I used to describe the techniques and process.
Fortunately, I haven't experienced that overt copying too much, and I think a big reason is because I publish what I do and my style is fairly recognizable now for those of us that follow such things.
I've never been in a cooperative metal studio before...and I reckon I will be seeing and learning some new techniques and different ways to use metal in my work. Invariably, when you are exposed to new designs and techniques, you want to try them out and see how to incorporate them into your work as you grow.
So I'm excited about my own tweaking experiments that will be coming up soon.
There really isn't anything new under the sun as it relates to jewelry making. Other than perhaps fold-forming, since sheet metal in all the various gauges wasn't really available until rather recently, historically speaking.
Like in the evolution of music, you can pretty much take a song today and recognize the influences that have helped shape the current final result. I believe it is the same way in the jewelry world too...fashion world...pretty much everything is a derivative of something else.
So there you have it...if you are using my tutorials for your own personal growth and sharing that learning with others in your life, I'm totally cool with that...but selling my exact designs to others as your own in your business...
I'm not cool with that. So please...change it up, and discover what makes you...YOU, and proceed from there.
Delight yourself with what you can dream up on your own...even if you need a template to start out with...keep on going, don't stop with the last step..add more of your own voice!