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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Introduction Post for Artisan Whimsey

The following is a re-post of my Introduction post on the new jewelry blog site ArtisanWhimsey.  I am a team leader for the Jewelry Designer Blog Team and I posted this today as a way of introduction to the members.  If you want information on the site, just let me know.  I am excited about it and look forward to many more posts.  Some of this will be old hat for some of you, but it might still be of interest.




Welcome everyone to Artisan Whimsey.  My name is Jean A. Wells. I am one of the team leaders of the Jewelry Designer Blog Team so if you have any questions, you can always send me a message.  I'll try to help.  I decided to tell you about myself for my first post.  I have always loved making things.  I have done crochet, my crowning glory being a king size bedspread done in a tight spiral antique pattern in very small ecru thread.  I have done stained glass - but not the small sun catcher things - full windows.  All of the windows in my 1926 Craftsman house are filled.  My husband said one time that he never knew if he was waking up in a church or in his bedroom.  I am a published quilter - having been published in one of Barbara Brackman's books - for those of you that quilt - you will recognize her name.  My "show" quilt is one done in earthy fall colors and is an almost life-sized applique of my Rottweiler dog, Gracie Mae Sugarbaker.  I have also always loved dogs and currently have three Rottweilers.

I became interested in making jewelry in 2008.  My husband and I were taking a road trip and I generally took some quilting hand-work with me to work on in the car.  I don't sit still very well.  For some reason, I was either out of materials that I needed or bored, I don't really remember which, but I purchased a couple of jewelry making magazines during a stop to look at in the car.  Well, I was hooked.  Of course, I had nothing to make jewelry with, no beads, no tools, so I just bought more magazines and looked....and looked.  It took about six months of looking before I chose a design and went about the task of finding and acquiring the materials it called for.  It took me three months to accomplish that.  It was tiresome and I wondered if it was worth it, but I made a piece and I was hooked.  That experience has certainly molded my approach to supplies that I keep on hand - my approach is simple - "if you don't have it, get it!"

I have a broad design style as there are so many techniques to call upon.  It can range from minimalist to tribal to gypsy and definitely a bit bohemian.   I prefer a way of making things with complex construction -- not hard necessary - just complex.  I have always known that I wanted to do more than just string beads on string.  So on to some pictures.  I am basically self taught in that I have learned from books and my fellow designers.  One of my goals is to get out of the house and start taking some classes.
This is one of my first pieces.  I say over and over on my blog that I am not a seed beader, but yes, one of the first things I did was to make a spiral using seed beads and small amethyst beads.  Even my first attempts at making jewelry had complex construction.

Next, I went about the task of learning how to do some basic wire working.  One of my favorite styles of bracelets are the charm bracelets.  I love the noise they make when you go about the process of just wearing them.  I used a book by Sharalyn Miller to learn the techniques used in my Desert Storm bracelet.  

Then I started making my own chains.  This chain comes from Kerry Bogart's book Totally Twisted.
This is my favorite bracelet.  I guess that's why I use it in my store banner and avatar.

Enough for bracelets.  How about a few necklaces.  I love lariats - they are probably my favorite style of necklace and with a bit of imagination, you can accomplish more than just stringing a long string of beads - although that is certainly a good solution much of the time.
I have used art beads by Nan Emmett and Alison Crenshaw in this one, premium aged Czech seed beads and some jasper.  I am sorry but I can't recall who made the bird.  She used to be on etsy, but is no longer on there.
This one is rather complex, wouldn't you say?  It is the result of a challenge issue to be by Barbara Hanselman who made the fantastic black stoneware pendant.

Barbara also made these cool Easter Island head guys.  These are some of my favorite earrings.

These are another pair of my favorite earrings.  They are built around Pam Cresswell's beads of Indian Creek Studio.  Pam lives just down the road from me close to Indian Creek which is a fantastic place to walk your dogs.
I hope you enjoyed looking at this post.  I enjoyed looking back through some of my early work and seeing how it has developed.  I think we should all take more time to reflect back on our early work.  We sometimes lose track of just how far we've come.  With each piece of jewelry we make, we become more skillful.  There are still quite a few techniques that I plan to explore - enameling and etching being the two things for which I have purchased the supplies.  Now I just need some time to play.

Thank you for reading my post and if you would like to see more of my work, you can see it in my Etsy Store or on my Personal Blog.  I would love reading your comments.

4 comments:

Kepi said...

Oh I so love your jewelery, so incredibly beautiful. I want it all!

Jean A. Wells said...

Thank you Kepi - its all for sale!

AlieenStewart said...

Jewellery is ornament that not only make person to look stunning but also makes him look completely unique, different and noticeable..Wonderful collection on braceletes,earrings..lovely designs
Jewellers in Chandigarh

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