I’ve always been so impressed with people that design their own jewelry, and very much envy the fact that if they are unable to find a piece that they really like, they can just make it themselves (and probably for a lot less money than I will end up paying for something similar at a retail store). So when I saw a Groupon for a jewelry making class, I bought it right away. Even if one class won’t make me a world renown jewelry designer, I figured it was a great way to try something new and hopefully pick up a few jewelry-making tips for the road.
The class took place at the Austin Handmade Arts Market (I wrote a separate post about that on Sunday), and was one of three classes offered at the monthly event. Taught by Julie Carrianato of Artzcat Creations, the two-hour class taught us the basics of jewelry making – everything from wire sizes to plier types and design boards – and walked us through the steps of making our own jewelry. It was extremely educational – a great intro class for people actually looking to get into the jewelry making business – but it was also fun, which was pretty much all Candice and I were looking for anyway.
Because this was a beginner class and we only had two hours, Julie came with a pre-designed template for each of the participants to use while making their necklace. I was a little disappointed about this because in my opinion, half the fun of jewelry making is having the opportunity to pick out all your beads and design the piece yourself, but as I said Candice and I had a good time anyway. There have been times I’ve been tempted to make my own jewelry before, but then I looked at the long row of tools in the jewelry section at Michaels and quickly changed my mind (believe me, there were A LOT of tools – it looked way too confusing for me). But I have to admit, once I figured out how to secure the necklace clasp in place with the crimper bead (these are jewelry terms people, I promise), the actual jewelry making was extremely easy. I could totally see myself designing my own jewelry in my free time, while sitting in front of a TV. Seriously, once the design is set, you’re essentially just following a pattern, which doesn’t take a whole lot of brainpower to do.
For this class, we used Russian Serpentine and Tiger’s Eye as the primary beads to create our necklace. Although it’s not a style I would typically wear (green is historically not my color), I think the necklace came out really nice. If I had the foresight to add a few more Russian Serpentine beads in the beginning and on the end of the necklace, I could have created an awesome wrap-around bracelet, making the end-product multi-functional. Alas, hindsight is always 20-20, and I ended up with a necklace only – luckily, that looks great, so that’s a plus.
Now here’s the fun part for all of you readers: I had so much fun making this necklace and know that it won’t be my last foray into jewelry design, so I want to share the wealth. One lucky reader will win this necklace to add to their own jewelry collection (it’s ok, you don’t need to contain your excitement if you’re in the privacy of your own home)! Entering is simple – all you need to do is leave a comment on this post telling my your favorite type of jewelry to wear and why (guys, you can list your favorite type of jewelry to see girls wear) or like For The Love Of’s Facebook page by next Wednesday, June 26, and you’ll be entered. Then I will randomly select one lucky winner, and contact you separately to work out delivery arrangements. Simple as that.
Who’s excited?! I know I am!