Creativity in Designing and Selling Jewelry

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Jewelry-ology News brings you the latest information, ideas, and resources for your own home jewelry business.

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Thanks for joining me today, and enjoy this issue!

- Gloria-Jean Browne



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In this Issue of Jewelry-ology:

    * Welcome to Our First Newsletter

    *New Jewelry Business Tips and Techniques: Three inspiring new articles

    *New Design Tips and Techniques: Three inspiring new articles

    *Feature Article: The Art of Creative Jewelry Design

    *Your Jewelry Photo Gallery: Everyone is invited to join in and show off their creativity!

    *Great Jewelry-Related Website: Laurie Gale Designs

    *Online Jewelry Business Resource: Wholesale Bead Suppliers



Welcome to Our First Newsletter

I've been busy adding lots of goodies to the site these past few months! In addition to Jewelry Business and Design Discussion Forums, we have three new sections – Jewelry Resources & Books, How to Design Your Own Jewelry, and Selling Jewelry On The Internet

Jewelry Business and Design Discussion Forums
Our jewelry business and design forums are a free service we provide for you our readers. Everyone is invited to join in. You don't need a member login, or even have to go through a registration process. It's free, fun, and easy to do!

With the numerous forum topics we provide you can join in with your questions or comments on nearly anything related to making, designing and selling handcrafted bead jewelry. This is also a great place share any tips, tricks, new techniques or innovative ideas.

Come on in, let's join together to solve our problems. The idea here is to help and be helped. The more the merrier!

Jewelry Resources & Books
Can you pass up jewelry making books and magazines? I can't. You should see my personal library of them! :o) The colorful, glossy photos . . . the intriguing project instructions . . . the inspiring profiles of other jewelry artists . . . !

Anyway, for the jewelry book addicts among us, right now this new section has a page on Making Bead Jewelry, Making Crystal Jewelry, Making Wire Jewelry, Making Jewelry with Gemstones and Pearls, Making Metal Jewelry, Making Mixed Media Jewelry, eBooks and Free eBooks. I am in the process of preparing book lists for Jewelry Business and Marketing, Beadwork and Beadweaving, Jewelry Designers, History of Beads and Jewelry as well as books on making beads.

How to Design Your Own Jewelry
Anyone can learn to assemble components (beads, wire, clasps, etc.) to create jewelry, but learning how to design your own jewelry is when a jewelry maker becomes a jewelry designer.

In this new section you will find articles on both the technical and creative aspects of jewelry design, using the elements and principles of design including color theory, texture and balance. The importance of quality and the design process.

Selling Jewelry On The Internet
This section features articles about selling jewelry online. You will learn about selling jewelry on your own website, how to sell jewelry on eBay, Etsy, and how to sell jewelry through social networking. This is a fairly new section so I still have a lot more articles to post. Make sure you check it often to see what's new.


New Jewelry Business Tips and Techniques
from My Website:

How to Get Your Jewelry Into Shops
Obtaining wholesale orders can greatly increase your sales. Here are some tips on how to get your jewelry into shops.

What to Do When Your Jewelry Isn't Selling
Your jewelry design is good and it still isn't selling? Tips on what to do to make sure your jewelry designs sell.

Grow Your Online Jewelry Business the Friendly Way
Rena Klinenberg discusses that the latest and most powerful tool for promoting your online jewelry business is social networking.

New Design Tips and Techniques
from My Website:

Why Is Composition and Design So Important When Making Jewelry?
Discover why having some knowledge about composition and design will give you a better understanding of why people are either attracted or not attracted to a piece of jewelry.

Does Structure Stifle Creativity?
Nita Leland discusses how structure and placing emphasis on formal design does not stifle creativity but give you more freedom for your creative impulses.

Design Strategies: Thinking Ahead
Discover why the design of your jewelry is every bit as important as your skill or technique.


Your Jewelry Photo Gallery:

This is another new section on my website, a place where you can submit your pictures and proudly show off your jewelry designs to the world. Everyone is invited to join in and show off their creativity!


Feature Article:

The Art of Creative Jewelry Design

Most of us start out making jewelry by following instructions, which is a safe place to begin and to learn new jewelry making and beading techniques. The next step is to learn the art of creative jewelry design.

If you have a love for making jewelry and plan to make a living at it, then you HAVE to design jewelry pieces that are distinctive, that are different from everybody else's. Customers not only want a quality product, but they also want their jewelry to be unique and original. They want it to stand out and be noticed!

You must be aware that there are many competitors in the jewelry making industry. Adorning the body has been around since the beginning of time and I am sure anyone you talk to owns some sort of jewelry piece. Just about every gift shop, clothing boutique, speciality shop and every department store sells jewelry. And of course there are stores that sell only jewelry. The internet is loaded with jewelry sites, and because customers tend to buy a lot of jewelry its the top-selling category at every craft show, which is why you so many jewelry booths.

Design Fundamentals

Why do some pieces of jewelry draw your attention, and others do not? Knowing the fundamentals of design will help to provide a guideline in understanding how the composition of a piece of jewelry affects our appreciation for it.

Learning design theory including the elements and principles of design can be more challenging than learning how to crimp a bead or attach a clasp. You need to understand the materials you use and how they work on the wearer, color, texture, balance, and the creative process before you can successfully design great jewelry.

The elements of design are the building blocks of design. These elements are what make up every piece of jewelry you create. By understanding and using the elements of basic composition, you'll be able to design more powerful jewelry pieces. With this knowledge you can purposefully alter your original inspiration, or starting point, into a totally new creation. You may choose to emphasize one element over another. The elements of design include line,, shape, space, texture, color and value.

The principles of design are used to organize individual elements into a workable, aesthetic design concept. They suggest effective, pleasing and interesting ways to arrange beads and components in a piece. They include balance, emphasis, rhythm, movement, contrast, harmony, variety and unity.

Color is the most expressive element of design and can be an extremely powerful tool to create mood and emotion. You should learn how to use a color wheel to create stunning combinations. The color wheel helps you define color schemes such as: analogous, complementary, contrast, monochromatic, split complement, triadic, as well as understanding the difference between warm and cool colors.

Colors are more than a combination of red and blue or yellow and black. They are non-verbal communication. Colors have symbolism and color meanings that go beyond just the color of the bead. As you design jewelry pieces, it is helpful to keep in mind how the eye and the mind perceive certain colors and the color meanings we associate with each color.

Understanding color and design fundamentals will give you the language to analyze what happens when you create. It helps to know what to change to make your work satisfying and complete. What to add so your piece is not boring or what to take away if your design is too busy or just doesn't look right.

Think of jewelry design as a visual language: Beads and components are the vocabulary and design principles are the rules of grammar. Once you have a firm grasp on these fundamentals, using them becomes second nature, just like writing and speaking.

Although not all elements and principles of design are necessary in every composition, how you apply them determines how effective your design is in conveying the desired message or to evoke an emotional response and how attractive it appears.

Once you determine your personal design preferences you can begin to make use of the fundamentals of design to creatively express your ideas in your own distinct style. With practice, you will be able to easily evaluate pieces to determine whether or not they work and why.

Wearability

While designing your jewelry you also have to take "wearability" and "durablity" into consideration. You could design a beautiful and unique piece of wearable art but if it is too heavy, too long, not long enough, too clunky, too chunky, too fragile, parts that easily catches on things or threads from clothing, stratchy edges, extremely difficult to get on or off, or can fall off the wearer too easily then it is not really considered wearable or durable

A well designed piece should move with the body, it should drape nicely and feel good when worn. The design should not put undue stress on any piece, component or section that would result in the jewelry breaking, bending or denting "before its time."

Design strategies must also anticipate whether the piece is be worn daily or occasionally; expected to last a year, more than a year, a lifetime; to be worn in situations where there is little movement/activity by the wearer or a lot of movement/activity.

One of the most important factors to consider when designing your jewelry is the choice of materials, they can and probably will set the tone and chances of success for the piece.

The importance of quality should not be overlooked and should be the basis of your reputation. Some customers will give your product a quick inspection before they buy it; many others will inspect it carefully. The first thing that will attract them will be the design. If that appeals to them, they will go on to inspect the materials and workmanship.

Customer Appeal

Many jewelry designers feel that the most important part of a product is it's price. Price is important, but before a customer asks how much, a tentative decision has already been made that it might be nice to have the particular jewelry piece. In other words the design has to catch the buyer's attention and appeal to him or her before they would be interested in purchasing it.

If the customer has absolutely no interest in buying or even owning your jewelry design piece, then it doesn't matter if it was ten dollars or one hundred dollars. Price follows the determination of need or desire to want the product.

Uniqueness, design, wearability, and quality is what will make your jewelry design stand out from the rest, but it must also appeal to the customer or it won't sell. The successful jewelry design is one that fits into the overall market, yet is distinctive enough to influence buyers, leading them in the decision to purchase it.

Remember that design is subject to taste and no one formula will guarantee a great look & feel. If there were one formula, all jewelry would look the same and design would not be a concern.


Featured Jewelry-Related Website:

Beautiful Lampwork Jewelry by Laurie Gale Designs

Laurie's site is meant for you to come and stick around, going from page to page, finding laughter (and maybe tears) with her listings. Each page is meant to warm the heart and she does a wonderful job at making your heart giggle with each turn of the page.

You might be overwhelmed at first with all the pages and embedded music files, but I assure you that it will be a great experience. Laurie makes each listing fun and enjoyable, even those without music. She has lovely stories and poems with each listing, sharing with you her inspiration for each beautiful piece of jewelry.

"I have always felt that it's important to give the "full experience" to the person visiting, so they "get" what I meant when I designed it. So that when it's worn they will have THAT feeling that I intended it to have, remember a certain time in their lives, have a personal connection to that piece of work, that sort of thing." Laurie Eller, Jewelry Designer

Be sure to check out Laurie Gale Designs - This is a truly inspiring site!!!


Online Jewelry Business Resource:

Buying Wholesale

To offer competitive prices or become profitable you will need to buy supplies and raw materials at wholesale prices. Obtaining the materials you need when you need them, and at good prices, is vital to your pricing and your profits. You want the lowest prices for the best quality materials. A wholesale supply source can mean the difference between success and failure because it can cut your material costs in half.

In finding supplies the best place to start is Firemountain Gems. They have everything you need for beading and jewelry making. Firemountain caters to both the hobbiest and professional jewelry designers. They have a great selection with no minimum and the more you order the better price break you will receive.

Here are a few other Wholesale Bead Suppliers:

USA:
South Pacific Wholesale Co.
Rings & Things
Fancy Beads

Canada:
Beazu Beadworks (Vancouver)
John Bead Corp. (Toronto)
Canada Beading Supply Ltd. (Ottawa)

United Kingdom:
Beads Unlimited
Constellation Beads
Beads Direct

Australia:
Aurum Australia
The Bead Man
Pearl n Pretty Beads

If you know of a good bead supplier that you would like to share let me know and I will post it in my next newsletter.


Find More Jewelry Business & Design Information

You'll find plenty of information at the Beading Design Jewelry site. If you're looking for specific information about building your jewelry business or designing unique jewelry, try the Search This Site feature to find the information you need.

Thanks for reading Jewelry-olgy Creativity in Designing & Selling Jewelry Newsletter.

I welcome your comments and questions.





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