May 10, 2009

How to Start a Jewelry Journal

If you haven't started your Jewelry Journal this post is here to get you started.

What is it about? This is not a "these beads make me feel funny" journal, well actually it might be depending on how into beads you are. More to the point it is a journal in which you chronical your likes and dislike, report (a later reminder) technical difficulties and sketch out future designs.

Getting Started:

Go pick yourself out a cute blank book that is so sweet that it will call your name to come and fill it with content. Procrastinators may chose to buy a simple design and then spend the next 3 months decorating the cover, as you will.

10 Tasks to Get the Journal Going:

1. Find 5 pictures of jewelry you admire and glue them in the book, do the same for 5 yucky pieces. Write a list of your likes and dislikes of each piece. What would you do better, different, or omit
? If you are new to design this task will help you discover your own design style and taste.

2. Write a list of all the jewelry techniques you know. Put stars by the ones you are really good at.

3. Make a list of techniques you want to learn.

4. Draw a picture of a pair of earrings. Remember this is your journal so it doesn't have to be a fine art drawing, in fact lets just say "sketch" a pair of earrings. Try to include details like a bead cap or the wraps of a wire wrap. Use colored pencils to show off your style.

5. Make those earrings. If the design changes, write a note by the original drawing stating what changed and why.

6. Write down five projects you want to make. These projects can be in the beginning stages, say something like "a bracelet with those sexy little faceted rubies I bought in India while I was searching for my guru." Or a necklace for my sister with a chunky pendant that takes away from that awful haircut she just got that I can't admit to her about. (This is just an example Beth, your haircut is fine.)

7. Write a list of your material preferences. Do you like metal and which ones are your favorite and why? Do you love stones and which stones rock your boat? Are you a seed beader and why do you work with them? Try to relate some of your material preferences to aspects of your life. For example, I weave wire because it continues my childhood struggle of trying to make something beautiful out of cold hard reality. This task requires a proper atmosphere: light some candles, get a glass of wine, or put some heavy metal on the radio, whatever you need to get the words flowing.

8. Find amongst your jewels the designs that you consider to be original. Write a few of them up in your journal. What inspired you, why did you use what you used, what would you do differently next time? Do this task every time you make something.

9. Spend 1 hour cleaning up and sorting beads in search of inspiration.

10. Repeat the previous steps until you don't have to think about it any more and the journal begins a life of its own. Enjoy!

I'd love to hear comments on this. Do you already have a journal? Do you have any tips that may help others get it going?