November 09, 2010

One Night Stand

Last weekend I was invited to sell my jewelry at the Oakland Art Murmur with 16 other artists. For weeks I had agonized over making jewelry to sell. It doesn't usually work this way for me. The act of making jewelry for sale is stressful to say the least.

In the background I hear the ca-ching of of a cash register ringing as I add this little 30 cent ring here, make some ball-end headpins for dangle, 3 feet of chain at $6.45 a foot, oh my silver is at a 30 year high, let's spend 20 minutes on the bail top and another 30 minutes adding patina and then polishing it off.
I'm impressed with those who do this for a living. Ok, nightmare jewelry making fears set aside, it was time to come up with some new designs and not keep making the same 'ole stuff. So I set aside some time and started playing back and forth with finishing things I had already begun and trying to make something new.

Then two days before the show it hit me. Bird's nests. To be exact it was crochet wire bird's nests. Oh my, these little guys are so lovely and sweet. I made about a dozen in no time and was so proud that for once I made something that worked up fast and easy.  Later that night I bit my tongue, as my wrist ached from working the wire into that cute little shape. So now I hear the ca-ching once again as I add the repetitive motion injury surcharge. Oh well, I never expected to pay the mortgage with birds nests anyhow.

Oh yeah, I should mention, I sold one $45 necklace at the event but I did get to talk to several other wireworkers throughout the night.

And now for a little audience participation. What steps do you take protect yourself from injury while making jewelry? Please Comment.


  1. I invested in good tools (Lindstrom) after I found that cheap tools made my hands hurt more. I stay away from techniques that are hard on my hands such as beadstitching and beadwork. Which is too bad as I love those little colorful beads.

  2. Seedbeads make my wrist hurt too.
    Emily Miller suggested that I try out compression gloves. They are really easy to find online and help support your wrist while working.

  3. Chair height is really important to me! I do a lot of seed bead embroidery and needle felting so I tend to hunch down if my chair is too high. Needle felting can hurt my (already stupid) shoulder if my chair is too low!

  4. First of all Lisa, I love your bird's nest. Very delicate and beautiful.

    I just make sure I take breaks when by hands or eyes are feeling fatigued. I massage them with lotion, then jump back in again.

  5. I'd like to become an expert on this. There are some stretching exercises hourly. These look ok.
    You can warm hands in paraffin bath (and they are even adding analgesics). Take glucosamine and condroitin before you are bone on bone (from my brother the hand expert). Take care.