I found something rather nostalgic the other day while rummaging around looking for yarn with which to make the Short One's Halloween costume. I had cleverly hidden away a jewelry box amidst a whole crate of fiber (and I wonder why I can never find anything in this house) a while back, evidently in an effort to foil the SO's curiosity over the little non-child-safe items inside. Inside the jewelry box were, well, several non-child-safe pieces of jewelry (surprising, no?), including this necklace.
This is the first piece of real jewelry I ever made. (Well, what did you think I meant by "first time"? Eh?) Back in the days B.S.O. ("Before Short One") I worked about a block away from a rather nice bead store. The ladies in our office decided it would be fun to take a basic beading class after work one day, so we all signed up and spent a happy half hour shopping for supplies before attending the class.
As a college student, I had always drooled after some lovely glass bracelets sold at an upscale gallery in Copley Place in Boston. The glass beads were barrel-shaped with brightly-colored stripes suspended within them. I didn't know at the time that the beads were furnace glass - I just knew that I couldn't even come close to affording a bracelet. So, when I saw a bowl of similar-looking beads at the bead store, I pounced on them and bought what I thought were enough to make a nice bracelet. And those were the only beads I bought for my project.
Well, of course, once class started, my instructor patiently pointed out that if I only used flat-ended barrel beads, the piece wouldn't be flexible enough to actually drape around my wrist. "You need spacers", she said. "What's a spacer?" I replied.
Ultimately, I ended up with this simple necklace and a pair of my very own jewelry pliers (I had no idea they were called "crimping pliers", nor did I realize that the tubes I had flattened with such care and anxiety were called "crimps") to take home with me. I wore it a handful of times and then it got relegated to the jewelry box where I found it again this past week. After that, I picked up the odd beading magazine from time to time, and even bought a few beads, but it was really several years before I started making my own beads and designing jewelry (and started this blog).
Still, it's nice to remember where it all began. Especially when I go through periods where I feel that I'm not advancing in my skills (like now), I think it's useful to look back on this first piece and realize that I have made progress and that, like everything else, acquiring expertise in any field takes time.
So what was your "first time" like? I'd love to know.
I am an intellectual property lawyer by training and have a background in English Renaissance literature. I love science fiction. I primarily watch Sesame Street these days and find myself humming "Pop Goes the Weasel" at odd moments (guess why). I can happily eat ice cream in the middle of winter when the wind chill is 20 below 0. I have been making beads and designing jewelry since 2007.
2010 - Winner, First Place, British Bead Awards, Other Finished Bead Jewellery 2010 - Winner, Second Place, British Bead Awards, Metal Clay Jewellery 2010 - Winner, Second Place, Bead Dreams, Metal Clay
2010 - Grand Prize, Gold Medal Winner, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework and Chain Jewelry-Making Contest
2010 - Finalist, Bead Star, Stones, Plastics and Designs with Heart Categories
2009 - Winner, First Place, British Bead Awards, Metal Clay
2009 - Winner, Second Place, British Bead Awards, Beyond Glass, Handmade Beads and Components
2009 - Winner, Second Place, Bead Arts Awards, Necklace
2009 - Finalist, Bead Dreams, Metal Clay
2008 - Finalist Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Beading Contest, Metal Clay
2008 - Finalist, Bead Star, Pearls
A word about copyright
As indicated in the copyright notice, the contents of this blog are copyright by me. To the extent that instructions to make jewelry, beads, knit items or other instructions are included in this blog, they are free for you to use to make the projects for personal use. They should not be used for commercial purposes, ie, to make items for resale.