Jewelry Making and MethodsJewelry making is a hobby that is becoming more and more popular. Jewelry making supplies are available in most craft stores in abundance. While jewelry itself has been around for many thousands of years, the ability to create one-of-a-kind pieces in your own home is a new phenomenon.
A Brief History of Jewelry MakingEarly jewelry was made of bones, rocks, bits of wood, and animal teeth. It is believed that the Egyptians introduced gold and silver jewelry, but there is no way to know for sure. The Egyptians were the first to use gemstones in their jewelry. As the dominant world power of their time, they passed their love of fine jewelry on to other ancient civilizations.
Skip ahead to the Renaissance of the late 15th and early 16th centuries. During this period jewelry adorned clothing as well as complemented it. With the rise of a new middle-class industrial elite in the city states of Italy, jewelry was no longer the exclusive purview of royalty or the nobility.
The 19th century Victorian era saw the introduction of more elaborate designs and keepsake pieces such a lockets and mourning brooches. In the 20th century, metals such as platinum began to be popular as well as the more traditional gold and silver. The idea of individuals crafting their own jewelry has evolved with the use of the ornamentation.
Different Types of JewelryA list of the types of jewelry being made today would be endless. Let's take a look at a few of the most common.
Methods for Jewelry MakingThe methods for jewelry making are constantly changing. Here are a few popular methods. Think about the types that sound attractive to you.
But where can you buy jewelry making supplies? Start at hobby stores and specialty shops or do a Google search for jewelry making supplies to locate on-line retailers. Once you have decided on the type of jewelry you want to make, finding the supplies is easy! But finding ideas can be trickier. Where can you look for inspiration?
Where to Find Jewelry Making IdeasAs with any art, inspiration can be found anywhere. Browse fashion magazines to see what colors and styles are popular. Home interior magazines also show some of the trends that can be transferred into jewelry making. Perhaps you can find inspiration in nature. Look around at the colors of the flowers that are blooming and think about how you can incorporate those into your plan. Or look at photographs of bygone days to create a retro or vintage look.
Once you have an idea, experiment with different mediums until you find the perfect one. Once you have designed and created a stunning piece, you might want to consider making more than one. Then you can sell your pieces. Start small by selling your jewelry at consignment stores. As you gain in skill and are producing more varied pieces, consider opening a booth at a craft fair or county fair. If you don't have a large inventory you may be able to partner with another maker and share a booth.
Cleaning Your JewelryIf you purchase hand-made jewelry you are going to need to know how to keep it clean. Copper and silver jewelry both tarnish easily with handling. You can buy commercial cleaners for monthly cleanings and use a mild detergent on a weekly basis. Make sure to thoroughly dry your pieces. Use only 100% cotton jewelry cloths to prevent scratching your pieces. Flannel is also safe to use. An old, clean t-shirt makes an inexpensive jewelry cloth. Gold jewelry is easier to clean because it does not tarnish and responds well to soaking a simple commercial jewelry cleaner.
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