Tuesday, 20 April 2010
The WireWorkers Guild
SPRING FLOWER - Peridot & Prehnite Sterling Silver Double Petal Flower Necklace
by Kristin Smith
Just recently, I came across Kristin Smith's
beautiful jewellery and invited her to join
the Guild and feature as our 'Showcase
Artist'. I'm sure you will agree her jewellery
has a beautiful linearity with a combination
subtle silver wire and stunning gemstones ...
She very kindly agreed to do an interview
which you can read below, which has some
great tips and advice for anyone trying to
sell their jewellery designs ...
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN MAKING JEWELLERY AND WHAT DREW YOU TO
I've been making jewellery for about two and a half years. The first piece of jewellery I made was a silver-plated charm bracelet from a basic kit that contained beads, chain, headpins and instructions. I have to say, I was was very proud of myself, although it wasn't very well made and the bead charms kept falling off! However, it was that bracelet that started my journey into making jewellery and I was determined to get better.
My love of wirework has some history to it.
When I was at university studying to be a
primary teacher, I specialised in maths and
art. For my final art project, I created pieces
of wall art made from woven and hammered
copper. I was fascinated by the range of colours
created when you heat up copper.
Now, many years later, I have returned to wirework, but this time in silver. I love
bright shiny silver. I love how silver wire spreads out when you hammer it. I love
the way the light bounces off it when you texture it.
Labradorite & Sterling Silver Hammered Swirl Link Bracelet
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR DESIGN INSPIRATION FROM?
Initially, I was inspired by other designers, spending hours drooling over beautiful jewellery I found in books and on the internet. There is so much talent out there; it's difficult to be unique.
Nowdays, my designs seem to evolve from the shapes I like. I have a passion for circles. I also love spirals and flower shapes. I am certainly inspired by flowers, but the flowers I create in my jewellery are more like the flowers I used to draw as a child. I suppose that's why I like wirework because you can effectively 'draw' with it.
WINTER FLOWERS - Apatite & Sterling Silver Flower Earrings
WHERE DO YOU SELL YOUR JEWELLERY AND HAVE YOU GOT ANY TIPS FOR SELLING?
I have various online shops where I sell my jewellery and my jewellery tutorials:
I also sell my jewellery in local boutiques, at parties and at craft fairs. I don't do that many fairs, as my weekends are for spending time with my husband and children. The direct contact with customers is great, talking to people and finding out what they like, but it can be a bit disheartening when you come home having made only a few sales after spending a long time preparing your stall and standing on your feet all day!
PURPLE CURVES - Amethyst & Ametrine Coiled Jewel Sterling Silver Bangle
I believe that customer service is paramount when selling. I always aim to be friendly, honest and deliver when I say I will. I have been lucky to have repeated orders from previous customers and often receive requests for customised jewellery pieces.
It is also important to spread the word and get yourself known as a jewellery designer. I have a Blog:
and keep an online portfolio of my work on Flickr:
However, saying this, it can be very time consuming always trying to promote your business and I do have a other commitments (family and work). A lot of my friends don't even know about my jewellery making and are surprised when they find out what I have been doing in my spare time!
REGAL BLOSSOM - Kyanite & Sterling Silver Wire Blossom Frame Pendant
AS YOU USE DIFFERENT MATERIALS IN YOUR WORK, i.e.: SILVER-CLAY, LAMP-WORKED BEADS, CRYSTALS, SEMI-PRECIOUS STONES, etc..., DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE?
I think my favourite materials at the moment are sparkly gemstones, especially little faceted rondelle beads. I have loads of these in lots of different colours and use them in so many of my jewellery pieces.
FINE SILVER FLOWERS - Textured Disc Earrings
I also love working with fine silver clay and enjoy creating different textures. It is such a versatile material and I know that my journey with silver clay still has a long way to go.
WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL, FAVOURITE DESIGN AND IF SO, WHY?
Thats's a tricky question to answer ... I think I would have to say my 'Wire Flowers' design because it was one of my first real challenges. It took many attempts to finalise my design. I knew what I wanted the flowers to look like, but I had to find a way to make the petals sturdy with a secure way to hold a bead in the centre of the flower. I have since used this design in many jewellery pieces and have adapted it to make bigger flowers or double petal flowers. This design also became the subject of my first tutorial.
Jewelled Flowers Tutorial
I am currently busy writing my fifth tutorial, entitled: 'JEWELLED FLOWERS'. This will hopefully be ready for sale very soon.
MYSTICAL BLOSSOMS - Blue Mystic Quartz & Kyanite
Sterling Silver Wire Blossom Top Earrings