Friday, January 21, 2011

Upgrading Some Designs

One of my goals for this year was to start working with more sterling silver. Studying my displays of earrings, I noticed that I’ve used some beautiful artisan lampwork beads but the other components were plated metals and inexpensive beads and the craftsmanship was not sophisticated. So I decided to do some upgrading on some of my existing designs.

Here’s an example:


Before (left): Handmade lampwork beads paired with gold plated brass and iridescent glass beads, with a simple loop. Pretty but the design isn’t worthy of the beautiful artisan beads.

After (right): All sterling silver, plus Swarovski crystals and a wrapped loop at the top. The sterling and Swarovski add sparkle and elegance to the original design and using a wrapped loop is an attention to detail that I’ve come to appreciate over the years.

I have a necklace in a chainmaille design that I plan to upgrade as well. I know this will considerably increase the cost of the pieces but I want to make quality jewelry that will stand the test of time. Reworking pieces that I already made makes me feel like I’m respecting the beautiful beads I used and also growing as a designer. When I was younger, I was impatient to move onto the next “thing”~revisiting something I’d already done was going backwards. Now I understand that there’s satisfaction in improving something I’ve created, knowing that I’ve made it better and added value.

Do What You Love!

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