Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Necklace That Started It All

10 years ago, I took a bead stringing class at a community center. That started me on a path strewn with beads, findings, pliers and cutters. And the path continues ever onward!

Here is the first necklace I made in that fateful class:


No giggling! The design is not really that great… It's not very well balanced but… it's still in one piece and it's purple!

I remember when the jewelry bug first bit me, I would be up till all hours, beading and beading and beading. The hours sped by in those early days. That's a sign of something that really has a hold on you--losing track of time. I think most people who start an art/hobby based business probably tell a very similar story--"I couldn't stop doing _____________(fill in the blank: jewelry, collages, art) and had to sell what I made just so I could buy more materials to play with!"

Fast forward: I was just at the hardware store today, buying tools for my next jewelry challenge--cold connecting metals. I’m a little nervous--it looks labor and strength intensive but my goal is to find a medium that I can make my own. Right now, I consider myself a jewelry composer--using other people’s materials to create jewelry. I’ve been searching for “my” medium for a long time. I’ve learned that clay and glass are not my thing but wire and jump rings are. I’m hoping that metal work will be another of “my” mediums. I’ll let you know next weekend how that works out!


During this 10th anniversary month, I’ll be posting some Bear Chick history. Even though I’m not a household name, in the last 10 years my jewelry has shipped all around the world. That amazes me! And even though my jewelry business doesn’t support me, it’s an accomplishment to still be here, doing what I love and connecting with people on a global level. What a pleasure it’s been and I hope will continue to be!

I wish you all a pursuit that you love and that compels you to expand your knowledge and talents. It’s been a very satisfying and sometimes challenging 10 years!


Chris said...

ooo ooo Mary! Your journey has so many similarities to mine! Man, I wish I lived by'd be so fun to hang out together and play with cold connecting. I started out making very simple wire and one bead earrings, and eventually strung necklaces. Simple simple simple. But I wanted to make something that was only "mine" I started playing more with metal, trying to give all my designs my own spin. YOU ARE GONNA HAVE SO MUCH FUN!!! and get frustrated a time or two. All part of the process, you know! Have a blessed blast my friend!

Bear Chick said...

I think we're sisters from different mothers! Your encouraging words will be a big help during those awkward, frustrating times. Thank you!!