Process

Orderly Design

I don't often blog about my jewelry-making process, but as I prepare for an upcoming open studio tour, where the emphasis is on process not product, I find myself reflecting upon and documenting the way I work. I am a very detail-oriented artist, as many of you know, and I hope this is a significant reason why my customers are drawn to my work and keep coming back for more. Here's a little slice of my meticulous world...

I am making ten bracelets for a bride-to-be and her bridesmaids. Several months ago, after she explained the color palette of her wedding and her stylistic interests, I had a strong sense of what I wanted to create for her big day. I researched the stones and emailed her some photos.

I wrote: "Hola! I think something with a touch of complimentary color would be gorgeous. These drops are only 7-8mm long - tiny. This pic is of just the beads. Along with some pearls and/or crystals and a simple clasp, I think they would be dainty but beautiful. I welcome your thoughts…"

I wrote:

"Hola!

I think something with a touch of complimentary color would be gorgeous. These drops are only 7-8mm long - tiny. This pic is of just the beads. Along with some pearls and/or crystals and a simple clasp, I think they would be dainty but beautiful.

I welcome your thoughts…"

I continued: "This gives you a general idea..."  

I continued:

"This gives you a general idea..."

 

I love the ombre effect of this strand of peach moonstone faceted briolettes.

I love the ombre effect of this strand of peach moonstone faceted briolettes.

The bride was on board, so I went about the business of finding enough lovely peach moonstones to make nine bracelets (the tenth was requested later). I decided upon this strand (right) on Etsy. I counted beads on my computer screen several times to get a good idea of how many briolettes I could expect in the mail and did the math to see what their spacing would need to be to make nine bracelets. I knew I was cutting it close, but I went for it.

I also ordered some Swarovski crystals and noted how many small pearls I had in stock. I ordered some magnetic clasps that really lived up to their name, Crazy Strong Magnetic Clasp, and decided against them when they arrived. To undo the clasp would have risked breaking the bracelet, so I opted for some delicate toggles instead.

 
The "Crazy Strong Magnetic Clasp" - thumbs down

The "Crazy Strong Magnetic Clasp" - thumbs down

Flat braid toggle clasp - thumbs up

Flat braid toggle clasp - thumbs up

I had promised the bride a peek at the first bracelet before I made the remaining eight. Because of the varying shades of peach, and my interests in having all of the bracelets be identical, I had to sort the entire strand of beads by tint (lightness) before I could make the first bracelet. Once I knew exactly how many moonstones would be on each bracelet, I had to recount my pearls because I opted against the cream-colored, of which I had an abundant supply, in favor of peach-colored, of which my supply looked meager.

After several iterations to perfect the length, I added my signature tag, finished off the clasp, and shot a quick photo with my phone to text to the bride for approval.  She loved it!! In fact, she asked for one more....