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Guys jewellery


#1

Hi all,

From reading all your posts, I know that you are all deep thinkers
as well as great artists. So here is something thats been bugging me
for a while and like to get your opinions about it.

We all know that predominantly jewellery was worn by males in a lot
of cultures so why is it that now days most jewellery is designed for
females, and most things you find for guys is very plain if not
boring. I think maybe we should all put some more time and effort
into designing pieces for the male population. Besides its very hard
to come up with new designs for females, as we have so much to choose
from, probably what we design it has been made already. My point is
that maybe there is a whole big market out there that needs to be
more explored.

Also, are there any rules for designing jewelry for guys? Is it have
to be in a certain way to be socially excepted? And could we use
belt buckles as jewelry? I would like to hear your ideas on this.
Thank you very much in advance.


#2

I have made men’s jewelry for many years. Mostly I make handmade
chain bracelets and other types of bracelets for their wrist (and
some necklaces). True the designs may not be as exciting as a pin or
pendant designed for a woman. However, judging from the number of
men’s sizes that I send to galleries there seems to be a steady
demand. My designs are pretty conservative but I think that a lot
more innovative designs would be accepted. Often a gallery will ask
me to upsize what I thought was a design for a woman so that it will
fit a man.

David Luck
627 Center Street
Iowa City, IA 52245-3008
319-351-5840
www.davidluckjewelry.com


#3

I too have been struggling to design a line of men’s jewelry. It
seems that in this country (US) men’s jewelry falls into three
categories–boring thick chain, biker leather, and MTV “bling”. I
think the reason unique, organic jewelry is not worn by more men is
simple–it’s not socially promoted in this country. If Colin Ferrel
or Tom Cruise appeared on television in cool jewelry, more men would
wear it. I’ve seen fabulouls men’s jewelry–usually being worn by
fabulous male jewelry designers! The only recognizable “star” that I
have seen wearing great jewelry is Lenny Kravitz, and that simply
doesn’t translate to the “average guy”. There are some cool, “surf
culture” designs out there, but how far can you really go with pucca
beads?? None-the-less, I am still working on it and refuse to
believe that the only way a man will wear jewelry is if it looks like
it can also tow a boat, or uses the entire hide of a cow. I won’t
even start on how much I can’t stand the spinning, diamond encrusted
chest protectors I see on MTV (although the diamond industry must be
laughing all the way to the bank).

I’ve been quietly campaigning my husband, all his friends,
relatives, etc. to give me ideas for designs they would wear. Now,
if I could only get them to actually put them on in public!

Cheers,

Karen McGovern
Beadkeepers


#4

I design all my jewelry with women in mind - just because I happen
to be one and know what I want to see in a piece of jewelry. But I
get quite a few orders from/for men, mostly rings and especially as
wedding rings. And my designs really aren’t that plain, but not
ostentatous either. It seems that a lot of men around 20-40ish are
looking for more interesting designs than are traditionally offered
and interested also in heavier bracelets (sometimes necklaces) and
in custom designs from their own ideas or just to have something
well made and different.

Jill
http://www.jjewelry.com


#5

Thanks for bringing up a great topic–yes, there really is a lot of
ugly jewelry out there for men, and it seems like a lot of guys
don’t like this any better than the jewelers that feel they have to
make it.

I’m in a bit of a niche market in that I make a lot of bug-themed
jewelry specifically for entomologists (I’m also one of those, as is
my husband). Therefore, a lot (probably about 2/3) of my customers
are men. The items that seem to be guys’ favorites are belt
buckles and tack pins (tie not required) that feature realistic or
stylized representations of their favorite insect. They don’t have
to be big tacky things, either; I have a dragonfly belt buckle
that’s rather understated and looks good with dress slacks. Bolo
ties are also still quite popular in the southern and western
regions of the country; there are some areas where a guy is just not
really dressed up without one!

For some reason, bolos and belt buckles have gotten a bad rep as
always being tasteless, overdone things that can only be worn when
you go line-dancing, but there’s no reason that they can’t be
well-designed, beautiful pieces of jewelry.

Jessee Smith
www.silverspotstudio.com


#6

Hey Moncsi, There are several influences to keep in mind. The one
that I think is most predominant is the culture in any given region.
Some cultures are guided by religious influences wherein self
adornment is considered inappropriate for a multitude of reasons.
Some cultures encourage the display of personal wealth by means of
self adornment. Different cultures have different views of beauty.
Some African and Australian cultures adorn themselves by means of
scarification ( cutting their own flesh and ,ocassionally, inserting
stones or mud into the cuts) to make a variety of social
statements. In some cultures using caste systems, only the higher
castes are allowed to adorn themselves gaudily while the lower
castes must stay with much simpler forms. Almost all of these
different cultures have “rules” regarding gender specific types of
adornment; what’s good for the guys won’t work for the girls and
vice versa. You can see many of these trends at work even in
supposedly “civilised” Western cultures. You can’t hide from your
culture.

Another important influence, particularly in America though I
believe in many cultures, has to do with the image making machines
of advertising and big business. Remember the concept of a man
showing his business prowess by wearing a red “power” tie. Oh what a
man he must be…yeah right. Our advertising scheme in America is
built around the concept of telling you how unsatisfactory you must
be because you don’t have or wear some product that just happens to
be on sale. The marketing of dis-satisfaction drives a great many of
our fads and cultural notions of what is acceptible and right and
which gender should or shouldn’t respond. Some jewelry styles and
use of make-up acceptible in Africa for males would get an American
man thought of as a flaming homosexual crossdressing fiend. And yet,
if you look at it, gender specific stereotypes in America have been
flip-flopping for years. The masculine fashion of the early 1960’s
Mod Movement (think Austin Powers) would likely get you laughed at
or beaten up today no matter how macho you are.

My advice is to not fear crossing the lines of gender specificity in
your designs. Blend the rules. Don’t be afraid to go after the Goth
crowd, the tribal type folks, the gender blended bunch. Our own
American culture is in a serious state of ultra dynamic flux right
now and, to try and stick to any one set of rules, may actually
limit your creative juices. Certainly there are the tradional design
concepts that hold fast and true for multitudes of bench jewelers
but, just remember, they are not the only folks creating fine
jewelry. Many of the mechanical processes are the same but the
design world is wide open territory. I suggest that you haunt areas
of differing ethnicities or cultural mores in your own neighborhood
and observe what is being worn today. Large universities are a
fantastic mix of different types of people. Just head out and make
it a point to see what people choose to wear. I guarantee that
you’ll find inspiration that will broaden your own design horizons.

Sorry for the novel but I hope this helps. Be brave!!

Mike


#7

I have been experimenting w/ sheathed domed rings. I quickly
discovered that to make a domed ring of any respectable size for a
man the sizing falls off the top of most ring charts. Does any one
have sizing to ring blank circumference (mm & inch) conversions for
rings sized 13 to 20? I know a man who used a brass washer to show
me what size his ring should be; because his hand was so big I
couldn’t figure out how to calculate it mathematically.

Marya DeBlasi
Columbus


#8

Well Jessee - the entomologist part certainly explains the details in
your bugs! I had gone to look at your site after an earlier post,
and been quite impressed with your realism. They are very neat
bugs, indeed. Anyone who is at all interested in bugs should take a
look. I’ve put in Jessee’s name and link below. Very cool stuff
indeed. http://www.silverspotstudio.com

Beth in SC who, living in the South, lives with bugs - not optional
:wink:


#9
I quickly discovered that to make a domed ring of any respectable
size for a man the sizing falls off the top of most ring
charts......

G’day;

I don’t really think you need any calculations. My own method which
was doubtless used by the ancients is to hand the customer a short
piece of soft wire (florist’s soft iron wire is excellent) and have
them wrap it around the ring finger above the knuckle, then to twist
the two ends together forming a fixed loop that will slide on and off
the finger to make the kind of fit the the customer feels happy with.
Take the loop to the tapered ring mandrel and mark both sides of the
wire with a spirit marker. Now cut the loop in the centre and
straighten the wires on your bench. This length plus the thickness of
the metal is the circumference of the new ring. Having made the ring
take it to the mandrel and gently hammer it round between the two
marks, using a leather or nylon hammer. No tables, no calculations,
just do it.

(Does this show that I was mathematically challenged at school and
since?)

Cheers for now,
JohnB of Mapua, Nelson NZ

080008010206040607010900
Content-Type: text/html; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

    "I quickly
discovered that to make a domed ring of any respectable size for a
man the sizing falls off the top of most ring charts......"

G'day;   I don't really think you need any calculations.    My own method which was doubtless used by the ancients is to hand the customer a short piece of  soft wire (florist's soft iron wire is excellent) and have them wrap it around the ring finger above the knuckle, then to twist the two ends together forming a fixed loop that will slide on and off the finger to make the kind of fit the the customer feels happy with.   Take the loop to the tapered ring mandrel 
and mark both sides of the wire with a spirit marker.     Now cut the loop in the centre and straighten the wires on your bench.    This length plus the thickness of the metal is the circumference of the new ring.   Having made the ring take it to the mandrel and gently hammer it round between the two marks, using a leather or  nylon hammer.  
No tables, no calculations, just do it.    
 (Does this show that I was mathematically challenged at school and since?) 

-- 
Cheers for now,
JohnB of Mapua, Nelson NZ

080008010206040607010900–
End of forwarded message


#10
They are very neat bugs, indeed. http://www.silverspotstudio.com 

Yes, the bugs are great. I especially like the “Flies of Valor.”

It makes me wonder what good can be said of carpenter ants?
Bald-faced hornets?

Christine in Littleton, Massachusetts
No one deserves lung cancer.


#11

John - G’day to you too - and I LOVE your technique! I am
sufficiently mathematically challenged that adding two plus two does
not give consistent results . I very firmly believe in finding
other ways to do things, and love your fitting method! Glad to know
I’m not the only one - although I use string, not wire .

Beth back in SC with severe thunderstorms complete with high winds,
severe lightning, torrential rain, and hail. Can I go back to the
beach please?


#12

Hi Gang,

message split

Men’s jewelry… I’ve had three cast sterling belt buckles for sale
for several years. Really unique, but never sold one. Men,
especially in this region, are very conservative with jewelry. I
started a series of pins entitled, “Pins Men Can Wear.” I wear one on
my suede jacket and get comments/inquiries, but have never sold one.
I like the ideas, but in reality, the market I’m in won’t support
studio men’s jewelry. I wish I could find a way to access the rock
star market… that’s a niche where I think I could do well! I’d love
to do some custom guitar straps!

All the best,

Dave

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)


#13
Does any one have sizing to ring blank circumference (mm & inch)
conversions for rings sized 13 to 20? 

Marya,

We give Multisizer Ring Gauges to people who want to get someone’s
ring size at home. They are constructed like electrical cable ties,
but are marked with ring sizes. They measure sizes and half sizes
from 1 through 19 (although sizes 17 through 19 aren’t numbered, the
markers are there).

We bought ours from Rio Grande, but I can’t locate them in the new
catalog. Their SKU was 116-213. Check out this website for a
description and contact for a dealer in Dallas, Texas.
http://www.multisizers.com/

Del Pearson at Designs of Eagle Creek in Beautiful South Texas


#14

Hi all,

I’ve been following this thread for a while, and now it’s time to
add by half bit worth. And what I am saying is said with tongue in
cheek. Women are adorned and men are decorated. Next time November
11th rolls around stroll down to your local cenotaph and there you
will see lots of men (mainly) and proportionally fewer women wearing
all sorts of “jewellery”.

My comment comes from reading a book awhile back saying that men did
wear jewellery, but it was worn as a consequence of some
achievement, act of valour, or doing something out of the ordinary.
Such men in those days were “decorated”. The ancestral form of the
word “decorate” is from the latin word “decor -, decus” meaning
ornament or honour. I suspect that in cultures that scarify the
body, the marks signify a new state of being or achivement. Niether
the word adorn or the word ornament carry the idea of “achievement”.

I have worn a pendant (under my shirt) as a consequence of it having
special signifance. I wear the occassional “pin” because it carries
meaning. And finally, I recently shocked my wife by stating that as
soon as I am retired I am having an ear pierced. But not before
then, because of the complications it brings to the workplace.

For me, a white anglo-saxon, celtic, native-american male, it boils
down to the fact that we are stepping on at least two thousand years
of a culture saying that a man must earn his stripes before wearing
them.

Just a thought. I hope I haven’t offended anybody because that is
most certainly not my intention.

David


#15

Yes, the Flies of Valor are quickly becoming a favorite! I think I
must have sold somewhere around five or six dozen of them since
October. A very little wax going a long way :slight_smile: Thanks to all who
have checked out the website and offered your comments. I’ve been
having a great time looking at all your sites as well; I hope
everyone with a website will include the URL in your posts!

 It makes me wonder what good can be said of carpenter ants?
Bald-faced hornets? 

Probably getting waaaaay off-topic here, but both bald-faced hornets
and carpenter ants fill important niches in the grand scheme of
things (i.e., helping to break down dead wood, providing living
space for other creatures, being food sources, pollinating plants,
and acting as hosts for parasitic species). It’s just that we find
it inconvenient when they fill these niches in our siding or under
the eaves of our garden sheds. Usually, we unwittingly attract
these insects by creating structures that offer just what they’re
looking for in a nesting site.

There is a tendency among humans to still think of the natural world
as existing (or created) for our benefit - one of the most common
questions we fielded during the cicada emergence was “What good are
they?”

Please excuse the entomological blatherings! Best to all,

Jessee Smith
www.silverspotstudio.com


#16

Hi all,

Thank you very much for the interesting comments about this subject.
I know its not going to be easy, but i would like to make man’s
jewellery my primary interest. Im kind of lucky because the man in
my life loves jewelry and so does my brother.

Having my two favorite guys to help me along with new designs will
be a great help. So is all your helpful advises.

Thanks again very much.
Monika


#17

David, If what you conjecture is true, then thank goodness for
DeBeers and their “right hand rings” for women. Rather than sit
around waiting, like a christmas tree, to be adorned, the women can
decorate themselves w/ the bounty of their last raise.

Marya
Columbus
(where DeBeers has, so receintly, visited.)


#18

Hi Monika & Orchid Members:

I am new to Orchid. My name is Tina. I live in the Kansas City area.

I love men’s jewelry too. There is a Cufflink Society that you can
join. If you are interested in joining e-mail me privately and I
will send you that

I am glad to be a part of this new Orchid group. I am looking forward
to getting to know all of you.

Very Best,

TINA
@Tina_Ratner


#19

Hello Monika,

FWIW, and a bit off topic, but making men’s jewellery is what got me
into jewellery making in the first place. I wanted stuff for myself!
Everything out there was boring, Boring, BORING and I thought I may
as well give it a shot myself.

5 years later I’ve got an apartment studio, lots of great tools, have
a lot of jewellery I actually like … and am much poorer. Seriously
though, it’s made me want to pursue jewellery making as a career which
is the process I’m in now.

Cheers, Trevor F.


#20

Hello Trevor,

Thats great to hear. So how much of your work is still man’s
jewellery and how much of it is for females? Do you just design what
you like, or did you do a bit of research on whats in at the moment?

Monika