After reading posts on this forum for several days, you seem to be a
wonderful group of people! So, I have decided to get over my get
over my shyness about being a stumbling novice and introduce myself.
I’m slowly developing what I hope will become a thriving art jewelry
business in a career/life transition from professional nursing to
health care writing to creating beautiful objects. So far, I have
been selling bead-and-wire earrings (my own designs, worked in
sterling silver and gold-filled wire and opaque stones) and
assembled-from-components breast cancer awareness jewelry. I’m
serious about the quality of my work (I feel like I need to say this
because I’ve seen photographs of some obviously poorly finished
pieces published in bead-and-wirework books and periodicals
My craft/hobby background is in fiber arts, and I absolutely drool
over many of the pieces in Arline Fisch’s “Textile Techniques in
Metal” (the 2nd version published by Lark Books in 1996). I’ve played
around with the techniques a bit and would like to work with some of
them seriously - knitting and crocheting, at which I’m proficient in
fiber, but I also want to try out weaving, coiling, braiding, and
basketry. Making well-crafted pieces of jewelry with these techniques
will involve some annealing, and being able to solder as well as form
cold connections would be a great help.
I also want to learn how to make chains and how to fabricate
pendants, brooches, fibulae, cuff links, etc., working mostly with
silver and semi-precious stones – but I want to try out some
mixed-media techniques, too. I guess I’m exploring the jewelry field
and have not yet found my passion.
I have dozens of questions – so, first I would like recommendations
about good books to read. I’ve finished Tim McCreight’s “Jewelry:
Fundamentals of Metalsmithing” and “The Complete Metalsmith;” also
"Making the Most of Your Flex-Shaft" by Karen Christians.
Recommendations about videos and DVDs that would be worth investing
in would also be helpful.
I live outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, and hope to enroll
in a class in a local community arts center in the Fall. Are there
other members living in the Philadelphia area? Do you teach, or can
you recommend good classes?
Thank you all for everything that I’ve already learned from reading