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Jewelers, goldsmiths, & silversmiths "personal" jewelry

Reading some of the replies (Dave Arens), I have become curious…

How many of the Orchid group have “personal” jewelry? I have found
that if I spend the time and money to make myself something really
nice (which is rare!), someone always seems to come along and offer
me a good price for it. Then I sell it, and some years will go by
before I get around to making somehting else…

Now that I think about it - it’s been seven years since I made
anything for myself!

I own a total of three pieces of personal jewelry! And this from a
total of almost 30 years around the stuff… and very plain things
they are. Probably why someone hasn’t bought them off my body yet.

I guess it is like the proverbial shoemakers’ kids not having shoes.
When you see the stuff every day it is hard to get excited about it.

I would much rather spend my money like Suzanne, jump on plane & get
away. And there are always new tools, books, classes, workshops, and

Brian P. Marshall

I tend to be the opposite - most everything I make IS for myself; as
a bonus, when I wear it, I often get requests for custom orders. I
like it this way very much! – Quik.

Hi Brian, maybe it’s a guy thing, I have a lot of personal jewelry
and no one has ever offered to buy it off of me. But then I get so
attached to them I don’t think that money is enough sometimes. There
are times when I have owned a piece that doesn’t grow on me and it
ends up in the show case. And I try to make a point of making myself
a new piece for Christmas or my birthday. Until I took on a student,
I hadn’t gotten a gift of jewelry in over twenty years, makes me
sorry I didn’t have a student like Gary long ago. Janine in Redding,
CA, where the leaves and fall weather are wonderful…

I don’t own a lot of things (a 24k handmade double loop in loop
chain, a wedding band {currently all 22k gold fused wires}and a 3
stone ring {ideal cut diamond, two fancy colored sapphires} and four
earrings–one for each hole), but my wife’s collection is quite
extensive. I always make my best designs for my wife first and then
scale them down for the public. Of course, over time she gives me
back early pieces to sell since she can’t wear it all. I think when
you are in the business anything you make can and will be sold
eventually. As a matter of fact the only thing I have ever made that
I wouldn’t ever sell is her engagement ring.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140

personal jewelry, eh? well, I make alot of jewelry for my mother who
is the owner of the store and does alot of bookkeeping…hmmmm.

I find personally, that I don’t like alot of things. first, probably
because I see EVERYTHING in jewelry and it is extremely difficult to
impress me, but probably most of all, I am behind the bench most of
the time, and I wouldn’t have anywhere to wear the jewelry I make.
(If I am going somewhere special, I will just pull one of the nicer
peices I made out of stock and wear it)

I used to wear more jewelry when I started. I had a really neat mask
ring that I had made out of an old signet. (stuck a plate on the top
and started carving…it kinda looked like a face door-knocker) But,
when I work, the rings have to come off, and after awhile I just
stopped putting them on and off.

Now, all I have is my wedding band (meteorite and gold) and a pendant
that I wear of a old chinese coin…(which I keep saying I am going
to remake in gold, but it kinda takes away the effect of the old
coin). that’s it! My husband, other than his wb, I made him a great
pendant in 2-tone gold with a wing/yang on one side (single white
diamond on one side, black on the other…) and on the reverse is a
dragon (for the year of the dragon, of course) Now, my mother,
different story. I make her things all of the time…she appreciates
them, wears them , and has a beautiful collection of not only custom
work from me, but from my father (gives us an easy out on holidays)
problem is: the work is starting to get more ornate and difficult,
the good thing is: with all of these things , you learn (and you are
not doing it on a customers piece) sometimes, I make crazy things,
just to learn different techniques, styles, etc. bottom line no need
to make it if you can’t wear it, but don’t be afraid to make YOURSELF
( or a family member) that jewelry that you want to make but may not
have the marketability that you would like. but, unfortunately being
a bench jeweler can sometimes limit the jewelry you make for yourself
(not only due to bench dangers, but also because my hands are almost
always dirty…) -julia fresh back from Jamaica, mon, and my hands
are clean!!! (I don’t know how to act!)

Hi all! In response to the above about personal jewellery, What I like to
do is sell the pieces that I wear (basically I am a living, breathing,
walking and talking showcase!) I live in a town of about 60,000 people,
and have grown up here, (I am 34). When I walk thru town or the mall, I
always run into people I know, and they all want to see what I’ve made!
So, I’ll take off whatever piece I happen to be wearing, let them take a
look at it, and I also always carry a small photo album showing my pieces. I
work out of my home, with no storefront and in fact customers have to be
referred to me by word of mouth, as I do no advertising and am not even
listed it the phone book for security issues!

When I make a piece of jewellery, I am completely excited about doing the
project up until the point that it just received the perfect polish and is
finished, then I lose interest in the piece. What I really receive
enjoyment from is the making of the piece, not the ownership! Most of my
work is custom designed for the customer, but by doing extra sales this
way, I can continually change my personal jewellery, try new ideas, and
market my product all at the same time!

Hope you all have a fabulous day, Tara from Beautiful BC, Canada

Hello everyone, I just had to respond. The reason I got into this
fascinating hobby/business/creative outlet, is that I crave jewelry
and have found delight in turning metal sheet/wire into beautiful
objects. I’m enchanted with the sparkle of gems. The feel of silver
and gold metal is wonderful on my skin. It’s positively decadent to
feel the brush on my cheek from dangling earrings. I also love the
challenge of finding a way to execute a seemingly impossible design.
Soooo, yes, I do have quite a collection of pieces. Many have
wonderful memories associated with them. Others were simply a
challenge conquered. Now here’s the weird part… with all that from
which to choose, I find I actually wear only a few pieces constantly.
Earrings change daily, but I wear the same rings, a gold bangle, and
the same necklace for months. Maybe I was a crow or a packrat in a
former life… or possibly the product of genetic engineering??
Regardless, isn’t this great fun?? A special thanks to
Dr.Aspler/Hanuman for this excellent forum and the chance to chew on
interesting questions with everyone. Judy in Kansas

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
Extension Associate
221 Call Hall Kansas State Univerisity
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-1213 FAX (785) 532-5681

Hey, Y’all-- Since I’ve been enjoying other people’s anecdotes, I
decided to jump in with my own. I do keep a few favorite pieces (I’m
not counting things I didn’t manage to sell, but that I don’t wear).
More often, if I’m going out, I’ll wear a new piece out of stock. My
rationalization is that it helps me be sure that the work is durable,
practical and comfortable. When I make pieces for myself, I generally
end up allowing someone buy them right off my body. Right now, I’m
wearing tiny commercial hoop earrins because I’m too lazy to put in
earrings every day, and I can sleep in these. The only jewelry I wear
daily is a wonderful 18k ring with little diamonds by Thomas Herman,
and a silver ring I made with a large example of a “stone” that I
make, to see how well it holds up. It is actually a ceramic back
covered with a beautiful, deep crackle glaze that I developed for its
jewel-like qualities. Like a druzy under water. If it lasts on my
right hand, it can take anything! I do also have a small collection
of other jeweler’s work that I admire, though I don’t wear them much
because I like to advertise myself. Like to have them, though.
–Noel (in Chicago, where winter is coming on most unpleasantly)