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Wearing your jewelry creations

Was: Proper tattoo for a goldsmith


I’m glad you wear your jewellery. I’ve noticed that a lot of
jewellers who make and sell their own jewellery, for some reason
don’t actually wear their own pieces. This seems a little odd to me.
I see it as free advertising, and in any case, if you don’t wear your
own jewellery, then prospective customers might have less confidence
in your wares.

I make jewellery that I like and I make and wear a number of pieces
for myself and people often comment on it. Like you say Rick, it is
an attention getter.

Among the many Orchidians whose work I really admire, one in
particular is Belle Brooke. I love her work and was pleased to see a
picture of her on her website, wearing one of her creations made in
gold. It gives out a message to the customer that you like your own
work enough to wear it yourself so it must be good.

Do most people on Orchid wear their creations or not? I’d be
interested to know if others have an opposing view.



Do most people on Orchid wear their creations or not? I'd be
interested to know if others have an opposing view. 

I don’t wear any of the rings or neclaces I make…but I always wear
a sterling chain bracelet I made during an outdoor exhibition
demonstration in the main square of Ibiza town Good Friday
1998…there was a howling wind that blew my torch flame sideways on
occasion, and I was surrounded by hundreds of people who were out
for the procession of the penitents…you may have seen pictures of
these walkers in their robes and KKK style pointy hoods…a bit
creepy to N.European and US eyes. Also I was under critical scrutiny
from the exhibition organisers, who didn’t then know me, and needed
to see that I could actually make the stuff I was selling…no
pressure there eh? I always wear it just to remind me of when
the going was really tough, and I got going as they say…

Steve Holden

Do most people on Orchid wear their creations or not? I'd be
interested to know if others have an opposing view. 

Helen, mine isn’t an ~opposing~ view, just my own taste. I don’t wear
anything but a wedding band (which I made) simply because I don’t
wear jewelry - well, a tie tack now and then. Jo-Ann does, sometimes
mine, sometimes hers, sometimes other. In my younger days I did some,
but I just don’t like to wear jewelry, in general. Also no holes
punched in my body and no pictures painted on it, and it’s gonna stay
that way. Just me…

I always wear my own jewelry. First of all, I do like it. Otherwise I
wouldn’t try to sell it to others. Secondly, its come to the point
where I feel disloyal if I am wearing something else.

Elegant Insects jewelry

Personally I don’t wear much in way of adornments. I wear a High
School graduation ring (although not a University one despite my
degree), but even that I had given to a girl friend to keep while
with the United Nations. I use to wear dog tags (when I was
serving). Now a days I don’t even wear a watch (although I do have a
dress one in case I need one and am attending a funeral or wedding).
I did wear my first cabouchon setting (for about a week), but I tend
to make sterling black quickly. I have thought as you do about the
free ad aspect, and have thought of designing and making something
for myself, but just as a blacksmith may not necessarily carry one of
his own swords, it simply hasn’t been a large enough priority, nor
enough personal interest (as mentioned, I simply don’t really wear
adornments). I would hate to think someone would not be interested in
my skills simply because I was not draped in precious metals and
stones, but maybe they do, I have never thought to ask.

K. David Woolley
Fredericton, NB
Diversiform Metal Art & Jewellery

I always wear my own jewelry and always get comments. I have stopped
telling people that the pieces I wear are rejects. They were loved
while I was making them but had a problem; not bad enough to throw
away but something I wouldn’t sell.

Bobbie Horn

Helen, I wear mine and I wear jewelry by others that I admire or
just like, plus of course I wear what my husband gives me, and what
my daughter makes for me.

I always have at least one ring on that is mine, but the rest

I agree that having at least one of my pieces on gives me a talking
point with folks, some of whom do wind up being customers eventually.


I wear mine… in fact I wear so many bangles that I jingle - ha -
ha. I said something about that once and one of my friends said she
loved the sound she always knew I was coming and it made her smile. I
never take off my bracelets just the necklaces, earrings and rings at
night. I don’t wear a watch anymore, I just check the cell for the


Do most people on Orchid wear their creations or not? 

Well I do.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.

Bonjour Helen,

Do most people on Orchid wear their creations or not? I'd be
interested to know if others have an opposing view. 

I do wear my work.

But, so to say, I don’t wear jewellery.

I just don’t think of the pieces I wear as jewellery, they are part
of me. I live, sleep, bath… with them on and never remove them. I
simply don’t think of wearing other jewels.

I have my wedding ring plus plus one of my first labradorite ring
(on the same finger) and a thin black ribbon around the neck with two
pendents knotted on it. On an other ribbon, I have the most precious
piece to me and the only I didn’t make : a tiny antique silver
pendant my brother gave me when we were kids…

Occasionnally, I wear is one of my diploma’s collection necklace.
These pieces all have a strong meanning to me.

I do also wear my experiments, for a week or so, but it is part of
the “design process”. I check if it is comfortable and I listen to
people’s comments…

I am proud of my work but I can’t see it as some sort of
advertising, it sounds so “cold” to me. Maybe I am too much
emotionnally linked to my work… (… I could remove the maybe in
this sentence… hehehe). If it actually advertise my work, that’s
great ! but it not a purpose.

Juliette Arda
Aix en Provence, France

I love wearing my jewelry. It is not the only jewelry I wear. It’s a
great display opportunity, a conversation starter, and it’s the type
of design I would buy if i didn’t make it. But then, I have always
been a bit of a jewelry hound.


I wear my jewelry, bracelets and chain around my neck, belt buckle.

Sam Patania, Tucson

I usually wear prototypes for a while just to make sure they work
right, so for trial pieces they are usually sized to fit me, a 175cm
tall lanky male, it can get a bit odd when I’m wearing an obviously
female ring or other piece that I’m working on the design of, but we
all have our quirks and mine is it has to work right and the only
way I can get that to happen is through real life testing.

Right now I’m wearing the half scale ring I made yesterday (on a
chain around my neck!), but not because I’m testing it, but because
I’m proud of the way I made it, besides it gained me two new
customers today, while at a b-day lunch, so it’s all good.

Cheers, Thomas.
Janstrom Designs.

To Steve, Sandra, Bobbie, Beth, Susan and Daniel,

Thanks for replying and I’m glad that you like to wear your own
creations. I don’t see it as essential but I do see it as a positive
thing and in my case, I enjoy wearing my jewellery. Somehow it means
more than the jewellery I used to wear that my husband or myself
used to pick from a shop and it also amazes me as a member of the
buying public, just how bad the quality and workmanship was on pieces
I was happy to buy! It certainly makes me strive for better quality
in what I produce. As for wearing it, I don’t drape myself in it and
sometimes I will only wear one piece like a ring, but unless I’m
working (when the only piece of jewellery I wear is my wedding
ring), I usually wear a piece or a set to compliment what I’m

To John, K. David,

As I say, I don’t see wearing your own jewellery a prerequisite,
especially for men, who often don’t like to wear jewellery. Many men
won’t even wear a wedding ring. If you’re not the jewellery wearing
type, I can see that draping oneself in precious metals and stones
would be rather out of character and I can appreciate that
blacksmiths don’t go around carrying one of their swords, but as
we’re in the business of personal adornment, wearing one’s wares -
even in a more subtle way seems a reasonable thing to do. I think
even if a man doesn’t wear jewellery as a rule, there are ways such
as cufflinks, tie tacks, money clips, etc where the odd piece can be
worn but I’m not saying you should. There’s plenty of room in this
world for both jewellers who wear their own jewellery and those who
enjoy making it and seeing their wares bought for women to wear and
enjoy. I was curious to hear others’ views on the subject.

Incidentally, my dad has never worn jewellery. He is from the
generation of men who never even wore wedding rings and when
jewellers pretty much only sold wedding rings for women. However, I
made him a sterling key ring for Christmas and then in January I made
him some sterling cufflinks for his birthday and he phoned me up all
excited and when I asked him if they fit his shirt okay, he said that
he would be taking a pair of scissors to his shirt if they didn’t
(they weren’t made with findings, but were of the sort with two
"buttons" joined by a very short chain, with two different designs to
make them reversible), as he was looking forward to wearing them to
church the next day. Mum calls him the king of bling now - he’s 75.
It may just be fatherly pride of course. He’s still in awe of how one
can actually make jewellery! I’m not sure how he thought things in
jewellers’ windows came to be! And he can’t quite get his head round
the fact that it’s possible to buy bullion and precious stones -
bless! :wink:


Do most people on Orchid wear their creations or not? 

I certainly do! A good part of the reason I got into jewelry making
in the first place was because I couldn’t find anything I liked and I
figured I’d rather buy tools than pay for custom work (in truth I
grew up in a welding shop so a lot the basics were familiar to me).

Although the selection of guy jewelry has improved dramatically over
the years (always find the best stuff in the gay section of town) I
still wear my own stuff these days… because I prefer it. I tend to
make unique, one of, or very limited runs so each piece has a very
specific look and feel that I was interested in: an adaptation of a
roman centurian ring, particularly heavy chainmail weaves, miniature
anti-clastic raisings, etc. It’s still stuff I’m interested in and I
don’t see it anywhere else so… it’s an easy choice in the end.

Another reason I wear my own work is that I’m testing ideas, usually
for function and comfort. I don’t want to be selling something that
isn’t nice to wear so I test new ideas for a while on myself. I’ve
learned a lot that way, what works and what doesn’t. Partially it’s
been necessary because I work almost exclusively in Argentium Silver
and the selection of findings is still pretty sparse, so I have to
make and/or invent my own. Again, testing is a necessary and, I
think, responsible part of the process.

Trevor F.
in The City of Light
Visit at

Every now and then I make something just for me, an idea I have or a
stone I can’t resist. All the jewelry I wear for everyday, except
for my wedding band, is my work.

I inherited some lovely Art Deco pieces, but I seldom get a chance
to wear them because when I go out I’m generally in "publicizing"
mode and need to wear my own work.

Janet Kofoed


I always wear my own creations, for several reasons:

  1. Unless it’s a customer-designed commission, I make what I like
    and, for the most part, would enjoy wearing myself. Why resist that
    indulgence when “It’s what I do”?

  2. Wearing your own work is the absolute best in terms of free
    advertising. I’ve had many people stop me to ask where I got my
    bracelet, earrings, necklace, etc. And, unlike a customer who might
    be stopped in the same way, I always have one of my business cards to
    hand out!

  3. It’s a great way to field-test my pieces, especially the more
    ’iffy’ or experimental designs. I like to see just how wearable my
    designs are, how they lie on the wrist or neck, how heavy they are,
    how they feel to the wearer throughout the day or evening, and how
    they hold up with repeated wearing, under different circumstances. I
    would much rather discover “re-design opportunities” prior to a sale,
    than to have a customer return something.

  4. Market research. I can see what catches the interest - and the
    eye - of potential customers, and what goes mostly unnoticed.

If I plan to sell the piece, I will only “field test” it once, then
clean it thoroughly and put it back in inventory. If I like it well
enough, I will keep it and make another for sale or display it and
make one for myself, when time allows.

I’ve had to learn to take photos of my pieces before I wear them,
since I’ve had several pieces purchased while I was "field testing"

I once had a woman follow me around several stores in a mall, to the
point where I started to become alarmed… until I saw that she was
surreptitiously (or so she thought) eyeing my bracelet. I finally
stopped, looked directly at her and smiled, and waited for her to
speak (not wanting to make any assumptions). She blurted out that she
loved my bracelet and would I mind terribly telling her where I
bought it? We both had a good laugh about her ‘stalking’ me, and I
had a new customer!


I am so pleased to find this topic on the table. I have always loved
jewelry, long before I had the skills and knowledge to create my own,
and so I have a large collection of jewelry, mostly my own pieces,
but also many pieces done by other artists. I wear jewelry to
(hopefully) compliment my person/body with pieces that I feel express
beauty, and I’m certainly not the only artist capable of
accomplishing this. So I will often wear pieces that I did not make,
and I am always a bit dismayed by the reactions that I get. People
will compliment the jewelry, asking if I made this too, and when I
reply that I did not but so-and-so did, they raise an eyebrow, as
though I’m making a public statement that I chose this artist’s work
over my own. And my jeweler friends frown down on wearing other
people’s work as well, primarily because of the loss of potential
marketing of your own work… As a result, I’m definitely more
conscious of where I will be with another artist’s work on, which I
regret. I do not want to limit my “style” to only my own jewelry, and
so I don’t, but I’d love to lose this awareness that has developed
since entering into the professional world.

I also wear my prototypes, partly because I’m proud of the finished
piece, partly to test it out, and partly because it often times
leads to orders, because if there’s one thing that I know about my
own work, it’s that it always looks better on, as it was intended.

Thanks for the topic, and for listening, as usual…


I wear my jewelry, bracelets and chain around my neck, belt

Along with my bracelet I have a turquoise set watch band and a belt
buckle with another big honking turquoise cab although people don’t
usually see the buckle because I rarely tuck my shirt in. I have a
friend who dabbles in silversmithing and always takes the buckle he
made off his belt. He’s a big fella and more times than I care to
remember has lost his pants while showing off his buckle. Always
good for a chuckle.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Rocky Mountain Wonders
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Every now and then I make something just for me, an idea I have or
a stone I can't resist. All the jewelry I wear for everyday,
except for my wedding band, is my work. I inherited some lovely
Art Deco pieces, but I seldom get a chance to wear them because
when I go out I'm generally in "publicizing" mode and need to wear
my own work. 

Exactly!! What she said!

I have a small collection of other jewelers’ work, but I don’t
actually wear that, either.