Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What Really Goes Into a Handmade Piece of Jewelry?

The last 2 years of the almost 20 years I've been making jewelry are the years that I've seriously called myself a jewelry artist. I believe what kept me from looking at myself in that light is the fact that I spend more time working at my "real" job than I do in my studio.

I began to realize that I, and any one of you reading this blog (or not reading it), is a true artist in your own right. I don't care if you're forging silver and gold with expensive tools, stringing beads onto a simple leather cord, or firing a lampwork bead...what you're doing is a necessary artistic expression of what was in your soul. And I say necessary because you feel like you'll climb the walls if you don't express yourself...it's almost like eating or drinking. Then you made a beautiful piece of wearable art and you stood back and you just can't stop admiring it because it came from your head and your heart.

Then, you give it to a loved one as a gift and try to act modest when everyone is Oohing and Aahing over it (I know, it's hard) and you hope they appreciate that you put your heart and soul into it and maybe got a few cuts and scratches along the way. We do suffer for our art.

And if they don't, it doesn't matter...you know, and all your fellow jewelry artists know. And you had a good time making it.

What is it "They" say (yes, the ubiquitous "they")? It's not the destination...it's the journey.

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