The AJE team has been talking about their creative journeys recently. We’ve each been looking back on our early creative endeavors and reflecting on early work we liked or disliked, how far we’ve come and even things from the past that might be worth revisiting. Many of our members have pursued other art forms besides jewelry components and jewelry design. We ended up generating a rather large collection of old pictures and related musings.
I will be sharing our journeys in my next two or three posts. Since you are also on a life journey, I hope that some of our reflections might inspire some reflection on your part as well. What sparked your creative impulse? How has that impulse expressed itself in different forms throughout your life? Where do you think the path you are on might lead in a few years? Are you open to new directions?
Karen has been involved in creative endeavors all her life.She was working primarily in pottery when she needed to have surgery on her hand. In her words:
“These were made with my handmade stamps. I made stamps initially for pottery, then when I couldn’t throw (pots) for 6 months due to hand surgery, I made these beads to keep myself entertained. That’s how I got into beads, it was an accident. Lesson: ya never know what is around the corner; go with the flow and you find new work, new discoveries.”
“I had an unexpected discovery (while looking through these old pictures): pretty much all of it (Karen’s early jewelry components) was hand formed or stamped from my own hand formed stamps. I had an impression I’d used commercial stamps with my clay – but that was more the case with my bronze work. However, I did use commercial cutters for some (my favorite cutter was a very old ruffled pastry cutter from my grandmother (I used it to make all the gear links and other shapes).”
” Porcelain with melted glass chips and various glazes”
“Earth and Sky Wrist Amulet – Here’s one that I made from hand carved
leaf, flower and spiral stamps, in a terra cotta style with underglazes
and a clear crackle gloss glaze over all. Very early piece yet I like
this style and looking at it now I want to make it again!”
Jennifer first bead wasn’t too bad for a beginner. I took a lampwork class once and believe me, my first bead did not look like the one pictured below! This bead is from 2005 and Jennifer wire wrapped it into a ring. The ring was the first piece of jewelry she ever made, also!
Here’s another view. She says she can’t remember if she followed a tutorial for the ring or just made it up herself. The ring is not especially stable or well made, but she still has it.
Next up are two beads Jennifer made at about the same time as the ring. She describes the one on the left as being ugly. It was the first encased bead she ever made. The bead on the right is “very large, very wonky, off center and totally scorched!”.
Here’s an early floral bead. It has a nice “dimple” at the hole.
Jennifer says she likes the colors she used in this one, but that “it’s a very ugly shape. And chunky. Not very nice.”
Melissa began here jewelry journey by making wire wrapped, beaded chains, like this early bracelet.
Or these earrings. Of course now she makes not only jewelry, but also a variety of jewelry components.
Niky got her jewelry making start with PMC, before the prices for silver went through the roof. She says that she was “..seduced by the possibilities…” of Precious Metal Clay. Here are three of her early pieces.
Niky goes on to say, “I
still really like these pieces, I like the simplicity of them and the
sparkle and I loved how easy metal clay was to work with!
I hope you have enjoyed this little bit of reminiscing. All of us are on a journey. None of us can know where it will lead us, but we can savor the trip.
I’ll share more early work in my next post. Till then, enjoy the trip!