Saturday, September 30, 2006

Making it DifferentI went to an arts and crafts show

Making it Different
I went to an arts and crafts show last weekend and was amazed by how many artisans were sellling jewelry. I even overheard one shopper say, "There's so much jewelry here this year! I guess it's because so many people are wearing beaded jewelry these days." I'm glad it had a big presence because that tells me that lots of people are interested in making it and buying it, but I also worry that it will be difficult to make my own jewelry stand out. Out of about a dozen booths, I'd say half sold simple stringing designs and the other half were more specialized. Here are some of the things the more specialized booths had: chain maille bracelets, wire-wrapped gemstone pendants, mother's bracelets to order, polymer clay pendants, hand-painted glass pendants, and more intricate beaded designs like peyote pendants and dutch spiral bracelets.

Most of the simpler stringing designs were single strand repeating patterns with or without a pendant in the center. So, how to make my own simple jewelry different? One easy place to start is with multiple strands. Other ways I can think of include: asymmetry; large or unusual pendants; long, long necklaces; combine stringing with other techniques like knotting; make my own beads or components or use unique ones. But I want to hear your thoughts about this. How do you make your jewelry different? (Katie Hacker)