It should be easy for a jewellery designer to have the perfect piece of jewellery for every occasion, but it often doesn’t work out like that! Choosing jewellery to wear for my television appearances can be particularly tricky. The Guest Designers are requested to wear jewellery made from the kits, but I am not sure I want the cameras to zoom in on my neck for the close up shots! I prefer to be able to show the full range of designs on display busts on the desk. Sometimes I make up a quick pair of earrings from the kit, but I have had complaints from viewers about not wearing enough jewellery! I do believe that those comments are justified. Jewellery Makers should wear their own jewellery as often as possible and as I see it there are two main reasons for this.
Firstly, it is the only way to really understand how your jewellery performs. The hang of a piece on the body is completely different to the way it hangs on a display bust. As you move around the jewellery will move too. Does it need to be adjusted frequently, or does it sit well at all times? Is it as comfortable to wear after 2 hours as it was when it first went on? Is the clasp secure when you are running or climbing the stairs? Only wearer trials, preferably by the maker, will answer these questions. This might be a problem for male jewellery makers, but I would still advise wearing the jewellery you make, even if it is designed for the female market. You can always confine yourself to the house if you are shy!
Secondly, it shows that you believe in what you are making. You are showing how your designs can be the perfect finishing touch to your outfit and that you enjoy wearing it. You are able to advertise not only the individual piece of jewellery, but also the fact that wearing jewellery is desirable/essential. It is sometimes said that you should never trust a thin cook. Similarly, why should people trust a jewellery maker who doesn’t wear their own designs?!
So, I decided to make a piece of jewellery to match my outfit, which used the same technique as one of the pieces I was showing but was made using my own supply of materials sourced from JM. There would be no need for the cameras to focus on my neck and although I was stretching the rules a bit I was still advertising JM materials. When I put it together with my top I was really pleased with the effect. However, I had misjudged one crucial element … the microphone! The handover between shows is very quick, so there is no time to check the mirror. It was only after the show that I realised that the weight of the clip on mic pulled my top to one side and the pendant was hidden throughout the show! All my effort was wasted, but at least I have got the chance here to show what the necklace looked like.
Below is the necklace I made for the show using the JM kit. I think this design has a lot more potential and I look forward to exploring this with my stash of cabochons. I already have two cabochon designs in my shop, which use stitching methods and I will be teaching a variation of one of these at a workshop at Stitchncraft in September. Cabochons are very popular in jewellery making, so I am planning to develop more designs using kumihimo. Watch this space!
These are the two cabochon tutorials currently available in my shop,