Monday, July 23, 2012

Neckcuffs, Bangles and Hoops - Sturdy, Well Made, Fantastic Bases for Jewelry Design

Recycled Sari Silk Wrapped Bangle Stack with mixes of left over beads!

The 3 above were inspired in 2010 by eclectic gipsyland's flickr photo set called 
Someday I will have my own gypsy wagon and the only man allowed in will be the one who loads the heavy stuff for me.
but I digress...

I loved Linda's vision for Adorn Me! and wanted to be involved. At that time (2009) bezels and nickel silver were all the rage in artisan jewelry and I researched carefully to create a completely unique full days workshop that was exciting, colorful and textural. 
Once I had the neck cuff down, the bangles were a cinch to create and the wrapped ear hoops came easily after. 

I submitted my workshop with my copyrighted pictures and a full stepped out instructional hand out for all the students. It took approximately 4 weeks to research that this design was NOT being offered anywhere else, that my information was accurate and that all the teacher requirements were met.
The workshop was rejected because of my lack of teaching references.
Ah well, it was still a good learning experience and here I was with a full collection of never been seen jewelry! So I just started listing the pieces in my etsy shop and sending them in to stores. I was delighted to find buyers felt the same as I did about them!

I had hoped to try again as a workshop instructor somewhere with this idea but it looked as if someone else needed the fresh idea more.
It isn't the first time it happened, it isn't the last and I have a well of creative ideas to draw from so I can easily walk away from any design that I conceived that is in danger of becoming mainstream to embrace something new...... like patina-ted metal.
Again, researching carefully that no one else was offering such a concept.
And there wasn't!
Even the forums at Ganoskin had an bare patina section! Since then, Tim McCreight released a video on patinas and I was not worried because even though life had gotten in the way of my plans (2 rejected book proposals and my need to become the main provider for my family due to Mike coming out of remission and the subsequent 2nd diagnoses of PNH), my idea was still different enough to have merit, easy to learn, and had really fun results!
I knew that if I couldn't put it down that there were bound to be others who couldn't either. 

I am thrilled that my work resonates with so many people and that many jewelry artists have gone further in their personal jewelry journey from inspiration that I have given them.
 I am going to keep thinking outside of the box. 
I am going to keep looking for ways to make unique jewelry that appeals to those dissatisfied with what is being offered mainstream.
I am going to keep discovering ways to make money, creating.
And I am going to keep sharing how to do it all with you.
Just wait until you see what I have in development, and then just wait until you see it in someone else's book, blog or shop showing how to make it!
I'll be taking money on bets that it will be within 6 months of my release. 
With Much Love, Respect, and Complete Understanding of How the World Works,


  1. It's a tough out there! Difficult to come up with original ideas, only to have them swept away with someone else at the helm! Don't get discouraged, all your hard work and effort with come back to you ten fold!

  2. Shannon, I just found the other day a tutorial on Etsy and I swear the base of the bracelet was mine. Oh well, all I can do is keep doing what I'm doing and reach even higher. I know you're going to be fine and your work is so you that it resonates so well with your fans.

    1. I understand and respect the gentle point you are making here, Marcie, but that situation is completely different from what I described above.

      It is important that you know I can back up my claims with documented evidence in chronological order.

      Right now I am so far from fine. My income has dropped to the point where I am struggling to stock my store while I feed my children. The more people who take ideas as their own without even mentioning their inspiration DOES have an effect on artists and their income.
      It will be impossible to do research on something new while I am working at the local gas station.

  3. They're all gorgeous. I love your ideas and look. The bangles are really great.

  4. I so wish I had known of you and your blog back in 2009 or even 2010! I would have loved a class like the ones you show here! I have been seeing things like this in my head for years and now, you're right, they are so much more mainstream. (I just took pics of some hoops very similar to yours this past week)

    Keep trying for the teaching posititions, you'll get them. I've watched your 'vlogs' and you've got a great presence - students would love you.

    You're right, your ideas are very innovative, especially w/all your patina - awesome! I'm still hoarding some pieces I've purchased from you,...they're too cool all by themselves for a design yet! :-)

    1. Thank you for your encouragement, Shel! I am no longer interested in a being a teacher for other venues (most of them seem very cliche to me now)and will develop my own workshops in the future.
      (Except for Keith Lo Bue and Micheal deMeng. I'd pay them double what they are asking!)

  5. How about Johnny Depp as in Chocolat? That would be a good exception for the gyspy wagon?

    I teach at local arts programs run by the community. I set my own class program and they are glad to have me. The pay is nice too. Maybe not as much as a workshop but then you get a group of followers and you can hold your own workshop. I know it is tough to get into a retreat. I was scheduled to teach one in Sept. but my classes were canceled due to lack of enrollment. I think that I didn't fit into the venue. The venue was more crafty in nature and I'm not. One door closes but another will open. I am sure. Keep trying. Shibui

  6. Awesome stuff. I would love to collaborate with you. My art exhibit is going to start traveling to Botanical Gardens and Butterfly houses all over the US starting Spring 2014. I would love to have some of your pieces in my accompanying product line for the gift shops.
    The quantities would be very manageable I think. I'm just going one or two locations at the time. I would like to provide you with fabric (my hand painted silk) and let you make the pieces and we could agree on the pricing. I LOVE the idea of using the fabrics (my specialty) with your artistry.
    We could also add custom glass beads from my super talented (and somewhat famous) friend Patti Quinn...if you'd like to.
    Please check out my website to see what the whole thing is about and email me if you are interested.
    Melissa Steele
    THANK YOU!!!

  7. Hi! I just popped over from pinterest. I was just going to make a quick comment on how much I love your work- I love fiber and metal together, although I haven't posted any of my jewelry or fiber work on my blog. And then I read the whole post. I am so sorry that this is happening to you. You sound so concientious about researching your ideas and I respect that so much. You are coming up with original innovative ideas only to have them stolen- what a disgrace! I'm not sure what retreat you applied for, but I did read where you like Keith and Michael- me too! I had a critique class with them last year that was so amazing, as well as a workshop with Michael. (I always take a workshop with Michael every fall when he teaches in Connecticut.) Best instructor I've ever had. I don't even care what the project is.... if he's teaching, I'll take it! But I digress, it bothers me so much that this is happening in the art community and that you are struggling so much. I wish you the best in your future endeavors.

  8. I just love those pendants with stone and silk...delicious color combinations...keep up the great work!


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