Sunday, January 15, 2006

An Ordinary Jewelry Maker

Never having had a hobby using my hands, I began over 10 years ago taking jewelry classes. I became a so-so beader, an ok silversmithy, and now I'm into working with precious metal clay. The latter takes less time to complete a piece. Like a lump of clay there are tiny micrograms of silver flakes in a binder that you roll out and stamp an impression with collected items like a leaf, kitchen grater, seashell, button. Dried then placed in a kiln where the binder turns to ash, you have a brooch, pendant, or whatever your intention ready to polish. In less than a day you can make an array of items. PMC is going to be my medium for awhile. I've had two weekend courses to give me basics, and here's what I've done.

However, some years ago I made my sister a rosary--Episcopalian style of 28 small beads, 6 large beads and a cross. When I went to the local church gift shop to double check the bead design, I was told to bring in a sample...and my life as a beader began. In addition to the rosaries I've created finger rosaries--7 small beads, one large one and a cross-- and bracelets with same design for a few church customers. I call my smaller rosaries "Meditation Beads" so anyone of any faith can use them. An enclosed guide helps use the item.

Surprisingly, the meditation beads are quite popular. At one gift shop the rosaries are preferred by foreign tourists and local Americans buy the meditation beds. Why, do you ask? The med beads are very inexpensive and since foreign visitors have more money to spend, they want the rosaries. Now I can claim that my rosaries are used world-wide and the meditation beads used throughout the United States!

With a hobby like mine, there's never a profit. The money gained just buys me more materials, tools and pays for more courses. Recently I bought several beading videos to help me plan some eye-popping necklaces. You'll see the results soon.

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