Jewelry art is quite a fascinating subject. It sounds really cool, it is very cool, but it’s not all clear sky and pretty flowers all the time. Don’t get us wrong, it’s not bad either, but it does have its ups and downs, especially considering that we are working with two very delicate variables: jewels and people. We want to make a short introduction into this world, so you can see exactly what ifs and hows every jeweler has to deal with every day in order to get things right. These are the things that no one has ever told you about the art of making jewels.
If you have read our guides on how to make handcrafted jewels, you found out that any artisan needs to think about the materials, designs and where they will procure their materials from. These are the basics, pretty much. It is super easy for anyone to generalize what an artisan must do, but there are tons of other little processes and rationalities behind what we conceive at a superficial level. Any jeweler, no matter how new or experienced they are I the field, need to have their program established to the second. One must know how to properly search for material providers, have good negotiation skills and calculate the costs and benefits that they reap. But this is still easy. Imagine that they reach the conclusion that the costs are too high and they have to restart the entire process. On top of everything, those who deal in jewelry art are good business men and women. We know it sounds like we are generalizing it, but we are referring strictly to those who decide to take up this mantle and walk the path to greatness in the art of jewels.
The path is paved with challenges and people often stumble in disappointment as well, but every famous designer you know out there has learned how to walk the path accordingly and that’s why they are up there. The stumbled, they fell, they were disappointed, some of them were told that this is not the job for them, that they should quit and maybe get a real job. This is why we have Swarovski today in the first place: because Daniel did not quit back in the 1800s. Then there is the subject of jewel designs. This subject is also interesting because of social perception. Exceptional jewelers, exceptional people in general, are considered to have been born with this extraordinary talent to just make great things happen. They just do it! Nobody knows exactly how, but they immediately assume that those people are geniuses and that nobody else can do the things they do. But what everybody does not think about is that - it’s true, some people are born with great talent – but those are not the majority of people. For the majority of artisans who want to follow this path, greatness is something that can only be achieved through hard work. But hard work is a very general term, isn’t it? If an artisan truly aspires to be one of the greatest jewelry artist in the world, he must live his dream every day. It’s slow, painful, meticulous, beautiful, hard, discouraging, inspiring and uplifting. And they all occur, more or less, at the same time.
The Issue of Creativity
How does an artisan come up with the perfect artistic jewel? There are two variables: copying and exercising creativity. We are going to briefly discuss about each. Copying is a natural part when it comes to all forms of art, jewelry art included. It is all about looking at different designs and trying to recreate the (more or less) same copy of the original. We can also fall into the trap of believing that this is easy. They just need to copy one design at a time and they will get things done, right? We tend to forget that artists, or most of them at least, are true perfectionists. They need to get things done right, but this automatically involves trial and error. And let’s not trick ourselves into this one either: it’s mostly error. Some need 100 errors until they can get something right, others need 1000, but as long as you fail 1000 times and get it right the 1001st time, it is all worth it. This is hypothetical, by the way. All artisans who persist and love their work start shooting good designs within a matter of years. Creativity is also a tough thing to deal with, especially if you are an artist. We live in an era in which everyone can be creative.
Everyone has ideas, thoughts, designs that they jot down on a piece of paper and then can boast about it being the coolest thing ever invented. But creativity has its own way of being a good teacher. Of what use is your idea or your design if it cannot be implemented or if you allow yourself to be put down by naysayers? The lack of implementation is forgivable. Yes, you cannot design a golden 24K ring with 200 small diamonds for regular use because it’s simply impractical. It is going to take a lot of time to add those diamonds. And for what purpose if the ring is going to scratch and deform within a couple of days after having been purchased? Letting yourself put down by people who do not believe in your design, however, that’s something an artisan always has to work on. As long as they have an idea for artistic jewelry pieces, they attempt to implement them. The way in which they are doing this does not necessarily matter in the beginning. The final product must see the light of day in order for it to be of any good, right? As long as one persists, there will always be results. It’s called delayed gratification. One works and works and works, but they feel as though there are no results coming. Artisans go through this process as well and trust us: it always ends up well. But how does one fuel creativity? It’s simple, but not exactly obvious. There are plenty of good artisans out there who try to come up with (at least) one idea every day. It doesn’t matter if the idea is taken, repeated 1000 times, a complete cliché, nothing matters. If one comes up with 365 ideas in one year, it is literally impossible not to find at least one good idea in the idea tank. There are two pieces of good news here, by the way. Firstly, one idea a day is only the absolute minimum; try 2 or 3 and you might skyrocket. Secondly, the average success ratio is 2 out of 10. You can go ahead and calculate how many good ideas could come out of 365 days.
The last, but not least important, talent that every good artisan should master is communication. You have to let the world know that you are out there in any way possible. Do not worry about money, do not worry about the fact that Swarovski has a super cool site and do not think that there are another 100 artisans out there trying to achieve a similar goal. If you want to get into the art of jewels and you want to do this for the rest of your life, learn to communicate. We live in an era in which you can promote your jewels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Tumblr. There is no more “I can’t” in the period in which we live.
You can also make your own site. If you cannot code you can surely find a friend of a friend of a friend who can make you one homepage or go on webs.com to make your own free site. Artisans need to be really confident about their designs as well. Your jewels can be top notch, but if you present them with a half mouth you won’t make the best impression. Something that nobody ever tells you is that we all start small. You’re already small, so what do you have to lose? Simply go out there and present your jewels! If you got yourself into the art of making jewels, you need to know something extremely important: you cannot fail. There is literally no way for you to fail. You own your jewels and you own the business that you got yourself into. A core concept that stands at the base of all businesses is ownership. It’s never about the things that you borrowed or the things that you would like to have. It’s all about what you own. As long as own your designs and your art, what else do you have to fear? It’s not like someone can come and take your ideas out of your head. You are the sole master of the universe that you created. We hope that we fueled you with some inspiration by letting you know the secrets behind the art of jewelry and, if you want to pursue it, you can start doing it right now.