Making Jewellery for pleasure and profit

Bead Room Beginnings

Bead Room Beginnings (Photo credit: Nikita Kashner)

Last week I popped into my local library to have a look for information about leisure activities so I could sign up for something to get me out of the house a little bit while I am trying to find a new job.

As I walked in the door there was a notice board with information on a few new events and activities happening at the library over the next few weeks. One of these was a Jewellery Making course – perfect, fun, creative and different, exactly the kind of thing I had been looking for and best of all, enrolment was taking place that very day. Of course I had to find out more…

A brief chat with the staff told me that the course was free, not yet filled up and would lead to a qualification. All that remained was to return that afternoon to meet the tutor and complete the enrolment.

So, I cam back on the afternoon, enrolled and found out more about the course content and structure.

Over the next 10 weeks myself and the other students will learn how to make a different jewellery item each week and also gain some business skills to enable us to price, market, promote and sell our goods should we wish to do so in the future. The course was free due to the business element and all we would need to pay for would be the materials we used in each class, which would not be more than £2.50 per week.

At the end of the term or work will be showcased in the libraries display cabinets, and we can sell our work if we wish.

I returned this week to begin the course proper.

Being the first class a lot of time was taken up with induction and paperwork of course. Like it or not these things have to be done. We spent a bit of time looking at some example pieces the tutor had bought in to show us and different beads and elastics we would be using for the first project, today.

Eventually though it was time to start work on our first project. A woven, bead bracelet.

The tutor bought round bead mats for us to work on so the beads did not roll away and we had a choice of 4 different bead colours – gold, silver, grey, or blue (the grey and blue were actually quite ‘rainbow’ style with different shading running through each bead).

I chose the blue beads.

Armed with our bead mats, beads and a meter and a half of elastic, we began to weave.

The pattern was fairly simple to follow, starting with 3 bead in the centre of the elastic then a fourth bead threaded on with the ends of the elastic crossing over through the bead, when you pulled the bead down to meet the first three the pattern began to show immediately. 2 more beads one on each end of the thread, another cross over bead and repeat until you have a strip of beading long enough to go around you wrist. The first layer was then complete.

Now you could chose to keep your bracelet as simple single band of bead or to add a second layer. I decided to add the second layer and was shown how to tie off the first layer with the first bead from the last layer and then begin the next layer copying the format used for the last, only passing one end of the elastic through the top bead from the previous layer  instead of a new bead. Again keep going until you are back where you began. Now it is time to either start a third layer or tie-off and complete your bracelet.

I decided two layers was enough for me so I left it there, intending to make some matching earrings with my remaining beads. I also purchased an extra pack of the same beads from the tutor so I could make a matching necklace too.

What do you think of my completed project piece?

I will be back there next week to see what item we are going to work on next. In the meantime I am going to start looking for the most cost effective supplier for the items I will need to continue my jewellery making at home between classes. And as such I’m off to do that necklace now, wish me luck! 😉

What artistic/creative activities are you involved with?


23 comments on “Making Jewellery for pleasure and profit

  1. Excellent bracelet Sharon, especially if it’s your first attempt! There’s a really good bead shop in Kings Heath, on York Road, called MoMo beads, they’re online, but I think you have to actually visit to purchase beads. Their prices are fantastic compared with some I’ve seen. If you decide to visit give me a call and we can meet up for coffee! Anne x

  2. that.s beautiful 🙂
    i would love to be able to do such stuff on my own too. and i like the idea that they think that you might want to sell such items. in germany they only have the idea “hobby related” … yicht.

    i like to sew and knit – beside the graphic design 🙂

    • Thanks Helen. I think it is really good that the entrepreneurial spirit is encouraged here, many people turn hobbies into careers, or at least something to make a bit of extra money from alongside a more traditional job. 🙂

  3. Sounds like and excellent idea! I hope you have great fun doing it and that it turns into something very lucrative which will give you hours of enjoyment.
    Your first completed piece looks great – not the kind of thing I myself would wear you understand – but great 🙂
    Kind Regards

    • Thanks Kevin, I am hoping to have fun at the very least, if I manage to make it profitable as well, then that is a bonus! 😉

  4. Love it Sharon and good on you for doing it. Great idea. Me and creative work at the moment is getting through the day. LOL. Sometimes it’s quite creative, other times not so.

  5. Hello Sharon,
    I love your bracelet, well done.The colours of the beads are gorgeous. Will look forward to seeing all your class projects. I love beading too, and am learning all the time.My latest learning curve is wire weaving, but it’s one of those techniques that I will have to practice, practice!!!! Have fun beading.

    • Thank you, I’m looking forward to trying a variety of different jewellery making techniques over the coming weeks and will be sure to showcase the rest of my work 🙂 Are you blogging your crafting too?

      • Hello again Sharon.
        Am on a huge learning curve re blogging. One of my friends does writing and poetry, and she is really good at it. I have started putting my work on Craftsy, never thought to do it here. Must have a go! How are the lessons going?

      • Hi, You should get your friend to do a guest post for you sometime, it’s a nice way to share other peoples work and adds variety to your blog 🙂 I look froward to seeing your work on your blog! The lessons are going well, I had my second one this week, we spent some time working on marketing and market research for the business element of the class, then made a pair of basic earrings. I have to miss my class this week due to being on holiday, but when I return I will about blog the two classes (last weeks and the next one) and include pictures of my work 😀

  6. Thats a beautiful bracelet! I’m actually looking for some kind of artsy activity to get involved with… I have a sewing machine and have been thinking about doing something with that, but I had looked into jewelry making in the past. Its just a matter of making the time for it and not letting myself stay in the slump I’ve been in… its hard when you feel overwhelmed with depression and have the crazy mood swings that come with BPD. I’m working at it though. I love following your blog 🙂 I’ve kind of fallen off the bandwagon but am getting myself back on! I look forward to seeing more of your pieces as you make them, please keep posting pics 🙂

    • Thank you, indeed getting out and getting started n something new is the hardest step! Once you make the move it is so much easier to keep going, hope you manage to take the first steps soon – you will be amazed how much better it makes you feel! 🙂 I will keep posting the pics as I produce new pieces! I look forward to catching up with you as you get back on the bandwagon x

  7. Bootyfull! Very nice Sharon!

    Once again I congratulate you on going out there and doing things! Well done you!

  8. Pingback: Handmade Jewellery – Course update | Day in the life of a Busy Gal…

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