What Makes Me Unique?

One of my favorite comments I receive at craft shows is that my work is different.  Considering the number of jewelers out there, this feels like quite an accomplishment.  But what makes me unique?

Materials:

I don’t work with gold.  I do work with base metals.  My gemstones aren’t precious, but they are unusual.  For the most part, I even choose each one individually and many times design a piece around a particular stone.  I like to take materials that are considered “base” and transform them into something precious.

Fabrication:

For the most part my pieces are made completely by me.  I design it, I cut and form the metal, I combine the different elements, and I finish it.  I don’t cut my own gems and I occasionally will use bought findings or chains to keep the price down on some of my smaller pieces.  But I mostly try to make the entire piece myself.  The process of making is important to me and integral to my pieces.  I like to deconstruct and reassemble.  I like using cold connections to show how my work is put together.  My work isn’t about hiding the handwork, but showcasing it.

Subtlety:

Yes, I make big, huge, hunkin’ pieces of jewelry.  Larger than most.  Yet, every single piece is wearable – I make sure of it.  The muted tones, darkened metal, and rough textures help to lessen the impact of the size of my work.  My pieces radiate power in a subtle way.  They’re even lighter than they appear.  You don’t need a lot of shiny metal and sparkly gems to show the world how powerful you are.

You might argue that there are people out there doing each of these things.  But are they doing all of them?  Do they have a unified voice in there work? (i.e. does it all look like it was made by the same person)  Do they keep their designs evolving?

What do you think makes my work different? (or do you think it’s the same old same old?)  Do you think that it’s a good thing to be unique?  Do you search out work that’s different or unusual?
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5 thoughts on “What Makes Me Unique?

  1. Wow! Beautiful work! I love it! I too try to be unique and have had lots of comments just as you have. I am very eclectic in my work. I find repetition to be dull and boring although I have started to repeat some of the same pieces because I like to change up the stones I use in the same design.
    I love that you fold and shape metal the way that you do. Please stay unique! That is what I love about jewelry as art. I don’t think any two jewelry artists create things the same way or have the same designs. We are all different in our own ways.

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  2. Hi Wendy,
    I have to say that I enjoy your work and I think it is beautifully done. I look for unique pieces, something different and I love that you use cold connections. Because I am in the learning process I learn alot from your work as well. I have so many questions for you as to how and why you do certain things. I look for new peices in your collection almost everyday…lol

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      1. Ok Ms.Wendy,
        I am going to make a list of questions and I will shoot a few your way. My first question:

        1. I know that you use a lot of copper and nickel in your work. What or how do you keep it from turning color when a person wears it. I made a few rings out of nickel and the biggest problem is that the finger turns green. I want to start making some pendents with some rocks I picked up, using cold connections. My question for you is what do I do to keep the copper from changing color.

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      2. I don’t actually coat my pieces. There are some coatings that you can use, renaissance wax is fairly popular, but I don’t think it would work on the inside of a ring or bracelet because it would rub off. Other people use different acrylic coatings (like Krylon) or even simple clear nail polish. These sorts of things can yellow and any coating will eventually wear off. Clear powder coat is probably the best bet, but you have to have a spray hood and airbrush type set-up to use it.

        As you wear a piece of jewelry, your skin oils build up on it and this helps to protect your skin from changing colors. I’ve noticed that it’s worse if I’m sweating, but when I’m cold my skin doesn’t turn colors for quite some time. I’m sorry that I haven’t been more helpful, but hopefully this will at least give you some options to think about.

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