I often struggle to find that sweet spot between building up a collection and hoarding jewelry-making materials. What is with me and this pile of treasure that I never get the courage to use? My bead stash is staggering, and I quite frankly have “outgrown” a lot of it as my artistic styles have evolved over the years.
sparkling drawers of faceted gemstrands
There are some real gems in that bead pile. Friends that visit my beading studio salivate and I often hear “ooh and ah” when I open my bead drawers for guests to view the sparkly contents. I often ponder to myself why I am reluctant to begin a design using them. What is the reason that I sit in my room with all these wonderful ideas and vast treasures surrounding me and yet I just can’t seem to reach my hand out to use some? Then it hit me like a brick. I have a mental block -- the fear of making the wrong design or a design that I will regret using something that I can’t replace – no second chances! So I end up saving this treasure forever waiting for that someday stroke of genius to make that one piece that is “meant to be” ...
That is, that is, that is, that is.... I could do that forever. Why wait?
Does This Sound Familiar...
Are you like me? FROZEN from using your bead and jewelry making stash? Are you an artist with a vast collection of jewelry making supplies, such as beads, findings and little found goodies that seem to be irreplaceable? Have you taken years to collect your stash. How do you move past this mental block to make a spectacular design?
A Possible Solution for you...
Kucki fertility pendants
Break the mental block of loss:If you are a jewelry designer, particularly a salvage artist, then the first thing to recognize in the world of found object jewelry is that EVERYTHING can be made into a bead or component if you add a hole, a jumpring, some adhesive or a bit of wire. This will open up many possibilities for you to use some of those found objects because the joy in found objects is that you can just keep making more! Curb your sense of loss by making a few outstanding pieces and KEEPING them for yourself. Wear them. P.S. – you should be wearing your work on a daily basis anyways... and enjoy them. This will also make parting with finished designs that you like much easier to do later.
Lay out a design - throw stuff together to get a visual
Break the mental block of perfection:The second thing to know about the beading world is that there will ALWAYS be a new and exciting bead or material that you will be revved up to use in your designs. Why wait for the perfect design to create something. Practice makes perfect. Jump in there and start using it. If you run out, replace it. Here’s a hint, if you save materials for too long they can become dated and no longer current. Trust me –I speak from painful and expensive experience. If this happens to you, then you will end up keeping beads in a drawer and bury them with materials that you DO use constantly. They will become something that you have to paw over to get to the beads you really want to use. Because of the time that it took you to collect it or the cost of acquiring it, you probably won’t give outdated beads away and selling them could be challenging if they are no longer en vogue with mainstream trends.
My advice is to take one item that you are reluctant to use, due to either cost or the irreplaceable factor. Select other great items that coordinate with it and then find or conceptualize an original design and just go for it. You can always take it apart and restash it if you hate it. If it isn’t quite right, rework portions of it until it is perfect. This process may take an hour or a month. My advice is: Don’t rush it. Take your time and do your best work. When it is completed, you can make the decision to sell it, keep it and treasure it or give it away. Either way, you will have the satisfaction of forward progress and a mental block that is removed. You know your beads, and which ones you are reluctant to use...Now go and make something amazing!