Inspirations, Thoughts, Motivation for Jewelers

I love this Ira Glass quote and thought this page needed it as the intro!

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.


Is there a right way to make jewelry?


“I want my husband to know I am making jewelry the right way”.


There is no RIGHT way to make jewelry.  There are techniques that have been proven to be the most efficient way to do things but, right? What is right, is creating what you feel, see and need to express.  Sometimes the best discoveries come from people who haven’t followed the rigid path or the rules.  Jewelry is about creation and creation has neither rules nor restrictions.

How did I become a “success”?


“A couple of months ago I started a beginners 10 week workshop for jewellery making and became addicted to it. I have booked myself onto another couple of terms of the same workshop to continue trying to improve on basic techniques.
I was youtubing jewellery making and found your video, and now I am hooked.
Your videos are fantastic and your personality is insane! (Which makes it an even better watch)
You are such a character and inspiration.

Where did you begin? How did you build yourself up to such a success that you are?

My biggest issue is my lack of self confidence.”


I never think of myself as a success!  What I think is: I have a lot of videos, I love what I do, and I have the best viewers!

 I started my career  by learning how to make jewelry – just like you are now.  I received my jewelry certificate, then learned more from books, additional classes and still more from other jewelers. I experimented all the time. Mostly though, I practiced and practiced and practiced.
My YouTube “career” started on a whim.  My son suggested we make one video and I guess people liked it enough to ask for more.  So, we just started making them – one at a time, one foot after the other.

I fell madly in love with making jewelry.  But, to get good at it, I had to practice.  I made/make things over and over again:  hinges, settings, bails, etc. – always training that brain of mine.  I sketch all the time.  I experiment with techniques.  I make mistakes.  I try again.  I study and research and watch videos – I immerse myself in my craft. I look at a lot of jewelry.  I look at art. I work/play almost everyday at my craft.   I believe that inspiration is much more likely to occur if one possesses a saturated brain!
If you’re interested in creating videos – learn how to create them.  Watch other’s videos. Jot down what you liked and what you didn’t.  Film yourself and practice.  Talk to people, not the camera.   Tell us about your passion:  when we talk about what we know/love, we lose our self-consciousness.  All of our attention is on the information we are conveying.  The moment that we begin wondering what that woman in the front row thinks, we’re lost:  we stumble, stutter, turn a garish shade of red and then, promptly, forget every reason why we are there in the first place. So, stay on topic and don’t worry about the naked people in the audience.  (This applies to “live” stuff like classes or speeches but, it’s also true for videos.)
On confidence:  When I started making jewelry, I had zero confidence in my skills.  Compared to others, I knew I was a hack. But, my lack of confidence was killing my ability to create.  Intellectually, I knew that judging myself all the time was a waste of time AND crippling.  Eventually, I understood that I had two options:  1. make stuff or 2. don’t make stuff.  If I was going to make jewelry, I’d have to give myself a break and just go for it otherwise, it was just too painful.  Negative Nancy still dwells within but, now,  I just tell her:   “Look!  I’m doing the best that I can so, please keep it down in there.”
I don’t know if anyone is ever totally free of self doubt but, perhaps that’s a good thing – it can push us to become better.  But, when the negative voices become a vise – squeezing out all of the joy – well, then it’s time re-evaluate.  We all deserve to feel proud of ourselves even, if compared with others, our successes appear as small things. Luckily for us, all those “small things” add up to a life which is interesting, adventurous and full!
Hopes this helps.  Keep learning, failing, starting over and succeeding.