Archive for March, 2012
Handcrafted jewelry designers are a special type of artisan. Their creativity lies in the art of handcrafting jewelry designs that are either inspired by things they have seen, or often individual ideas that have never been seen before.Whether you are new or have been creating designer handcrafted jewelry for some time, the best way to find true success in the jewelry industry is to have some sort of a niche.
The reason is twofold.First, establishing a jewelry making niche puts your pieces in a different category.Rather than trying to make everything and keep up with what every other competitor is doing, you can establish your individuality and creative prowess as a jewelry making specialist.So, in essence you will have far less competition than if you try to make items that are just like everyone else’s.
Another reason to market a niche is because it will be far less expensive to attract new business.By not trying to “be everything to everybody” you will hit a bull’s-eye with the existing clientele you have, making it easier to build your brand among handcrafted jewelry designers.People will come to know your “look” when it comes to designing distinctive pieces.There are many avenues to reach by narrowing in on that smaller audience who truly enjoy your work.
Not entirely as an afterthought but also important regarding niche-building is the opportunity to develop a following.Customers will come to love your particular jewelry crafting style and will ask you to design certain pieces that can be used for special occasions.Are you at a loss for some niche building ideas that pertain specifically to designer handcrafted jewelry?How about any of these?
Niche designer jewelry making ideas:
- Spiritual or religious jewelry
- New age
- Big, bold, chunky jewelry
- Including certain types of gemstones within your jewelry pieces
- Symbols / letters / numbers
- Pet niche – Dogs, cats, horses, birds, turtles, sharks or any favorite animal
- Gift types – Like grandma or mother, children, etc.
- Specialty jewelry items – such as cuffs, ankle jewelry, body jewelry, etc.
- Hobby niches – think of dancing, swimming, food, reading, etc.
Of course, this list could get really long.Finding your niche totally depends on some self reflection and evaluation of your personality.Since it can be safe to assume that anyone who loves the art of jewelry crafting also loves jewelry wearing, it might be best to identify a target audience that you can feel passionate about and that isn’t already oversaturated in the abundant market of jewelry.
With jewelry niche marketing, some people fall into it naturally while others struggle to “find their place” among so many other handcrafted jewelry designers.The best thing to do is listen to your heart and also get opinions from trusted peers as to which items most appeal to a specific audience.By not trying to be everything to everybody and instead getting those valuable few to wear and look for your particular pieces, you can then establish a reputation as a designer handcrafted jewelry expert!
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These jewelry making kit ideas include projects for both girls and boys. You might consider creating and selling kits like these as a business, or giving them as gifts, or using them to offer beading parties for kids.
Popular Projects for a Teen / Kids Jewelry Making Kit
Children and teens love to make and wear jewelry. And a trendy jewelry project with a cool name can make a lot of sales!
These are some popular jewelry projects for kids of all ages to make. They are great designs to teach at a jewelry workshop or beading party, or to offer as kits.
1) Friendship Bracelet – for boys or girls. This has been a hot jewelry item for the past several years, with no sign of declining. Nice made with either “natural” beads, or colorful glass / plastic ones, and strung on leather or hemp cord.
2) Friendship Anklet – similar to the bracelet above, except made ankle-size. (Less likely to be worn by boys.)
3) Surfer Dude / Surfer Chick Necklace – for boys or girls. A rustic choker-length necklace featuring a few beads and sometimes a small pendant. You can offer a variety of rugged, “natural” beads like clay, bone, horn, wood, recycled glass, etc. The beads and pendant are strung onto leather cord or rubber tubing, fastened with either sliding leather knots or a basemetal clasp. This is an especially popular teen / older kids jewelry making kit.
4) Princess Bracelet – an extremely popular jewelry making kit for girls. Possible components: large-hole beads to string on a pretty ribbon that ties onto the princess’ wrist with a bow; beads to string on heavy-duty stretch cord; beads to string on beading wire and fastened with a basemetal toggle clasp. Pink and purple are a must in these designs.
5) Dragon-Bone Necklace – a popular jewelry making kit for boys. Simply provide a variety of bone beads and a few interesting spacer beads to string on leather cord and fasten off with sliding, adjustable knots.
6) Magic Bracelet – for boys or girls. An assortment of small magnetic hematite beads in a variety of shapes makes an endlessly fascinating toy as well as a piece of jewelry.
Tips for Creating a Jewelry Making Kit
Many of the commercially-made jewelry kits are disappointingly junky. They have a skimpy assortment of cheap components, flimsy tools, and poorly written instructions – packaged in a deceptively large box. It’s very easy to create something that’s vastly better than these!
When I create a jewelry making kit for workshops or for sale, I put myself in the customer’s shoes – what would be exciting to find in the kit? Here’s an example of how I created some bead bracelet kits:
Each kit contained beads in a popular color scheme, with some nice contrasting accent beads and at least one cool focal bead. I included an inspiring mix of bead colors, shapes, etc., and used a beadboard to measure how many inches of beads I was putting into each kit.
Then I tossed in a few extra inches of beads, so the recipient would have a good selection to design with, plus some leftover beads for other projects. I added a coil of leather stringing cord (cut a few inches longer than even the largest wrist would need), and instructions for good design, a comfortable fit, and making sliding knots.
I packaged it all in a transparent jewelry zip-close bag, stapled my product card to the top – and had a nice jewelry making kit.
Great photography is a necessity when you have a handmade jewelry website. Unfortunately, handcrafted jewelry is very difficult to photograph. Many jewelry artisans cannot afford to go to a professional and so they want to do it themselves. There are some simple techniques that even amateur photographers can use to obtain better results with minimal effort. The following examples show the basic setup that should allow anyone to achieve results they can be proud of.
In the olden days we spent thousands of dollars on photo processing but nowadays we are so blessed with the digital camera. I could write an article just about the virtues of the digital camera. It does not have to be the top of the line professional camera anymore as most digital cameras have a macro feature which is specifically for photographing small objects like handmade earrings and handmade bracelets. It is worthwhile to read your camera manual to learn how to put the camera in macro mode.
The keys to good handmade jewelry photography are sharpness, lighting and exposure. The macro lens is a big help for the sharpness factor. Another key to a sharp image is a tripod. It is absolutely essential to use a tripod or similar camera support when taking pictures of handcrafted jewelry. A sturdy tripod is better than a flimsy one, but any tripod is many times better than no tripod. Always use a tripod and your photos will be sharp.
If you are thinking of investing in a new digital camera just for photographing your handmade jewelry one of the most convenient features we use constantly is a direct camera to computer cable. We adjust all the settings from the computer and press the space bar to take the picture. No more shaking or movement of any kind and all the settings are the same every time. Technology makes our lives much easier.
The second key to great handmade jewelry photography is the lighting. Normally diffuse (soft) lighting works best for jewelry. You have probably already discovered that an on-camera flash does not lead to good photos. Not only is the flash too bright at such a close distance, it will also create bright spots and distracting shadows. Rather than flash it is better to use continuous lighting for photographing handmade earrings and handmade bracelets. Using daylight balanced bulbs for lighting provide natural-colored light. You can purchase these from photography suppliers. We use 5200 K bulbs which resembles daylight most closely. Even these lights will need to be diffused and for that use a light tent as the diffuser.
A small light tent makes it easy to reduce glare and control shadows for handcrafted jewelry photography. These are commercially available in a wide range of sizes and shapes, but are generally quite expensive. It is not difficult to make your own lighting tent from white rip-stop nylon material, a couple of metal coat hangers and double-sided tape. The light tent tends to soften the shadows and eliminate glare, while providing a clean and clutter free background.
Proper exposure is the last key to good handmade jewelry photography. If your background is actually white but appears grey in your image then the image has been underexposed. This means you need to let more light get to your camera’s image sensor. Adjust your camera exposure compensation setting to slightly overexpose the image. Nearly every digital camera has an exposure compensation setting, but you may need to read your camera user manual to find how to adjust yours. Once you locate the controls for exposure compensation simply increase the exposure until the image looks correct.
If you are comfortable with photography you can experiment with the settings for aperture and shutter speed to see how they affect the exposure. Once you find the perfect settings for your handmade jewelry you will find that you can easily adjust them for different pieces. We tend to take photos for new handmade earrings and handmade bracelets all at once so that everything is set up properly only once. You can also look at the settings on photos that you are happy with and keep the same settings each time.
Imaging software, even inexpensive software like Photoshop Elements can make handmade jewelry photography much easier. It may seem like it would be faster to use an image exactly as it was shot. But in reality, it is difficult to get your handmade earrings and handmade bracelets to look exactly how you would like it to appear. Imaging software allows you to crop an image, re-size it, adjust the exposure, remove the background and even sharpen the images. I especially like the auto-enhance for just the right color balance.
We have been taking our own handmade jewelry photos for many years and just as it is with making our handmade earrings and handmade bracelets, it does get easier with time. I hope these suggestions help you to take great photos of your unique handcrafted jewelry.
When we talk about looking good and trendy than the most important thing that makes women beautiful and trendy is jewelry. It has remained important for women from the start of the world and will remain important till the end. People who claim that jewelry has become outdated in the modern world have a misconception about this. The jewelry pieces are becoming more and more expensive day by day as many different experiments are being done by the jewelry designers all over the world. The most costly metals and stones are being used in the designing of modern jewelry which makes it too costly. Diamond jewelry is one of the kind of jewelry that is considered to be the most costly and high standard jewelry in the world. The designers that use diamonds in their jewelry claim that they are the people who invest a lot of money in their business and in the end their jewelry is worth a lot. The famous diamond jewelry designers are present all over the world and are busy in providing people what they want for themselves. Diamond being a natural stone is very difficult to find in large amounts and then they pass from many different steps that make them refined and at last they become the most precious stones on earth. It is not easy to discriminate between the original diamonds and the artificial diamonds because many companies are offering artificial diamond jewelry in which artificial diamonds have been used but they look very original and only the people who have the knowhow to check a diamond that is it real or not can discriminate it. Many people use artificial diamond jewelry who want to look trendy and they cannot afford real diamonds. The artificial diamonds are also of many kinds as the original diamonds come in many different categories depending upon their purity. The diamonds have many categories because it is a natural stone and the amount of impurities is present in it naturally so more the amount of impurities less will be the worth of that diamond. The diamond jewelry designers use the most pure type of diamond that is very shiny and also it is the most costly. Companies that are making jewelry using the artificial diamonds also sometimes use the impure diamonds that are cheaper than the pure ones but still they look like real diamonds. That is why the jewelry which is associated with diamond is always costly than any other type of jewelry. It is also liked by a lot people because of its natural elegance and the uniqueness that the diamond jewelry has when it is prepared. Diamonds are usually used with dull shine precious metals like platinum or mild silver because the diamonds are already very shinning and if their base is also shinning then they will look very over but very shinning type of jewelry is also designed now days and is also very trendy because it is used by many musicians.
Different styles of gemstone jewelry have become very popular in recent years amongst fashionistas and collectors. You can buy jewelry in different colors and styles to match your formal wears and party dresses.
If you look in any fashion magazine at what your favorite celebrities are wearing, you’ll find an array of semi precious gemstone jewelry adorning their earlobes, wrists and necklines. Let’s have a look at some fashion news about these kinds of gemstone jewelry.
Nowadays, vintage fashion styles have come back. So the traditional cutting styles of gemstone jewelry are in vogue. Traditional cutting is the cut of a stone that transforms a rough stone into a sparkling and brilliantly coloredgemstone. A good cut not only enhances the color and carat of the stone, but it also facilitates it to be set into a jewelry piece. Cabochon cut is the oldest and traditionally the most common cutting method. It has a flat base and slightly domed top. Buff-top cut is a variant of cabochon cut. It has a domed top but a faceted pavilion, thus it is a mix of facet and cabochon cut. Cabochon cut works on rings, usually with a single stone; pendants and gemstone earrings.
Mostly, gemstone with oval, round, triangles and rectangles shapes can be seen in this cut. Though any gemstone can be cut into cabochon shape, usually patterned gemstones are cut as this cut show off patterns in the stone. This cut is suitable for stones like Jade, agates. Rubies can also be cut in cabochon shape, mostly opaque ones, but many times these stones are cut with facets as it allows light to shine through.
Almost any outfit can be complemented with gemstone jewelry. You can choose your own styles of gemstone jewelry to accompany with your dress.
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