Doesn't everyone want to learn how to make jewelry? Well, maybe not everyone but, if you're reading this, you may have some interest in making your own jewelry. I'm just getting back into teaching and would love to teach you myself but, since my teaching engagements are limited (to one this year!), I thought I would make a few recommendations. A lot of people ask me where I learned to make jewelry and who my inspirations and teachers are. So, here goes!
Pixie by Stephanie Rubiano
Sharilyn Miller is one of my early teachers, and I have recently learned a lot from her about professionalism, but I first learned the basics of wire wrapping from my friend Stephanie Rubiano. I've known Stephanie for a long, long time and, though we don't get to see each other as much as we like, she's one of those sweet people you can pick right up with. Stephanie is super talented and has the most creative mind. Take a look at her website and you'll see what I mean!
Another huge influence and one of my favorite teachers is the fantastic Richard Salley. Richard is the one who first clued me in to steel wire. This is a watch locket piece I made in his class. By the time Richard and I met, I already knew wire bending but Richard really helped me see the possibilities of using different materials and expanding my style. Not only is he a wonderful and generous teacher but he's just a dang nice guy (and his wife, Jane, is a sweetheart!).
The other teacher who's helped and inspired me is Susan Lenart. I made this bracelet in class with her. Susan is a happy and generous soul and, even if you think you can't learn anything more (believe me...I know I have a ton more to learn!) she will teach you something new. It's the way she thinks...always outside the box. Susan constantly encourages her students to try new things and...the great thing is...she really believes they can do it! Susan has a beautiful book out called "Making Connections" which you can find on her website.
And now for a few book recommendations... Mark Lareau has a fairly new book out called "Getting Started Making Metal Jewelry". This is a great book for beginners and takes you through the very basics including explanations of tools and equipment. The projects in the book build upon each other so, if you start with the first one and continue on to the end of the book, you should be able to build a nice set of basic skills. Mark also has an excellent book of basic wire skills called "All Wired Up". This is the publication you should get if you're just starting out.
Nicola Hurst's book "Step by Step Jewelry Workshop" is a little more in depth than Lareau's book but still great for basics. It covers everything from sawing to texturing to making bezels with excellent step-by-step photographs.
Oh yes, I almost forgot to mention my mom! From the earliest age, she's inspired me to be creative and crafty. When I was young, we spent many an hour together at our local craft store carefully picking out a handful of beads and findings to create our own earrings. We took painting and stained glass classes together and are still spend time creating whenever we get the chance. Of course, my mom thinks I can make just about anything. You just can't beat a teacher like that!