In the beginning of my journey as a jewelry artist I was perfectly content piddling around my little studio and just creating away – all by my lonesome. But after a while, as I began to explore different techniques and materials it became clear to me that I could benefit from someone who was as excited as I was about creating jewelry. I met Marti quite buy accident. Our sons are friends. She is a local lampwork artist who is also a member of the area lampwork bead society (MVLBA) as well as the International Society of Glass Bead Makers (ISGB).
And I loved her beads at first sight!
Turns out that she had been looking for a wire worker who could feature her beads! When I first began creating with her little pieces of art I noticed that I was suddenly much more in tune with my artistic side. You see, I feel I owe it to these beads to be treated in a special way. I began looking at them from the artists point of view, more interpretation than plain creation. I let the bead tell me the story of what it wants to be. One specific example would be what I call my “Sedona” necklace.
When Marti suggested that I enter at least a couple of pieces into an annual wearable art show, the pressure was on to create something worthy of a venue like that. It was important for me to include different techniques in the same piece as well. So, after lots of winding, sawing, hammering, punching and piecing slowly the necklace emerged. And I think it turned out to be a real winner. The “Sedona” name was added after I got to visit this magic place over Thanksgiving. Aren’t the colors in Marti’s beads an exact match to the famous red rocks and deep blue skies?
By using her hand crafted beads I can offer my customers truly one of a kind jewelry pieces. I can ask her to create beads in specific shapes and colors that might be challenging to find. And being able to have a unique piece created just for them makes it a shopping experience for fans of jewelry that would otherwise cost an enormous amount of money! Wouldn’t you just love to be able to wear something designed for and even by you?
Working together with at least one other artist has a number of other benefits:
- help you with a design if you are stuck/ give constructive criticism/ make suggestions
- knows others in the business
- could prevent you from making costly mistakes
- can make suggestions regarding displays and pricing strategies
- could share a booth at a craft show with you
- promote each other’s business
- serve as a reference (i.e. if you are trying to get your jewelry into a local store)
- mutual encouragement
- share displays
In my case Marti was a tremendous help when I decided to host my first annual jewelry show right before Thanksgiving last year. I know I could not have made it nearly as successful without her help! There are no words to adequately express how reassuring it was to have someone much more experienced at my side to encourage me, help work the room, answer my customers questions when I was busy helping someone and even bring me something to eat when I was stuck at the checkout!
I’ll leave you with a couple more pictures of her beads!
Have you teamed up with another artist? In what way has this relationship benefited your own creativity? What could you add to the list of benefits above?