Friday, January 18, 2008

Keeping a Jewelry Journal

When I create a new jewelry design, I'll often only make one piece. I might wear it to see if there are any problems with it. (Will the clasp hold? does the necklace hang properly? ) Before making multiples of the same item I might show it around to gauge interest or list it on Etsy to see if it sells .

Unfortunately, by the time I get around to making a duplicate, I often forget exactly how I made the original! So I waste a lot of time (and sterling silver, sometimes) trying to recreate it.

This happened too many times to me. So I decided I needed to start a Jewelry Journal.

As I make each piece of jewelry, I jot down the materials I use, the length of wire needed for the components, the number of beads I used, etc etc. on a piece of paper.

When I'm finished I photocopy the jewelry. Unlike a photograph, a photocopy will give you a better idea of dimensions since it's at the same scale as the jewelry.
Then I put the photocopy and the directions in a journal. (It doesn't have to be expensive - it can be a composition book or loose leaf binder or even a photo album. I didn't want to spend any money so I used an old sketch book of mine that had been gathering dust for years.) I might add some other information that could be useful -for example, where I bought the beads and how much they cost, how much it cost me to make the item and how much I listed it for.

I keep my journal in my work room and refer to it all the time. Having it has saved me a lot of time and has cut down on wasted materials. Now that silver prices are so high, I can easily calculate how much a piece will cost and whether or not I will have to raise my selling price. No longer do I worry whether the jewelry I made matches the photo in the listing. I've even laid a new piece on top of a photocopy to see if I got the dimensions right!


  1. bonnie said...
    great idea~~
    i fill up tiny moleskine books
    with drawings of things i make and the things i want to make~~~
    yours look very professional.
    your spirals make me happy.
    Contrariwise said...
    I also carry a little moleskin to write down ideas, drawings ets. I also use it to keep track of custom orders.
    idyll hands said...
    This is a great idea. I've started photographing EVERYTHING I make (custom orders used to get left out of the photo list, no more, no more) so I can have a record of it, but this is even better. I hope you don't mind if I copy your journal idea :)
    Contrariwise said...
    idyll hands,
    Of course! That's why I blogged about it. I thought it might be helpful or inspiring.
    Tizzalicious said...
    That's such a great idea. I might do that too!
    Admin Nichole said...
    What a great idea! I have about 3-4 small notebooks that I use for doodling, sketching, and writing notes, but I've never thought to create an organized jewelry journal.

    This is now #1 on my list of things to do! :-)
    Beads By Ida said...
    REALLY good idea!!! I should do something simular. Why haven't I thought about this before? :)
    Anonymous said...
    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea. Brilliant! As the Guiness commercial would say. I am going to start doing this.

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