The Process

When thinking up a design for an earring, I usually sketch out some ideas, and see where they take me. So for my previous post, Design #001, there you see a rough sketch of the idea. Each shape and material used has to be thought out. It can be quite the process.

Then I gather the materials needed. Nickel, Copper, wire of various gauges, other metals, or stones. Experimenting with different materials can spark inspiration, and ideas.

Next, I start piecing the earring together, making the various elements to be put together as a finished piece.

You can find an extensive library of sketches of designs on my facebook page, but here are a few examples of upcoming designs of 2014!



Design #001

For thinking up titles for each design of earring, I think a numerical ordering system would be the easiest. So the first design I’ve made is called #001. It will proceed with each succession, #001, #002, #003, #004, ect.

This way there is less confusion for the customer when ordering. “Yes, I would like to order the earrings #001.” The listing will give a full description of the earring, and if it can be customized. There will also be several detailed photos showing the earring design, again, for clarity to the customer.

So here is a preview of earring design #001.

drawing 001

Design #001

Design #001

The How, What, and Why’s of Steel Designs.

It was in one of the quiet moments in between feeding my 5 month old son Connor, and comforting him in midst of a crying fit that the idea came to me. I had only briefly dabbled in jewelry making, and it started with me sitting in an metal smithing class taught by a friend of mine at New Mexico Tech. He was actually substituting, and having quite the time trying to get the students on task and motivated. I came in to keep him company. While he was assisting a student, I grabbed some random copper, and Nickel scraps laid out on the table.

I have always gravitated towards unique and artsy earrings, and they are the only piece of jewelry I consistently wear. So I took a small hammer and started tapping into the copper sheet. Loving the shiny dimples I was creating, I thought of a design, a Copper square, hammered texture, with long thin Nickel dangles hanging from it. My friend then assisted me in demonstrating how to grind edges smooth, drill holes, and polish my earrings. I thought they were great for just throwing myself at it. I proudly wore them and received compliments from strangers, to where I replied, “Thanks! I made them!”

I wanted to pursue this newly found passion, but the other passions of mine got in the way. I was currently attending Santa Fe Community College working towards a certificate in American Sign Language Interpretation. I also was working as a horse groom at a local stable, and a job at Sam’s Club. So the jewelry making got put in the “someday” pile. Then I had my son in August of 2013, and I stayed at home caring for him.

Now I had time to think about my “someday” goals. I am no longer in school, but want to finish my certificate as soon as I am able, and the job market isn’t lush with hiring, so I am getting frustrated not being able to bring in an income to assist my partner who pays all the bills. I own a horse who costs about $100/month to keep, and I am unable to pay for any of it. So in this particular quiet moment of thinking how to make a small income, the jewelry idea came back to me.

I am in my late 20’s so I am semi hip to all the big trends on the consumer cyber world, and was well aware of Etsy, Ebay, and Amazon. I hate working with Ebay, dont like the format, and just dont think it is a good platform for selling handmade jewelry. Amazon is good, I have sold books on there, but again, not great for handmade earrings. Etsy it is!

So there you have it, mostly. The how, what and why. How did I come up with the name of this endevour? My last name is Steel, of course. 😉