Museums, galleries, and exhibitions are fantastic places to get unique handmade jewelry ideas. Even if you reside distant from a major city with national museums, visiting your nearest town’s museum can provide many ideas. Images of local industry—whether it was or is currently a significant influence on the area—can be exciting, as can fragments of old pottery or glass displayed there.
If you can visit a big museum, look for the expert jewelry area. You may also check out the metalwork and blacksmithing departments, usually have jewelry-related objects. Armor, swords, knives, tea and coffee sets, flatware, and stained glass, such as Tiffany lamps, should all be considered in your search for better ideas. You can also check out our own list of creatively themed sterling silver charms.
Take Time to Prepare For Your Unique Handmade Jewelry Ideas
Before embarking on an extended tour for unique handmade jewelry ideas, consider what you want to see. Request a layout map and begin by visiting the rooms that interest you. Take a pencil and journal with you and scribble down anything that strikes you as beautiful. Finding inspiration for metal jewelry-making ideas requires patience and preparation.
Learn To Look Closely
How do I get inspiration for jewellery design?
When looking at a piece of jewelry, please look and figure out how it was manufactured. For example, look for patches and seams or inquire whether an object has been X-rayed with the museum curator. This may assist you in determining how it was constructed.
Adapt New Ideas
Take inspiration from photos of jewelry in books but strive to add your flair to any creative concept that emerges for your jewelry-making designs. Consider simplifying an idea by preserving the original piece’s shape or color.
Methods Of Idea Gathering for Unique Handmade Jewelry Ideas
Make it a habit to collect and document inspirational thoughts.
Begin a postcard collection of works from exhibitions that you enjoyed. Then, to provide something encouraging to gaze at with your first cup of coffee in the morning, pin them to a wall or bulletin board.
Cut out photographs of items that interest you from publications and store them in a scrapbook or album. Alternatively, scan and download photographs and use your computer to organize them.
Sources of Inspiration
Explore museums for jewelry, brass and copperware, agricultural and industrial instruments, and anything else interests you. Small town museums can be fascinating and provide you with a great sense of an area’s landscape.
Find out where the art galleries in your area are. Visit all of their exhibits and ask to be added to their mailing list—these resources are available to you. Recognize your favorite and least favorite exhibitions. It’s OK if you don’t like all of them!
Open Studios and Similar Exhibitions
Other shows can be found in local newspapers or magazine listings. Your municipality, for example, might host a festival when local artists open their studios to the public. Please take advantage of viewing other artists’ work, purchasing inspired items, and converse with them about their work. In addition, artists may be demonstrating their work in some exhibits and fairs. Again, please take advantage of observing their methods and tools.
Jewelry advertisements or special features regarding jewelry may be found in most fashion magazines. Even non-fashion periodicals may contain photographs of people wearing jewelry or lists of venues that exhibit jewelry. Other specialty magazines are available; inquire at your local library or newsstand.
Jewelry Books and Related Print and Digital References
Books about jewels offer fascinating insights into the work of jewelers all across the world. Look for these sources of inspiration at your local library or online in jewelry-related literature.
The World Wide Web
Use the image option in a search engine to locate inspiring and educational images, drawings, and graphics from various sources on any subject you can think of. Do not imitate other artists’ work, but instead use it to inspire you, like you would any other source material.
Still Need More Inspiration for Unique Handmade Jewelry Ideas?
To identify a method of getting unique inspiration to you, try the following activity. There are no unbreakable rules.
It’s a journey of discovery to uncover the things that have an emotional impact on you: things that appeal to you for whatever reason; things that you find interesting, beautiful, controversial, dark, or exciting; things that can offer new perspectives on daily objects.
Take a walk, no matter where you reside. Look around you, both up and down. What shapes do you think you can make out against the sky? What is your shoulder level? What kind of terrain are you traversing? What is the layout of the road? Maybe it’s a walk through the woods; maybe it’s a trip to the mall—if you look closely, you’ll find something interesting. What causes a shadow to be cast? Is it possible to detect reflections in glass? What makes a raindrop stick to a leaf? Is there any intriguing ironwork in the park as you stroll around? Even if you can’t immediately use any of the things you see, simply being aware of their influence will impact your thoughts.
Here’s What to Look For
The Interplay of Darkness and Light
Change your perspective on shadows and how light reflects on objects by attempting to reduce them to distinct shapes. Observe how the shape of a particular shadow changes over the day and becomes extended. Look closely at horizons and silhouettes to notice the various colors and shapes of the dark.
Building architecture may be a great source of inspiration. Some modern structures have incredible physical features and outlines. However, many older structures, such as cathedrals, have a distinct aura resulting from the almost fantastic talent and dedication of the architects and builders.
What great painter, sculptor, potter, jeweler, or designer hasn’t been influenced by nature at some point? Each flower’s core is so lovely, how the sunsets each evening and the moon delights us night after night. Allow yourself to be affected by incredible things that humans had no hand in creating.
Being informed about fashion is essential for a designer and jewelry manufacturer. On the catwalk, be inspired by new color and shape trends. You don’t have to follow what’s fashionable at any time, but seeing what’s going on “out there” can teach you a lot.
Allow yourself to be influenced by a variety of civilizations. Traditional African textiles, indigenous Australian art, and Pacific Island costumes and masks, for example, are also fantastic sources of design inspiration.
Investigate Different Concepts
In your search for inspiration, learn how to analyze what you observe. Instead of accepting concepts literally, transpose them. Experiment with different materials and effects to come up with something unique.
Light and Dark
Create a design based on the concepts of light and dark. To show the contrasting tones and shapes, cut out shapes from thick black paper and arrange them on a white sheet. The black paper shape can then be cut out and fanned out to make a more intriguing shape.
Use solid objects like structures as inspiration for your design. Make tracings of structures using images and pencil and paper. Draw the spaces between the buildings to discover what kinds of designs develop and the silhouettes they create against the sky.
Various Effects on Fabrics
Fabric can create stunning effects in metal, but keep in mind that metal is not as flexible as fabric. Examine how a full skirt hangs, layered, and how the hem is uneven. You might also consider incorporating some cloth into your design.
Keep a collection of leaves, stones, flowers, shells, and bark on or near your workbench. Instead of reproducing the whole leaf or flower, try splitting it up and working with just a small portion; it might be more intriguing than copying it entirely.
Taking Jewelry Photography to the Next Level
As a jewelry designer, photography is beneficial in two ways. First and foremost, utilize it to capture anything visually inspiring to you. Keep these photographs somewhere safe so you can refer to them. Second, you can photograph your work for personal records or advertise it, such as on a website.
Remember to carry your camera with you when looking for inspiration, ready to snap photos of anything that strikes your eye—close-ups of flowers or mosaic tile patterns. Photography has evolved significantly in recent years, and there are now more alternatives than ever before. With a digital camera, you can get close to your subject without changing the settings, and you can keep snapping until you know you have the perfect photo. You might see some odd outlines, light and dark forms, or unique typography from old adverts in your images. Inspiration can come from unexpected places. Surface effects like weathered masonry or muddy tire tracks, for example, may conjure up images of wonderfully textured silver.
How to Take Great Pictures of Personal Jewelry Creations
Select Your Lens
When photographing jewelry with a handheld camera, a macro lens with automatic focus is vital since it allows you to snap close-ups. Manual focusing is possible when using a tripod.
Carefully Plan Your Shots
When photographing reflective metal jewelry, use caution. Select a background surface that complements but does not compete with the artwork. A flat surface should suffice if the shot is taken from straight overhead. If you want to picture the artwork from an angle, you’ll need to bend the surface upward behind it. Take various pictures: Get close to your subject and shoot from several perspectives.
Create a Long-Term Photography Setup
You’ll want to keep track of your jewelry creations regularly, so consider setting up a permanent, dedicated setup where you can photograph pieces as they’re completed. Experiment with different lighting approaches.
Consider Using Diffused Lighting
Shadows are reduced by diffusing the light source. Make a wooden box frame and thoroughly cover it in white tissue paper to achieve this. Make a hole in the top for the lens. Inside the box, place the jewels—place lights on either side and above the box. Make sure none of the lights are touching the paper directly. Next, place the camera on top of the box, with the lens looking down on the jewels through the hole.
Consider Using Natural Light
Shadows are cast by natural light, but they can be exploited significantly. First, photograph the jewelry outside, either in direct sunshine or on a bright cloudy day. For example, they were photographed in the shadow of a building during high noon. This should help prevent “hot spots” or too bright photographs.
Consider Using a Lightbox
Small lightboxes made specifically for photographing jewelry are available. Before purchasing one, make sure that the size you choose will meet all of your requirements and that you have seen the expected results.