Wednesday, April 1, 2015

True Confessions of a Jewelry Artist

I think I have a confession to make: I have artistic ADD. 

This is not something I'm particularly proud of, especially in this world of now-now-now, more-more-more, new-new-new. I try to cultivate mindfulness in other areas of my life, but when it comes to creating, I consistently like to learn new techniques. At my own pace, of course. Now, learning new techniques doesn't mean that I have to abandon current techniques. It all just goes into my arsenal - pieces of the puzzle that can be fit together in any beautifully random way that appeals to me.

I have another confession to make: I'm stubborn. 

I like to do things my own way. I'm not really one to take a class or follow a tutorial. I'd rather fumble around and teach myself until I come up with a method that works for me. I also think this helps me avoid that pesky "copy bug" that sometimes pops up.

However, I have to sing the highest praises for the tutorial I purchased a couple weeks ago. If you're not already familiar with Tracy DiPiazza (pipnmolly on Etsy and DiPiazzaMetalworks on Etsy), please do yourself the favor of clicking and drooling over her amazing works of art. She's been one of my heroes since I first joined Etsy. She has an aesthetic all her own, and her pieces are singular.

Tracy's tutorial gives step-by-step instructions on how to create her signature soft-soldered hollow tin baubles. I've been wanting to learn how to achieve that "blobby solder" look for a while now, and who better to learn from than the master? I used scrap pieces of vintage tin to create the grungy bauble beads you see here. Two old German wood beads plus wee tin bead caps complete the dangly (and surprisingly lightweight) look.

Thank you Tracy for generously sharing your gift!

Happy Wednesday :)

LoveRoot on Etsy


  1. Awesome! I've been admiring Tracy's beads for some time....

  2. Those are amazing Nikki! I would have never known they were tin- and all handmade. Absolutely beautiful - art beads! Thank you for sharing your process. I feel the same way about learning. It would probably be so much easier if I just took a class! :-D

  3. These are sooo cool. I thought they were ceramic. But the tin would be so much lighter.

  4. Wow! I thought they were glass - absolutely gorgeous!

  5. Stunning, those beads look old old old, just the way I like them!! I'm going to check out her shop, I'm sure I've been there but happy to go drool some more!

  6. I bought that tutorial a little while ago. I'm slow to try anything new, but when I do, I will be thrilled if my beads turn out half as nice as yours! The tin beads and the earrings are gorgeous!

  7. Wow, these earrings are awesome! I love the beads that you've made... so very cool! I had never heard of Tracy or her work. Thank you for mentioning her here. She makes amazing things. I'm like you, I have artistic ADD lol (well put!) :)