Are You a Jewelry Maker or a Jewelry Artist?

If you design jewelry for a living, you know that perception and presentation of your jewelry is critical to getting maximum sales. Do you present yourself as a jewelry artist or as a jewelry maker? Obviously, the work of the jewelry artist will have a higher perceived value and will be able to command higher prices. What separates the jewelry artist from the jewelry maker? Are there things you can do to be perceived more as a jewelry artist rather than simply a jewelry maker?

Is your jewelry considered art? I believe whether your jewelry is perceived as art has everything to do with how you present and promote you and your jewelry. Sometimes making a few simple changes are all you need to do to have your jewelry thought of as jewelry art. Here are some ideas:

1. Offer your jewelry designs in limited quantities.

Instead of making thirty of a particular piece and flooding the market with it, try making only a select few and offer them at a higher price. It’s the simple law of supply and demand at work. When your potential customer sees you only have a few of a certain item, they believe the jewelry item to be more desirable and sense they had better purchase it while they have the opportunity. Artists rarely paint multiples of a particular piece of art which allows them to command high prices for their creative efforts.

2. Consider signing your jewelry pieces.

This one small change can elevate the customer’s perception of your jewelry designs significantly. Customers know that truly original works of art are signed by the artists and will perceive your jewelry to be in that category. Many jewelry artists sign their pieces report a big jump in sales. Again, a signed piece is thought to be more on-of-a-kind which increases its value in the customer’s eyes.

3. Give your jewelry designs an identity.

Another way to increase perceived value is to give your jewelry designs names. You can also design a collection of jewelry with a particular theme and promote it by name. For example, the seaside series. Let people know in your literature that each collection is limited edition and you’ll vastly increase the interest in your jewelry pieces.

diy jewelry

4. Stop using mass produced findings.

Nothing suggests mass produced jewelry more than the use of common findings such as plain fishhooks on earrings and ordinary lobster claw and toggle clasps on necklaces. It’ might be worth your effort to have a distinctive toggle clasp designed for your necklaces and reproduced by a casting company.This will give even an ordinary necklace a look that can’t be replicated. For earrings, look for decorative wire earrings findings with stones or create your own unique ones out of wire. You can also use interesting colored wires such as aluminum and niobium for an unique look.

5. Display your items in an artistic manner.

Don’t display your jewelry on commercial display units. Design a unique display that really plays up your jewelry line. Use sleek, contemporary artistic props such as granite, stone, sand, polished rocks or elegant, high end fabrics. If you’re going to promote yourself as a jewelry artist, your display needs to be elegant and slightly understated. Have you ever seen a cluttered museum? Don’t overcrowd your displays.

6. Promote yourself as an artist.

In your promotional literature, describe yourself as a jewelry artist. If you’ve had any formal training, discuss this in your brochure. Have you won any awards? Let the public know about them. This increases your credibility as a jewelry designer and an artist.

7. Use only high quality materials.

Be meticulous in the selection of materials you use in your jewelry. You want to be perceived as offering only the best if you’re going to be thought of as a jewelry artist. Add some unusual components to your designs that can’t be easily found. There’s nothing worse than having the components you’re using in your jewelry be easily found on the internet. Is there a local lampworker in your area? Have them make a selection of focal beads for you to use sparingly in your designs. One or two beautiful and unique beads can make a necklace of artist quality.

As you can see, there’s much that can be done to elevate your jewelry designs to the status of art jewelry. Why not make a few changes and see if you can take your jewelry business to a new level?