Interested in finding out how to make your own jewelry?
Shea Zukowski, a self-taught jewelry artist and owner of the Etsy store Gr8Findings, is here to help with customized, home-based parties where you and your friends can learn everything you need to know to make your own bracelets, necklaces and earrings.
Classes cost $35 per person (plus materials) and are limited to 6 people per class ~ of course larger parties are possible if you have an especially big dining room table that can accommodate more people, but 4-6 really is an ideal number. Please note that class fees for hostesses are waived. Here’s an overview of three basic classes she is presently offering:
Mixed Media Necklace with Matching Earrings
This class lets you explore putting together your own signature look while learning the basics of beaded jewelry. Specifically, we’ll make a necklace that is put together in three distinct parts, so each section will cover a new skill, including how to make a simple silver chain (with a few silver oval links if you like), what you need to know about Swarovski pearls, and how to make a focal section that really stands out. Participants will have the option of crafting a pair of earrings to match their necklace for a slightly higher material fee.
Material Cost $50/$60
Wire Wrap Bracelet and Matching Earrings
Wire wrapping is a basic beading skill that takes minutes to learn and a lifetime to master. Once you learn the fundamentals and make your own wire-wrapped bracelet, you can apply your newfound talent to a variety of projects. Participants will have the option of crafting a pair of earrings to match their bracelet for a slightly higher material fee.
Material Cost $20/$30
Chain Maille Bracelet
Like most chain maille, this particular weave known as helm chain looks complicated, but it’s actually one of the easiest chain maille patterns to learn. By the time you finish this bracelet, you’ll feel like a pro. Features precision-cut silver rings in 16 and 18 gauge wire and a handmade clasp.
Material Cost $40
So what do you need to do to get started?
Not a lot. If you’d like to pick a night to invite your friends over for a good time, Shea will be available to teach on Mondays, Thursdays and some weekends throughout the summer. Shea will bring everything we’ll need to get started, including tools, supplies and even extra lighting if necessary. It’s also worth noting that all projects feature artisan-quality materials not available at large retail shops, including:
- An assortment of stones and beads, such as Jasper, Jade, Moonstone, Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli, and Swarovski pearls; the photos you see here illustrate the techniques you’ll learn, but you’ll have a variety of beads to choose from to make your own unique look
- Handmade clasps and chains made from Argentium silver wire (a sturdy, tarnish-resistant alternative to sterling that contains just as much real silver)
- Pure silver headpins that are especially soft, yet surprisingly durable
- Your choice of handmade French ear wires (pure silver or Argentium)
Shea is also glad to bring items from her Gr8Findings store if you like. All guests will receive an automatic 10% discount and the opportunity to avoid shipping costs by buying on site. Like other types of jewelry parties, hostesses will receive store credit based on 25% of total party sales.
To see more samples of Shea’s work, visit her shop at Gr8findings.etsy.com.