Art Journal as Planning Sketchbook

I’ve been making jewelry for fun and profit for a long time now.

In the 90’s, it was all about Sterling Silver for me.

Then, when the price of an ounce of silver became so inflated, I switched to some mixed metals and shifted more toward fabricating jewelry from found parts rather than making the parts myself.

With the new gallery, I am re-energized to work with sterling. It is still expensive, so some planning is in order – and even some experimentation with copper before committing to the silver.

So, my ideas are first showing up in my art journals as sketches.

Not the most exciting pages, since there is not a lot of color, but this is a great way to see how an idea might work, and then to record the particulars like wire gauge and other measurements in case I want to make the same thing again sometime.

Even after sketching it out, you are still not sure how a piece will hang until you create it.

I like the way my “wishbone” earrings work. They do come together at the bottom and have very nice movement.

I like long, dramatic earrings, but I should probably think about making a shorter version of this sometime. The beads are turquoise. All else is sterling. Of course, imperfections show up a lot more in this close-up than when viewed from a normal distance.

For the other pair of earrings, I used a heavy 20 gauge silver sheet to give more of a “chunky” look, and forming the rectangles to a bit of a curve made them look even more substantial.

There are many different colors of turquoise, so you never get bored with it.

I have a goal to fill a jewelry case at the gallery with just my sterling and turquoise pieces. We’ll see how that goes.

Every girl’s gotta have a goal, right?



  1. Love your designs, Jessica. The chunky pair are my favorite and I’d wear them daily. You’re a whiz at making your goals, so keep calm and hammer on.

  2. Oh, I do love silver earrings! You know, because sterling goes better with my silver hair than gold! 😀 And I love your earrings, especially with the turquoise. BTW, what’s your favorite silver polish? I need something good for tarnished silver, like chains and earrings. Thanks for any info! And be sure to post a photo of the finished—and filled—jewelry case!

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