*Meet ...............Linda Jones
A UK Jewellery designer, author of several jewellery books and an instructional DVD, and regular contributor to Make Jewellery and Step By Step Wire magazines.
I own one of Linda's wirework jewellery books so was thrilled to discover she had recently started her blog Wireworkers Guild.
She very kindly featured me and my jewellery on it recently here and agreed to do on interview for me in return...........
If like me, you'd love to have a piece of your jewellery featured in a magazine, read on for Linda's tips on how to do it..........
How long have you been making jewellery and what made you start?
I’ve been making jewellery for about 20 years. It’s a long story and I will try to condense it as best I can … I have always been creative, making and fiddling with all sorts of crafts from a very young age: painting, drawing, sewing … and I’ve studied textile batik making and copper tooling in Indonesia in my gap year when I left school and following that, a Foundation Art Course at Canterbury Art College specializing in Theatre Design … but then, reality hit and I fell in love, got, married and needed to earn a living … so it was first catering and then admin. office job for the next 8 years … until I got serious creative withdrawal symptoms – a craving to do something artistic – so I enrolled at the Sir John Cass Jewellery College (now called the London Metropolitan University in Whitechapel, London and did a City & Guilds in jewellery making, specializing in enamelling, which led on to 1 year of an HND course in metalwork as a maturing student of 30!
What made you concentrate on wirework jewellery?
Wirework choose me, rather than the other way round! It was a case of survival at the time, as sadly, my marriage broke down and I was left looking after 2 small kids of 6 and 4 years old as a single mum. Therefore to ‘make ends meet’ I had to either go back to office work or try my hand at selling my jewellery, which up to this time was much more of a hobby between looking after the children. I decided to give selling my jewellery a go, as it had become an all consuming passion and I got an agent and was relatively successful selling my photo-etched, mixed metal pieces in shops and galleries around UK , especially London. However, the mark-up was high and I could see that I could never make enough profit for the all the time and effort I put in! That’s when I decided to teach – and wirework was the natural answer, as I had fallen in love with metalwork! Solderless wirework did not involve investing in expensive tools and equipment and was portable … and I had always ‘played’ with beads. So I approached my local arts authority and managed to secure a grant to set up ‘Creative Wire & Bead Jewellery’ Classes at my local adult education centre (I should mention, that I had previous experience of teaching Enamelling, which had provided me some confidence to face the public). These classes grew in popularity and everything else has evolved from this beginning…
You are the author of several wirework jewellery books and frequently contribute jewellery projects to magazines in the UK and America. Was this hard to achieve?
I have just been very lucky and began designing wirework jewellery before the market became over-saturated. I was spotted by my publisher, 7 year’s ago, when I was demonstrating and teaching at Art in Action Craft event (Oxford) when wirework was not particularly popular in the UK, just in Canada and the U.S. so my designs stood out – however, people still want to buy and make unique, original pieces to complement their personality and style. My 6th book : ‘Making Beautiful Bead & Wire Jewellery’ is out this year around July (but can be pre-ordered on ‘Amazon’ from April onwards). I have had many projects featured in magazines over the years because I love sharing my designs: it’s a case of being passionate about what I do and trying to pass that on. The fact that I teach, has always challenged me to thinking of new ways of working with wire and stretched my imagination.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to submit projects/articles about their jewellery to magazines?
If I can give any advice to designing for magazines – it’s, just to give it a try … and keep trying until you get something accepted. My personal motto is: ‘Perserverance Pays’! Magazines want to see jewellery that ‘jumps out of the page’ – they love colour and boldness, so that the pieces photograph well and stand out. Find the editor’s name on their website, or inside cover of the mag and email one or two images of suggested contributions … and then just sit back and hope they will reply… It’s a good way of promoting yourself and getting publicity. The pay is not brilliant, but having your pieces printed in glossy techni-colour is very self-satisfying!
If you weren't a jewellery designer, teacher and author what would you do?
I would have always done something creative and I’ve been incredibly lucky to be able to follow my heart and fulfill my dreams. I never planned to teach or write books, that has just evolved naturally and gradually as a way of passing on my passion to others around me.
*You can see more of Linda's work and information on classes at her website ~ Wire Jewellery
I'd like to thank Linda for letting us know a bit more about herself and the story behind her success