The business of jewelry making is the thing I struggle with the most. Over the years, I have had good shows and bad. I have tried the wholesale market and it was not for me because my pieces are one-of-a-kind, galleries did not know how to reorder and since I work alone, it would be hard to reproduce a line. I prefer making one-of-a-kind pieces anyway, so I do a few select shows a year in California and have a retail outlet in my home town where I sell most of my work. When times are hard, people tend to cut back on things such as jewelry and art which are not a neccessity. But an artist friend of mine once said, for some people it is a necessity when times are tough to make themselves feel better.
The price of gold and silver does affect when I buy. I have been using less gold in my pieces lately due to the high prices and I have been very resourceful in using every bit of scrap and incorporate it into my designs. This happened once before in the early eighty's and things will change again hopefully.
My advice to new jewelry designers is, learn as much as you can, take classes, workshops, go to conferences and find a technique that excites you and work on it to develop a style that reflects the way you feel as an artist. Your passion will show in your work and the rest will fall in place, but not without a few bumps in the road. Remember that the struggle is part of the journey as an artist and makes you want to try that much harder.
My work can be seen at www.lindalewisjewelry.com and at the Gallery at the Network, in San Luis Obispo, California. Also, various high quality art shows around Calfornia and Arizona.