5 Steps to start a new journey into the world of handmade wooden jewellery
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. - A. Ashe-
I read this quote when we were in the NZ national Lockdown in 2020 and my answers were:
Start where you are: New Zealand.
Use what you have: Timber in the garage.
Do what you can: Wooden Jewellery
Step #1 - Simplicity
First of all, visualize what you would like to achieve.
Please be realistic. If you're a beginner and never worked with wood before, start simple.
Imagine a geometrical shape you would like to wear.
Step #2 - Drawings
Draw that shape on paper, many times with different variations.
If it's a triangle, what shape, length, angle?
Be curious. Explore different ideas...
Step #3 - Timber
My partner had the garage full of salvaged timber from the Christchurch earthquake, I just used these pieces of buildings and furniture that he stored for years.
I started this journey with Kauri wood and Jarrah (see article) because I wanted a contrast of earthy and warm colours. The Kauri wood is like shining yellow/gold and the Jarrah is a rich red/brownish.
Now those are very rare to find, but you can start with any other hard wood.
Step #4 - Tools
It's time to list the right tools you need for the very basic process:
Cutting - Our favourite is the Table Saw. Easy to use for small pieces of wood.
Sanding - A sandpaper machine and infinite number of sandpapers. There are different brand on the market at different price points.
Drilling - A must in the shopping list is a cordless drill with the smallest drill bit diameter.
Polishing - This step can be skipped at the beginning. However, if you're looking at obtaining best results, use steel wool to polish your jewellery before the finishing.
Finishing - We now use a blend of natural oils and a vegan wax made in New Zealand,
that leave the jewellery with a very smooth feeling and a natural aroma.
If you are just doing a test, use olive oil: it's natural and it enhance the colours of the timbers.
Step #5 - Practice
Like in every craft, the more you practice, the more it will come right!
Don't give up! It can only get better...
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