Post No. 1 for The Jewelry Project

Hi All! Wendy is here today with her first post for The Jewelry Project. Here she is!

My name is Wendy Van Camp. I’m an artisan jeweler, certified gemologist and writer in Southern California.  My jewelry is Celtic themed and features semi-precious stones wrapped in sterling silver or copper. I sell my creations at Highland Games, Science Fiction Conventions, Concerts and Renaissance Fairs.

For many years, I never wrote down the details of my designs, but simply created jewelry on the fly. I create a prototype of a design and then test market it in my booth.  If the design is successful, I will make anywhere from fifteen to twenty of the jewelry item, in various popular stone choices. This is enough of a single design to populate my booth for a season or even a full year. However, when something sells well, I will often have trouble re-creating it to replenish my stock. Due to the long period of time of the manufacturing cycle, anywhere from six months to a year, I often forget the steps, materials and tools that I used in the original prototype.

I had a second problem.  While I have nothing against online storage of my “jewelry recipes”, I have found that using a tablet or computer near my bench simply doesn’t work.  Metal flys.  Hammers go astray. The pounding rattles the surface of my bench and could possibly damage the machines.  I needed a paper solution.  Something that could take the abuse of my profession.

I’ve been a regular follower of Philofaxy and a user of Filofax binders for around two years.  A friend of mine in England recommended a Personal sized Filofax to organize and track my writing habits and my writing blog, No Wasted Ink. Once I handled the leather of my Crimson Personal Malden, I was in love.  The Filofax took the chaos of my writing schedule and simplified it, keeping it separate from my computer and holding it in one place where I could easily reference it.  After this first purchase, I bough a Personal Slimline Holborn to serve as my wallet, a Domino to organize my household tasks, and a little pocket Apex to track medical matters for my family.

Filofax Collection 2013
The problem of my jewelry recipes kept coming back to me.  I thought that using a Filofax to organize my jewelry information might solve the issue.  A Filofax would hold all the information, I would be able to move the recipes around inside the binder if needed, and a Filofax would certainly not be damaged by hammers pounding nearby since it was paper.  However, I did not think that a personal size Filofax would be large enough for this task.  An A5 would be needed in order to have the space to draw the illustrations that I like to include with my instructions.  The problem was, I did not have the funds to pay for a leather Filofax of this size.  I determined that I would wait and save up for a leather binder.

Enter Janet Carr and her project assistant Jordan Powers.  I saw a post on Facebook where Janet stated she would donate a free filofax to anyone who would be willing to write a series of blog posts about how they would use it.  I noticed that there were a few A5 binders available, so I submitted my idea to create a recipe book for my jewelry business.  My proposal was accepted and I was shipped a lovely Patent Red Leather Burde A5 binder.  I have the larger size binder that I needed for my project, and not only that, it is red, the color that I decorate my home studio in.  I am more than pleased with the outcome!

Burde A5 Binder - Exterior
The Burde binder is interesting.  I had wondered if the quality would be on par with a Filofax brand binder.  So far, I feel that it is comparable.  The leather is a shiny red patent with a brass accent strap.  It has two snaps, so if I need to expand the information in the binder, I should be able to do so easily.  The rings are golden and quite large.  I believe that they are 30mm in size.  It has a square pocket in the front for an ID card and a leather pen loop in the rear.  It is full of pockets of many sizes and should be able to store a myriad of loose items related to my jewelry creation.

Burde A5 Binder - Interior Burde Logo on Binder
There was a bit of a snafu with the delivery.  The binder was held up in customs.  When my package arrived, there were two small holes on one end of the package, reminding one of the puncture wounds of a snake bite!  Inside, I discovered that the envelope of stickers, dividers and other goodies had been opened and looked at.  However, everything was still inside the package that was supposed to be there and nothing was damaged.  So I suppose that all is well that ends well.

What Came in the Package
Over the next few weeks, I will be going over the steps I will take to create my jewelry design journal.  I am hoping that you will enjoy taking the journey with me.

Leave a Reply