How it all Began...

Posted by Cheryl Van Dyck on

Before I started making jewelry, I had no idea that "regular" people could make jewelry.  Then one of my friends gave me an adorable pair of earrings (which I still have, you can see them in the photo at left).  When I asked where she got them, she said she had made them.  The rest is history.  I discovered the magic of beads, and started to frequent bead stores everywhere I went.  Then I discovered that they made beads from the very stones that I used to collect from rock shops.  My inner rockhound was thrilled.  Small containers of beads became larger and piles began to form.  I forgot about previous hobbies like hiking and reading.  I took a class on how to make beaded necklaces and bracelets.  Making jewelry became the way I relaxed after a long day at work.  I was always designing jewelry in my head no matter what I was doing or where I was.  

Then I saw someone take a hammer to a piece of copper wire.  From that minute on, I was a metalsmith. I fell in love with hammered metal and started making components for my beaded pieces.  I took a class to learn how to use a torch and fuse fine silver wire.  Soon that little torch wasn't big enough, and I wanted to start making more complicated metal designs. Along the way, I had met some other bead and metal addicts online, and a "jewelry retreat" was organized where we shared our skills with each other.  I learned to solder at that retreat, and I even made a handmade loop in loop chain for my very first soldered pendant. When I got home I kept practicing, and I will never forget the joy I felt when I looked at my first bezel set ring.  I still get a thrill every single time I make a new piece of jewelry from nothing but a piece of sheet metal or wire and a torch.  That last step of setting a special stone after working hard on a complicated setting never gets old, either.   Making jewelry is truly a labor of love for me, and the techniques and skills learned as the years go by are a journey to be savored.     


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4 comments

  • Hello Cheryl, your jewelry is absolutely beautiful. I started beekeeping a few years ago and I was looking for something special that I could wear that would represent my new hobby that I love so much and when I saw this ring I knew that this was it. I love that you have shared your story about how you have grown in your craft, thank you for sharing.

    Sharon,
    Newfoundland, Canada

    sharon on
  • I’m so excited to make these for you Marilyn – I can’t wait for you to see them! Thanks so much!

    Cheryl on
  • I have been waiting for the perfect ring to come along for my right hand for years. Today I found it on Pinterest. I know that it will be perfect to replace the turquoise ring that was stolen from me years ago. I am so happy to have found you and enjoyed perusing your beautiful site. You indeed have found a calling.

    Thank you so much. I look forward to receiving this very special set of stacking rings with the beautiful turquoise stone. Perfect!!

    Marilyn in Michigan

    Marilyn Wilkie on
  • Grazi for mkiang it nice and EZ.

    Cindy on

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