How Do You Circumvent Challenges in Making Jewelry?

by Dianne Jacques.
(United States)

How Do You Circumvent Challenges in Making Jewelry? by Dianne Jacques  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

Peyote Stich Designs

I have been having problems with my hands and am scheduled for a trigger thumb release later this month.

When I started having trouble in the metal shop, I decided to switch gears and get back to beading, specifically designing new Peyote Stitch patterns.

It is something I can do without pain and it doesn’t matter if my thumb locks up.

We’ll always find a way to stay in the shop!

How did you find your way around some temporary challenges?

Dianne Jacques
Divella Designs
Divella Designs on Etsy

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  • Dianne, I hope all goes well with your thumb fix, and that you’ll soon be back creating with all the jewelry techniques you enjoy! Thanks for this great topic – workarounds for our various jewelry-making difficulties! I can share one of mine – I have math dyslexia, so I’ve developed various ways to tame numbers (shared in How to keep math issues from stopping your jewelry business).

  • Nancy Heath says:

    I had the same problem you had but on both of my thumbs. Years really of working on keyboards. But jewelry making did not help. I went to a hand doctor here in Richmond, VA. he found out the bones were worn out as some tendons. He performed surgery first on one thumb and then when it healed up, I had the other had done. I think they called it Bassal Joint Replacement. He removed the bones in my thumb, cut a small slit in my arm to remove a piece of ligament and he stuffed it back into my thumb. I immediately started exercising the thumb, then went to therapy sessions several times a week. After it healed I had the other thumb done. Been about 7 to 8 years and I am so glad I had it done. I can now do anything with my thumbs with no pain.

  • Lyone says:

    Sending wishes for calm and healing out to everyone. . . . One thing I learned after I also became disabled is how *many* of us there are who struggle with different ability challenges. Whether it is hand pain, diminishing eyesight, learning disabilities, fatigue, etc. It is always so important to realize that none of it has implications for how intelligent, creative or amazing we are.
    Personally, I find that moving to different jewelry-making tasks is one way to deal with my issues. If I am dropping beads (or tools), then maybe it is time to just go knead some new colors of poly clay. Knowing that there is a variety of creative things I can apply myself to is a real sanity saver: beading, bead-making, clay kneading, photographing my pieces, making wire components, etc.
    They all involve different parts of my body, and my mind. So, if I really need to do something creative and one thing is beyond my capabilities at a given moment, I can always turn to something else.

  • Lyone, thank you for this beautiful and empowering comment! 🙂

  • Karen Escalera says:

    Hi, I had left thumb surgery to remove a benign tumor this past March and was incapable of crafting for 2.5 weeks ARGH. Fortunately, after my stitches were out I have been able to get back into my various crafts. However, I’ll be working on flexibility for a few years now. I have found in my jewelry making that using tools a lot more than I had been, has helped a lot, especially when using tiny elements.

    also in Richmond VA 🙂

  • Karen, I’m glad your thumb surgery went well and that you’re able to creating again! Jewelry therapy is one of the best kind of therapies! 🙂

  • Becky says:

    So, had wrist surgery a few days ago, taking my down time and going thru this Journals many posts. Writing notes with my other hand, looking for new ideas that will be easier when I can have pliers again. Its all good. Of course the challenge will be to read my notes ! thanks to Rena and all others who share.

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