Jewelry – Lemonade or Happy Little Accident?

by Nita Bourne.
(United States)

Jewelry - Lemonade or Happy Little Accident? by Nita Bourne  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

Final piece – copper on brass pendant

I read an article once in which the writer stated when she messed up a piece of jewelry, she never threw it away, instead she always tried to make something else out of it. I fully subscribe to this theory as it forces me to exercise my creativity.

Recently, I had a piece in mind’s eye; all bright, shiny, and symmetrical. However, when I soldered my copper piece to the brass piece, I did not have them lined up perfectly. My piece was ruined!

Jewelry - Lemonade or Happy Little Accident? by Nita Bourne  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

Original layout

The piece sat on my workbench for several weeks while I cleared my mind of what I wanted it to be. Once I let it go, I picked the piece up and began re-creating it. In the end, I actually like it better than what I had originally imagined.

To me life is like this piece of jewelry; it is not always bright, shiny, and symmetrical. It’s often tarnished with ragged edges, but it is still just as beautiful.

Nita Bourne
Nita Bourne Facebook

FREE - Get 7 Super Jewelry Making Hacks

Get Rena's 7 Super Jewelry Making Hacks, plus the Jewelry Making Journal Newsletter - all for FREE.

We Respect Your Email Privacy

  • Rena Klingenberg says:

    What a clever way to rescue a piece you thought was ruined, Nita. A lot depends on the artist’s attitude toward the work. Thank you for this perspective!

  • Linda Carman says:

    I choose to make asymmetrical every chance that I can and find it kind of stuns the eye and usually sells better than perfection because buyer is delighted knowing they are truly a peace of art.

    Example is I make a time 3/8 inch birds nest earring for one ear and a wired bird for the other. They sold for $45 quicker than the matched sets (2 birds or 2 small matched sets). Funny how that works.

  • Irene Vrbensky says:

    I love your idea of re-creating a piece to enhance creativity. Now I will rethink my mistakes into something more interesting. Thank you.

  • Janice says:

    My friend and metalsmithing guru gave me an invaluable piece of advice I’ve never forgotten: If you can’t fix it, feature it. You did that beautifully!

  • Mary Anne says:

    I love the organic shapes and textures in your pendant. I always create asymmetrically, and find it just more interesting. And yes, saving “mistakes” over time, usually allows for renewed and ingenious creativity when a new solution pops up.

  • Claudia says:

    Nita, as I write this comment, I have a bit of a tear in my eye. Thank You for your comment about this sort of being about “Life”. I sort of needed this pep talk … TODAY …… so Thank You.

  • Nita Bourne says:

    Fabulous idea! Thanks.

  • Nita Bourne says:

    Thank you for your support.

  • Nita Bourne says:

    Thank you. My best advice is to walk away from it for awhile and let that original image get out of your head.

  • Nita Bourne says:

    LOL! I love it!

  • Nita Bourne says:

    Thanks. Truth be told, I find asymmetrical to be much more interesting.

  • Nita Bourne says:

    Oh Claudia! Now I have a tear in my eye! I’m so glad I could help.

  • >