Why Is Jewelry Making So Addictive?

Jewelry and Coffee with Rena
Video Episode 8

by Rena Klingenberg.

What is it about jewelry making that becomes an obsession for us? Here are my top 6 reasons why I’m addicted to making jewelry. What are yours?

Transcript of This Post:

Why are we all so addicted to making jewelry?

What is it about making jewelry that becomes an obsession?

I made a list of my top six reasons why I’m addicted to it – and I hope you’ll share your top reasons too.

  1. Jewelry is art that can be worn – not just set on a shelf or hung on a wall somewhere.

    It’s something you can actually wear as a personal artistic expression.

  2. Jewelry making gives you lots of opportunities to create your own components, findings, and beads.

    You don’t just have to just use things that are ready-made. You can create your own things from the ground up.

  3. It’s really fun to create personalized pieces of jewelry for people you know and love, and give it to them as gifts.
  4. I really like being able to combine some of my other interests with jewelry making.

    For example, I love history and I like being able to sometimes include historical components, techniques, design features, or ideas in my jewelry.

  5. I love the meditative state you can get into with creativity.

    It’s like an altered form of consciousness where you just get so absorbed in the creation of what you’re doing that the rest of the world just disappears.

  6. I love that jewelry making is truly the journey of a lifetime.

    You can spend your entire life experimenting with different tools, different techniques – there’s so many different things to explore.

    You can do all kinds of different things and never make the same thing twice.

    And every time you sit down at your table it’s just as fresh and exciting as the very first time you picked up a pair of pliers!

I can’t wait to hear why you’re addicted to making jewelry, if you’d like to leave a comment below.

I’ll see you soon!

The Jewelry Rena’s Wearing
in This Video:

Neckwire: Velour-wrapped brass wire by Rena Klingenberg; see my Fabric Wrapped Choker Necklace Tutorial.

Earrings: Copper, turquoise, and coral by Zoraida.

Necklace: Framed Tendrils Necklace from Slevart.

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  • zoraida says:

    I’m addicted to making jewelry for just about the same reasons. The meditative state is a big plus. Stress just melts away. I also have an intense need to create. It’s a hunger that must be fed (no calories to worry about). Looking at and holding something you’ve made is awesome and being able to wear it is even better.

  • Gaynor says:

    Likewise, i too find it theraputic & it satisfies my create side enough to prevent me feeling empty. The last 12 months have been very stressful due to external influences so when im feeling like everything is beyond my control & that im about to lose the plot i head to my workroom & before i know it hours have passed by & i have calmed down.


  • Rosiland says:

    I love to make jewelry because I can use my imagination to create the most beautiful elegant jewelry that I can imagine. I love to share my points of view through my work because I am a quiet person so I get my jewelry speak for me. I love the jewelry sparkles and glimmer. To know that I can make my own beautiful jewekry that I love, drives me to create to my heart is content.

  • Leslie says:

    Making jewelry gives me the creative outlet to put together different colors (I LOVE colors, metallics and bling) that brighten up the day and make myself and others happy. Michael Gormley in American Artist 02.12 said, “How do you know you’re an artist … you need to create as much as you need to breathe.” I wasn’t truly breathing for a number of years taking care of family members needs, and I was missing that outlet that makes me happy. When I started making jewelry along with my other creative outlets, I had something special to look forward to each day. I am happier and love sharing my creations with others who purchase them locally.

  • From Leslie:
    Michael Gormley in American Artist 02.12 said, β€œHow do you know you’re an artist … you need to create as much as you need to breathe.”

    So true, and well put!

    My creativity can sometimes be an unmerciful taskmaster….the drive is so intense one can only get swept up in it in order to survive. I make jewelry becasue it gives me the outlet for my creative intensity….it’s a purging of artistic soul, and as Rena mentioned they’re so many different ways to construct jewelery my creative desires will always have something new to run a-muck in!

  • Anna Maria Estes says:

    Jewelry making is therapy for me, as well as a means to escape from the real world and go to a beautiful,colorful place created by me. I love to touch the beads and hear the sounds they make as I move them around. I have an obsession with ethnographic beads or pieces that are ancient or old… they seem to have a story to tell…each piece telling a unique story depending on their origins. Then there is my creation of colorful,crystal sensations… it just doesn’t end!!!!!

  • Ann Nolen says:

    Thank you for your videos, I just love them and look forward to the next one showing up in my inbox! I would totally agree with ALL of your reasons for creating jewelry, especially the relaxing state that just eliminates the stress in my day.
    I also love is getting to meet people and talking about my coin jewelry. I am pretty outgoing, and love to hear people’s stories. Helping someone pick out one of my coin jewelry pieces can bring such an interesting conversation, especially as I learn what is important to them. I have found families celebrating an adopted child, a cherished pet, a wonderful trip they went on, wanting a coin from a country their ancestors came from, and family traditions. I am often surprised.
    At the end of a show, I am so happy, fulfilled, and yes even validated. That someone appreciates my creative adventure is one of the best outcomes I can imagine. We are all so lucky to get to do what what we love.

  • Nan says:

    I am addicted to making jewelry because it is an art form, creative and stress relieving and because I too get into a meditative like state when creating, it is a great escape. And I love to personalize jewelry pieces for loved ones & friends.

  • I don’t have a high enough speed internet connection to watch your video at home (I live in the boonies) and they frown on computer play at work – could you do a text based option for your videos for those of us still in the dark ages πŸ™‚

  • I started making jewelry when both of my boys were still small and still in diapers. At the time I was a stay at home mom and just wanted to do something with my time and then I realized I love Beads. I love their colors. I love their textures.

    And now I own a store where I make all my jewelry. I dont buy any premade jewelry. So I have to order everything in bulk. And when the delivery man walks in with my package I get so excited like i just won a first place award or something. And when I open the box all the new beads have a particular smell. I cant describe it but if you make jewelry you know the smell.

    And while I make jewelry I disconnect from the world with its car troubles, financial stress, illnesses and so on because I’m to busy fantasizing about all the places the beads came from and where they are gona go once they have sold.

    And once the piece is finished I can hold it up and see how the light hits it and lay it against different backgrounds. And I just love the sound of my jewelry when I lay it on the glass tables or mirrors, or when I just spill the beads into their containers.

    Its actually really crazy how much I love making jewelry.

  • Tamara says:

    I know this comment is a little late coming, but it has come to occur to me that one of the reasons jewellery-making is addictive (apart from everything else everyone has said, which I agree with), is because it is a way to connect with yourself, the true you. You make something which reflects you, or teaches you something about yourself, and you love it, and you see that that is a little piece of who you are.

  • Janet says:

    I sort of have an addictive personality to begin with: coffee, chocolate – nothing serious or illegal, though! I find jewelry making addictive for many of the same reasons other people have listed, and for one other highly motivating reason: Jewelry that I donate to my veterinarian’s medical assistance program helps keep the program funded.

    The program exists to aid folks who can’t afford treatment of seriously ill pets who need long-term, extensive care or major surgery. Treatment and/or surgery can sometimes run into the thousands of dollars. I’m so grateful that something I love to do – making jewelry, benefits something I love – the animals. πŸ™‚

  • Anu Kalburgi says:

    I truly agree with your reasons to be addictive to jewelry making.
    I love working with wire, you said very wonderfully in one of your videos “wire whisperer”- flow with the wire. Flowing with the wire and getting lost in creating something that is yours and when finished it puts a smile on your face and makes you say “WOW this is beautiful”.

  • zoraida says:

    I have what I like to refer to as “creative addiction disorder”. I have to create, everyday. Jewelry in particular is extremely satisfying and fulfilling because I can wear it and touch it throughout the day. Like you’ve said, there is so much to learn about creating jewelry. The techniques are endless, the design inspirations are infinite. I know that feeling of transcending into a different state of mind when absorbed in the process of creating. It’s absolutely wonderful to see someone else wearing and appreciating something I’ve made as well, like cooking a meal and everyone savoring it.
    Rena, you look lovely in those earrings!!!

  • MaElena says:

    First of all, I simply just love your (coffee) videos and look forward to receiving them! you have such a calming effect (you could have been a psychologist in another life, or a counselor) and they are so down-to-earth. Your instructional videos are easy to follow as well too. As far as the reasons for making jewelry, I discovered my talent when I was eight years old and still have some of those pieces. Life went on and then about 32 years ago I started again. My reasons for making jewelry are: fulfillment, the joy of interacting with people when they admire my pieces, its profitable, an expressive art form, and you can always learn new techniques as well. Originality is also a plus in this art form. Best to you!

  • Laura Castano says:

    I’ve always been a junkie for anything crossing my path that has art potential. I’ve been doing decorative and needle arts in some form for forty-five years starting about the time I was six and someone handed me knitting needles.

    When I found beads I was hooked instantly. I became facinated with the journey they had taken to reach me. Raw materials from all over the world, sand from Africa, metals from South America, pigments from Asia, and so much more brought together in this miniature piece of art in my hand.

    As important as the creative expression jewelry making allows me, is knowingbthatbthere will always be something fresh to see and learn.

    I’d love to see a discussion here about, not why we’re addicted but the nature/nurture aspects that brought us here to become the addicts we are today.

  • Carla Alburg says:

    To nourish myself, is why I must make jewelry. What will I make today?This is what I think as I sit down at the table. I really don’t know why must I create a piece. It is in me, and I must see what it is. You are not a true artist , if you don’t work at your craft, whatever it might be. I am so happy that mine is making jewelry.

  • Dita says:

    I don’t know the exact reasons. May be they are all that Rena listed and my heart would just echo what Zoraida said, that it transcends you to a different state of mind. I feel like a child, losing track of time, embracing pure joy when I play with the beads. Some times the finished product is what I wanted it to be, some times not at all, and some rare times it pleasantly surprises me being more beautiful than my expectation. Any way I love the process so I create jewelry.

  • Diana says:

    I love everything about playing with beads, from choosing them, finding them, sorting them, handling them, looking at them, stringing them, working them into wire wrap or wire weaving pieces, to wearing the finished pieces or giving them to friends. I love watching videos of jewelry making, looking at books and magazines about it, even sorting through and cataloging someone else’s beads for their website! When I was about 30 I bought a VW van and my boyfriend and I traveled all thru Oklahoma, Texas, and the Gulf states to Florida making and selling macrame and bead jewelry. It was one of the happiest times of my life. Beads have been making life happier for a very long time.

  • Linda says:

    Jewelry-making allows do-overs! πŸ™‚

  • Rosanne says:

    Rena summed up most of the reasons that I make jewelry. It’s also because of the stories that are told—by the materials, techniques, and how I get ideas. As Anna Maria said, artifacts from the past do have a story, although sometimes we can only guess at it. Humans have adorned themselves for millennia with many things and for all sorts of reasons. I find it endlessly fascinating.

  • Jan says:

    I have a quote I cut out of a magazine and placed on my cork board years ago which certainly applies to jewelry making. There is a fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.” I would add, with jewelry making you can cross that line faster than any other way!!

  • LOL, Jan! I totally agree! Thanks so much for sharing that tidbit. πŸ™‚

  • Carol Burton says:

    I love making custom pieces for my clients! I listen carefully to what they want, and “get into their head” and make the piece exactly how they want it. I love hearing, “It’s perfect!” I enjoy making my clients happy. I like putting, “variations” on the artistic creations in my Etsy shop. I have always loved giving choices, so people are happy with their purchase. Yes, and I also love getting new creative ideas that I haven’t tried before. It is fun and enlivening to learn new techniques and make new artistic pieces.

  • Catherine says:

    All I can say is that it’s my lifesaver….literally. I’ve had another addiction at one time in my life, but now this is my addiction. I also have anxiety and PTSD, this has really got me through alot of hard times. I found my true passion and who I want to be. It is very calming creating something that “you” did yourself and it gives me a sense of self worth. I find myself waking up in the middle of the night thinking of what I can do next. I can’t wait for the next day! ???? ????

  • Catherine, I agree. When everything else feels chaotic, sitting down to create jewelry is a beautiful way to get grounded again. πŸ™‚

  • I completely agree with you! Making jewelry is therapeutic to me. I started it as a hobby but i turned it to a business when I got diagnosed with breast cancer. I needed something to focus on while I was off from my job. Then I decided to donate a portion of my proceeds to the breast center in our place as I witnessed many women battling breast cancer and lack financial resources. I can help in a little way. I had jewelry shows and made me feel great to see my clients wearing what I made.

    By the way, I look forward to your newsletter every month. I followed you in pinterest πŸ™‚


  • Joan, thanks for sharing this part of your jewelry story. Wishing you good health, and many more lovely jewelry experiences!

  • Nita says:

    Rena, thank you for this friendly site. I’m new to jewelry making. I live in a rural area so I learn a lot from this site. For me jewelry making is a life preserver. It rescues me from the daily grind. Stella Adler is quoted as saying “Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.” Jewelry making is my art.

  • Nita, thank you for your lovely message, and I’m so glad to hear that Jewelry Making Journal resonates with you. And I love the Stella Adler quote – I so agree about art reminding us that we have a soul. Glad to have you here, Nita! πŸ™‚

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