Re-Imagining Jewelry Designs

At work or at the Burlingame Farmer's Market, I often get people who have jewelry pieces that they love, but want changed in some way. It is usually a piece of costume jewelry they have worn to bits, or a treasured favorite from college/mom/earlier that they want updated.

It's a challenge to re-work these pieces! I will first evaluate the history of the piece (is it vintage? real gold or stones?) and let the person know whether I think it is worth altering or worth taking to a fine jeweler for changes. I also remind folks that my design aesthetic is what you see at my jewelry website Then, I just let my imagination go!

My friend Vivian brought me these glass earrings she has had since high school and wanted reworked to be "longer and more modern, please." I loved the shield/arrow shape, but didn't love the dated looking AB finish bead on the earwire.

I thought the shield shape would contrast nicely with a circle shape, which would also give it some extra length, which Vivian was looking for. Next, I domed and brushed the silver discs to a matte finish to give them an even more modern edge. I then switched out the old hook earwires to secure French leverback earwires and the transformation was complete!

How do you rework your older designs to make them usable again? Have a project you want reworked by me into a handmade jewelry creation? Let me know! You can read more about my custom jewelry design here.


Mary Jane said...

I make jewelry too and I find myself often remaking stuff that I have on hand, especially those things that were "store-bought". Of course, I also re-make my own stuff!

In case you are interested in seeing some of the things I have made, my blog is I am really new to blogging so it is not the best, but it is fun!

D. B. Elsa said...


I make jewelry as well. I find that the best way to start new designs is to use new materials. Sometimes I change older designs a bit. Beautiful work btw!

- Dona