For starters, thank you for your interest in NGnuity Jewelry!
In the beginning,..
NGnuity started, well… My making jewelry started with a very simple statement, “I can make that!”
Our family enjoys day trips, or weekend trips, to various towns or villages. Simple destinations traveled to for no reason other than that. Just to go there. Sometimes there was no destination at all. We just ended up there, wherever there might be. (now I’ve got myself wondering if there might indeed be a place called There) Sometimes to places we had already been, but with renewed sights and sounds.
We have always enjoyed browsing the small shops and have all tended to favor the art and craft type of stores. Through so many stops, we had found ourselves to always seek out the handcrafted jewelry. So much more than the usual thing found at this chain store or that. Not only in that it was a hand crafted piece of wearable art, but that it was an artistic expression and a memento of wherever we happened to be at the time.
Over time, and not so much time really, I found myself looking deeper into each and every piece we encountered. Looking not only at the artistic quality, not only at the materials used but more of how these pieces were made. It’s just in me to look at things like that. To break it down, to the nuts and bots, as it were. More and more, I just said to myself… “I can make that…” Not having ever done anything of the sort, I dismissed my own thoughts and continued on with simply enjoying the pieces as I always had, but I just couldn’t let go of the thought.
I found myself in thought so many times wondering where one might learn the specific methods of jewelry making, learn of the tools and materials required and even figure out where to acquire the materials to do such a thing.
During a trip to Grafton, IL and while visiting one of the many wonderful shops in the area, we happened upon a shop that was as much a gallery as a store. This shop was full of beautiful pieces of jewelry and small artistic sculptures, among so many other arts and crafts. My wife found a few pieces that the really liked and called me over to see them. They were beautiful. Now, what would typically happen would be for us to pick, choose, sort and then decide on which pieces to purchase. Not this time though. “I can make that!” This time I said it out loud, and I meant it.
Rather than spend the money required to purchase these fine pieces of wearable art, we went in search of the supplies needed to create our own. A few hours and many miles later, we made it home with a small pile of bits, pieces and ideas… and not much more. Trial by fire I suppose. I spent the next twelve hours, if not more, sorting, stacking, bending, twisting, crimping, wrapping and assembling the materials we had purchased instead of the jewelry at the gallery/store. Yes, into the wee hours.
I didn’t have anything in mind when I began. I had absolutely no idea what so ever. Like a painter with a blank canvas and a palette of beautiful colors at his disposal, I just dove in. I opened my mind and let the ideas pour out. I just did this and that, put those things with some others, tried something like that and ended up with this (as seen below):
Oh, and I did use part of the kitchen sink, in case you wondered…
So then I experienced what I can only imagine most creative types encounter. What would anyone else think? Not that it truly mattered mind you. I had so much fun creating, designing, playing! All the same, the genuine goal was to be able to make myself, create pieces that were on par with what we had so often seen in the shops we had gone to. To my absolute enjoyment, everyone that saw my new creations loved them!
As some time passed, I had amassed a rather sizeable collection of jewelry tools, parts, materials and my abilities and ideas grew with that. I began making special pieces for family and close friends and all were received better than I had expected. I was just playing around after all.
More and more people were exposed to my creations and I started getting requests for something like this, or that. Questions of what I might be able to do, or not do. More and more I was told to step up, go big, start producing more and start selling my pieces to whoever might buy it. Nah, it’s just for fun. Just something to make for family and close friends.
I guess I had heard it enough after a while that I started giving it serious thought. Might jewelry making be something I’d enjoy on a larger scale? Would it still be fun? Would people outside of family and friends like it enough to buy it? It’s a big step!
I spent some time putting a bunch of pieces together, careful not to rush or force anything though. I wanted to maintain the flow of ideas and still have fun with it. I started showing my work to more people, just to see if they thought it might be of interest. Just to see if they liked it really… Somewhat to my surprise, all of it was met with appreciation and I was pretty well forced to sell a number of pieces right there and then. Not such a bad idea after all!
What then? How do I do this? Can I do this? What do I call it?
It starts with a name. So much easier to say that than to come up with a name. I wanted to somehow incorporate my name, or initials, or something that identified this with me, definitively. Credit goes to my parents for the name. Quite brilliant I think. One could almost say that ingenuity is what it took to come up with the name! NGnuity it is!
I couldn’t possibly have done this without tremendous support from my family and friends. The support, in so many ways, has been huge and for that I am so grateful.
I find inspiration in nearly everything I see and everything I do. Inspiration in the comments and praise I receive from my family and friends. It is that inspiration, more than anything else, that drives me to come up with new designs, new pieces. I enjoy so much the opportunity to create these pieces and to know that they bring joy and excitement to others. It’s fun, it’s exciting and it has been very rewarding.
Making jewelry and the other ‘art’ pieces is the combination of so many other things that I have always enjoyed and as such, is more fun than anything else. It’s part model building, part art and part mechanical design (color/texture/arrangement) and all with so much freedom of design. Another part that I really enjoy is simply the collection of the ‘stuff’ that I use to create my pieces. All of the bits, the raw materials, the special components… And I get to sort it and put it all in cool little boxes and compartments (I like boxes). I’ve found that the further ‘out-of-the-box’ (pardon the pun please) I go with my pieces, the more fun I have and the more people enjoy them as both art and of the jewelry that they are.
I see so much more than simple jewelry most of the time. Not just in my work, but that of others as well. Sometimes I see it as art, a sculpture of sorts. Sometimes almost as a machine or an assembly of bits that could only go just that one way to be right. Sometimes I see beyond the piece to how it might be worn or used, or what sort of person might enjoy it most. I suppose it’s seeing each piece as having a life of its own. Hey, it works for me…
So, here we are. Well, here I am. NGnuity is the real deal now. Let’s see where we can grow from here!