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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Every piece has a story....

Native Americans are storytellers.  They grow up hearing stories told over and over again.  Many of the stories are true, historical stories told to preserve the history and knowledge of the people.

Some of the stories are not true.  But they tell of an event from a non-scientific perspective which can bring us understanding and healing.

Everything has a story.  Rocks, trees, mountains, streams, animals and people all have a story to tell.

Even the jewelry that we make tells stories.  How the piece was made is one story.  The properties of the stones and metals that you choose to incorporate in the piece is another story.  Even the animal images and decorative designs that you use can communicate a message. 

We can connect with each other through the sharing of our stories.  I think the key for us as jewelry makers is to find the best way to share these stories with our customers.

When I create a piece of jewelry, I try to learn the properties of the stones that I am using.  I want to be sure that I use elements that are harmonious.  When I put the item on my sale table, I display it with a card like this:
Display card for "Iron Tiger"

and this:

Display card for "Purple Passion" necklace

These cards tell the stories of the stones that I have incorporated in two of my wire wrapped pieces.  (If you would like to see them, just click on the link below the photo).

When I design a beadweaving pattern, I also try to tell a story about the motifs that I choose.  I include some of the information on the pattern itself.  Some of the story also appears on the site where my pattern is displayed and still more of it will often appear here in my blog when I introduce a new piece. 

Several of my fellow beaders have told me that they enjoy learning the stories of my patterns.  If you enjoy the stories, I bet your customers would also enjoy hearing them.  So why not share them? 

Here are some ideas to help you share stories.
  1. Make cards to use on your display so the piece can tell the story if you are working with another customer.
  2. Make smaller cards to put in the package with the piece when you sell it.  Then the customer can take the story with them.
  3. Strike up a conversation with your customers when you see they are interested in a piece.  If you have something special to tell them about that piece, it might make it even more appealing to them.
I hope this information will encourage you to tell the stories of your jewelry to your customers.  Teach them and preserve the knowledge that we have as jewelry makers and human beings.


original Native-style beadweaving patterns are available at:


  1. I like your article! ANd you are right! I love to tell stories too! Most of the pieces I\ve made have a story behind them, story that I put in words on my blog and share with others!
    I beleieve in connections too and also in the power of words :)

  2. Wonderful article. I tell stories about some of my designs and finished pieces but not all the time. I guess I need to work on that.

  3. You are correct, at least for me..many times the piece's story comes to me while I am working with the Muse to bring it to Life, other times, the story is what drives me to create in the first place! But the story is always there, and that is what makes handcrafted works so much better than mass- produced, and sharing the stories so important to those who purchase from us.


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