How to get here…

I’ve had a few of you ask how I ended up metalsmithing and getting where I am today so I’ll briefly share about the winding journey. If you’ve read my About page, I mentioned I have lots of design experience. I’ve always loved fiber arts, I majored in Landscape Design in college, I was a hairstylist for five years and I’ve done work with floral design. Throughout all these passions, I’ve made jewelry. However, something was different when I started metalsmithing. In fact, something was different before I even found a program to study metalsmithing. I had been making things with beads and stones but had started noticing and admiring pieces of jewelry that I couldn’t fathom how I would create. As I was looking at jewelry on the internet one day, I felt something shoot through me that told me this is what was next for me. I started researching what kinds of classes I would need to take. I didn’t even know the terms to use when I started looking for training but I had a sense of peace inside that I was meant to find this so it would come. Little did I know what that feeling would lead to.

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Fire!

At the time, I was in an office position where I was very unhappy. I was missing the creativity I had when I was a hairstylist. I had tried expressing my creativity through different hobbies, but nothing seemed to do it. And then I found my metalsmithing studio. It was love at first sight. I’d show up with an idea of what I wanted to make and my instructor would talk me through how to create it and we would. I loved (although I was also terrified of!) using the fire in the torches and melting the metal. I was fascinated to see the process of the metal flowing when I solder. Shaping the metal made me feel like a sculptress. I also began to learn how MUCH work went into every step of making a piece of jewelry. It was slightly overwhelming, but it was worth it. I was thrilled that I could come in with most any idea and turn it into reality.

For two years, that class was my lifeline. It wasn’t just the making of the jewelry that brought me such joy. It was the people I shared the studio with. They became my community and I’m still with them as a portion of my training. I continued taking the class through many life events. My mom passed away, I met my husband and married him, I switched jobs. But in the end it wasn’t just meant to be something that pulled me through different life events. This was what inspired me and filled me up. It’s what I’m meant to do. I love designing and creating jewelry for people that will make them happy and that they will have with them for the rest of their lives. I love getting to know my clients, thinking about them and what’s important to them as I create a piece of jewelry that will become part of their daily lives. It’s great to know that something that makes me so happy is also making other people happy as they are wearing it.

A FEW of the people from my studio...

A FEW of the people from my studio…

So there you have it, a little bit more about me. You can find my current collection at JuliaParkerDesigns.com or you can contact me at julia@juliaparkerdesigns.com to work on creating a custom piece just for you and your loved ones. I look forward to working with you soon!

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3 Comments On “How to get here…”

  1. I Love this post, Julia!!! Thank you:) XOXO, Cin

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  2. What a great beginning to an exciting lifelong journey!

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  3. I am delighted to know that the Julia I knew years ago, has put her talent in it’s happy place. I’m so proud of you, love your designs and so sorry I am just now finding your web page. You needed to brag. I especially love the wiggle bracelets and the wrapped stones…will pass this on to others. Congratulations!Libba

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