Hi there!

I'm Eni Oken, artist and author of hundreds of articles, tutorials and books in print and online. For over 30 years I've explored art, color theory, fantasy and ornamental design.

Certified Zentangle® Teacher

Certified Zentangle® Teacher

Where do Jewelry Design Ideas come from?

If you google jewelry design or jewelry sketching or jewelry making, you will literally get hundreds of thousands of hits. Tutorials, videos, online classes, live classes, graduate programs. They will teach you to construct jewelry, different techniques of modeling, casting, forming, silversmithing, beading, finishing, gem polishing, metal clay sculpting, you name it. In some of the higher end courses which usually cost tens of thousands of dollars, they'll even teach you how to render gorgeous illustrations of finished jewelry and to model the jewelry using CAD (computer aided design).

They will teach you color theory and teach you how to sketch an item on top and lateral views, or in perspective. Some of the most conscious designers will say: keep a journal or notebook of ideas, which I fully endorse.

However, I'm yet to find an online course that will teach you where those ideas for jewelry design ACTUALLY come from! I scouted the web and also Amazon, my local library. I couldn't find a good book that would teach a person how to THINK creatively in terms of jewelry design.

If you ask a jewelry artist where they get ideas, they'll say, "Oh, from nature, from italian renaissance, from historical sources, from my own surroundings". But they'll never explain how that process actually works!

I have taken a few jewelry workshops and also given quite a few live classes. Some classes I took have specific projects for the students; other teach only technique and the teacher let's the student go with their own design. In those types of classes, time and time again I see the same look on the beginner's face: now that I know this technique, what am I going to do with it? What shall I create? I see them looking around to their colleagues working industriously on sanding or finishing, and feeling bewildered and lost.

This is how the idea for the Think and Design Jewelry series came about. I know the basics of design, I know color theory, I know how to come up with designs. I attribute it largely to years of experience working in the art and design (not just jewelry, but also fantasy, costume, toys, arts and crafts, painting) and to my architectural background.

I also know how to teach someone how to come up with good ideas. When I was working in fantasy design and video games, I taught classes on how to come up with unusual fantasy designs, which involves a whole process of development.

I felt that it was such a shame to have all this knowledge on how to come up with great ideas, and not pass it on to others who did not have all this time of experience and background.

So there you have it: an series of lessons which teaches you how to COME UP WITH IDEAS for jewelry design, totally hands-on, with practical exercises, and which will remove for once and for all the old question: where do all these design ideas come from?


What kind of jewelry designer are you?