Swirly Base Ring

This beautiful ring is the perfect answer to setting a faceted point-back rectangular or square stone. It is highly recommended using a transparent stone so that the intricate work can be seen through. [button href="http://www.jewelrylessons.com/tutorial/swirly-base-ring" size="large" textcolor="#ffffff"]Learn how to make this ring![/button]

This tutorial was classified as Advanced because it takes quite a bit of fiddling to get the cradle just right for the faceted stone!

Amethyst faceted stone, Rose goldfilled wire

Copyright 2014 Eni Oken

Ribbon Heart

This is yet another one of my heart paintings, this one exploring ribbons. The original image was inked on paper, then scanned and painted digitally using Procreate software. Normally I like to create deep 3D shading using pencil and a blending stump, but with this app I am able to reproduce the effect identically (it even has a little blending tool).

Learn how to create amazing Zentangle® • enioken.com

Learn how to create amazing Zentangle® • enioken.com

Learn how to create amazing Zentangle® • enioken.com

Learn how to create amazing Zentangle® • enioken.com

Here is the original line-art:

Learn how to create amazing Zentangle® • enioken.com

Learn how to create amazing Zentangle® • enioken.com

Copyright 2014 Eni Oken

Pink Daisy Pendant

This sweet pink daisy pendant is a design that I have enjoyed making for many years. I am finally coming around to making a tutorial on it. It's a fun design that is always well received when gifted! The center coin stone rose quartz, surrounded by sterling silver and pink topaz faceted rondelles.

[button href="http://www.jewelrylessons.com/tutorial/pink-daisy-pendant" size="large" textcolor="#ffffff"]Want to learn how to make this?[/button]

Copyright 2014 Eni Oken

Carved Doodle Heart

This Carved Heart was created in inked line art and shaded using pencil+blending techniques. [clear]

I liked the results so much I made a tutorial on how to shade the various elements, one step at a time.

Shading a doodle can turn a line drawing into a fabulous carved heart

[button href="https://transactions.sendowl.com/products/88892/EF30A02A/add_to_cart" size="large" textcolor="#ffffff"]Get the PDF tutorial - $9.00[/button]

EU Customers: Get it at my Etsy Shop

The tutorial has 19 pages and 41 Illustrations, showing step by step how to shade a doodle heart drawing. Includes the line art for you to try it yourself!



  • Regular HB Pencils
  • 6B Pencil
  • Clean Blending Stump
  • Dirty Blending Stump
  • Inking Pens
  • Micro Eraser (or a thin slice of regular white eraser)


This is not a video tutorial. You must be familiar with some basic drawing skills such as ink line drawing, and also how to use a pencil and blending stump.


Look what a difference shading can make on a drawing:



All of my ebooks are digitally enhanced so that you can see exactly which steps to take:

Copyright 2014 Eni Oken




Drawing process of "Worm Heart"

I've been experimenting with digital painting, and these are my latest results. I wanted to create an example of a heart design with several terminals. wormheart_EniOken600

To produce the picture "Worm Heart" (don't you like the little pun?), I first started with an ink drawing over paper. I avoided adding any shading using pencil this time, since I wanted to see how it would work using the app.


After the sketch was ready, I simply photographed it using my Ipad. The image was then brought into a fun app I'm trying out called Procreate, which is very similar to Adobe Photoshop. I experimented with various painting apps on the ipad, and my two favorites so far are Procreate and Sketch Club.  They are both pretty similar, but I find the interface of Procreate to be cleaner and faster.

I'm using an Adonit Ipad pen, which is a pressure sensitive pen on the Ipad, and that makes it easier to paint. It's not quite as responsive as a tablet connected to the computer, but the convenience of painting on the Ipad is worth it.

In Procreate, I created several layers and painted the shading first. By shading in grey scale, it really allows you to see what you want to enhance. The shading is what makes the image look three-dimensional, but this is not a 3D-program, it's all painting effect.


Finally, after that, I added another few layers and painted the colors. The colored layer looks a little messy when seen by itself, because some of the coloring simulates bounce light on the picture.


Here are also two work in progress screens captured from Procreate:











I hope you like it! You can see larger pictures here: Worm Heart.



Worm Heart

This a digital painting, experimenting with an Ipad app called Procreate. Similar to Photoshop, very fun to use, for the ipad, you can see two work-in-progress screen captures here too. The image was originally drawn in ink over paper, then scanned into the ipad and colorized.

Ink drawing over paper; digital painting.

Copyright 2014 Eni Oken

How to increase depth in a doodle drawing

photo_heart_explained700When drawing a whimsical drawing or doodle, there are a few things you can do to make the entire design look a little bit more 3-dimensional: 1) Add drop shadow Drop shadow is the easiest way to create dimensionality of an item right away. Essentially, it simulates the shadow that is cast down from the object.

2) Object Shading This is the second easiest way to give dimensionality to a surface. Thinking of the entire object, shade or color the EDGES darker as to give a rounded effect.

3) Highlight shaded object To increase the shininess of a surface, add a white highlight (if you are coloring with pencil, then you can use a dab of acrylic paint or even leave some highlight spots uncolored.

4) Overlapping objects Whenever possible, try to overlap objects so that they appear in front of others, covering the ones in the back only partially. If you add the drop shadow on the objects that are in front, these two effects will greatly enhance the dimensional feeling of the picture.

5) Warm colors advance, cool colors recceed If you plan to color your doodle drawing, then use mostly warm colors (red, orange, pink, yellow) on the objects you want to stand out; use mostly cool colors (green, blue, purple) on objects which you want to stay in the background or behind others.

View the original image here.



Heart on a plate

I create this drawing of a whimsical heart back in January 2013 and asked my Mom to add it as a decal on to her ceramics. We worked on this joint project for a few months now, she made several plates by hand, with the idea of giving them as presents to our loved ones on this Mother's day of 2014. Mind you, the interesting part is that my mother lives in Brazil, so I emailed her the scanned image and she had it printed in special ceramics decal down there. Turned out awesome!!!!

Image Copyright 2013 Eni Oken

Ceramics by Sueli Epstein

Heart on a wall

Heart on a wall digital painting by Eni OkenThis is an experimental digital painting: I sketched the heart out very simply, and painted over with an Ipad app called Procreate.  This is a regular painting program similar to Photoshop, it is not 3D. I wanted to see if I could simulate gold just using 2-dimensional brushes, and I'm happy with the results. [clear]

"Heart on a wall" - Digital Painting

Copyright 2014 Eni Oken

Julie's Pendant

Learn how to create great wire-wrapped jewelry with Eni Oken • enioken.com Learn how to create great wire-wrapped jewelry with Eni Oken • enioken.com This pretty pendant was made as a gift to someone very special. The center stone is larimar, surrounded by two kinds of gemstone grade topaz and turquoise, all set in sterling silver.

The center of this pendant is made with a Net Bezel. Want to learn how to make it?



©Copyright 2014 Eni Oken


New tutorial: What to do with pretty pebbles

EniOken_BrokentriangleMy father in law loves to collect rocks. He brings them from his trips and tumbles them into a shiny polish, painstakingly changing the water and grit for many weeks. When they finally come out of the tumbler, they feel just marvelous, so smooth and shiny. I love that he spends so much time working on them, and to me they are more precious than gemstones, they are priceless. However, one of the problems with these tumbled pebbles is that other than profound sentimental value, they have little other "perceived" monetary value. So I thought of a design for these pebble (which consequently became the "Broken Triangle" tutorial) which can greatly enhance a simple stone by converting it into a geometric shape, surrounded by tons of precious materials.

What is "Perceived Value"?

In marketing, the "Customer Perceived Value" is usually defined as the value the Customer feels an item has, and their evaluation of all the benefits they think an item or service might offer, in comparison to actual cost or in comparison with other alternatives.

In the industry of jewelry-making this is an important concept since Jewelry, by it's very definition, is almost always associated with a valuable and precious item. Most jewelry is passed down as heirloom or carefully collected, or even bought for the value of the materials.

Perceived Value depends largely on the type of customer you are selling to. If your audience is young and hip, their notion of what is valuable might include designs from the latest designers, while an older audience who might be interested in classics with more valuable materials.

Not only age affects the perceived value: a prospect buyer who has knowledge of jewelry making techniques will perceive a complex labor-intensive hand woven piece as being much more valuable and precious than a commercially produced piece.

Perceived Value is sometimes NOT the actual value

Your choice of materials will always have a huge influence on how valuable a piece is perceived. If two designs have similar kind of workmanship and design, then the material will play the ultimate defining role in increasing perceived value. For example, precious gemstones will always appear to have higher perceived value than glass beads or even crystal, even if the latter offers higher quality cut and cost more to acquire. Metal wire will always be valued higher than organic materials such as cord or leather. Silver wire will appear more valuable than copper or craft wire.

Even if the actual price of the lesser materials is actually HIGHER than the one perceived as more valuable, there is a certain "hierarchy" of perceived value when it comes to materials. "Perceived Value" is not about the ACTUAL cost of an item, it is just that, the PERCEIVED notion, which can vary depending on the person.

How to increase Perceived Value

If you understand your particular audience well, and you know what is valuable to them, then you will find the right way to increase the perceived value of your pieces.

EniOken_Brokentriangle_perceived_value1Here are a few suggestions:

1) Increase the metal! As a general rule, pieces which have more metal will, most of the time, appear to be more precious than those which do not. Anything that you can do to increase the amount of metal around a piece will help. This includes findings, caps, frames and bezels around beads and stones.

2) Add some precious items to the mix If you are working with a focal item which does not have apparent perceived value such as these tumbled pebbles, then add some precious gemstones to the mix. Carefully added, precious materials will ENHANCE a lesser material, and bring the entire piece up to a higher perceived value.

3) Add more repetitive elements or beads A large number of small beads or other repetitive elements in a piece can increase the perceived value of an item. This has nothing to do with the amount of work put in, it is simply the fact that humans can count: when we see many elements or beads together -- more than can be counted easily -- we tend to bunch these groups together as "Oh, more than I can count, it's a large quantity", and naturally increase the perceived value.

4) Increase the apparent work done over Use extensive weaving, coiling, granulation or netting on a piece which lacks perceived value. These details will work in similar way as #3. When we see an enormous amount of repetition in the labor, our minds can admire the labor that was put into the piece.

All these ideas were incorporated into the design of the Broken triangle pendant design. A simple tumbled stone was first set in a netted bezel (suggestion #4), with some precious stones to fill in the fractured portion (suggestion #2), with a border of numerous tiny metallic beads (suggestion 3), this way increasing the amount of metal added (suggestion #1).


Here's a link to the Broken Triangle tutorial. Until May 2014 is available only for JL's Premium Members, but should be available to the general public shortly afterwards.


Another Example:

This is another example of a simple tumbled pebble greatly enhanced by the same type of work. In this example, extensive wire-wrapping was added on top of the pebble -- the the point where it almost hides the stone too much. Lots of metal, some precious stones and tons of tiny detail.



To see more pictures of this pendant, click here.


Heart #2

This whimsical heart is heavily influenced by doodle patterns. In recent years, a wonderful new movement led by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas has re-vitalized doodle art through their meditative drawing method named Zentangle(R). As a huge fanatic of ornamental patterns and line art, it is a joy to see a new appreciation for this type of drawing. The line art was created in ink pen over paper, then scanned in and painted using a digital painting app.

Notice how the original was sketched reversed. In the end, I thought it looked better with the heart on the left side. What do you think?

Note: Zentagle(R) Method is a trademark of the name and the teaching method, NOT the style of drawing or the patterns, which cannot be copyrighted.

"Heart" - 2014 - Ink over paper and Digital painting

Copyright 2014 Eni Oken

Leaf ring

This sweet little metal clay ring was made for a friend as a gift. Right after she opened the package I realized I had not taken a photograph of it. So I shot it right there with my phone. Not bad for phone photos, right! ©Copyright Eni Oken

What should I learn first, jewelry technique or jewelry design?

confusedsquare A beginner comes to me and asks: if I want to create jewelry, what should I learn first, jewelry technique or jewelry design?

First of all, let me congratulate you for asking this particular question. The great majority of people interested in making jewelry are NOT going to ask it: the most common route is to just find how-to video or tutorial on the web, get some tools at the nearby craft store and start making jewelry. There is nothing wrong with this approach, in fact, it shows great hands-on initiative.

However, if you dream of DESIGNING your own jewelry, then you might want to consider taking a slightly different and yet more planned out route. So I'm offering a map road for you here:

1) Decide if you want to be a jewelry designer, jewelry artist, or just hobbyist

Before deciding on any type of design or technique, think about WHAT YOU WANT TO DO with the jewelry you create. Do you want to actually make each unique piece yourself and sell your pieces (hopefully for a lot of money)? Then you might want to follow the route of a 'jewelry artist', someone who usually creates one-of-a-kind complex pieces. Or do you want to only design and farm out the construction of pieces, selling multiple designs in stores and boutiques? This is the route a jewelry designer takes, someone who has the potential of developing more ideas because they don't spend time constructing the pieces.

Both jewelry artist and jewelry designer can earn a fair amount of prestige, but they produce radically different products and cater to different audiences. A jewelry designer will typically produce more designs, sell them in mass to boutiques and therefore might produce simpler pieces, more suitable for a large audience. A jewelry artist tends to produce one of a kind pieces, or limited edition reproductions, therefore prices are higher for each piece, catering for an older audience with more discretionary money to spend. And finally, if you want to make jewelry just as a hobbyist and not for sale, then you have the choice of mass producing or creating one of a kind, depending on your whim.

2) SELECT A FEW jewelry-making techniques first

Did you notice that I highlighted the words select a few? This doesn't mean choose any old technique and jump right in. Surf the web and see find examples of jewelry pieces that you absolutely love. Once you find a few designs that speak to you, try to find out what technique the artist used to create them.

Remember that most jewelry artists and designers are familiar with  wide array of techniques. For example, a One-of-a-Kind jewelry artist might work with silversmithing, beading, wire wrapping and lampworking (glass beads). A designer on the other hand, might want to be familiar with stone setting, fine jewelry silversmithing, or lost wax and mold-making, which are typical techniques used in mass production.

3) Think about what you want to design

Once you've decided if you want to be a jewelry artist, a designer or hobbyist, AND you've found out more or less what kind of techniques you need to learn, spend some time thinking about the actual designs, and sketch ideas.

If you have formal background training, that will really come in handy. The idea is to come up with some drawings of your own, that is, designs that you want to develop. Make sure to keep a steady flow of ideas in a creativity journal, so that you can exercise those design muscles, and to have a wide variety of options to choose from. If you have no artistic background or are just plain running out of ideas, then you might want to try my creativity series Think & Design Jewelry, which will for sure help you to fill up those journals with tons of ideas. Try to fill up your journals with ideas and sketches which correspond to the techniques you selected in Step 2.

4) Time to learn technique!

Now you know what you want to be, you know more or less the techniques you want to learn, and you have a few sketches of what you want to construct. Time to learn your technique! NOW you can surf the web and look for the right tutorials or live classes which will help you to reach your goals. Aside from browsing for live videos in Youtube, you might also want to check out the numerous PDF tutorials available online. JewelryLessons.com is the site I founded and includes many of my own tutorials and of over 200 talented teachers.

Did you notice one thing? That neither technique or design came first. To really be able to design your own line of jewelry, you must think of TECHNIQUE AND DESIGN TOGETHER.

If you have comments or questions about this topic, I welcome your input here! Or if you prefer to ask me questions via email, then just send me a message through Eazy Communities Helpdesk. Good luck with your career path!



Further reading: Think & Design Jewelry series by Eni Oken: a series of hands-on creativity tutorials for jewelry makers. This is about learning solid concepts about jewelry design, through fun, practical exercises.

JewelryLessons.com: an online community and marketplace of online tutorials distributed in PDF ebook format.


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