Saturday, September 14, 2013

Studio Saturday with Erin Siegel

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard.
The following week we choose a random winner.

This week's winner is Kayz Kreationz. Congratulations! You have won a set of bittersweet disk beads from Heather Powers of Humble Beads.
  Send Heather an email with your address and she will get your prize out to you soon.
This week we visit the studio of
Erin Siegel of Erin Siegel Jewelry

Hello! Right now, I'm working on magazine submissions. Today, I invite you inside my studio to take a sneak peek at the materials I'm creating with for the Spring 2014 issue of Jewelry Stringing Magazine! It's time to submit jewelry designs for next year's Spring issue, now. And yep, I'm actually sharing with you exactly what I'm working on for the pieces I plan to submit to the magazine. That might seem kinda crazy, but I embrace the idea of freely sharing information that might help someone else find success in getting published. I thought it'd be fun to do a little show and tell to give you a glimpse of my process. I hope this information will help other designers feel more confident about creating jewelry for publication.

Getting your jewelry published can be a tricky thing. Personally, I find that challenge fun! There's absolutely no guarantee that anything I make will be selected. All I can do is try my best to follow the magazine's guidelines, let the themes and color palettes provided inspire ideas for my designs and stay true to my own style, esthetic and creative process

Jewelry Stringing is one of my all-time favorite beading magazines. I'm intrigued and captivated by the themes and color palettes the editors come up with to inspire their contributing designers. Come join me now and get a taste for what I'm working on and my process for creating jewelry pieces for this particular magazine. I hope to inspire you to work on your own creations as well and submit your designs.

Jewelry Stringing provides guidelines, themes and color palettes for each one of their upcoming issues. You can find the full details and guidelines for submission here. I've provided some of the information for the Spring 2014 issue here in this post.

The first theme and color palette for Spring 2014 is "Soft Jewelry". (The following description is taken from the guidelines on the magazine's website.)
Soft Jewelry
Leather, ribbon, cord, thread, embroidery floss, and fabric are most commonly used as stringing materials and structural components in jewelry pieces, but they also lend themselves to creative and compelling focal elements. Submissions in this category will range in style, but they should all include fibers, textiles, or leather as a prominent design feature. Consider highlighting these materials through techniques like knotting, braiding, and wrapping, or incorporating current trends like fringe or tassels into your designs.
See their Pinterest inspiration board for this palette at:
So, here's what I've chosen to work with for this theme:
As you can see, I've matched up pretty well with the first two colors in the palette provided. You do not have to use all the colors in the suggested palette, but at least one color in your design should match up. I chose these African trade beads in "Teal" from For additional color, texture and the fiber elements needed for the theme, I hand-knotted the beads on multiple strands of Irish Waxed linen cord in "Sunflower". Then, I'll pair the knotted beads with some brown Greek leather cord to complete the design.

The second theme and color palette for Spring 2014 is "Spring Greens". (The following description is taken from the guidelines on the magazine's website.)
Spring Greens
If there is one color that ubiquitously represents springtime, it has to be green. Fresh leaves sprout from the trees, grass peeks out from beneath snowdrifts, and budding shoots speckle our garden beds. From subdued mossy shades to high-energy lime tones, each piece in this category will celebrate spring in all its green glory.
See their Pinterest inspiration board for this palette at:

Here are some materials I've chosen to use for this palette and theme:
 Shimmer Floss Ribbon, Czech glass beads, Irish waxed linen and a gold button.
I've got some hand-painted Shimmer Floss ribbon in "Grandma Moses" from, green, faceted Czech glass beads, Irish Waxed Linen in "Dark Forest Green" from Jewelry Accord and a matte gold button from the fabric store. In this palette, I did want to match up with as many of the green colors as I could. The hand-painted shimmer floss helps me pull quite a few of the green tones in the palette with just that one element. I'll pull in the darkest green color with the waxed linen cord. Then, I'll pair the fibers with the contrasting finish of the faceted Czech glass beads and the button for balance and interest in the piece.

The third theme for Spring 2014 is "Monochromatic".  (The following description is taken from the guidelines on the magazine's website.)

In honor of our annual color issue, we are inviting our contributors to create monochromatic pieces in the color of their choice. While creating a piece in a single color simplifies the process of selecting color-coordinated materials, it makes the other design elements of the piece more visible. Balance, proportion, and symmetry are often accomplished through clever color combinations. Without the aid of a varied palette, designers must rely on their other skills to create well-executed, interesting, and attractive jewelry. We know that you are up to the challenge, so pick a color and show us what you've got!
See their Pinterest inspiration board for this section at:

Below is the color I've decided to go with for monochromatic:

Grey Opaque Matte size 8 seed beads from ShipWreck Beads.

Yep, Grey. Might not seem too exciting. Why in the world would I choose grey out of all the beautiful colors of the rainbow? Well, the design I want to make for this category will be elegant, sophisticated  and a little bit moody. That description could not be farther from how I would describe my usual style. I've decided to go in this direction because the color and look I have in mind is a total deviation from the esthetic I would normally create. It's fun to try different styles and show some range in my work. That is very exciting to me! :) I'm going to incorporate these opaque, matte grey seed beads from into my jewelry piece by stringing them on multiple strands of grey waxed linen cord. The multiple strands of these seed beads will provide texture and visual interest to a monochromatic design.

Last, but not least, the fourth theme for Spring 2014 is "Bead Soup". (The following description is taken from the guidelines on the magazine's website.)
Bead Soup
In contrast to the previous theme, the pieces in this section will be packed with colors-the more the better! We are challenging you to use as many different colors as possible in your submissions for this category, but be careful that you aren't sacrificing cohesion or wear-ability for variety. Tip: Successful "bead soup" pieces often have a unifying characteristic that runs throughout each design (ie: consistent bead size, shape, finish or material; a repeated technique; a specific theme or motif; etc.). 
See our Pinterest inspiration board for this section at:

Here are some beads I pulled from my stash for this category:
Seed beads from and a handmade ceramic bead set by Keith O'Connor.
One hank of "All Mixed Up" size 8 Czech seed beads from Shipwreck Beads and a graduated ceramic bead set from ceramic artist, Keith O'Connor. I can't think of a better way to get more colors in than these fantastic seed bead mixes! They remind me a lot of the African "Christmas" or "Love" trade beads, which would also be a great choice for this theme. If you take a look at the Pinterest board for this category above, there are images of African beadwork. So, obviously those would be an ideal selection!

I hope you've enjoyed following along with me on my journey to creating jewelry for the Spring 2014 issue of Jewelry Stringing magazine. I want to inspire you with ideas that you can use in your own jewelry. If you'd like to try submitting your designs, here is the deadline information and submission guidelines you'll need to know:

E-mailed pre-submissions are due September 26th, 2013; physical submissions are due October 10th, 2013.
For the rest of the submissions instructions and specifics, please read through the Contributor Guidelines in their entirety here.

Do you submit your jewelry to any beading magazines?
Would you like to see your designs published? 
Why or why not?

"Envious" Color Cord Mix from Jewelry Accord

Leave a comment answering any of the above questions and you will be entered for a chance to win an Irish Waxed Linen Cord Color Mix courtesy of the Jewelry Accord shop on Etsy!

By the way, this green color cord mix from Jewelry Accord would be an excellent material choice for jewelry project submissions to the  "Spring Greens" color palette shown above!

Happy Beading!

Erin Siegel is a jewelry designer, beading instructor and co-author of the jewelry book, Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry: 50 Designs Using Leather, Ribbon and Cords. To find out more, visit her blog: Erin Siegel Jewelry.


Divya N said...

I love submitting to jewelry magazines because they have specific guidelines that make you create something thats different from what you usually do - be it new materials or combinations. Plus the attention is great, I loved being featured in 101BNE this year

Karen Totten said...

Great color palettes and textures! I can't wait to see what you make.

Erin S said...

I publish a lot--I always submit to Stringing, but I MUCH prefer their old submission format, which allowed for complete creative freedom. I don't mind working with a theme, and I don't mind working with a color pallet, but if I have to do both at once, I find it incredibly limiting. And it really shows in my work. I have had a much harder time getting anything accepted in the past year. I am submitting 2 necklaces and a couple pairs of earrings for this issue. Maybe I'll have better luck.

Cynthia Deis said...

Those ideas are fabulous...and now I know what NOT to submit! ;-0

I know they love your work, and rightfully so.

Patty said...

I haven't ever submitted anything, but that's not to say I won't in the future. It's kind of intimidating!! Your spring greens are gorgeous. :-)

thecolorofdreams said...

I love the shimmer floss ribbon! I had a pair of earrings that were requested by a magazine, but they were not selected to be published. I guess that I was discouraged by that and have not tried again.

Susan Delaney said...

Let me first say that this was a wonderful blog post. Beautiful, generous prose. I loved the way you accepted the four challenges, all of which were going to stretch you.

I have begun to take on challenges, like the ABS monthly challenge, and others. My first challenge was very painful, but as I continue to accept challenges I see how much I grow with each one and I seek them eagerly.

Your post showed me a whole new type of challenge: creating pieces for magazine themes. I am excited at the thought of beginning to add these challenges to my monthly growth.

Sarajo Wentling said...

I would love to get something published but I haven't taken the leap to try yet. This is my first year really making my hobby more of a real business, so I'm going to cut myself some slack... I've accomplished so many goals already this year already!

I think that part of the appeal of getting published would be wider exposure of my work... and (and I know this sounds cheesy) it would make my mom super proud!

I love how Susan equates the submission guidelines to other design challenges (which I may be addicted to!). Maybe looking at it that way might help me make the leap.

Kristen said...

Twice I have submitted my enameled components to Stringing for the yearly buyers guide and got accepted. Very exciting! (My bracelet bar clasps are #5 on page 13) The beads you have chosen for the soft color palette are beautiful and the design specs are right up your alley! Good luck.

Saraccino said...

I would love to see my work published but I never submitted anything yet. I am still a little bit struggling and I need more confidence. Also... I create next to my normal work and working in research quite often makes my schedule unpredictable... that makes is difficult to keep to deadline :)

But it is on my to-do list (ever growing) since one or two years, just have to do it and try!

Cathy's Fiber Expressions said...

I'm too much of a newbie to submit--my work is very derivative at this point.
I enjoy your work and appreciate this post.

Shel said...

Erin, you always have such great information and you share it in such a way that truly encourages people to step out of their box and 'go for it' - I admire that in you!
I've submitted many designs to various magazines - some got accepted and some did not. With magazines doing their best to keep things fresh and new, it's rather a 'luck of the draw' type of thing, and I understand where you're coming from when you say you like that part of the 'challenge'. Oh, and I love that you picked the muted shade of gray for your monochromatic color - fabulous! Thanks for such a great article!

Ann said...

I have done blog hops, but never submitted to a magazine. Probably because I feel that my work is not professional enough. Crazy, but that is it!

Shaiha said...

I am just now getting to the point to where I would be comfortable apply to magazines. I think my biggest hang up would be having to write up a tutorial. I tend to design as I cook with a dab of this and a bit of that.

Carolyn said...


I have never submitted anything but would like to in the future. I love to do challenges and blog hops so will have to think about submissions in that way.

Thanks for the chance to win some cording from your shop.


Debra Gibson said...

I have never submitted any of my work but I hope to do so one day. I have a blog and I post on Facebook. Thanks for the chance to win! I love Erin's work!