It’s hard to believe I can find inspiration in this mess! There are a few sketches on my bulletin board.

People often ask me if I design my pieces before I make them or do  I design as I work. I apply both methods, but more often than not a have some sort of sketch that I work from. They are usually just doodles that I make for myself rather than precise drawings. Some times ideas pop into my mind and I quickly put them on a napkin, paper bag, Post-it note or whatever else I can find, before they just as quickly pop back out of my mind!

I don’t worry if I am relieved when the finished piece doesn’t look like the drawing…




This looks like a 3rd grader did it and I don’t even care ;)

Front of Amada Daniel's graduation pendant

Front of Amada Daniel’s graduation pendant

and the back... Perfect for a soon to be Marine biologist!

and the back… Perfect for a soon to be Marine biologist!



My sister Brenda is the artist in our family. (Check out some of her artwork.) It is because of her that I started making jewelry. She was taking a jewelry class in college that was going to be cancelled due to low enrollment. The teacher asked me to sign up.

I really didn’t  want to sign up because it was a college ART class and I wasn’t good at art…. (Yeah, obviously you can tell from the sketches, that I still can’t draw very well.) but I didn’t want them to have to cancel. To my surprise, jewelry making was really fun! So after years of practice and help from a lot of really talented teachers, I can make jewelry! I don’t know if it was fate, luck, just being in the right place at the right time, or perhaps even divine intervention, but I’m really glad that I took that first class!

I was sketching as the lady that ordered the charm was telling me what she wanted.... No I certainly didn't show it to her!



Take a look at a few of these sketches and judge the drawing talent for yourself! I was doing the scarecrow charm “artwork” as a customer  was telling me what she wanted on the phone…. No, I certainly did NOT show it to her!


I love to doodle!

I love to doodle!


Below are pictures of a belt buckle I made for my Dad in 1986 when we lived in Spokane Washington. The sketch came out pretty good on this one but as you can see, there are some changes when it got to the proto type. I had to take a black and white picture to a print maker to have to prototype done. From the prototype I made a vulcanized rubber mold and then cast it in sterling silver. All this was done by hand, before I ever even thought about a computer! Times have changed and so have I. I used to worry about every detail and beat myself up for real and imagined flaws and inadequacies. (Okay I admit it, sometimes I still berate myself, but I try to tell Mary, Mary Quite Contrary to zip it!) The perfectionist inside of me didn’t strive for excellence because I wanted to improve my craft, the perfectionist was driven by the fear of being judged and not measuring up. Now I don’t worry as much about what I can and can’t do. I don’t worry if there are people out there that are better at art, more talented at making jewelry, can write a better blog post (and actually get it published once a week) or market their art like a  pro.

I love my Dad!

I love my Dad!


My goals now are to make fun art with my friends, make art jewelry that people enjoy wearing, and to teach and inspire other people to have fun making jewelry too!






This is the prototype. Dad has the Silver belt buckle.

This is the prototype. Dad has the Silver belt buckle.


Copyright © Mary M. Ehlers, Good Muse Designs 2015. All rights reserved.