Taking Care of Yourself While Making Handcrafted Jewelry
It’s easy to get so caught up in making that beautiful new piece of handcrafted jewelry that we forget to take proper care of our most important tool - our bodies! There are some things we can do to end a jewelry-making session feeling less cramped, strained, exhausted and dehydrated.
1. Choose a comfortable place to work
Some people like working at a table, desk or workbench while others prefer working on a tray in their lap. Whichever you choose, make sure you’re working at a comfortable height. You shouldn’t be hunched over your work; nor should it require you to keep your shoulders raised in order to reach it. An adjustable chair will let you sit at the most comfortable height for your particular workspace.
If you prefer working on a tray in your lap, look for a tray with an attached beanbag pillow. If you can’t find one of those, try setting your tray on a pillow in your lap. The tray should sit high enough that you don’t find yourself hunched over it to work.
2. Make sure you have good lighting
It’s important that the place you choose has good lighting. Natural lighting is best, but if you do most of your work after dark, there are some great lamps available which are adjustable to just the right angle to best see your work. Using a daylight bulb will allow you to see the true colors of the beads so there won’t be any unpleasant surprises once the piece is finished.
3. Take frequent breaks
Take a break every 20-30 minutes. Our eyes can easily be strained when working on tiny or glittery objects, so look at something larger and farther away every 20 minutes. This will allow your eyes to relax and refocus; you’ll see better when you get back to work and end the day with less eyestrain. A high quality magnifier like the OptiVisor can also help reduce eyestrain. Your other muscles also need a chance to relax and stretch. Stretching is particularly important for your hands. Flex and straighten your fingers to help relieve them of cramps. Stand up and walk around for a couple of minutes to get your circulation going. This is a great time to get a drink and maybe a snack. It’s easy to forget to eat and drink while making jewelry and dehydration will affect your ability to think clearly.
If you forget to take breaks, try setting an alarm - especially one that is persistent and won’t quit on its own. Oven timers work great for that!
Try these tips and you may find yourself getting more work done with less strain on your body at your next jewelry-making session. If you want even more helpful tips, contact us and don't forget to check out our blog; it’s full of helpful information.