Thursday, June 10, 2010

Time to start the ride...

Welcome to the Willo Wire blog. My name is John Dearden and I reside in downtown Phoenix Arizona in the Willo district (which is part of the reason why I used Willo for my business name and blog).

I love to create jewelry from old, recycled/found items, combine it with the new, and add a little dash of fun. This is all very new to me-the jewelry making, blog writing and setting up my Etsy shop (I will start posting items in 2 to 3 weeks). During this journey into being more creative, I will be looking for what “my” style, voice and artistic soul looks like. Part of this site is for me to find and talk about my creative side and about all those other things that have captured my interest. Over the years I have found many. I would also like to share what I will learn during this adventure of finding myself and also to learn from those who wish to participate here.

I received my artistic spirit from my mother who was fearless in trying new things. My father was a great wood carver and an inventor of useful creations. I also want to include my wife, Vivian, who has opened my eyes the most due to her very creative spirit, art projects, bird houses and other wonderful items she has made. Below is her Hopes & Dreams box that she made.

My creative adventure really started last year when we participated in a class at a venue called, Art Unraveled, here in Phoenix. (For 2010, it will be held between August 3rd to August 10th; I will be there for 2 classes). My instructor was Richard Salley and that started me on my way. I never had such fun -- There was etching material, soldering pieces together and a little old fashioned beating the daylights out of the metal. That was a blast and I have my wife to thank for that.

I  participated in 2 craft shows so far (Coffee, Cookies and Crafts in Phoenix and 2nd Fridays in downtown Mesa) and that was a lot of fun and also challenging at the same time. Some of my thoughts at the time were: (will they like my work, will they think it is stupid, is the price too much, should I stop wasting my time with making jewelry, am I even a real artist?)
Copper bracelet with steel, brass rivets and sterling silver links in between.

Now that I have been creating jewelry for a little while and love it, I have decided to open my Etsy shop - Willowire - to sell some of my pieces. Now, I have a lot of experience in selling on Ebay but I was not sure about creating an Etsy store. So I was asking myself where to start? Unless you have some really creative friends who know what to do or know someone who is already selling on there, it is a little difficult and scary to start this process. I wondered to myself if this was the right thing to do or for that matter, what to do and how.

So now I also have another special person to thank and I have only seen her pictures and art online. Her name is Kelly Rae Roberts. My wife found this inspiring E-class through her searchings on Facebook. Kelly Rae’s 5 week class is called, “Flying Lessons” and is exactly what I needed at this point in my life. I have just finished week 1 of the class and it has given me so much in the way of inspiration and a feeling that I can do this. On her website is a brief description of what the class is all about.

  • Week 1 & 2 will be about creating an effective online presence via blogs, website and social networking.
  • Week 3 & 4 will focus on selling strategies online and off and finally,
  • Week 5 is about recharging ourselves, our souls and other creative ways of income.

This is just a very brief description of what the class is about but you can go to it at:

IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO SIGN UP. There is so much information to read and there are wonderful links. You can meet others around the globe who are also taking this class. The fee is only $99.00 and after only 1 week, I have received my money's worth! (And I still have 4 more weeks to go....)

Since starting this class, I have decided that: I am going to set up a Blog and eventually a website. I am going to start posting on Etsy in 3 weeks. I am willing to take chances on my artistic ability now and in the future and that I AM AN ARTIST. It may not be in a style that everyone else thinks or likes but it is who I am.

So onward to the future and what ever it brings for me and to all those I have yet to meet. Thanks for checking me out and I hope to hear from you who also have a passion to create.



  1. HI John!
    I am Stacie from the class...welcome to the wonderful world of jewelry..I don't know how many of us are in the class, but I am finding Kelly's tips and knowledge extremely helpful. I started making metal jewelry about 3 years ago and haven't looked back. Shout at me if you have any questions or just need to connect to another jewelry person!

  2. this is great!! many congrats to you for taking the leap! your work is awesome and I think etsy is perfect! keep moving forward!


  3. Way to go, Johnny! You ARE an artist and we love all of your work. Keep creating!! love, jackie, Michael, Alexis and Renee

  4. Hi Johnny I'm so impressed. :)

  5. Thank you everyone for your support. It is great to hear from you all. I will be posting a few times a month until I get the hang of this :)

  6. I'm in Kelly Rae's class, too, but have been hanging back, and hanging on the the fear.
    Congratulations on setting those goals and moving forward.

  7. wow, I just came over here from your comment on my blog, and I'm amazed! You are so talented. I really like the unconventional aspect of your jewelry. Very neat. I bet your business will do great!

  8. I hope so as well, thats as soon as I learn to get people to the etsy site. :)

  9. Do you have a facebook page? My sister started one for her photography business and in just a couple weeks she's up to 50 fans, just off of people suggesting it to their friends. You could put links to your etsy site (I actually didn't even know what that was til a couple days ago). Just a thought (if you don't have one already).

  10. I do have a facebook page and I am still trying to figure out the right way to do that. A lot of my friends play the different games available there: farmville, zooville.etc....) and those posts keep popping up. I would hate to see my photo's below a posting for: SAVE this lost virtual puppy and adopt him in petsville type of ads.

    I really do like the idea though. Any suggestions?

  11. If you sign up for a business page, you don't see everyone's latest achievements in farmville etc. It's a little different than having a personal page. You also get a weekly report on how many people like your page, how many views it has gotten, and the comparisons to the previous week etc. You set up the page, you can suggest it to whomever you want of your friends, then they can suggest it etc. You can link to your etsy site, and also link back here to your blog. The other cool thing about that is you can advertise on facebook...I don't think they charge more than $10 per ad, and you can target people in specific demographics- if you want. Hope that helps.

  12. I will check in to that tonight. Thanks.