“I had always wanted to do a book on jewelry making,” said Karczewski, who has been teaching jewelry making techniques for over 20 years at both IPFW and at her boutique, Purr-fectly Unique, in downtown Pierceton. “But after seeing how the video took off, I decided to make jewelry making DVDs instead.”
Karczewski’s son, a film production student in Chicago, helped her create her first instructional DVD, “Wire Wrapped Jewelry: A Complete Guide.” Proceeds from that video go to her son’s college tuition, she smiled.
“I am a very visual person, so video demonstrations are the way to go,” said Karczewski, who has three children with husband, Rory. “A lot of people have commented on how they like being able to watch the steps over and over as many times as they need until they get it. I’m in the process of making additional instructional videos, too.”
Karczewski, who is originally from South Bend, but now lives in Warsaw, first began making jewelry after her second son was born. Wanting to learn a new skill while at home with a baby, she picked up a craft book at the store.
“I went on from there and never stopped,” she said. “I’m self-taught, but my passion is teaching others how to make their own jewelry.”
The list of techniques Karczewski uses in her handmade jewelry pieces is vast. She mixes hand-crafted items with vintage items to create unique and fun jewelry. She wraps wire, fuses glass, enamels copper, makes beads out of clay and sets precious stones. She’s currently learning how to electroplate copper so she can plate tree leaves in copper to use as statement pieces.
Another unique process Karczewski enjoys is taking items from the hardware store (bolts and drain strainers, for instance) and incorporating them into her jewelry.
“It’s amazing what you can do to create nice looking jewelry out of inexpensive items,” said Karczewski, who also scopes out vintage shows across the country for beads and jewelry hardware from the 1930s and 1950s.
“I like to create very unique pieces,” said Karczewski, an accountant before deciding to create and sell her jewelry both locally, at various art fairs and online. “For me, jewelry making is relaxing and very rewarding.”
For more information on Karczewski’s jewelry, videos and classes, go to www.purr-fectly.com.