Monday, July 16, 2007

Year of Jewelry Week 28, Dragons & Phoenix & Slaying my own personal dragons

This is my entry for week 28, titled "Dragon Feather". It is 3 1/2 inches long, including the woven bail. The frame is 16 and 18 gauge sterling wrapped in 26 and thirty gauge sterling wire. The stones are labradorite, chosen for the natural "sooty" appearance of the stone, and hematite. My sister-in-law Meredith helped inspire the pendant, I wonder if it's anything like she imagined?

Next week's themes are "Mercury Rising" or "Bronze Beauty". I will be crunched for time this week, as me and my man are going to Chi-town with another couple for a long weekend. I've made some things already this week, that I won't even bother to stretch toward the theme, as they would never make it, but they are related to personal growth, which is what this challenge is all about. So now you have been witness to my scay good powers of rationalization.

Friday was my meeting with the owner of The Farmhouse Store, in Westfield. If you are ever in that neck of the woods, I highly reccomend it. Nice variety of interesting things.

I worked very hard putting together a collection of pendants, some with matching earrings, and was really sweating this whole thing (completely self imposed nervousness I assure you). I got lost going there, my deo gave up all hope of controlling my nervous sweat, and was 12 minutes late, even though I had given myself an innordinate amount of time to get there. Ed was completely lovely and gracious as always. He was very encouraging and offered me a ton of helpful advice on both pricing for wholesale purposes, and for what he has been selling successfully in his shop.

All my pretties came home with me, but he was very complimentary of my work, and is willing to look at more stuff, if I can get my wholesale prices down. He appreciated the intricacies of the work I presented, but what is selling for him right now are very funky, bold, graphic pieces, many of which the technique is not complicated, but the composition is knock out. Stuff I can, and have, done. Recently I have gotten caught up with attempting more and more intricate and difficult skill sets, and have gotten away from some of the more basic, but still good techniques of the past. My drive home (and ensuing shoe shopping) afforded me time to come up with a new plan.

First thing, use what I have. I have a ton of big and interesting beads purchased over that last 2 years or so that I have abandoned. I will revisit these guys, and figure out interesting ways to combine them, using techniques that can keep my costs down (on some of my pieces, time is my biggest expense). Next step, follow the old adage, KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid ( or Sweety). I will do a group of pieces (a necklace, a bracelet and maybe a couple of sets of earrings), all using the same components, speedy quick. Then, I will let myself do a more difficult or elaborate piece, for the same collection as a reward. I have decided to make this a challenge to myself. I will work outside the safe little box I created for myself. I have almost completed the first group using these parameters, pictures will come along later this week.

In the meantime, I will box up my pendants, and ship them to my mom, to see how they are received at her office. She has threatened not to sell any more of my stuff for me until I can do a trunk show in person in Florida, but she'll give in. She knows that there are only 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week.
Until next time, thanks for letting me vent.


  1. herr artz would be glad to see you're utilizing the KISS adage, it's one of his favorites. keep a good balance between cost effectiveness and your skills and you'll do fine. don't forget- people pay much more for work of less quality- so don't sacrifice too much. can't wait to see what's next!!!

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  3. I know what you're talking about. There is also "perceived value" to contend with. Something with big whonking stones, that took very little time can have a perceived value greater than that of one of the pendants. It's deinitely a balancing act.
    Ahhh, Herr Artz. Watching "Das Boot" last night in German, and two submarine officers are doing a crossword puzzle. In German he asked for a word with five letters (liebe) but the subtitles asked for a word with four letters (love). Ahh, wouldn't he be proud. I also was laughing becausing the German word for pissing is hysterical. Good times, good times.
    Looking forward to an update from you too, by the way! I turned Mer and Mo on to your blog and they are clamoring for more!
    By the way, I posted this comment without previewing it first then had to delete because without editing, I sounded like a complete moron.