It has been a busy week for me - lots of little non-jewelry-related tasks that have to get done. I keep making lists, and crossing off the tasks, but I always feel like I am playing catch-up!
Anyway, I posted a not-quite-a-tutorial for a new-to-me technique, over at the Love My Art Jewelry blog. It features a two-tone metal pendant, this time I used brass and sterling. It was a practice piece (in case it did not work out), and I used a kinda hum drum Labradorite that was devoid of the gorgeous flash that this stone is known for. So it is now mine! I've worn it twice already!
It was rather time consuming, but now that I have the gist of the steps to take, I will be visiting this technique again.
A very lovely repeat customer of mine quite recently purchased almost all of the sterling silver bangles in my shop. Still my all time favorite piece of jewelry to create, I made another one.
I used 6 gauge sterling silver wire. This time, I soldered 3 tiny silver embellishments to the top of the bangle - the center one is made using my shot plate. I prefer to make the heavier gauge bangles in an oval shape. They are much easier to put on (for me), and the decorative element is more likely to stay centered on the wrist when the bangle is oval, versus round.
I also like to texture 3 sides of any bangle I make (I try to, anyway). When I wear bangles, I always tend to bang the bracelet on whatever surface is nearby (perhaps that is why it is called a bang-le???) Anyway, by adding texture, any future potential "dings" that may happen in the metal are disguised by this little bit of texture. That's my theory, anyway.
I made some more hollow beads for some earrings. These have sold already, but I have got to make a pair for myself! They are so lightweight and comfortable!
It was time to add some color to my shop! I bought these three GORGEOUS lampwork glass beads from Susan Kennedy (her shop is here) LAST YEAR. I keep a pretty little handmade ceramic bowl on bench FULL of art beads. I like to stare at their beauty every day - it is inspirational! Well, my bowl is overflowing, and it was time!
In my listing in my shop, I even went into detail as to why I loved these beads! The ribbon of glass in khaki, navy, and ecru that flows all around the bead; the sterling silver droplets melted into the design; the rectangular shape of the bead; but mostly, it's that translucent deep blue glass! Just gorgeous!
I could not decide on copper or silver...so I used both, and made a little mixed metal chain.
My morning routine is cast in stone: I get up, brush my teeth, start the coffee, and turn on my I-Pad and read emails. I received an Etsy email from a potential customer. She referenced a pair of Sterling Silver earrings that I have in my shop, which are priced at $55. She asked if I would sell them for $35. Almost half of the stated price. I was shocked, and a tiny bit insulted.
Now mind you, my coffee was still brewing (I must have coffee FIRST THING in the morning - I MUST)! I try very hard to keep my prices affordable. It is stated in my listings that ALL proceeds are donated to charity. I mean, I don't just pick a price off the top of my head - it's calculated.
I turned off the I-Pad, drank my coffee, and sat down at my computer. I wrote her back, thanked her very much for her interest. I told her that my price was firm and fair, and is based upon the materials used in the design, the craftsmanship, and most importantly, the skill set required to create these earrings.
I have not heard back from her, and I am sure I will not. But, it threw me off a bit! I have had people try to "barter" with me at craft shows before - that never goes over well, either!
It took me a couple years making jewelry before I even considered selling it. I am a private person with not the highest self esteem to begin with. Selling one's art is, in a way, like selling a piece of oneself. Our art is personal - at least mine is. It took me a while to learn that just because a piece of my jewelry does not sell, it does not mean that design is awful - it's subjective. So, every once in a while when I receive comments like "why is that so expensive" or "can you reduce the price", I have to remind myself that it's not me - it's them.
If there are any other jewelry designer's reading this blog, I would LOVE it if you would share with me in the comments how YOU would have replied to this inquiry. I can tell that this is going to bug me for a while.
Thanks so much for stopping by today!!! I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week!