Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Post show comments...

Just wanted to jot some notes about the show this past Saturday. My neighbours were Laura of Inspired Soapworks and Anja Hertle who makes the most beautiful mosaic pieces. Anja and I exchanged wares and felt good about having a treat to bring home. We laughed and commiserated together as artists usually do. All in all, it was a really nice show and I did better in sales than the previous year. The show is still experiencing some growing pains although it was very well decorated and put together, it would have been better with more people and of course more sales. It was nice to see familiar faces. Sally the organizer said the numbers were about the same as last year, but because everyone is feeling that economic pinch, there were allot of tire kickers. The past few weeks I had been working really hard at making all my jewellery top notch. There wasn't anything there that was less than 100%. I usually go over everything before a show, but this time I really made sure everything was just perfect. Feeling a need to lower my prices in an attempt to sell more, is wishful thinking, because I haven't raised prices in years while silver prices keep climbing. All things considered, I did well.

Feeling good about my work is a high priority, because I am not a sales person, I am an artist and I rely heavily on my work to sell itself. Also, me being as transparent as a window on the Church of St Mary (as Ron James would say) has a way of rearing its nasty head at times, but I digress. I also tire of the same old, so I work hard at bringing out something new to feel good about, and it shows because of my transparent nature.

So my show would be easier to put up and take down, I begged to have a vertical aspect to my display instead of it being all horizontal. Many people commented on the new look and saw my new pieces. The "passion pieces" as my friend Lianne calls them, that I created especially for this and next weekends' show seemed to attract some buzz. Actually, I was sad to see my first ever driftwood and glass bird necklace sell. I'm sure it found a great home and the gentleman said it was for someone who loves driftwood and that she is a stained glass artist. I'm sorry that I didn't get her name as he was trying to buy it incognito. Original designs are always the first to be spotted by everyone, jewellers, or those in the field, so to speak. I would think jewellers who have seen pretty much everything, can usually spot a new design from miles away. Having those people stop by and ask questions and comment on my work is always great for my creative soul. When I make the sale, it is even better.
As an independent, we all have to work so much harder at getting those sales. Its difficult to come up with an original design, but I am glad that I still can do that from time to time. Original designs stem from the years of putting pieces together over and over again, or by trying out new findings, or just by trying to figure out the best way to display a newly created bead like the one above. I say original, because as my old art professor said, "everything has been done," and artists can spend a lifetime trying to come up with something new. Lampwork birds are not new, even though I thought they were when I first created them, but no one has anything like these as far as I know. The glass technique I used is my own, and also how I put the bird necklace together with this naturally tumbled tiny driftwood which I handpicked from the lakeshore. Next weekend is the Autumn Treasures show in Peterborough and I'll have to get busy replacing the pieces I just sold. Hope to see you there, if not, be good and happy holidays everyone.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Copper N' Amber go so well together

    I have been experimenting with copper for the last two years and exploring viking knit, and other treasured techniques, so I thought I'd make a pair of modern'ish copper earrings to go with some of my pieces. To tell you the truth, because the components are goldish-coloured, and the fact that I can't really afford to experiment in gold, copper is a great alternate to highlight these warm coloured hues.
As I am about to point out to you, there is no fancy wiring or soldering here at all. It is a simple tiny black "bead bumper" on the top of everything to hold everything in its place. They fit perfectly on this gauge of wire, a number 20 gauge, which by the way is the magic size or gauge for ear hooks. The bumper beads were purchased from BeadFX, as well as the 3" bright copper headpins, and the transparent amber coloured fire polished crystals.
    The lampwork beads are medium-sized beige beads with three altering rows of transparent amber bumps. The soft bumpy beads are my own work. The tumbled amber chips at the bottom come directly from the baltic sea. These two beads were roughly the same size, but they do have a slightly different colour tone. Real stones and semi-precious beads may have colour variations or differences, but I think this only adds to their authenticity. So unless you have both ears on the same side of your head, which no one does, no one will be the wiser to their actual colour variations. Until I pointed it out, I'd bet you probably didn't even realize that there was a difference... so you now know that you can count on my honesty from now on... at least I hope you will.

    I'd be happy to post pictures of all the steps involved in making these earrings, but I'd rather say that these originals will be up for sale in my Etsy shop.  I'd rather say they'll be available at the Northumberland Studio Tour this September 8th and 9th as well. I know I'll be making a pair set in sterling silver soon enough and perhaps I'll make a quick entry on how they are made at that time if I get a few requests. Until then, peace love and butterflies. I hope you'll share my page with others who will appreciate my candour and I hope it will inspire you to make a little something out of the ordinary.