Sunday, June 28, 2009

Design Sense

I have been coming home after work and sitting down to jewelry stuff for almost a month straight now. I'ts been satisfying because many of my projects are working out - as opposed to the past where projects end up in the shoebox after hours of effort.

I am very motivated by technique and often go chasing after the 'how to' of something, whether or not the thing is even aesthestically pleasing to me. I buy tutorials from other wire artists occasionally when I can't stand not knowing how they 'did that'. I read the tutorial just to learn the technique but rarely do I actually do the project.

But the point of this post, is that - after a month of committed effort I find myself more interested in aesthetics - I have a stronger sense of what I want design wise. It's handy to have a repetoire of techniques to help me make what I want:)

Now if I can just get my photography to truly display the lovely wire....

This set of earrings didn't make it into the shop this weekend. They are going for a 'test drive' to see how they hold up under 'real life' conditions:)

Monday, June 22, 2009

I just noticed a shop on Etsy which started only a few months before I did, the shop makes very simple wire wrapped jewelry using only silver, gold and gemstones. A good example of this shop's pricing scheme is a very simple sterling earring finding and a tiny gold vermeil finding hanging off of it. Shop price 14$. Time to make 5 min or less. Shop cost, I'll be VERY generous and say 3$.

They now have over 800 sales in about the same amount of time as I have been on Etsy. All of the work is very simple quick wire wrap with little labor involved.

On my end my work takes 5 hours to 2 days or more to make a design and I find it impossible to price!

I'm a little jealous of the success of that Etsy shop.

But WHY do I make jewelry? Would I really want to be like that shop and make things that would not give me pleasure or satisfaction in the creation of it?

If I answer honestly I have to say I want BOTH. I would love to quit my day job and do only what I have a passion for, that would involve being financially successful somehow. I doubt I would would ever like churning out very simple jewelry however.

I have had friends or family offer advice on things I can make, one friend says that beaded eye glass holders (the type that go around the neck) would sell very well- I drew back in horror thinking "that's not at all what I am talking about, I don't want to make things simply for the sake of money, I hunger for some art, I would be bored to tears and unenspired, I want to be an excellent wire artist".

Today my mother saw my new large ring designs and immediately said "is that what is in fashion right now"? I thought the question was rather curious because it implied that if one makes jewelry that they somehow must follow trends rather than paving their own path.

With these thoughts in mind, this week I have considered our troubled economic times and designed for a lower price market. I took some design ideas that I have been working on and simplified them or changed out components to make some affordable jewelry. Affordable jewelry that speaks to me and still makes me proud.

In my design play this week I stumbled across a curious combo of labradorite and brass, which I am really loving:

I'm not looking to make affordable designs with just a bunch of 'cheap' materials either.

This ring is made of sterling and rubies. It was difficult to photograph and the sterling looks dark, but its' way cuter in person and I think it's the best bargain in the shop!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Night and Day

These pictures were both taken using the same camera settings and lighting setup.

This one was taken at night

This one was taken during the day.
The day shot colors are cleaner and truer to the actual necklace. No more night shots for me!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Everything but the Kitchen Sink

Photography for tutorial was even harder than I thought it would be. The only photography I know is jewelry pictures, using a light box and settings on my camera I prefer to never ever touch!!

I thought it would be just like more jewelry pictures but the lighting didn't work in the same way, and there was lot's more technical matters like picture quality and this magical 300 DPI number to worry about.

But for all that trouble this nice lady sent me to a free photo editor that is much easier to use and allows me to change the DPI of a photo at the click of a button. Not only is it easier to use but it also auto adjusts my photos much better than my old photoshop did.

After finally getting magazine pictures sent off for review I spent the afternoon reading Etsy advice on shop pictures and double checking that my photos have been meeting Etsy requirements also, now that I'm expert and understand what they want;)

Etsy advice to sexy up a pic? Don't show the entire piece, go in even closer and leave people wanting to see the whole thing and rotate your item so the shot is not straight on. And the part I left unsaid is simply that it must be a GOOD photo, very clear and sharp.

Check out my shop to see these new kind of pictures, many items got updated photos today!

And now for some Blog eye candy - If my sister-in-law (and you know who you are) likes this necklace more than the one in the shop she may have it. If she prefers the one in the shop I will take it down and put this one up instead.

This one reminds me more of you with it's lighter colors and more romantic delicate feel.

All sterling with 1920's high quality crystal and black glass from the 40's.

You're probably doing a double take right now huh? Yes I'm talking to you!!! hehe:)


I've spent most of the week making jewelry rather than taking pictures for the Step-By-Step tutorial I have been contracted to do. I delayed it due to worry if my nails were looking nicely trimmed and my hands clean enough for pictures.

I delayed it because I have to figure out how to use my very complex camera so that I can do timed shots so my hands can be holding the wire in the pic. I delayed it because I have to fulfill the magazines requirements for the photos which means I had to study a little bit.

I delayed it because my tripod is old and wobbly and I wasn't sure it was up to the job of being steady without hand support. I've decided to fix this problem of the feet sliding by taping them:)

No more delay! I'm going to go do the first part of it!

But all of this running away from and delaying 'work' has produced some interesting rings this week:)

I am wondering if I would have been so productive without a feeling that there was a monkey on my back.

I see a bar pin in my future;)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Now for some fun!

What good is a blog about art without some eye candy!?

The first picture is of a ring I designed a year ago. I liked it OK but I didn't give me any thrills. This was the piece that prompted me to learn soldering.

The second one is a piece I designed this week and it thrills me. I've wanted to mix wood and silver for some time and I like it. It has elements of surprise and mystery which I want to see more of in my work.


Just like most things that I start, I stumble at the very beginning. What to name the blog? What to name my ETSY shop, or jewelry business? I end up often dissatisfied with what I picked.

I want to get so much out of the name, squeezing it for all it's worth, because these names are what stick in peoples heads (or not stick in their heads). These names are how people can find my shop again and they are not to be changed frivilously. Trouble is I don't know how to identify myself so in the end I am not pleased with the results.

My email address is based on a name I wanted to use 4 years ago. My Etsy shop was picked to be catchy and easily remembered. My Blog name describes me the best at the present moment:)

I wish I could design a name incorporating all the elements that I love, texture, balance, mystery and surprise.

Only recently have I even been able to make a definitive statement of what I love in design.

The title of this Blog may well soon drop off as only another old version of myself that has been replaced by new growth. But this yet remains to be seen:)

Not having a well defined name make me feel like Im not quite dressed and ready to recieve company.