Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Over 50 Now

Well, not me, not really, just yet anyway. I'm pushing it pretty hard, but I still have a couple years to go. No, the 50 in the post title is referring to something else.

I have a little craft show this weekend (all day Saturday before I entertain my whole family all day Sunday; still curious about when the food prep is going to happen), so I've been trying to make a piece or two every day for the past several weeks. Since I do most of my shows in the little town where I live (a combination of my being lazy and popular here makes this less of a bad idea than it may seem initially), and have a pretty loyal following that I don't want to disappoint, my goal for each show is always to have at least 50 new pieces. Given my current self-employed status, this should be easy, but I still find myself doing other things when I could and should be producing jewelry. Also, the crazy price of silver has left me partially paralyzed, especially when it comes to fabricated pieces. I'm still a beginner, and the thought of melting a $50 piece of metal is daunting. The good news is that I took a small bag of scrap metal to my favorite supplier in Philadelphia last week and got $300 for it (which I promptly spent on more silver, as is only right). So I don't have as much to show this Saturday as I should, but I have more than hit my 50-new-pieces goal.

Let's have a look, shall we? (Just in case you're tempted to count to hold me to that claimed goal, this isn't everything. It's just the portion I hadn't carded and stored yet.)

First, some beady stuff.

A bunch of mostly Czech glass earrings. For some reason, as the price of silver rose,
I added more and more to these simple summer dangles.
Three headpins just seemed better than one all of a sudden.

A chunky green amethyst necklace with handmade hammered links up front.
Very simple, but this is surprisingly pretty on.

A funky lampwork glass lariat necklace with a
detachable dangle as the clasp.
(The glass slides and can be on either side.)
I tend to sell simple, colorful necklaces quickly.
And yet I don't make many.
I'll have to speak with my business manager.

Lampwork glass with pyrite on a double strand with scattered
freshwater pearl dangles.
Has a nice overall earthy greenish metallic look.

A lampworked glass bracelet with one chain of chalcedony links and
and one of peridot wired into sterling links, with some prasiolite
and peridot dangles at the glass.

The beaten-into-submission stuff.

I'm raising the prices on my handmade hoops. Not only has the material cost shot up,
they're kind of a pain to make, and once a customer has a pair, they wear them all the time,
so they're worth a bit more. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Finally, the fabricated.

I built these two rings using copper as the backplate. I think it shines so
prettily through both stones, especially the one on the left.
(I just had to run over to Etsy, where I bought it, to uncover that it is
an Indonesian manganese dendritic agate, apparently.
Better write that down. I'll never remember it Saturday.)
Though it looks green in this photo, the stone on the left
is lemon chalcedony, so with that copper background,
consider it pink lemonade.
Now the backs of these rings ain't so pretty, what with all that silver solder.
But I figure if there's one piece of jewelry you usually don't see from behind,
it's a ring. And that copper will save a buyer about $20 on the price of each piece.

On this ocean jasper and chalcedony necklace, I left a rim
of the copper backplate showing. Probably should have
trimmed it like the rings or used silver.

I used all sterling silver, which I finished matte and waxed, for this pendant
of ocean jasper, turquoise, and carnelian. Pearls connect the pendant and clasp
to the rolo chain. I think it sings of summer. It pleaseth me so well, this piece,
that I shamelessly Facebooked it for compliments.

And, finally, the piece I finished only last night, a bracelet made of flattish baroque
freshwater pearls and a Death Valley/Wingate Pass plume agate. This took forever,
but it looks great. However, I need to shorten it by about an inch or it'll never sell.
So close, and yet, so far.

After Saturday, my next show is July 16, so I'll need at least 50 new pieces for that too. I may have to downsize these self-imposed goals. 

In other news, I've been selected by supersweet (and dependably regular blogger) Bobbi at Beadsong Jewelry for a Pay It Forward, which means I'll be paying it forward here before too long also. I have to get clear on the details, but basically I think I'll be giving away some of my work to a few nice people just because, and then the recipients will pass on the just-because generosity through their own blogs. So keep an eye out for that if you think you could use a little something I've made.