Saturday, September 25, 2010

More views for your views

Here are two closer views of the ring with more detail on the texture and shape. Enjoy

Sometimes it just comes to you

Chartres Square Ring

I love making rings. When I make a really nice one I enjoy it when people give it to themselves or someone they love for a special event. Some of my rings have been given for marriages, tokens of friendship and love and for many special events.

That said. I have created many really ugly rings, luckily most all of them are in my notebooks or on my computer.

Creating one that is comfortable, unique (not wierd), affordable and in some cases suitable for both men and women is a difficult assignment. I don't know about you, but in my opinion most men's jewelry is boring. I get really excited when a man finds something in my line that they like. With this ring I think that both men and women will like it.

One of my commitments when I decided to become a jewelry designer was to make jewelry that men would wear. This ring may have only taken a couple of hours to create on my CAD computer system, but it has been months in the making. I have started and thrown away many of the preliminary designs.

It hasn't come easily. I won't know if it is a success until I hold it in my hand and show it to some of you and see what you have to say - for now this is the one I am taking from virtual to reality.

Let me know what you think!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Creative Marketing

My show season ends the first weekend of December when I participate in the Tempe Festival of the Arts. It is a lot of fun and has been very successful in the past. From that weekend until Tucson, which is the first week of February there is very little organized marketing going for me. I will get orders from designers who need last minute things for their clients and that is about it.

In the past I have used this time to clean up my studio, organize, see friends and plan for the upcoming year. I wish I could say that I have put away enough funds so that I feel very comfortable with the two months of relatively quiet time. It usually isn't so, I still have show fees for the next year, etc that show up.

I know that there are other ways to market, Etsy is one, home shows or bazaars are another. What have you tried, what has failed and what has succeeded in bringing in customers during the quiet times of the year? Or do I need to get better at packing away funds and stocking the larder for the quiet time of the year?

Friday, September 17, 2010

What to Create Next?

Currently in the works are the Starfish Earrings and the new cones which have been named Trumpet Flowers.

Recent additions to the HandFast line are the Coin Clasps which are going gangbusters. Bead & Button as well as other magazines have chosen them for promotion in their magazines. I have had fun adding them to decorative chain, kumihimo and lampwork beads. I think they would be wonderful with chain mail, bead crochet and wirewrapping. One of my customers bought the coins to use in earrings. I am sure that their are more uses for the hooks and coins than I ever thought of when I created them. Their are new Celtic designs recently added for those of you who love Celtic themes in your work.

I am wondering what area more designs are needed. Is it clasps, rings, pendants, earrings? Are more items needed in Pink Silver (shibuichi)? My best ideas come from you - my customers. Let me know.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Most of my creating is done alone. It works best when I can somehow control inbound and outbound telephones calls, emails, texts, facebooking, etc. I know artists that work collaboratively with other artists and sometimes I am lucky enough to do that, but for the most part creativity comes when it can.

Other things can get in the way, the need to go to the grocery store, clean the house, do laundry, work in the yard, and participate with family and friends. It is amazing with all we do that any of us have the time to create.

I have found  some of my best ideas in driving school (they thought I was taking notes), in a bar on a napkin and in a conversation with a customer. It comes when it does and when it doesn't it is best to walk away from what ever tools you use. When I haven't done that - some of the ugliest jewelry in the world has been made. Thank God for scissors!

I am blessed to have many artists as friends. We share the coming and going of the muse. Some have more challenges than others in finding the time, space, money and other resources to create their vision. The important thing is to find the way to do it. - then do it. It feeds the soul.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Surprise in Tucson

The fall Tucson show has turned out well. I did not expect much and have been pleasantly surprised with the show. I have met designers that are coming to the fall show because it is less hectic than spring.

I have been rethinking shows to participate in and have been eliminating those that cost much and deliver little even though they might be in some place I would like to visit.

How have you been choosing where to market your work? I find myself doing more trunk shows and fewer prestigious shows that don't always live up to their name. Who has had success with etsy or other sites?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Trunk Show with East Valley Beaders this evening

I love doing trunk shows. It allows me to meet people that are passionate about the beautiful things that they create. I get to see their creations and they get to see mine in a less hectic environment than the many larger shows I attend.

East Valley Beaders of Mesa Arizona are having me join them at their monthly meeting this evening.

I am driving down from Mayer to the Phoenix Area for the meeting tonight. I have wonderful friends who take care of my dog Pooh Bear and they will watch him during the meeting and then this weekend as I continue on to Tucson where I will be at the Best Bead Show at the Kino Center Friday through Sunday.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Products

One of the reasons I want to have a blog is so that I can ask opinions about new and possible products. You as designers know what you are looking for in products - what is missing. Each of you has areas of expertise, whether is is techniques such as wire wrapping, your customer's requests, education and just life. I have over 300 designs I have created over the years. Some are not being sold right now because I needed to learn more - they weren't good enough. Some are too heavy for today's market with metal at high prices. This forum will helpfully keep me from making as many errors and help me satisfy your needs.

I think we can help each other with sources for materials, expertise and techniques. Here is a pair of earrings that will be coming to the lineup this fall. The starfish is based on one of my most popular clasps, the Starfish Magnetic clasp. I think the earrings can stand on their own. The loop at the bottom is for attaching whatever gorgeous things you want to dangle and swing. The earrings are about 1/2 inch accross and are quite light.