Friday, December 31, 2010

Using what you have

While I was talking to one of my customers about the new Greek Key Clasp that is arriving the beginning of January, she asked me if I had considered doing earrings in the same style. It took me about 5 seconds to realize that they would be really great and would offer an ensemble to those that like having them. Or the earrings would be really great on their own.

I have over 300 designs in my inventory. This conversation started me looking to see where I you or I could modify the use of some of these designs to use them in multiple ways. I know that sometimes I am driven to create something new, or buy something new instead of looking to see what I already have and using it in a new way.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday weekend ! Be safe.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Preparing for the New Year - One pile at a time

My shop has exploded into the livingroom - I unloaded the Yukon and my show suitcases into the house and storage room. All my show gear, tools and inventory are in flux. Needless to say I step carefully around the house right now.

I think a part of being an artist is evolving the process that organizes me. Making lists and remaking them so that I show up at shows with my inventory, what I need to display it and sell it. Having backup so that if my credit card machine is dead I can still process sales, if the inventory is all sold in a certain item I have a way get it, if my booth has severe shortage of stuff I am there with duct tape, extension cords, extra light bulbs, table cloths, display items. Somewhere in there I need to have airplane tickets, show fees, remember to pay for tables, electricity, hotels, maybe a rental car.

Knowing my customers, what they need and want is probably the most important thing. Communicating via telephone, email, facebook or face to face is what it is all about.

When I have some kind of a handle on all of this I can sit down and design something that comes out of my or your imagination. It is dessert for me.

Vineyard Rose Clasp on Necklace made by Jill Wiseman

I am sure that many of us are in this mode, whether it is putting away Christmas, cleaning for the end of the year, or like me, getting ready for the next year and what we see coming. I look forward to seeing many of you in Tucson. 

If you are planning to go check out - it has one of the most complete lists of shows, vendors and specific products and where to get them. To pre-register for the AGTA show - which is needed prior to December 31st - go to  AGTA

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Scissors and other things

With metal prices rising I started looking seriously at the scrap in my bench drawer and at pieces I had cast as long as 5 years ago. Was their money in them there piles. Yup! Did I have some trepidation regarding getting rid of some of these treasures - sure.

I started gathering together old components that were so heavy that no one would pay the price for them (gone were the days of $8 an ounce silver).  Pieces that weren't up to my standards - some were really cool experiments in their day. I took my scissors to old pieces and separated out the silver.

I knew that there were jewelry stores and others that would give me money for the silver. The further I got from the refinery that melts the metal down the more people would be making money at my loss so I started looking at refineries.

I picked one out after asking my casting company and the guy who cuts my waxes who they would recommend.  I called them to find out exactly how they paid out and asked them for an idea of their fees.

I sent the metal in - it worked out to close to 100 ounces - a lot of stuff in a little box. I now have my check and some bills have been paid.