Thursday, 20 September 2012

Baby steps ...

Just had a tidy up in my studio and so thought I would post these pics to prove (to myself mostly) that I do have the capacity to have things neat, tidy and in some sort of vague order.  It wont last of course.  I use vintage tins or divided containers to keep the majority of my supplies in, but I tend to forget what I have in my stash if I can't easily see it, so I have put a selection in clear plastic tubs from the $2 shop - a thrifty but not terribly pretty solution.

I see that lots of you are enduring poor etsy sales.  On the one hand I'm pleased it's not just me, but now I feel bad for all of us.  Being realistic though, in times of uncertainty people really aren't going to go jewelry shopping which is completely understandable.  Other than a couple of galleries etsy is my primary vehicle for selling my stuff and I sometimes worry about this.  I read an interesting blog from a seller whose shop was closed by etsy, because of some minor infringement or other, and overnight she lost her entire business.  She recommended against having a total reliance on a third party like etsy which, ultimately, you have no control over.  All very well and good but I'm not sure what the alternatives are particularly when you live in rural Australia!!  All this talk is spectacularly dull and makes me sound as though I'm fixated on sales and money.  Not the case I promise.

I'm still on a bangle binge - singles rather than stacks though.  In addition to the copper ones I've also made a couple of assemblages using vintage brass stampings and other bits and pieces.  Stylistically, these two types are completely different from each other.  Not sure which are more 'me' but I guess they are both an expression of my artistic voice (that sounds horribly pretentious, so sorry).

From bangles it's a fairly short hop to chokers, especially since I found a metal lined ice bucket in the thrift store which has proved to be an ideal choker mandrel:

Both chokers are wrapped in silk (salvaged from head scarves or clothes), metallic vintage trim and then wire wrapped.

I'm participating in one of Deryn Mentock's online courses at the moment and this necklace was in response to the symmetrical design challenge she posed us.  One of the reasons I'm doing the course is that it  includes bead stringing which is something I have always shied away from.  I am completely paranoid that the beading wire will break and I hate using crimping pliers.  I do think developing confidence around stringing as opposed to just wire wrapping beads will open up my design palette, so I've invested in some softlex and a bead buddy (one step crimper).

This necklace is mostly wire wrapped apart from the small beaded section at the back - baby steps.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Crossing my fingers...

I'm crossing my fingers that this post will be free of frustrating blogger problems - such as not being able to upload photos - apparently something to do with a clash between my antivirus software and chrome/blogger.

I've pulled a few things out of the shop over the last few days so that I can put them into the Artisans Store, a local gallery just around the corner from me.  Rather than my assemblage/narrative work (although I have submitted some of these pieces) I thought I would concentrate on the embellished/embroidered textile cushions.  Here they are on display in my kitchen the night before:

Here's a collage of the necklaces in more detail. 

I also thought single bangles might be a little more accessible (ie. easier on the pocket) than stacks:

Really simple but I am pleased with how they turned out.  I'm thinking about putting some in my etsy shop.

All this switching stock around has left the etsy shop a little depleted.  I know some people have an item for sale in several sites/locations at once but my brain just can't cope with this.  I have listed a couple of new things though:

I've found a new way to attach bails to the textile cushions - cut a short piece of wire, paddle each end and drill a small hole.  Bend the wire in half and place over the cushion.  Insert a long dress makers pin (glass head or hammerhead) from the front to the back through the cushion and holes in the wire, secure the pin by bending it so that the sharp end lies flat against the cushion and then trim off the sharp end with wire cutters.  You can then over-sew the bendy end of the pin to the cushion or put a bead over it - whatever works.  It's a much neater technique although still a little time consuming.  

I'm still lovin' working on the bangle stacks:

This one was in the etsy shop but is now in the Artisans Store.

I really like this white/cream set - it's even got a bit of bling. 

For those of you that sell on etsy - how are your sales lately?  Mine seem to have taken a bit of a nose dive over the last few weeks.  Not sure if it's the time of year, economic climate or, perish the thought, people aren't liking what I'm doing enough.  Mind you, compensation is meeting (online rather than in person) some really lovely people and that doesn't seem to be impacted by the seasons or the GFC!!

Talking of lovely people ... I don't buy many jewelry magazines but I have splashed out on a subscription to Belle Armoire Jewelry which is hugely expensive as I have to have it mailed to me from the US.     I see that the Autumn issue is essentially a tribute to some of my favorite artists including; Tracy DiPiazza from pipnmolly, Janet Loomis from anvilartifacts and Cynthia Wolff from beatnheart.  You guys rock.