Now I remember again, why …

… I don’t make jewelry any more!

The local lampworkers in our Fire & Rain lampworking group do have the exciting opportunity to exhibit our beads and jewelry in a Seattle gallery. The gallery is obviously keen to also sell some of the pieces, so from a target group view of point it makes more sense to incorporate the beads into finished jewelry.

I’m planning on showing 4 pieces: 2 necklaces and 2 bracelets.And just while doing two bracelets and a necklace yesterday, it all came back to me why I don’t make jewelry any more.

Even though I still have heaps and heaps of accent beads, Swarovskis, findings and what not – as always, I don’t have the right color or size or it’s in gold instead of Sterling. I made already 2 trips to the bead store, and I’ll envisage another one. Then I’m running like a headless chicken through the store, because of course they didn’t have anything in a muted slate blue. No Swarovskis, no semi-precious stone, no pearls – nothing. Cobalt & sapphire, yes plenty. But a muted darker blue? Nope, nothing. And of course they didn’t have a clasp that even just remotely looked like the clasp that I had in my mind.

I know, it’s not a big deal. Just take a different clasp and change the whole design of your jewelry piece because they don’t have something in muted blue. Wait a minute? Change the whole design? I don’t want that! I don’t need that! Arrrrrgggghhhh … frustration settles in. And no, I’m not taking another trip into Seattle just to find some muted blue stones. Because that will take another 2 hours till I’m back.

And this is the point where I’m starting to wonder about pricing. There are the lampwork beads in these jewelry pieces, plus I used only Sterling Silver or gold filled findings and genuine Swarovkis plus, not to be forgotten, my time. And the gallery’s cut is 40%. Does anyone think I’ll be able to charge $340 for a bracelet? No? Well, me neither.

Hubby asked “You don’t enjoy making jewelry anymore, you’re frustrated because you don’t find the components that you have in your mind. And if you’re lucky, you get back the money that you spent for the material. Why are you even doing it?”. I told him that I’m excited to show my beads and excited for our Fire & Rain Group to have the opportunity to show it to a wider audience. I’ve accepted that I’ll have to see as it as a marketing opportunity rather than an opportunity to make a profit. Getting our names out there is worth something too. And that’s why I’ll most likely make another trip to the bead store on the weekend, and spend another 2 hours or so on the weekend to finish the last necklace.

Thanks for letting me rant 🙂 And keep your eyes peeled, there’ll be some photos of the finished jewelry pieces in a couple of days!

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2 responses to “Now I remember again, why …

  1. My jewelry making became so much less stressful when I realized that the people looking at the finished piece had no idea that there may have been some accent pieces that were just a shade closer to the right color, or maybe just a bit better in size. They look at the finished WHOLE, not the parts. The part that really drives this home is that the pieces I'm least satisfied with always seem to sell first. The customer doesn't see what isn't there, or what might have been there, but what is there. I think that deadlines are my best friend because when they are looming, I don't think and rethink and change and remake a piece. I just put it together with what I have and move on to the next piece. Without fail I end up with pieces I love because they became what they are and not a close similarity to what I had in my head and most likely couldn't have made even with all the perfect parts. Your pieces will be BEAUTIFUL!!

  2. Rona, that are some very valuable points. Thanks so much. You're right, I'm too fixated on what I had in my mind instead of just going with the flow and see where it takes me. The people will not know that I didn't achieve exactly the vision that I had about a piece. Thanks for posting, that really helped me feel better and smile about some of my frustration!

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