Saturday, 9 April 2011

I'm a little nervous...

The entry stage for the Vintaj monthly challenge closed yesterday and I have to confess to being a little nervous about voting opening on Monday. I've been entering design competitions, designing for jewellery magazines & beading websites and selling my work for years - but I've never submitted any jewellery to a challenge with a public voting mechanism and the thought of complete strangers - many of whom are superbly talented in MY field - judging my work is a little nerve wracking. Will my design be the one sitting there with no votes for the duration? Will it look silly and amateurish alongside truly stunning designs? Just as a recap this is what I entered.

I was happy with the end result, but is it good enough? We shall see.

I've had a busy week this week, mainly creating what I tend to call my 'commercial' jewellery - thats jewellery which can be made up in multiples to be sold from my website or my amazon store. I prefer one-off designing at several hours per piece but multiples of simple designs is how I pay my bills - from an economic point of view it makes a lot of sense. There were a bunch of earrings - some new, and some of which I was remaking existing sold-out designs. New earrings have yet to be photographed so I shall save them for next week. I also made up a bunch of bracelets in two designs.
This one is a mix of freshwater pearls, amethyst and Swarovski crystals and is really quite pretty. I love the colour mix and each bracelet has 75 beads individually wired and attached.

This one felt really summery with its mix of citrine, shell pearl, sunstone, rhodochrosite, yellow jade and ruby. This particular style looks fabulous worn but I always find it difficult to photograph well. I may need to redo the pictures before selling them.

As I'm in the UK, all those bracelets need to be sent off to a British government assay office for metal testing and hallmarking before I sell them - legally in my country we can't sell anything as Sterling silver or gold (or platinum) above a certain weight without first getting the items assayed and hallmarked. For silver this is 7.8 grams  - so my earrings and pendants are usually fine without, bracelets and necklaces usually need hallmarking. It makes more financial sense to send a bigger lot in for hallmarking so I really want to get up to at least 20 pieces in the package before I send it - I currently have 10 so it will be another couple of weeks before I can sell these - and I have a load more bracelets and necklaces to make up!

I finally got one of my decorated Vintaj art pendants, made with a beautiful 40mm Bamboo Bezel, to my beading table. I made this batch of pendants in (I think!) January and have been particularly terrible at finding time to turn them into wearable jewellery that I was happy to make (I could have stuck it on a chain at any point of course, but I wanted to make something a little more special). This was the end result:


There's a lot of design elements in there. I'm not 100% about the pearl clusters - whether they should be there at all, whether they work as they are or whether there should be a second set of clusters on the next bit of chain up. I shall continue to think about that! I loved the way the 16mm Filigree Bead Caps fit my lapiz lazuli so nicely - I often have problems getting bead caps to work for my but the Vintaj ones are so soft and mouldable around my stones that they tend to work perfectly. The 21mm Diamond Filigree worked very well curlyed over as a decorative bail to the pendant drop - much nicer than just using the jump ring to attach!

Until next time!
Stephie x


Anonymous said...

I'm totally in love with your competition entry. I want to take it out to dinner and romance it! said...

Your pieces are beautiful, absolutely top notch and I hope you win!

Thank you for posting on the Studio Saturday post on the ABS blog. I wanted to respond personally to you as what you wrote was very powerful.

I, too, had an early unplanned pregnancy at the age of 17, the twins were placed for adoption but it is an experience that changed my life and I could relate to what you wrote. I have deep admiration for what you went through and what you built up in your life in spite of what society considers to be a less then ideal situation.

The question posed to you on the post asked exactly what you have figured out; What if failure isn't considered failure at all? It is exactly how it should be and your failure isn't a failure but rather a way to learn, grow and understand more.

The best of luck to you, Stephie! But I guess we know luck doesn't have much to do with anything, does it? :)

Faerie-Jeweller said...

missdeathmetal - sorry I didn't see this earlier! Want one as a wedding present (would need to be a little bigger, that was made to fit me and my neck is tiny)? My colours or yours, you choose :o)

missficklemedia - thankyou for stopping by. It was a very good question and you've had some lovely and very thought-provoking responses. I'm glad you asked it, it made me think about who I consider myself to be :o). I've added your own blog to my reader list (not sure how I haven't come across you before, I've subscribed to ABS for years!). Your stuff is lovely but more than that, your outlook on your life and your art really touched me. You are a very strong and very beautiful woman.

Anonymous said...

I'd love one :)
Those colours are beautiful, I'd be more than delighted to have one that looked just like that.