Friday 18 January 2019

Having a Bit of a Turn, Going For The Throat, Getting it in the Neck, Hanging by a Thread, etc etc. . .

In a moment of inspiration, I actually thought of something for my wife to get me for Christmas just passed. I find that just one of the many downsides of being all grown up (technically at least) is that you struggle to find anything you actually want for Christmas. Anything within a reasonable price bracket anyway. Grown ups are so boring. . .

Talking of which, I actually asked my kids to get me some slippers this year, sheesh, what happened to me??

But contrary to expectation, this festive season found me prepared.
"I'll have one of those cheap Chinese micro-lathes" I said. "Please."
And that's what I got ;-)

I've only had a bit of a play with it so far, but it's pretty good. All I want to do with it is cut groovy grooves in polymer clay, or wooden beads, which is relatively undemanding. I tried it on some wooden beads I picked up in a charity shop a while ago, and once I had stopped the bead from slipping too much it worked OK. (I need something called a 'drive centre', I'm looking into it but for now I am using a countersink from my power drill which works up to a point. .)

I seem to have gone all vibrant, colour wise. . . hmmm. .

I made some experimental, randomly grooved beads, which I then painted with alcohol inks and varnished. I like how they came out even though they soaked up the varnish somewhat. I will make some plain poly clay tube beads to experiment on next. As well as scouring the charity shops for more wooden beads to mess up of course.

A double grid, ancient lino, plastic sleeving and early JBD experimental poly clay claws. Kind of Industrial Gothic

The other thing I have been slowly venturing towards is making actual necklaces using my eccentric grid based pendant focal things. Rather than selling them on for other people to have all the the fun, I have been considering how I would hang them myself, in a way that is a bit more arty and considered than just sticking them on a bit of chain.

Modelled by Ethel, the dummy retrieved from the local dump for £2 a year or two ago.The last of the big spenders, me. .

Well, that said, I have actually stuck one or two on some simple chain, but chain that consists of large, artily crude, home made (by me) links that suit the vibe of the piece. Using plain copper or upcycled garden wire hammered flat(ish) for strength and because I like how it looks.

A large image transfer poly clay square with some double sided through drilled squares that matched the colour

 I am encouraged by the results and am considering trying to sell some pieces. I admit to feeling somewhat intimidated by this prospect, as the subject of price rears it's contentious head. . .

Ethel again, showing you how it should be worn

Also, I am not entirely sure where to sell. I need to research some Facebook groups I think and ask around for some feedback and advice. Any thoughts you may have on the matter would be gratefully received ;-)

So here are some more things I have been working on. . .

Enjoy. .. and see you next time,
Jon x

Electronic components, a poly clay im trans square and a plastic railway figure

A bit long maybe?

Two fuses and a big electronic whatsit in a nice shade of blue

Copper links this time


  1. Just when I expect something along the same lines from you - off you go and change up everything!

    The bead turning is wonderful - plus the colours! I'm huge on colour so you got me there.

    And Ethel - what a darling! You could always dress her in a high neck jumper I guess they call them there..

    Love your forays into the world of necklace building. I'm actually surprised it's taken you this long since you make such incredible components! Here's a little guide for you for the lengths -

    As for where to sell? Hmmm - I do so well with my little markets and in the gallery I'm in that I haven't had any experience online although I am building a website.

    That being said I KNOW your necklaces would be a hit in a funky little woman's clothing store - something like that. It's worth making a collection and heading out with some courage inside you. I know your work will be a hit! It just takes the right environment. I'd research funky women's stores or funky accessory stores - there's another. Unless of course you go the other route and put them up in your Etsy store. You could try that. I'd adjust the lengths a tad first. Do you happen to have a bead board? One that has lengths on it? Or - just measure and complete.

    Some of the trends are for long necklaces so it's a bit of a conundrum there. If you did take them to some funky place - take your tools and be ready to shorten anything if they comment. It's easy enough to take out a few links. You know what I mean.

    We have a little store here in our little town of 7500 people that is a gift store that takes local artist's work. Think about something like that as well. Just make sure you have an inventory and be prepared to do consignments. Your work would sell so well that it'd be gone in no time.

    I hope I've helped Jon. I'm sure there are others that will chime in as well.

    1. Great advice, thanks ;-) I need to research the small arty shops of Norwich, though I suspect they are few and far between. An FB selling group of my own is an option too. Now the flu and various birthdays are out of the way i can have a proper think. .