Friday 15 June 2018

Progress, Resistance, Chicken Troubles and Back to Some Kind of Normal

Well, the Open Studios thing has finally come to an end. On balance I don't really think it was worth the work and expense.It was nice to have people (not many though) come and see our work and make approving noises. And it was nice that I sold a few pieces. I suppose we have put ourselves on the map somewhat but the whole thing did take up too much of my time and head space really. . .

On the poly clay spike front, I have been trying them out as earrings with integral ear wires. Getting a  shape that I like and that I feel goes with the general design has been tricky.

Not something I've done before and as a non pierced eared male I have limited experience of the practical issues involved. I posted on FB for advice and received some useful feedback.

I adapted the ear wires as a consequence. And I also ordered some niobium for alternative ear wires as copper turns some people's earlobes green. It looks pretty much like oxidised copper, I have tried hammering it gently and found that it distresses nicely (in my view anyway). Not too much or the grey of the metal shows through the coating a bit too much. So it's all good.

The other area of progress has been the rustic, industrial, gothic, ancient modern/whatever pieces I have been making lately, using grungy wire mesh and/or recycled poly clay beads/upcycled electronic components. I was having the same issues/doubts over suitable ear wires for them as with the spikes, except for the choice of metal. I use titanium as it is hypo allergenic and a suitable grey colour. So far I have been concentrating on the wire + poly clay ones without added electronic bits, but I am getting my head round those too. I do seem to have been leaning towards black and white beads too, but there are colour ones in the offing too;-)

In both cases I have gone for a relatively standard ear wire shape, (much as I want to be original and oh so different. .) often with some sort of detail on the shank, such as a bead or a bit of wire wrap, as that seems to balance out the piece. I guess ear wires have evolved that way for a reason. I am still taking inspiration from the work of others so I imagine my designs will develop. We'll see.

Incidentally, the first pic in this post is of an experiment using earring posts instead of wires, looks promising too. Stay tuned. . . ;-)

I am going to try selling the integral ear wire spikes and the industrial/ancient earrings but am hitting quite a bit of internal resistance. Not sure why. I don't think it's fear that nobody will buy them, as I am ok with that. Maybe it's a feeling that I am making myself vulnerable by exposing my work to more knowledgable and potentially critical view ;-) But that is all about me rather than about real life. Maybe it's the step I am taking further down the road towards making jewellery rather than supplies that is intimidating me. And the fact that I will want to charge a decent amount for the grungy wire stuff as it is original and takes a fair bit of time to make.

Of course the other issue is that I am quite fond of them. I like referring to what I have made before when wrestling with something new.
When things sell, they are out of your life. Some things I have made and listed sold so quick I feel I hardly knew them ;-)
I shall try a FB group or two with them sometime soon though, internal resistance or no.

The smaller of our two chickens got broody again, so I shut her out of the chicken coop to attempt to dissuade her from sitting in there 24/7 getting progressively less healthy. Unfortunately, I forgot to open it up again before I went to bed. This has happened before with no ill effects but this time, come the morning there were no chickens and a small pile of discarded feathers in a corner of the orchard. Fox I reckon. Well, couldn't be anything else really. So I feel guilty ;-(
But life goes on. I will get couple of new chickens once we come back from holiday in July, and take better care of them I hope.
Oh well, onwards and upwards ;-)
Jon x

1 comment:

  1. Well Jon. I think you've hit on what people have been doing with your pieces - although you might have come up with more gorgeous ways of hanging your spikes and pieces. I'm calling well done!

    Please don't give up on doing tables and sales. It takes a while for people to notice and start thinking about your work. Doing these things keeps your work in their brain until one day they walk by and they suddenly need what you have.

    I'm just having my coffee before heading out for an hour's drive to set up a table at a farmer's market that runs from 10 - 1. I don't expect to sell much today but it's my location where come Christmas I rock the boat! This will be a gentle reminder to those people that I'm out here creating things they will want later. With the price of our gas these days you'd think I wouldn't bother but it's marketing. I have 5 other mornings in the works this summer - a couple of those will be full days but still an hour's drive each time. No matter - it's worth it for me. However I think I'm in year 6 of doing this at this place. So it's been a long road but I'm quite glad I've done it.

    My favourite of these designs of yours is the last 2. Sometimes something takes a lot of time to make because of our own skills and we won't ever get out of it what we've put into it but the customers will remember that design. Eventually creating will get faster and the cost won't go know what I mean.

    I've been looking at my past pics of creations long sold and I often can't believe I made that piece or even how I did it! I always hope it's holding up and that the owner is enjoying wearing it. It's fun to come across someone wearing one of your designs. It always shocks me!

    Post it notes darlin'. Put a note where it's going to be in your face before bed to look after those chooks,