Thursday, February 21, 2013

Custom rustic faceted bead listings, we hardly knew ye...

It was fun while it lasted, my sweet rustic faceted polymer clay bead custom orders, but it's time to cut the apron strings, whatever that means.  

I have deactivated all my custom listings.  It has simply become too stressful to fashion things to an existing ideal/expectation.  And it's my OWN ideals and expectations I'm talking about--my own notions that I impose on myself, vs. the customers.  I know this intellectually.  I've never had anything but positive transactions and feedback with any of the bead orders.  

 But the way I make things is so imprecise and kind of seat-of-my-pants (whatever that means) that I find myself second guessing, third guessing, fourth guessing, all the way up to like fifty guessing sometimes, because I want to 'get it right.'  But the truth is, some things are unduplicateable because I don't have formulas for color mixes, or patterns for anything. I feel like offering custom orders are a promise and I've come to realize that it's just not the way I can do it right now.
 But I will keep making the faceted beads incorporating new techniques into them.  And also listing lots of the regular ones as I make them.  Just no custom ones for a while, maybe forever.  The mint ones above have a satin glaze.  First time I've tried that and I like it.  I've found that taking the extra step of using some kind of applied finish on the polymer beads gives them a 'relevancy' somehow; it can define them, frame them, set them apart.
 This one doesn't have a glaze finish, but the texture was created using a tiny bit of liquid polymer clay over a raw clay bead to fix the tiny moon and star sequins in place.  It's got a 'landscape' vibe going on a little and it looks pretty different from every angle.  I considered glossing it to give it an even further layer/sense of depth, but there is too much texture and gloss would make it look too lumpy and messy.  I mean it's lumpy and messy already, but the gloss would make it look unintentional.
 The rose below was a long time coming.
 I have been thinking about constructing sculpted flower beads for literally a year.  I make a lot of rose and floral beads, but I usually use my molds or non-layered/less dimensional forms.  It was really fun and I learned a lot. I don't know that I could use the same technique and get a smaller bead.  I like that it's a bigger focal anyway.  It took quite a while, so it's got a bigger price on it.  I think a smaller one would take even more time and I don't know if charging as much or more for a smaller bead will go over well.  It's a limboland kind of thing, I think.  The smaller and more miniature things are, sometimes makes them more quaint or precious.  But then when you apply the practical use idea to them as you must with a product like a bead, does it hold?  What I mean is--if someone is going to spend $9 on a single bead, they likely will want to use it in a 'special' way, perhaps as part of a pendant or otherwise as a focal.  So size matters in that sense.  It's got to be big enough to be noticed.
 I love the rose bead.  I'm going to make more and experiment with textures and maybe color.
 Some smaller rose forms below. Side-holes, which offer some interesting possibilities.  Strung the right way with wire-wrapping, they'd stand straight up, a row of rosettes.  I have some more and after I paint and finish them, I think I'll make a bracelet with my idea as an example.  Perhaps it's coincidental, but I think everything that I've posted an example-use photo with my beads has sold.  Not that people need my ideas, but I think it's nice to see how beads can look in a context of a finished piece.
 These below have a really nice, almost frosty matte or 'etched' look and feel in person.  I bought a new thing of white bulk clay and it is so, so fresh.
Everything above, except the first two faceted photos, is listed in my supply shop now.
 I also have over 11 destash and various bead strands to list tonight.  Still burned out on listing.  It takes me forever because I can't focus on it.  But look for lots of new things in my supply shop by late tonight or tomorrow at the latest.  I also have a couple new things to list in my regular shop!


  1. I'm totally with you, I agree making custom order can be stressful and seems like things go wrong and you put way more energy into coming up with a set that you hope will be just right. Happens to me lots.
    WYSIWYG is my favorite kind of order.
    I always love your faceted beads and will maybe hit you up for that trade once I get back form my trip.

  2. Your polymer clay beads are so wonderful! Love the facets, your precious singles and the roses. Look at that pretty full moon at the top, puts me in a calm place. :)

  3. I agree with you about custom orders...For me, it takes the joy out of my creativity...I like to just "do" and there is more stress and less joy in working for an expectation...mine or someone else's... Love your work by the have been one of my inspirations...Thank you!