Saturday, March 2, 2013

Rolling with it...

Just as I deactivated all my customs, I now find myself in the middle of a big doing-customs dynamic.  And it's very welcome.  For quite a while, I've been feeling the need to take the faceted polymer clay beads into a new direction, and I just had a feeling that removing the 'old' ones would clear a path for  new, more interesting things, whatever they may be.
Lorelei Eurto featured my mosaic color facet beads in a blog post a couple days ago, and my little one lane, tree-lined supply shop on Maple Street  became a great zoomy highway.  At least that is the feeling of it.  I love that.  I am always in awe of people who wield such power and influence by declaration of taste.  And always thrilled when my own beads or jewelry is the object of declaration.  So, right now the mosaic faceted beads are my focus, along with the more intricate singles I've been doing, like the one below.  Every one of them has sold, so that's obviously a direction to follow.

Another thing I'm considering is keeping these listed as a made-to-order custom:

They've got lots going for them in a custom sense.  They sold right off the bat, and I've had a couple convos asking if I'll be making more (I will.  I have.  They just are not photoed or listed yet.)  They are very straightforward to make and there are not a lot of variables going on.  That is part of the problem with the regular faceted beads, and even the mosaic color beads.  They can vary so much from batch to batch in color, shape, overall look--at least to me.  And I've already gone on about how that can be stressful and limiting--trying to adhere to an existing ideal.

But these grungy pearls (I haven't settled on a name for them yet, but when they're all strung together I love how they bring to mind a Flinstones-style pearl necklace) are simply plain white clay with grit inclusions.  So--no color mixing and matching.  They vary in size, so I don't have to measure them as I work.  They don't have post-curing steps either.  They're ready to string right out of the oven.  The faceted ones have up to five steps after curing, and often take days to complete because of drying time.

And the truth is--that's the kind of thing I love.  Adding effects, alter after alter after alter.  But not for customs.  The grungy pearls are far better for that.  I just need to make many more batches of them to be sure they come out fairly the same time after time, so there are no surprises.  And I'm thinking I will price them by the inch. $1 per inch.  So a 10 inch strand would be $10.  And then I could have an add-on listing for $1, with like 200 quantities available, and the customer could just purchase as many of them as they want, for as long of a strand as they'd like.  So if you wanted a full 16 inch strand, you'd purchase the $10 listing, and then 6 of the $1 listings.  Like a grungy pearl automat.
Automats are the opposite of grunge though.  They're sleek and all about the sanitized machine age and The Future, which is always so about the past's present really, and so very retro.  God I want to eat in an automat.  I'd get a grilled cheese sandwich, or an egg salad sandwich, a bowl of tomato soup w/ saltines on the side, possibly some coleslaw, and a cup of coffee with plenty of "whitener."


  1. Between your mosaic faceted beads and Petra's mosaic drops, I'm awash in color for this spring! Congratulations to you, girl. You deserve it.

    Oh, and my Mom used to go to the Automat in NYC when she was a little girl. :)

    1. I'll have to go see Petra's mosaic drops now!

  2. Ah, s'cuse me- $10 for 10 inches of hand-rolled, one of a kind beads? NO. That picture up there with them all curled around each other on the string, I'd expect to pay $15 for that, at least. Think about the cost of the supplies and how long it takes you, but more importantly what else you could be doing in that time- that is where we often miss the value in our work. I used to sell clothes on eBay when I realized making jewelry would earn me 4 times as much in the same time. I know it's not all about money but really dude, 10 bucks...

    I hear where you're coming from on the altering- I looooove buying things and then messing with them so they're different. Then I go to make something with them and I'm all 'BOOOOORING!!' Which is why my shop is so glacial right now.

    1. So weird. I am making some of them right now, in a more mindful way of considering the actual time it's taking, and what I decided on is 1.50 per inch, which would make the strand you see $15!

      I think it's a fair price, and especially now since you came up with that independently. It took me longer to make them than I thought it would, and then I'm considering too that customs are generally more involved than ready to ship items, if only for the reason that you MUST make them. But there are always more dynamics involved than just that, even if I greatly limit the options.

      I was in a boooooooring phase with jewelry starting about 2 weeks ago--I felt like I was just making the same thing over and over. Normally when I find that going on, I'll get a book out and teach myself a new macrame knotting technique, or make a ton of clasps or something just as a kind of palate cleanser, and then incorporating the new components or techniques in usually cures the inertia.

      I've been focusing on the supply shop and the polymer beads for so long now that I'm really looking forward to getting some jewelry ideas out.

  3. Love your beads! Especially those Flinstone pearls!!