Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Winter Berry Suite of Jewels

I have made my last jewels in 2008. Not the last forever...just the last I'm making within this year. :)

I've given this set of jewels the title of Winter Berry. The colors of chocolate brown and purple look like these berries we have on some bushes here, and when I was photographing a cardinal the other day, I really got a good look at the berries. Everything just kind of fit together after that moment.

The necklace and earrings (shown here) and the bracelet (I'm still working on) all have these gorgeous lampwork glass beads with a chocolate brown color, along with lavender and pale blue.

I've wireworked and clustered the entire design using silver wire.

The accent beads consist of genuine amethyst chips, synthetic blue topaz chips and freshwater pearls. The necklace is adjustable, and has a lovely drop section with dangles.

The earrings - of course - match the necklace. And the bracelet I'm working on will match as well. The bracelet is cuff style, with a clasp.

As I've made this set, and a few pieces previous to this, I've been making some decisions about which direction to go with my work.

Several years ago, during a poor sales period, some well-meaning advice came from a variety of sources for me to make "smaller, more affordable" jewels. I did that. And here at the end of 2008, I notice loads of smaller, more affordable jewels that didn't sell are filling my office and studio. Why? Because my true talent lies not in mass-production of repetitious similar lies in the production of one of a kind designs which take a major effort and hours, along with a lot of components.

As I look back at photographs of the jewelry I've made and compare them to what has sold and what has not, it's clear that my larger, more intensive designs were the ones most appreciated. Very few of them are here - most have sold. All of my Haskell style wirework with seed bead pieces are gone, as are all of my glitzy, large rhinestone creations I used to make.

While I love jewelry making, it is a business for me and I do have to sell what I create in order to support my family. It's a job - just like many of you go to regular jobs, this is mine. Only mine doesn't go from 9-5 or 8-8. My day starts at 5 am and ends at 10pm. There's not a waking moment I'm not working - even if not physically working on a project, my mind is working on the creation...or the photos...or the marketing...etc.

Therefore, I've made a resolution for the new year. Gone is the simple stuff....the smaller...the more affordable. Instead, you'll see more complex, time-intensive, and substantial works of art jewelry, which I will still try to keep affordable, but they won't be simple and they will take more time to make - and they will be more expensive than what you've seen me produce the past couple years. And they'll also be better received, as they are what is truly me. :)

Happy New Year to everyone - may we all enjoy a happy and prosperous 2009, doing what we truly love to do. --Jai

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