Monday, January 16, 2012

RESINation Revisited or Fun Resin Jewelry

I did a blog several weeks ago called "Do These Resinate with You" that was about my new resin earrings and I related how I had made these because of the demographics of one shop that my jewelry is in.  I was trying for a lower price point, but still with allot of pizazz...and I felt like I got what I was attempting.

So now I have to complete that story.  I had several earrings remaining from the first batch that I made and decided to take them out to my "high end" shops just before Christmas.  I had 11 pairs.  I figured that nothing was selling, so why not try something that I would never have thought would fit these shops.  The first shop that I went to wanted all eleven and I asked her to give me the pair that she like least so I had something tangible to show to my other shop owners.  The other owner that I was able to see, went bonkers...she loved them and wanted lots.  I got them to her just before Christmas.

Meanwhile, I am reordering stock like crazy, even did a rush shipment...something I've never done before and I decided to try some necklaces, too.  I took the necklaces out last Friday, intending to visit my 5 most active shops and I never got past the first one, the one who went bonkers with the earrings.  She not only took 95% of the earrings that I had with me, but she took 19 of 21 necklaces.  She kept saying that these are going to sell and sell fast!  She has added the necklaces to her website and is now in L.A. on a buying trip and says she is going to find a rep for me for the west coast.  I had to come home and reorder again, because I needed necklaces for my other shops.

I am starting my fourth full year as a business, the first 8 months last year were record breaking for me. I envisioned not only a huge leap in sales, but also profits...and then Sept hit. My best shop sold one pair of earrings from mid September til December...not one other piece of jewelry.  She had sold exceptionally well during the summer, when nothing sells in Phoenix...but it's hard for a small business to absorb no sales for almost 3 months...needless to say, I am not breaking any records this year...but these resin pieces may resurrect me.  I have sold allot of earrings in the last several weeks and now the necklaces are out and ready to go...I'm working harder with this much lower price point, but profits are profits whether you get there with one $250.00 or five $50.00 checks. So I have my fingers crossed that clients will like these as much as my shop owners have. The funny part of this whole thing is - the shop that I orginally made these for - the beads I never would have ordered if this owner hadn't given me a go ahead - she has not sold one pair.  Boy, life sure is a crap shot isn't it????

Here are pictures of some of these necklaces and they are available in my shop

Soooooooooooooo - whaddya think - kinda fun aren't they????Have a great day, all...til next time

Monday, January 9, 2012

Fun with Steel Wire or Making Steel Magnolias

I purchased a new book a few weeks ago - Brenda Schweder's "Steel Wire Jewelry  " and it is the best book I have purchased since I started purchasing books about making jewelry about 6 years ago.  I buy books more for the tips and background of the material rather than for ideas or how to make a specific thing.  I am one of the fortunate ones who is usually overflowing with ideas, I poccess a kind muse. But I might need help getting a certain finish on metal or just to see a process - I bought a book on making beads and I am never going to make beads - but I so admired this artists' beads that I wanted her book to see what she went through to get the product that I admired so much.  Basically the same thing happened with Brenda's book...I was looking through the class schedule for Santa Fe and saw one of her pieces, and loved it.  A little while later, I got an email about Tucson and some classes that were being offered - and again there was a piece that I loved, and it was the same person I'd admired from Santa Fe - so I did some Google work and finally found her Etsy shop...bought the book and a bit of wire and I was hooked.

I found out that steel has been used for jewelry since forever and that steel is one of the most recycled materials in the world and is the most recycled material in the U.S.. I also found out that    Alexander Calder did much of his jewelry in annealed steel...anyone who makes jewelry should take a look at some of his pieces. He made a chandelier earring that I think was big enough to use as an actual chandelier.  By the way, annealed steel is steel that has carbon added to it, but not more than 2%.  It is  soft and very workable, and unlike other metal wires - it does not get brittle and break if you work it too much.  It usually has a coating on it, that needs to be removed for most jewelry, this is put on as a rust inhibitor.  That is the one drawback to steel wire - it can rust, but if it is coated with an archival wax, like Rennaisance, that won't happen.

These are some of the pieces that I have created with steel wire and I have loved every minute of the creative process.  Before this, copper wire was my favorite medium, but the steel is a little firmer and it most certainly is more forgiving.  Steel does not require the lengthy finishing and patinas that copper does either, so the process is less expensive.

I have finally gotten some pictures taken so these will be in my Artfire shop as soon as I have a few   free hours - it's such a time consuming boring job to enter pieces and pictures onto your website and I do tend to put it off as long as possible.  These are the first pieces that I made and I do like them allot.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Medicinal Effects of Copper

I wrote a blog several years ago about copper jewelry and the medicinal benefits of it.
The website that I wrote it on is long gone, and I assume that the article is sitting out there in the ether somewhere, but I sure can't find it.  First of all - I lay no claims to any medical knowledge, other than being the wife of a retired dentist.  Neither am I a witch doctor or a holistic guru...but this is what I have seen.

Over three years ago my husband was diagnosed by a very competent orthopedic doctor with rheumatoid  arthritis of the wrist.  In about four months, he had had three attacks where his wrist swelled to almost three times it normal size and it was extremely painful.  Each time he could not play golf for almost a week. I was doing allot of work with copper wire at that time and literally begged him to let me make him a copper bracelet and he finally relented because he would have done anything, at that point, not to have another attack.  My husband is definitely not the bracelet type, but he was desperate.  He will have had the bracelet for four years this May and has not had another attack since and he wears it 24/7.

He was so amazed by all this that he did some research and the article that most impressed him was on Web MD, and it was written by a German physician who had been the doctor for almost all the copper mines in Germany. What struck John the most was the fact that in all the years that this doctor worked at the Copper Company, he had never had one patient with rheumatoid arthritis.  We filed this in the fact file that really isn't too important and went on with our lives.

About three weeks ago, I sold a copper bracelet to a woman in my neighborhood.  She bought it because she liked the design and the way that it looked. I told her John's little story because she said that she ( and basically her whole extended family ) suffers tremendously from arthritis and she had lived in constant pain since 1999.  Subsequent visits with her have lead to her believing that this bracelet that she bought is a miracle worker.  Not only was she sleeping better because of the absence of pain, but the constant pain she has lived in for the last 12 years gets lesser every day.  I truly hope that this continues to be the case, it has really made me feel like a miracle worker as it is...I would hate to lose that.

Her husband is an engineer who worked in the IT industry.  So this man knows his way around a computer.  He has been so intriqued with the improvement in his wife that he too has done some research and the article that struck him the most was written by a physician, an orthopedist.  He said that several years ago, a complete scientific research project was conducted on the relationship between copper and arthritis...and the results were that the research scientists could find no relationship at all.  However, this doctor contended that any orthopedic doctor who diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis in a patient should recommend that the patient, at least, try a copper bracelet and see if it offered any relief to the pain.

I wear a copper bracelet 24/7 too and I am still able to do things with my hands that should be difficult in someone of my advanced years, and hopefully that will continue ad infinatum. Here's the new bracelet I just made and am wearing now...and it will soon be available in my shop with either the sterling silver finish, which I prefer and all in copper .

I am very partial to copper and have allot of bracelets in my shop from plain and simple to fairly ornate and decorative.