29 Feb 2012

Clearing the decks and sub-conscious solutions

I have an airtight compartment box that lives permanently on my work bench.  It originally landed there to keep finished items waiting to be photographed safe.  But in reality, I found that items just-made that excited me, didn’t hang around long to be photographed, as I wanted to get them out there to sell.  

But the box did gradually fill over time with pieces.   The items that ended up in there seemed destined for a long stay.  They tended to be pieces that I’d either not quite finished and wasn’t sure what they needed to call them finished, or I simply wasn’t happy with some aspect of them. Sometimes just leaving a piece alone and returning at a later date, your sub-conscious just decides in its own time, what needs to be done, as has happened with some of the items described below.

Some of the jewellery items took up permanent residence in my box, purely because I knew they’d be a pig to photograph and I was procrastinating.  Hence, some time ago, I ripped the “To Photograph” label off and replaced it with “Procrastination Pieces”.

Please click on any of the photographs to see a larger version.

These garnet and silver earrings fell into the category of ‘pig to photograph’ and I’d returned to them several times and not been happy with the results, but decided I would just have to persist and get the job done.

Looking into this box one day I realised it was now full of a lot of jewellery that would simply never sell sitting in there, so I decided to clear at least half of it out, one way or another and found myself in just the mood to tackle it.


I made this polymer clay cabochon some time ago and had it on a rigid silver plated wire choker, but knew it was going to be tricky to photograph. I hadn’t wanted to put it on chain as the tube bail on the back tends to make a rasping sound as it moves about on chain, which I find irritating, so suspect others would too. So I changed it onto a silvery grey flexible PVC thong necklace, with hand crafted cord ends and clasp and am much happier with how it works – it looks good and is nice and quiet too!

So I considered each piece on its merits and assessed why I hadn’t finished the listing process for that particular piece.  I just grabbed the bull by the horns and after a week, I’ve just about emptied my ‘Procrastination’ box.  Some items I just took the easy option and plonked a price ticket on and put them in my craft fair stock, they just weren’t worth the effort of any further time.  A couple of items I cut apart to do something entirely different and with the materials.

A couple of pieces I combined the parts of into new pieces.  The pendant above was one such item.  It was much as you see it now, but with much fewer buds – I had another pendant with a similarly scanty supply of buds, so combined them and am in the process of doing something different with the pendant from the other.

This bud-wrapped pendant piece was another I wasn’t sure about.   I originally had it hanging vertically with one large oval jump ring bail, but the buds weren’t symmetrical around the hanging point, to it didn’t sit comfortably with me, so after looking at it laid the other way round on my bench, I decided that joining the chain to it in two places, sat much more comfortably and works rather better with it hanging in the centre of a necklace rather than just as a pendant.

This etched daisy pendant has featured before in the blog as an early piece in my copper etching adventures.  This was the first piece I tried by making a resist from one of my own photographs and the printing method I used worked pretty well, but wasn’t quite resilient enough for the process, so areas that should have remained clean were eaten away a little during the etching, giving a rather rustic appearance.

My husband always said he preferred this rougher version and thought I should put it on sale anyway.  It had got rather used to its home in my procrastination box, although I’d taken it out and looked at it many times, wondering what to do with it.  Two small events gave me the answer.  Firstly, a very good Stateside customer ordered one of my chunky copper pendants but asked for it on a much longer chain.  I tried it on once I’d finished it and thought it worked really well worn that way – which was something I wouldn’t even consider for myself – as I’m just too clumsy and something long and dangly would be a recipe for disaster with me personally, I’d get snagged on door handles or the like.

I also bought new stock of antiqued copper chains and one was a lovely chunky copper belcher (rollo) chain which I thought was perfect for the long treatment with this chunky pendant.  So I’ve teamed it with a 28″+ chunky chain and it works very much better.  It was worth waiting for the right solution for it.

This little turquoise pendant was one I just decided to put on sale, as it was, with its flaws and reflect them in the price.  I loved the rough little turquoise nugget – but as the hole in it was drilled at a wonky angle, it was never going to sit very evenly.  Plus, I misjudged on the size of loop I left for the bail, so it can only take a fine chain and it doesn’t move freely once on, so hopefully someone else will like it too and love it despite its shortcomings.

My work often flows in themes and I’ve made several pairs of earrings with a spiral wrapped around the bead and decided to try combining that with coils of fine copper wire too – these are Chinese Green Jade teardrops with spiralled coils of antiqued copper.  The pair below with purple glass hearts arose as a customer wanted me to re-make an old design with a variation of an Egyptian Scroll, to which I added some further wrapping and topped the hearts with matching rosy copper buds.  I’ve made a turquoise glass oval pair too, but am going to have my work cut out with photographing them both as the double articulation in them ensures that they’re impossible to pose flat and I’m probably going to have to wrangle and tame them with Blutak and bad language!

5 thoughts on “Clearing the decks and sub-conscious solutions

  1. You’re wire work is great! And I love the pendants, especially the beaded one. I am just starting out, so it’s great to see your creative thought processes. Inspirational!

  2. Thanks BBB, much appreciated. I don’t tend to wear very long chains myself as I can’t be trusted with them, so tend forget about it as an idea – but I shall certainly think more about it in future.

  3. These lovely things do need to come out and be seen. I love the idea of a longer chain on your daisy pendant. Sometimes with a certain type of dress or top, it is nice to have a nice long chain.

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