Friday, March 13, 2009

Two Questions

I’ve been playing around with making sets of beads/components for a while now. Sort of like what you see here. It was my daughter who suggested, actually maybe demanded a little, that I make things in sets. You see she is actually the reason I started making beads. She’s been making jewelry for several years and wanted to use my ceramics in her work. But a lack and alas she’s got little time for beading now that she is a fully certified and practicing ICU nurse.

So my question is, do you prefer your pendants and focals to come with beads and small components that match/coordinate?

From a ceramics perspective it’s easier to put things together in sets as each glaze firing will vary slightly, so no two things will be exactly the same. Sometimes they even vary from one section of the kiln to another. Being the perfectionist that I am, I like the glazes on components to be the same if they are being used together in a piece of jewelry. I can really only do that if it’s from the same firing. Maybe this isn’t so important?

From an Etsy listing perspective, it’s a lot easier to put together groups of things in order to keep those pesky listing and PayPal fees down. That 50 cents total listing and selling fee can really start to bump up the costs of what I think would be reasonable prices for individual items.

My second question is about technique. Again, my daughter influenced my ceramic practice. She doesn’t like the fired wire loops on my pieces. She doesn’t like them because they don’t match the brass wire and findings she prefers. She is very opinionated! I like them because the pieces are cleaner looking without holes in them. Does it matter to you?

Sets or not?
Wire loops or not?

I’d really love to hear from all of you!

Thanks and have a wonderful Friday, LeAnn


Carlene said...

Hi LeAnn,
I don't usually leave comments (lurker at heart) mostly because I don't have a blog. But I've been admiring your work (ok drooling over, perhaps) and am excited to see you are considering sets. Individual stuff is great, but a focal with matching accent beads would be great! I like the one with the different shapped friends. I think those would do well. And personally I like the loops. It doesn't bother me that they don't match the wire I use. I just want to add that I really enjoy your blog and your pieces are beautiful! Happy Friday!

SummersStudio said...

Thanks Carlene! I really appreciate the feedback.

And thanks also to Petra, who just emailed me a ton of really useful ideas!

Lisa said...

I definitely prefer sets! When I make a necklace, I always feel the need to make matching earrings and vice versa. I like that the components look different, but have matching glazes. This way the necklace and earrings look different, but still match. As for wire loops, I don't think I have a preference. If I did use a pendant with a wire loop, I wouldn't mind if it didn't match the wire I was using...I like to mix metals. You bring up a good point with the selling fees, and from a buyer's perspective it is usually more economical to buy in lots as well.

I like the sets you've made so far...looking forward to seeing more :)

Lilla Jizo said...

Hi LeAnn!

Thought I'd post the ideas from the mail first, then some further thoughts. So we'll have it in it's proper place ;) That was my plan at first but then I had to ask for some clarification first as you know..

I love the holes in the buttons! I think they add character and makes it look like a button ;) if you see what I mean? I like that you see the thread when you have stitched it onto something, for me it's more creative and interactive, you are able to bring something of your own choice to the button, color and texture, it's a nice detail that I love!

I also see a lot of possibilities in the ones with the fired wire loops. I'd do some of both! I think the loop just adds character, I like that it looks a little bit rough. It doesn't bother me either (agreeing with Carlene) but then I am not working with wire but with textiles. So that's another perspective. If you want the button in itself to have that cleaner look that you speak of of course the loops are better, but I think it depends on what you use it for. Again, I like them both, but I think if I would have to choose I'd say the traditional button with holes.

When it comes to sets or not sets, I think sets are a great idea. But I'd do both of these too. I have had the same dilemma when listing on Etsy. I think to some customers it might be appealing to have you pick out a combination that goes together well, but I think it is good to have some singles too.

I think that making sets are also a possibility for you to be more creative and having more fun when listing things. It can often be more striking to se the pieces together and they give something to eachother, get some kind of a context and look more appealing. And I think that it might give an extra spark to the creative process for the one who looks at it.

For you not to have to put too much work and money into listing I think sets are great. I really think that can be a good idea. But as I said to have some singles too if you just want one button, or if you want to pick and choose for yourself.

I have both single miniatures and sets, and people seem to appreciate both. I think the same would go for your buttons!

Thanks for your comment on my blog too. See you soon! :)

sharon said...

LeAnn,, first of all i looooooooove your stuff and am so so inspired by it. i especially looove aunt hatties buttons... the color looks luscious!! i probably won't help too much with your question, but being a gemini i like a little of everything, so sets are good sometimes but most of the time i don't like too much matchy matchy. i like the holes in your pieces definitely though. i recently started experimenting with polymer clay and put some hooks in them and now i don't like them so much. but then again i might change my mind! i definitely like a little of everything!

Lorelei said...

Tough question LeAnn! I like sets of beads, definitely! I don't think a little variation in color would be that detrimental.
I also like the wire loops but only if they are from front to back as opposed to side to side. Does that make sense? I like to be able to string in this manner.
I also really like the holes too so that I can attach my own bail- whether it be seedbeaded loop or brass wire-wrapped loop.

Winchell Clayworks said...

I haven't made many pieces with wire loops for awhile (couldn't find the wire :-) but in the past I put a coat of nail polish over the wires to cover up the "charred" look. I was able to get a number of different colors, including copper. I've also used black and silver. I suppose you could use any color that corresponded with the glaze color, as well.
Winchell Clayworks

SummersStudio said...

Wow! Thanks everyone! And thanks to Renate who has emailed me because for some reason she can't comment on my blog. Got to fix that somehow.

Lorelei, I'm pretty sure I know what you mean with the front to back loop. And it has given me an idea I'm going to try out the next time I make pendents.

Winchell, I order my wire from Big Ceramic Store or New Mexico Clay.

You've all been so so generous and this has given me a lot of new ideas. A really really big thank you!