Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My latest Etsy collections

Every couple of months or so, I like to update my Etsy mini on this blog. Basically, my mini displays a sampling of my products. Below are 25 items that I'm currently selling. To purchase my jewellery, head to Naomi's Designs or MayaGirl Creations.

Funky abstract gold wire necklaces and earrings

As part of my plan to get my jewellery into stores, I'm creating various lines of products. One of my collections is my abstract gold jewelry line.

All of these pendants and earrings are made of 14 gauge 12 K gold wire. It doesn't look much like wire, right? It looks more like metal because it's so thick. But is indeed square, full-hard wire, which I bent into various funky geometric shapes and then hammered for texture. I made shapes that I feel that I can replicate should a store want to purchase these designs in bulk.

Some people probably would've torched the wire so that it could be annealed and made softer, but I've found that in doing that, you can sometimes make the wire too soft. I wanted the texture to be a bit rough and raw, so I kept it as is; it was a bit of a challenge to bend it, but it was possible.

I've made several of these pendants before and what's interesting is that most of the buyers have been European. I'm not sure why that is; I guess people in the United States have different taste when it comes to wearing jewelry.

I'm still thinking of a name for this particular collection. As I've been watching the Olympics, "Go For The Gold" is coming to mind, either that or "Gold Stars." What do you think? Here are my latest gold wire wrapped designs:

To purchase my jewellery, head to Naomi's Designs. To purchase my children's jewelry, head to MayaGirl Creations.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Wire wrapped jewellery gallery: spiral jewelry

One of the first shapes I taught myself how to make when learning how to make jewelry was a spiral. When making wire wrapped jewelry patterns, the spiral is essential. It not only looks really cool, but serves a purpose because a) spirals are strong and hold jewelry together well and b) helps you close off the end of the wire in an aesthetically pleasing way. You can do so much with a spiral, from making simple wire wrapped spiral earrings to elaborate spiral designs. When it comes to this one shape, I'm never at a loss for ideas! Here are some of my favorite wire wrapped spiral jewelry pieces:

Hot pink wire wrapped daisy flower earrings:

Silver wire wrapped spiral necklace:

Blue wire wrapped spiral ring:

Silver abstract asymmetrical wire wrapped spiral necklace:

Wire wrapped rainbow spiral bracelet:

Copper wire wrapped Middle Eastern style necklace with spiral fringe:

Simple spiral earrings:

Silver spiral Native American style ring:

To purchase my jewellery, head to Naomi's Designs. To purchase my children's jewelry, head to MayaGirl Creations. Also, check out my novel REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD.

Copper wire wrapped wave rings with Swarovski crystals

As part of my plan to get my jewellery into stores, I need to create professional looking line sheets. This is basically a catalogue of your work that contains photos and wholesale prices so that stores know what they can order from you. In looking at others' line sheets, however, I've seen that most jewelry artists actually have lines or collections, such as the "Jungle Collection 2012" or "Floral Fantasies," etc.

I've decided to create some actual collections of my own. Many of my pieces are a little random and one of a kind, but I need to think in terms of what would work for a store -- in other words, what looks pretty, can be mass produced, isn't too expensive to make and is trendy? My Infinity rings are an obvious collection, as are my wire wrapped filigree chandelier earrings. I've been experimenting with other wire wrapped ring designs lately and have come up with my latest collection: the wire wrapped wave ring.

This ring is similar to those wire wrapped art rings that I previewed the other day, only the design is a lot less random and more controlled. There's a definite pattern to it. I call it a wave ring because, well, the way the spiral turns looks like a wave to me. So far, I've made variations in three color combinations:

Romance: pink and fuchsia Swarovski crystals:

Ice: blue and light blue crystals:

Citrus: orange and yellow crystals:

These can be made in any size and I think are very funky looking and fun! I'll update as I make more variations. To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs. To purchase my children's jewellery, head to MayaGirl Creations.

Selling Jewelry Online: Dry Spell

When interviewing actors for my former magazine job, they often told me that in their profession a) they could get fired or their show could be cancelled at any time b)that when a job ended, they could never be sure that another would come along c) but they had to keep acting because it was what they loved to do.

I sometimes feel as if I'm in a similar position when it comes to being a jewelry artist, particularly one who sells online. It is NOT steady work. It's dependant upon trends, seasons and the whims and tastes of everybody who goes online to shop. Basically, every day is a gamble and a question mark when it comes to whether or not I will make sales -- which is the case with any business, but even more so when you can't even see the people to whom you're selling.

That said, there are bound to be dry spells and downtimes, and right now, I'm going through one of those. I haven't sold a damn thing all week and it's frustrating, as hell, especially since I made sales every day last week. I thought I was on a roll! This is why I never take any sale for granted and try to not get cocky about sales increasing, which they have for the most part.

I don't think it's me, necessarily. I mean, if I were making so many sales last week, people aren't going to suddenly hate my stuff. And I've been getting plenty of views on Etsy. I think it probably has something to do with it being summer in the Northern Hemisphere. I do have some Aussie buyers, but most of my clients are from the United States and Europe -- and everyone there is going outside or going on vacation. They're not sitting in front of a computer shopping.

There are also no major holidays during this time in the U.S. between July 4th and Labor Day. So there are no events to shop for.

Though I am worried about the lack of sales, I'm trying to instead think about the near future, meaning the holiday season. In the past, I've done very well with online ventures during this time and I plan for this to be a really good year. I'm going to do several craft shows to get the in-person crowds and plan to make some limited edition holiday jewelry and ornaments. I love the fall, anyway, so I'm looking forward to all of this. I'm also trying to work more on getting my jewelry into stores, and to put out a "Back To School" line for my kids' site.

So even though things might be slow right now, I'm thinking positively and am using this time to work ahead. There's always something I can be doing and I figure that it'll pay off in the long run.

To purchase my jewellery, head to Naomi's Designs. To purchase my children's jewelry, head to MayaGirl Creations.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More abstract enamel and cloisonne pendants

Last night's enameling class turned out to be a really productive one! I managed to complete 2 1/2 pendants, with very few mishaps.

Once again, only three students showed up. I'm not sure why people would skip out on a class that cost a bit of money, but I liked the quiet, as well as not having to wait for equipment. All of us, including our teacher, just sat there working on our projects without interruption. This teacher, who is very young, acts more like a guide than a teacher; if you have a question, she'll answer it, but other than that, she pretty much stays out of the way. I like that, too. Some teachers can hover a bit and correct every move you make -- and while I appreciate learning the proper way to do something -- that can get annoying when it's done in excess. One teacher I've had is really sweet but whenever you ask for help, she ends up actually doing that step for you. I like being able to try things and make mistakes along the way.

Of course, my inability to deal with anything relating to metalsmithing has come up in this class. I just can't make the strikers (the things you use to spark a fire when using the torch) to work. No one else is having problems, but I strike and strike ... and nothing. I did not have this issue in any other class. I had a lot of other issues, but not this. My teacher has tried showing me alterative angles to strike it, and I just can't get it. I always have to be helped. I think it might be because I have some circulation problems, or maybe I'm just that much of a wimp. There is one square striker that was working for me, but now it's broken. I'm thinking of buying my own because newer ones seem to work better, but I have only three more classes left. It's just annoying!

Anyway, here are the two completed pieces I made. The abstract square pendant was inspired by Mondrian. I love the bold colors and pop art feel. The second is just simple blue and light blue stripes, but it reminds me of the jewellery I sa in Greece.

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs. To purchase my children's jewelry, head to MayaGirl Creations.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Copper wire wrapped rings with Swarovski crystals

For the longest time, I avoided making rings. When I first began making wire wrapped jewelry, I watched some ring tutorials online and attempted to make some --and failed miserably. My rings were so unfortunate looking and I decided to concentrate on other pieces, like earrings instead. Rings seemed to be boring, anyway. I mean, how intricate could you really make them?

Well, my mind has been changed and I take back ever thinking that they were boring to make! Over the past year, I've gained a new respect for them and find that some of my most creative pieces have been rings. I've, of course, designed my line of infinity rings and funky coil wire wrapped rings, but I wanted to try making something a little more intricate. So I returned to my mandrel and played around with it -- and you know what? After two years of wire wrapping, I CAN, in fact, make some interesting and nice looking pieces.

The following pieces are from my new line of abstract copper wire wrapped art rings. These are all one of of kind and are a size 7 or 7 1/2 (I went for the most common sizes). Basically, I created a ring base and then let my imagination guide me as I designed the rings' center. I twisted and looped the wire, added some Swarovski crystals and really didn't know what to expect until I'd finished! I think that these are cool, though. Here are the pieces I've made so far:

These designs were somewhat random as I'm still figuring out how much wire I need for certain patterns, but I'm getting better at gauging these things. They're so much fun to make, too! I can't believe I waited so long to work on rings, but am glad that I finally "discovered" them.

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs. To purchase my children's jewellery, head to MayaGirl Creations.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fall Jewelry Classes!

It's only the middle of July, but it's already time to register for fall classes at the 92nd Street Y. Though I've enjoyed taking my enamel class at Fitzgerald Jewelers in Brooklyn, I miss going to the Y. I prefer being in Manhattan, plus it's a much more professional environment. The teachers at Fitzgerald have been wonderful and are so, so talented, but the equipment is lacking. We're basically taking the class in the store whereas the classrooms at the Y are specifically set up to be studios.

I definitely plan to take enameling and precious metal clay again. I really liked both and especially enjoy working with enamel. This time, the class will be 15 sessions long, so I'll really get to know the ins and outs of this art. I'll have a chance to do some more intricate cloisonne work, just in time for the holiday craft fair season.

PMC is more of a fun class for me. It's only seven sessions, but I love the teacher and managed to make a lot of pieces in her last class. This is a very relaxing thing to do, and I need that sometimes.

Now my big question is, do I take a third class? Fall is going to be busy with craft fairs and travel and whatnot, but so many classes look interesting! I DO NOT plan to take anything that involves metalsmithing; I need a break from that. But I am thinking of taking wax carving. When you carve in wax, you can get a mold cast and then make hundreds of the same piece. It's a step for mass production. Much as I like making every piece by hand, this method would open up some opportunities for me, especially if I'd like to sell to stores. Plus, it seems like it would be fun to carve little wax sculptures. So I have this class marked for consideration.

I have to say, my time at the Y has been very productive. Here's a look back at the pieces I've made there:

Chunky silver ring:

Mixed metal stacking rings in copper and fine silver with blue cabochons:

Enamel and cloisonne pendants:

Copper pendant and earrings:

Precious metal clay pendants and earrings:

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs. To purchase my children's jewelry, head to MayaGirl Creations.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wire wrapped infinity rings photo gallery

Wow, I really have made a lot of infinity rings, haven't I? It's cool how one design has inspired so many spinoffs; the original is kind of like the Happy Days of rings. I thought it would be fun to see them all together in a photo collection:

Original silver wire wrapped infinity ring:

Infinity ring in blue:

Infinity symbol ring in purple:

Infinity ring in pink:

Wire wrapped infinity ring in black:

Silver wire wrapped rainbow infinity ring:

Copper infinity symbol ring:

Brass infinity ring:

September birthstone sapphire Swarovski crystal infinity ring:

April birthstone diamond Swarovski crystal infinity ring:

Wire wrapped infinity ring with topaz Swarovski crystal November birthstone:

October birthstone ring

March birthstone infinity ring with aquamarine:

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs. To purchase my children's jewellery, head to MayaGirl Creations.