So it has been on my mind for a while that I’d like to slightly diversify my product range to include items not only jewellery and art but also offer a more ‘affordable’ product too (I use inverted commas here as long time readers will know my stand on pricing properly and I don’t consider my work to be expensive, however £99 is not an impulse buy for most people).
So after the new collection launch (which was super successful with 3 pieces selling out within the first week!) I felt the winter chill and with it came the spark of motivation and inspiration. For me, as an artist who spends a lot of time working out my costs and prices, I knew that part of the solution to creating something hitting a lower price range was in reducing costs, but mainly in reducing the huge amount of time that goes into the jewellery.
I was pretty clear how I was going to do this: Covered buttons.
I got myself a little gadget and the metal blanks in 2 sizes – 29mm and 23mm diameter – then took up the challenge: I have to keep my Mother Eagle quality, just reduce size and increase speed. Can I do it?!
First I took a selection of my fave designs and digitally reduced the sizes. Then I transferred 5 onto some fabric and got going with the Heart:
I’ll tell you where I got my classy manicure later.
I can cover the entire thing with my index finger! Here’s how it is in comparison:
I think about 1 third smaller. Let’s be clear – NO FALL IN QUALITY; I used exactly the same techniques as for the larger sizes, only the size is different.
I bet you can’t guess which one took the longest? The Skull! Weird. It took twice the time so will have to have a rethink how I can make it quicker. Just a lot of dense filling really.
There you have it. And making them into buttons was shockingly simple and fast.
What I learnt was this is the smallest I can pretty much go but I can also adapt these into BADGES and HAIR CLIPS! CAN YOU CONTAIN YOUR EXCITEMENT? And these are simple modifications that I can add to them to order.
I still have the 23mm ones to do and I’ll share them with you at the weekend, along with how you can buy these prototypes for a special price.
I’ve finally got a group of work to show you, hurrahs!
Yes, as you can see, I have a new collection(just the one, haha) of ten pieces, including 8 completely new designs, and 4 brooches. It’s been really nice to look back on this collection and take the photos and do all those old sort-of-familiar things that I have much less time for these days. I feel really good about adding to my website and having more work out there.
This collection was inspired by magical and poisonous plants and I developed my Stumpwork techniques a lot as well as freshening up and upgrading a couple of classic designs. Here are some nice preview pictures of each piece for you:
They are both skipping in new pastures now, but I wanted to make another magical Hare sibling:
As the ambitious work in progress that is now (laughably) titled ‘Midsummer’ collection segues into a (let’s be honest) annual collection, the prior theme of on-black poisonous miniatures lends itself rather well to my most beloved spirit animals in magical white colourways. Kind of wintery. An Arctic Hare? A Ghost Hare.
These photos are not clear, as ever, but let me tell you I had the devil’s own job of differentiating on the embroidery the (clearly different in the box) different shades of white, cream and ecru that make up this lovely lady. In the end I went over it with an additional darker shade to pick out the key lines, but overall she is a lovely ethereal ghost Hare.
So I realise I’ve not been keeping up my one-new-design-a-week typical blogging schedule this last 2 weeks ish. This is not only because of the wonderful and long longed for distractions of things like this picture – the honestly really real life beach covered in snow and topped with azure sky scene at the (almost) bottom of my street WHERE I NOW LIVE.
It’s also not only because of distractions like Ice Cream Sundaes (yes capitalised because they are Sundaes of God-like status in my house), a soothing balm-slash-reward enjoyed slightly too frequently since moving to the seaside.
No. The MAIN reason for the interruption in service is that I have found a job. I now work in a workers co-operative which sells organic and wholefoods, natural products and the like. It is right in the North Laines of Brighton and is fabulous, but I have been very busy getting to grips with that, obvs.
SO this Easter weekend, I had lots of bits and bobs to do, and I was also teetering on the edge of a possible new client commission (now delayed) so I didn’t get started on a new piece as quickly as I might have. And it definitely doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that I’m a bit scared to do a stumpwork Foxglove. No, defo not that.
I did this instead:
I know this is not a new design, so sorry all you long time readers who might groan at this BUT, it was always my intention to revamp this design for the new collection, on black, in silk and set into a wooden pendant.
I have been a bit quiet this week, as far as blogging goes anyway. But the needle has been stitching away as ever, and I just finished the Black Henbane flower yesterday, so here is part 2!
When I left you last week I had completed the 3 petals using detached wire slips techniques. So here is number 4;
And here is the fifth and final one. In some ways this was the easy bit over, now plunging the wires into the black ground fabric one by one, to construct the flower head.
As each petal is pushed through the fabric, I bend the silver wire back against the fabric and couch them down to secure, then trim. It’s quite tricky making sure the petals lie in the positions you want them to.
All petals in place. Now I just filled in any gaps with purple silk french knots, and finished off with white glass beads to represent the stamen heads.
All the way up until the end I wasn’t sure how this would turn out in terms of how like the Henbane it would look, but I have to say I am pleased and think it will make a really stunning brooch, the poisonous petals spilling out of the frame.