anvil, ring

(no subject)

Wow. Busy these days!

I've been finishing up and sending some Valentine's Day pieces (and some of the clients kinda pushed my boundaries as to timeframe).

I am, nonetheless, mostly caught up with the requested estimates- and all the V-day deadlines were met, which is even more important.

My commission queue is growing again, and I love that. I've got a great mix of items to make! I'll need to take that into account as I estimate price and timeframe for additional work, though as i finish things, more space opens up for new work.
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    busy busy
anvil, ring

(no subject)

No time in the studio today, unfortunately; I've been working on websire updates and various estimates for commission work.

I know I'll have studio time tomorrow, though, and I'm looking forward to it.

On a completely off-topic note, our oldest cat is not doing well right now- she's mostly just not eating (and yes, we've gone to the vet and all), so if anyone would offer a prayer or a good thought for her, I'd appreciate it. She's the sweetest cat I've ever known, and we just adore her.
anvil, ring

(no subject)

If you are commissioning a custom piece of jewelry, please remember that the person making it is another person, not a faceless conglomerate.

For example: sometimes (not always) I can "rush" a piece... but since that requires me to work extra hours, it does cost extra over my regular price, since I need to do extra work to fit it in. Similarly, sometimes I can work the materials so they are less expensive than they would ordinarily be... but this generally takes extra time to manage. And at any point, either of these may not be possible; it depends on the current circumstances.

So: trying to low-ball both the price (which I set fairly, based on what your piece would cost to make) AND the deadline is not a win. I know there's a lot of stuff being published that says that one should negotiate EVERYTHING. Sometimes, though- that's not true.

I offer excellent work for fair prices (actually, my prices are currently rather cheap based on various pricing strategies). I know this. I also know how long things take me to make, including my current queue of commissions. Trying to finess one or the other- well, it's a trade-off, and might or might not be possible; trying to finesse BOTH- no. I can't do it. Period.

If you are commissioning something from an artisan, please think about giving them credit for knowing their own work, and offering a fair price. If that price is more than fits your budget- unfortunate; I think we all understand that! Gods know I soften at the sight of some stuff I can't afford! But- I don't expect that makers of such things will discount their work to meet my budget, because I know they can't afford to- and neither can I.
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    thoughtful thoughtful
anvil, ring

(no subject)

Another good day in the studio. I'm finishing up a set of wedding rings, and got the 14k nickel white gold ones done but for the final rouge polishing; this is GREAT because nickel white gold is a truly unpleasant metal to work with. (It is mulish about doing what I want, and even with protective firecoats it firescales like crazy and then needs to be polished clean. I am going to start charging a surcharge for working with it- it takes that much more time and effort than other metals.) Also got the companion ring rounded and almost the right size; I'll finish it tomorrow, I think/hope.

I got some initial work done on another couple of new commissions.

And! I got my white metal color sample rings polished with rouge, and then with part of the outside given a satin finish (which helps display the metal colors). Tomorrow, when they are dry, I will get them set up for photography, and use that to update my "About Metals" info on my website.

I've been working on website updating quite a lot this week. Nonthing's live yet, but I think it'll include some definite improvements, and some nifty new stuff.
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    accomplished accomplished
anvil, ring

Etsy love!

I posted earlier about what looked like a Craig's List scam migrating to Etsy.

Well, I informed Etsy about it, and despite that they're saying replies take 3-4 days- they cancelled the suspicious account immediately.

I am very pleased.

I know some people dislike the $0.20 listing fee for either 3 or 4 months per item, and the 3.5% commission they take- but to me, this is a very reasonable cost of business (galleries take something like 50-60%, AND you have to give them the goods to get that! with Etsy, stuff that hasn't sold remains in MY clutches, and thus not available to a failed gallerey that migh6t choose to use my goods- unpaid-for- to pay off thier other creditors.), and the fact that they are PROACTIVE like this about dealing with scams is part of my satisfaction.

Yeah, there's a lot of competition in many areas... but there's also a ROCKIN' search engine, and I am both doing well myself AND finding insanely cool stuff for gifts for persnickety people on it.

I think it's a fabulous paradigm, well-implemented.
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    pleased pleased
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anvil, ring

A Word of Warning

This may be old news to most Etsy people, but this is the first time I've encountered it: a version of the Carig's List scam where someone sends a forged cashier's check or money order for over the amount of the total, and then the mark sends the overage on back to the sender or to someone else. And lo! when the thing is processed, it's a fake, and I've read that some of the marks have even been arrested for passing bad checks and the like.

I don't know for a fact that the exceedingly weird query I got was a scam- but it sure fits all the parameters.

So: if you're on Etsy, be aware.
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    cynical cynical
anvil, ring

(no subject)

I've had a good couple of days in the studio this weekend- quite a relief, since this series of colds has really been kicking my butt lately!

I've made lots of progress on various wedding rings, and am now into the finishing process on them. I should have them finished this week.

I also finished 2 Trinket Ring orders for mailing tomorrow, and another 2 are nearing done; I'll be able to set the stones and finish the polishing tomorrow.

AND, best of all, my Mysterious Prototype Experimental Ring, v3, came out perfectly. I am so excited! Next step is to order some gold and make it in that. It's really fun- nifty conceptually, plus entertaining to play with... and that's all I'll say till the unveiling. :)
  • Current Mood
    pleased pleased
anvil, ring

(no subject)

Yikes! It's been a while here!

I've been keeping busy, at least when I have not been wiped out with the Cold From Hell. Still, progress! well, mostly.

I have made definite progress on some experimental ring designs, and am looking forward to finalizing the design- at least at this point- and posting some pictures.

Also been working on commissions.

I have 2 fairly fancy gift pieces on which I am working, and I have not had great results on either one; I think the Cold From Hell has not helped. One was almost done! but the translucent stone ended up with a dark blotch behind it after I set it- why, I do not know- and so I pulled the whole damn thing apart and am starting from scratch, mostly. I am concerned that I do not know how to avoid the blotch of doom next time, too. -And the other gift is even less progressed. Sigh.

At least I'm keeping up on the commissions and orders; I made a couple of Trinket Rings today, for example, as well as the rest of the stuff.

I would really like to get this damn cold GONE.
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    busy busy
anvil, ring

(no subject)

Today someone stopped by and picked up a ring he'd commissioned. It's one of my Trinket Rings, and he asked whether I just bought ring blanks and added the settings or motifs or whatever to them.

Um, NO! I was a bit surprised by the question!

I make my ring shanks myself. I do buy a few things- like really small cabochon settings, and sometimes tube settings for faceted gems, and jump rings... but mostly, I start from mill goods and make things myself. IU love the control that gives me over the final results.

So, no- I do NOT buy ring blanks and just gussy them up a bit- not even for my affordable stuff, like the Trinket Rings. Handmade, baby!
  • Current Mood
    thoughtful thoughtful
anvil, ring

(no subject)

A good day in the studio again today- commission progress, plus working on 4 St. Brigid's croses. I now have 2 done (one's been sold), 1 very close to done, and 1 still need the bail plus the finishing.

I didn't have time for anything fun, though yesterday I did pull the materials for a new ring idea I recently had. This one will definitely be a basic prototype; I'm since getting a better "vision" of what I want to do with the concept, and it looks like it'll involve carving wax and getting some cast... which is kinda a nuisance, since then I either need to keep castings in different metals in stock, OR take a LOT longer to get the ring made than I'd prefer...

I also tried again to raise the germanium oxide in a piece I've been working on. The first time I baked it in my kiln, and the Argentium got yellow. NOT what I had in mind! So I pickled, and debated, and finally re-polished and baked it on a glass pieplate in my home oven. Success! I'm guessing that the smaller volume and less precise heat control in the kiln caused the problems. Anyway: now I can set the stone in it and finish it- it's a big, slightly translucent stone, so I really wanted to do my best to prevent tarnish from happening under it. I will remember to raise the germanium oxide in my baking oven rather than the kiln henceforth. (No fumes are produced, and it's at a really low temp- 250F- so there's not toxins released.)
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    busy busy