No-Work Weekend Jewelry Making

I'll be making jewelry on the weekends...

...but it won't be for sale.

I can’t believe I just typed that. Being a working artist, everything is always for sale, isn’t it? Well, I learned the hard way that that’s the fastest way to take something that you love and turn it into a j.o.b., which leads to b.o., I mean, burn out.

On top of that, if you’re like me, when you’re not making stuff to sell, you’re always thinking about new ways to sell it.

You may rationalize with yourself and say, “But really, I *do* like doing it all.” And I wouldn’t argue with you. I love being immersed and as passionate just as much as the next guy, and it’s all good…until it isn’t. It creeps up on you and once you get to that point, it’s H-E-double-hockey-sticks getting out of it.

So, this weekend, I proactively said no more. Or in the wise words of Beverly Hills Chihuahua: NO MAS!

I declared a no-work weekend.

I argued with myself over this, and whined a little, “But I looooove making jewelry…I don’t want to stop on the weekends.” So, I came up with a compromise I could live with.

I recently took a class with Cynthia Toops, the master of the polymer clay micromosaic. Y’all know I love me some micromosaics. Did you know I used to do polymer clay? Yep. Back in the day that was my first bead making and selling gig, before I got into glass. I feel like I’ve come full circle.

Anyway…spending time making something that someone else taught me will guarantee that I won’t turn it into a product line. Why? Because that’s just damn tacky. Cynthia is right when she says that the technique isn’t hard, it just takes a lot of time. Just how I like it.

I had this setting laying around from a failed glass stone setting attempt so I used it for my second polymer clay micro mosaic. The one below is the first one I made, in class, with another bezel that had a snafu with the stone I was going to set.

So, Friday came and I thought, I need to get a bezel made for my no-work jewelry making weekend! I’d spent a lot of the week working on designing an upcoming collection and I didn’t have it in me to toil with more. So, if it’s not dots I’m falling back on, it’s eyes, of course.

I liked the setting I’d already worked on so I set out to create one that was similar.

I realized that the method I use for creating the decoration around the edge is also mosaic-like. At this point I’m thinking I can probably relate anything in life to something to do with mosaics. Art mirrors life. Or the other way around?

I like it. I think it’s going to be a good one.

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New Glass Lampwork Beads. Get them While they’re Here!

This is what I’ve been working on lately.  These are the first round and I have to say I’m pretty impressed with myself.  Not impressed like these are perfect but impressed like they were experiments, first-try-and-they-don’t-look-like-cr@p, which most of my experiments do and they never see the light of the camera.

They were made with the Zoozii Cone Drop.  I don’t have the top part that makes the bicone but I probably should get it because it would make things go a lot faster!  I just love this shape.  There is something about it that speaks to me. The colors aren’t too shabby either.

These individuals are on sale on my site.  I know I’ve been remiss about selling on here lately and I do need to get back to it.  I have so many irons in the fire that I can’t choose which ones to focus on or what direction to go because they all hold my interest strongly.  From of course, a book, a new opportunity to make and sell more art pieces that barely include glass (can you believe it?), some jewelry shop and museum gift shop opportunities and travel.

But you see, then that thing called life comes in. And that takes precedence.  And all of those other things have to wait.  So, I guess I’m saying, get ’em while you can because I don’t know where I’m going to be pulled next week!

Why do we Drive Ourselves Crazy?

How do you work? Do you force designs based on what you think people want? Do you follow your gut on what to make and then find the market for it later? Do you plan ahead, or do you ‘play’ and let creations come out as they will? If you make one thing that sells well, do you make more and more of it? Are you a ‘one-off-er’?

I’ve run through all of these scenarios and I do a little of all of them at different times. I have struggled with wondering what the buying public wants and really trying to fit into that mold but it never feels right. You’ve followed my struggles with trying to work on bright colors. While that was (still is) a great challenge for me and I learned a lot, it still doesn’t feel natural. But because of it, I can now incorporate brighter colors into my work. So, yay me on that.

lori greenberg glass lampwork beads

When it doesn’t feel natural, that same spirit isn’t in the work…it doesn’t sell as well. Yes, it sells but I don’t get the reaction that I get for my more earthy designs.

It’s funny to me that when something is selling well and getting a great reaction (my earthy, organic beads) and I feel good making them, I still push myself to do something that I think others want, rather than what is good for me and what works. What is THAT all about? That sounds like insanity, doesn’t it? Like personal flogging. I think I need a counselor.

Oh…and…I’ve been busy getting ready for Tucson (I’ll be at Best Bead Show) and haven’t been focused on selling from my bead site.  If you see anything on the blog that you like, it’s for sale!  The ones above are $45.  Just drop me an email with the date of the post and the one you like.