Saturday, July 28, 2012

I'm Shameless

Before I became Shameless, I always colored within the Lines of Life. Most of my life was guided by Mamma's 11th Commandment: "If it's worth doing at all, it's worth doing well." BUT the corollary was a killer-- "If you don't do it well, re-do it until it's right," which I further extended to-- "If you think you can't do it well, don't even try."

Unfortunately, ART fell into that last category. I reasoned that because my training, skills, & jobs/careers involved geeky things guided by R.U.L.E.S, I could never try anything as subjective as art. So unlike most of my artist colleagues, I did not do arts & crafts as a child... unless you count coloring books, where "Excellent" meant coloring within the lines, of course.

But something happened after experiencing my varied successful, geeky careers... after feeling pride at the fine adult & mother our daughter has become... after experiencing Life... and especially after my hair turned silver. Why was I waiting to test new waters? Besides, I learned that Mamma's 11th Commandment wasn't always true. As a medical professional once told me, "If your neurosurgeon operates on your brain, you want a perfectionist. But if he cuts your grass, who cares!" That comment plus the tick-tock implications of my silver hair were incredibly freeing, and I FINALLY BECAME SHAMELESS. I embraced ART:)

So 6 years later here's the New Me, a one-woman-business designing jewelry, supporting my wonderful local customers & three online stores-- my Etsy store, my Zibbet store, & my own website/store. Maybe when age turns us silver, as a consolation prize, we lose our fear of failure. That's my excuse for the shamelessness I feel about my recently hatched, artsy self. Some of my work is classic & elegant. Some is quirky & zany. With beads, wire, & metal, I can/do take many paths into jewelry design. I’m no longer afraid to experiment in my career & fail. (That’s what recycle bins are for.) I'm convinced that SHAMELESSNESS BREEDS THE FREEDOM THAT FEEDS THE CREATIVE PROCESS.

Clearly, Seattle Chic Jewelry and Classic Beadwear are much more than my 2 business names. They track my own evolution as a person in the silver phase of my life. They represent Shamelessness & especially Freedom:)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

When Is "Handmade, One-of-a-Kind" Impractical?

It's VERY hard for me to temper my "brainstorms" with common sense. Enthusiasm for the challenge too often overwhelms logic! My latest brainstorm -- an etched medallion or pendant-- is the perfect example. The etching will feature up to 4 user-specified letters &/or numbers. "User-specified" is what makes this creation very special for a customer. The copper disk pictured celebrates a couple's 50th anniversary. But "user-specified" is what will make this item a big money loser for me. Each medallion/pendant requires a handmade template of custom size & lettering. That means creating TWO pieces of art for each customer- the template & the final medallion/pendant, with each process very time-consuming. It's impossible to mass produce such items, even if I could stand to do it. (I can't!!) Dilemma: How can I charge enough to justify creating two pieces of one-use art? Who could afford me? In other words,the custom medallion/pendant I just posted is the best deal ever!