My first (and usually only) show of the year is coming up on May 8 - the day before Mother's Day! This will be our fifth year at the Westville Artwalk! If you live anywhere close to New Haven, come and see us! There are always a lot of talented artists in a variety of media, plus live music and lots of fun activities for kids :)
I've allowed myself to get distracted by knitting and gardening these last few months since the December holidays, and it's time to start getting some real work done. Last year I managed to acquire a lot of new stones, so this year I need to start doing something with them. I've just finished this pendant (sterling, rose quartz and peridot) - I now have to figure out the best way to hang it. I always run into this problem, especially with large-ish pendants. I have a choice of putting it on a commercial chain or making a chain/necklace for it myself.
Using a commercial chain would certainly be the fastest and easiest option, but I don't always have them on hand, and the snake chains that would be most appropriate for something with this weight really aren't that cheap, even for me. I just don't have the buying power to buy enough snake chains at once to get quantity discounts, which means I'm paying almost full retail for this particular supply, plus shipping! Not really very good business sense.
The flip side of this is if I make a chain or necklace with materials I have on hand. I wouldn't have to buy any new supplies, and they would have been bought at wholesale, thus bringing the materials costs down. The trade-off is that it takes a great deal more time to fabricate a chain/necklace, which frequently increases the price of the finished piece to something that is more difficult to sell. Even if people appreciate handmade work and think the price is reasonable, it doesn't mean they can afford it!
I know - I need to get my jewelry in front of people who value handmade and have money. I'm just not there yet. The higher end shows that attract that type of clientele are just out of my range right now. I can't afford the booth fees (which would have to be paid up front), and my display isn't professional enough. I've been adding pieces to my display in bits and pieces over the years as I needed them, so nothing really matches. I haven't got the space or the capital to try and fabricate booth furniture myself, so that's not really an option for me. What I really need is to win the lottery! That way I can just buy everything I need all at one go. It will all match, it will all look professional, and if any of it doesn't work the way it's supposed to, I can go complain to someone who will help me fix it!