Friday, February 18, 2011

"Bits 'n Pieces" Branching out!

Recently I noticed a number of jewelry friends buying ceramic buttons to use in their jewelry pieces. (Heck I even bought some from Winchell Clayworks in Maine... ok so maybe I bought them at first because she's from Maine and I love Maine but ... YOU should buy them because HER PIECES ARE DELISH!!)

Ooops I digress...

So I asked one of these terrifically artistic gals what she thought about fine silver, bronze and copper buttons - her words were something along the lines of... "you make them - they will come". It sounded promising. Here's my problem... since I started with my metal clay obsession, folks have asked me "do you have a store?", "do you sell your pieces?" ... my answer was always "No." See, the reason for this is... ::deep breath:: I'm afraid of a number of things - that people don't really like them, that they won't sell and that it will become work ... and this isn't work it's FUN... this is my hobby. (Read between the lines people... I'm a chicken.) I do love making 'components' I use to make the jewelry pieces - almost more than creating the pieces. I love making pieces for people - having a person to create for, knowing that person and making a piece that is totally special and customized for them - but I also like process of making the pieces I use to build the jewelry piece from!

So I decided to take a slow ambling walk toward selling pieces. I thought - let's create some components... some "Bits 'n Pieces" and see how it works. I started the process (sloooowwwwllllyy because ... yup - you know it - I'm a big ole chicken - have I mentioned I LOVE roasted chicken? ;o) and this was a big step) ... I created a FB fan page calDESIGN Naturals an etsy shop, a new banner - NOTICE THE NEW BANNER ON THIS BLOG??. I started putting all my ducks in a row and then I got a little push - my friend Johanna from Canyon Echoes found my etsy site and every so often would send cryptic notes like... "that should be in your shop" or "still empty" LOL her support made me laugh and kept me going. Then another friend Audrey from Principessa Glass found my FB page "found ya" and had a request - make her a pair of heart dangles that she can make earrings from. That was the final push.

Introducing... calDESIGN Naturals "Bits 'n Pieces" -

I started with 2 pair of heart dangles - one flat, one slightly domed, a flat heart pendant dangle and 2 pair of "buttons". All in fine silver (.999) and all scooped up in the first day! OMG - thank you my friends for making me feel welcome! Audrey reserved both pair of dangles and the pendant and two other friends (yes Johanna was one) scooped up a pair of square fine silver textured buttons w/2 holes and a pair of leaf-shaped fine silver textured buttons w/ 2 holes.

After an offer from Canyon Echoes to add my etsy site to her monthly email newsletter I loaded 10 pair of bronze "buttons". These buttons are fantastic! The torch-applied patina is incredible. Square, round, triangular, diamond, rounded triangular...2 and 3 holes ... textured on one side, flat on the other - these "buttons" are fun!!! Average size is approx 5/8" to 3/4". Textures include wood grain, sea foam, floral, flourishes, and more! Such fun to make!!! All have been tumbled for 8 hours to ensure they are work hardened.

It's been a fun trip into the wonderful world of selling what you create - I've had an order for more hearts and have fine silver (.999) and bronze drying as I type. :o) I can't thank my friends enough for the support - from answering 1001 questions to providing moral support to actually purchasing my little "Bits 'n Pieces" and requesting more - I love them and THANK YOU!!! :o) (These earrings are the first pieces made with any of my "Bits 'n Pieces" - Audrey made them for herself - she shined them up a little to knock down some of the patina so they would show a little brighter with her dark hair. LOVE these little babies!!:o) )

Next post - Color Combo Challenge... creating pieces "just because" instead of for someone. It's pushed me to just make and I'm really enjoying it. Come back to see more! :o)

Until next time... I leave you with this thought - Please take time to visit my friends using the links posted above. These gals make all their product by hand - in their work shops, rooms, studios. They are true artisans and I am so proud to present their work in my pieces.


  1. Yay for sales!!! Those silver hearts are breathtaking!! And I'm looking at the bronze buttons in the picture above (the big square one with the floral design) and not seeing them in your shop. Where are they??? Yes, I also love the fire-patinas on these! This bronze can be kind of washed out looking without a patina on it and I think your torch is just the ticket!

    I worried a little too that this (selling my stuff) would become "work", and it would have, if I had to support myself with it. As it was, it didn't really matter if I sold anything or not--the investment was within my budget. And I found it was FUN to throw a piece out there and see if anybody nibbled at it. It's like fishing (except it's fun)!! I love making something "just because" and throwing it out there. I really don't like custom work. It's the rebel in me.

  2. Awesome!!!I can't wait to see more Bit's and Pieces! I have some plans for my buttons and will post a picture for you when I get that project finished. It's taking me in whole new direction... Very fun and inspiring! Go Cindy Go!!

  3. SUCH Bravery paid off, Keep it up~ I have some silver and bronze clay in a "safe" drawer... I don't want to butcher it until I feel safe! SO you should be proud and keep up this awesome work!

  4. Thank you ladies! :o) It's been an interesting and fun ride so far. Paula... I adore bronze - I'm using the Prometheus Bronze (and now Copper) from Turkey and I adore it! The firing time is much easier than the other bronze clays and it's stunning. I just did my first load of Prometheus Copper (last weekend) and it's wonderful! I hit it with a torch and got the most insanely gorgeous hot pink and purple patinas - all my pieces were posted last night and gone today! Who knew!? :o) If I can be of any help w/ your move forward to getting your clay out of the 'safe' drawer let me know! :o) It's an addiction though - I will warn you! :O)