Tuesday, September 9, 2014

It was a good idea...

We have all done it at some point and even I have done it too.  When I was first putting jewelry together and placing it at the St. Louis Curios Shoppe to be sold, I would put any pieces together that I thought even remotely looked nice.  Considering myself a "God of Rings", I would take any item and stick it to a cheap metal ring, thinking that the concept of me taking 5 minutes to make a ring out of $2 worth of materials and list it for $5 was a huge boon.  My labor and cost per ring would have been about $3.67.  Thinking I would cover all of that and some.  What I didn't think about was my cut, my 60% would had given me $3 out of $5 and that meant for every piece I sold, I was actually losing money. 

I tried my hand at making bracelets and what I had on hand, no pun intended, was a bunch of old watches.  My idea was to take a bunch of old watches, invert the band so that the watch crystal was actually the bottom base for my bracelet and keep the adjustable band as an adjustable bracelet.  I thought it was a brilliant idea.  But then again, even good ideas have a bad execution.

This is what I thought was a brilliant idea.  My wife's grandfather had bought one of those cheap $20 watches at Wal-Mart and then it broke.  I liked the band how it had these rivets or bolts seen in the top casing, which was all metal against the plastic band.  The plastic band, was huge and brighter than bright yellow, which you can clearly see here.  What could I do with it?  Well, before I even had the bracelet idea,  I made a necklace pendant.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  I took an antique Elgin watch movement, slapped a metal colored, plastic dragonfly on it and sealed it all with resin.  I then attached two metal wings and punched a hole in both wing tips, with which I then clasped a jump ring and used that as the way to hang the necklace.  Now, after no one at the Curios Shoppe bought the necklace, I kept reducing the price of it down more and more but no one would buy it.  I originally had it listed at about $60 but when I reclaimed it from the Curios Shoppe in December of 2013, it was down to $20.  I had no idea of how to price my items at the time and while it wasn't made with the better quality materials I had now, I still should not have lowered the cost at all.  Anyway, I then cut the jump rings off, ditched the chain, and slapped it onto a larger piece of round metal.  That in turn was then super glued and attached to this giant watch band with resin.  The piece, as you can see from the above picture, was not only large, huge and bulky, but it was yellow and with so many compliments on how nice and beautiful the watch piece looked, I received an equally amount of "ewww's" when they say the yellow plastic band.

Last night I destroyed it.  It may strange for an "artist", which is what people have been calling me, to deconstruct their older pieces in order to recycle them for future ones, but I have to do it.

I guess there are 3 classifications of artists: 

1.  There are those who make art to express themselves and their ideas and thoughts.  These artists make the art for themselves and they do not care about criticism or opinions of others.

2.  There are those who make art for the public, be it to be sold or shown.  These are the artists who listen very closely to what everyone says and what they think.

3.  There are those who are a hybrid of both.  I have been told that the reason that I am successful is that I listen to the feedback and then make pieces and adjust them accordingly.  Feedback has given me some of the standards I use today like using watches or antique pieces as the base or using stainless steel or gold chain instead of the cheap craft store ones.


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