I'm so sorry it's been so long since my last post! As the byline on this blog says, "I might have something to say" and more often than not, I really don't! I'm the type that prefers to keep to myself and sit in the background, listening but not talking much.
I'm not sure why, but I've been getting more custom jewelry requests lately. For me, it is both exciting and scary- exciting and flattering that someone thinks that I am able to do the work they have in mind and scary because sometimes their suggestions are so vague and I must come up with the idea. This is when being a mind reader would really come in handy!
Normally I require to have full payment before I begin work, but sometimes, when I'm not sure I can even fulfill the request, I am inspired to try it out on my own first. I feel less pressure this way- knowing that it MUST turn out when they've already paid can stifle my creativity.
Below is a photo of 2 necklaces I made because I wasn't sure what the customer wanted. She ended up buying one of them. Both turned out beautifully and now I have another new item for my shop! The one on the left is made from fine silver wire and the cross on the right is made from precious metal clay and hammered after firing.
With a little experience under my belt, I thought I'd share a few thoughts/tips for custom orders for a customer which you can easily adapt if you are the seller.
1. Be as detailed as possible. We need adjectives like large, small, delicate, bold, dainty, rustic, smooth, shiny, matte, etc. Having the actual dimensions is ideal.
2. Support your idea with sketches or photos of a similar piece for comparison.
3. Don't ask a seller to copy someone else's work. Just go to the original artist and purchase it.
4. Expect to pay the full amount or at least give half for deposit before work is completed. Also expect to pay a little more than a ready made item as it takes us time to research and/or buy materials needed for the project. We may even need to educate ourselves on a new technique or buy a new tool. Be upfront, with the amount of money you are willing to spend.
6. Answer emails that contain questions in a timely manner. That way you will get your order quicker too.
5. In general try to convey your ideas as clearly as possible for the artist. We cannot read your mind and you will be much happier with the result if communication is open.
The beauty of custom work and dealing directly with the artist is being able to have an original design made to your specifications and it's also very inspiring for the artist!
and until the next time I have "something" to say...
Have a great day!
NOTE: The first photo is custom order order pendant made from metal clay. A customer supplied me with a photo of a Hawaiian petroglyph which I drew on the clay, engraved with a lino cutter, finished and fired.