As well as not blogging, I’ve not been paying much attention to my fledgling jewellery business. I’ve made a few things when people have asked me to, including cute little Cairn Terrier necklace and some dolphin earrings for my neighbour’s mum, but I’ve not updated my Etsy shop or even made much new. After a lovely summer break spent romping on hillsides, it’s been hard to get back into it. Plus there always seems to be something more urgent to do, like take the dog to the vet or the children to the dentist.
A few weeks ago, friends started asking me if I was going to take a stall at the school Christmas shopping evening again. I was quite successful last year, sold a couple of things, got some commissions and outed myself to the school community as a jewellery maker. But I think I was maybe selling the wrong stuff, everything was expensive. You don’t go to a Christmas shopping fair expecting to spend lots on jewellery for yourself. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t spend £60 or £80 a pop on presents for friends.
So I decided that I would take a table at the event, but sell cheaper stuff. And to do that, I have starting thinking differently. I can’t sell what I’ve made in the past more cheaply, because the hours that I put into each individual piece make that untenable. But what I can do is design something and get copies made. Which is where Mr. Fox comes in.
I made him from scratch. Spent ages perfecting a drawing of him first. I gave up art before I got to O’Level stage, and drawing isn’t my forte, but I usually get there in the end. Then I stuck a tracing of that drawing directly onto the silver and cut him out by hand, using a fret saw and such a tiny blade that you need very good eyesight to see the teeth. I made a pretty little flat ring from a thin as anything strip of sheet silver and soldered the two together. Much filing, sanding and polishing later and you end up with one of the above. If I sold it as is, I’d have to charge at least £60.
But I’m not going to do that. I’m going to take him to a casting place and get a mould made. They can then make exact copies, incorporating every single feature and imperfection, and all I’ll have to do is tidy them up and polish them. I’ll spend maybe an hour on each one instead of five. And I can bring the price right down to £25. What do you reckon?