A friend of mine recently ordered my lovely green aventurine set, Grace, that she'd spotted on my blog. The condition was I went to her place for a drink and a good catch up. She hasn't been very well lately, so I offered to bring lunch or dinner and feed her. I'm quite well known throughout my circle of friends for my culinary skills, so she didn't say no. We organised a lunch date and that was that.
A couple of days later she phoned me to ask if I worked in gold at all. I said I did, but didn't generally keep a huge stock of gold and asked her what she had in mind. She wanted to purchase a pair of earrings for a friend as a gift. In gold and something "either in browns or greens" were the instructions. Great. Brown or green with gold. Nothing more than that, but she said she liked my work and trusted my judgement and left the rest up to me.
Now that sort of thing is a bit of a challenge, so I really had to trust my instincts. I started preparing by making two pairs of 9 carat gold ear wires, both slightly different.
I then went to one of my local bead suppliers who I knew to sell single semi-precious stones and set about choosing the ideal stones for the brown or green earrings. After an hour or so comparing stones and combinations, the mission was accomplished.
Because I wanted to keep the cost reasonable I also made the decision to use some gold-filled components.
After spending the best part of a day out shopping for what I hoped would be the right thing, I returned to my home studio and the next morning set to work.
The brown ones are red rainbow jasper - although there are so many variations in jasper and I'm not overly familiar with the stone, I'm only going by what I've found out. I love the variations in the patterns, especially on the lower stone. The top stone is a deep, rich browny-red.
Next I made these lovely chrysocola and green garnet dangles. Once again, I love the patterned oval chrysocola disc, and the green garnet just sets it off perfectly.
The little rondelles perched on top of the garnets are 9 carat as well.
In addition to these, I made a couple of simple kambaba jasper drops I could have swapped onto one of these pairs of earwires if she'd preferred those (only having the two pairs of handmade wires, it was the only way to go).
Yesterday was unveiling day.
As I was driving to her place she phoned to let me know she'd be home a couple of minutes after I arrived and to let myself in. She had also invited another girlfriend.
I was quite pleased about this, as I'd taken the majority of my jewellery along for show-and-tell and who can resist the opportunity to show one's work to others as well.
I'd made some lovely veggie burgers and salads for lunch, which I set about finishing off while the jewellery was perused. Kaz, being a non-meat eater later called them the best veggie burgers in the world. She co-owns the Famous Blue Raincoat Cafe and they may even end up on the menu!
Kaz opened her little box and was delighted with what she saw, then rushed off to put the new jewellery on. It looked great on her! I'd also made her an extra pair of earrings as a little gift, which she really liked as well.
All in all I sold both pairs of gold earrings (Kaz taking the jasper discs for her friend), my Morphed in Red coral nugget necklace and Pixie earrings. I also have an order for some kambaba jasper oblong earrings for Kaz and possibly a set for an upcoming 17 year old's formal outfit.
It was fantastic getting such positive feedback and having my work appreciated. I've spent the last few years preparing for this, refining designs, finding my style and ensuring my finishes are excellent. I appreciate quality work and I won't sell anything I'm not happy with myself.
This little experience also goes a long way to explaining the internet and its unknown quantity - purchasing jewellery over the net can be a risk, but once people see, hold and wear my work, they realise it is something special. And best of all, it's all theirs.