Monday, December 9, 2013

Custom Orders

I used to hate custom requests.  I couldn't understand why the things I did make just weren't good enough.  And then I realized something that totally changed the way I think about custom work.  It's just the opposite...I am good enough that someone wants to use my talents to create something that is very personal.

I have several custom pieces on my desk this season that really have made me understand that.  I wish I could show them to you, but they are gifts and therefore, must remain a secret.  But one call was from a man who wanted a gift for his wife.  He wasn't sure what he wanted, but living in a small town, he was sure I could figure out something, but he did remind me he had a classy lady for a wife.  I think we nailed it, but it will have to to wait for her reaction.

Another is a very personal piece.  When asked to do it, along with a picture, I balked.  It was so generic and I just kept putting it off.  Until last night, when speaking to the young man, I got the "rest of the story".  He wants my spin on a symbol that speaks a message so loud and strong that I am ready to let my hands help him share his message.

And the third piece is not a secret, but is still in the trial and error stages.  It's a piece in the shape of a dog tag with the names of 6 children etched on it.  The couple waited a long time to find each other and were set up on a blind date.  Both very quiet and reserved, it was the fact that they both had a military background that gave them that something to talk about.  From there,  love happened and 6 kids later, they are such a fun family.  I had the kids each write their names and used their writing for the etches.  These are the copper experiments to check out size and design...still working on the design for the back.  

Each piece matters and each piece will hopefully convey the message I was asked to put in the form of a piece of jewelry.  

And then there are the beads and bits of of my customers from Sweden is learning new techniques in creating beautiful jewelry and asked for some of my broken beads.  We chatted online and decided that I would also send her some melties...beads that are less than perfect or broken that are "melted" in the kiln to create glass cabs.  Do special projects like this really is fun and I enjoyed being able to send her some like I wait to see what she makes.

Now it's time to get back to my desk and finish up some of these gifts...and I am thankful for the opportunity to do it.


  1. I just love your work!
    Almost everything I have done in the past 2 years have been custom orders. I am usually afraid of not fulfilling expectations of what they pictured in their mind's eye. I love the story about the family who's kids names are etched in the dog tags. It is so perfect for them!

    1. Yes, isn't that the truth...I always stress about if they will be happy. But anyone who has seen your work and knows you as an artist knows it will be amazing.

  2. Love the custom dog tags! Great job, as always. You're items are always special. I love my etched fish pendant you made me. It's one of my favs!

    1. That fish was so much fun. And I love that it was based off your glass fishy...