Monday, November 3, 2014

A Creative Custom

Multi-Method Jet Pendant 

Back in July, a wonderful future client met me at a Canada Day show. She was visiting friends in the city from northern Ontario. This amazing woman visited my booth three times. She kept returning to look at my designs and considering a piece I had completed. During her visits, I learnt that she had some very special stones that she wished to be wrapped. I told her that I would love to complete this project for her. Each time she mentioned these stones, I could see how important they were to her, and the significant amount of trust she gave letting me wrap them.

She sent the stones a few weeks later after a phone conversation and email. I immediately saw what I would do for one piece. It was a blue lace agate, believed to have calming properties, and it needed to be made into a pendant that could withstand a four year old boy's playful nature. Immediately, the answer was simple- a wire crochet net pendant placed on a leather cord. The technique would hold the stone extremely secure, and the leather cord would give the needed strength in case the pendant become caught on an object while this woman's son was playing.

Blue Lace Agate Net Pendant without Leather Cord
As for the second pendant, I was at a conundrum. She has sent four dime-sized pieces of jet. I had never worked with stones so small before. A single pendant would look dinky and not artistically developed. The amazing woman, who lets call Lenis, Latin for kindness, told me to take my time. She said she was not in a rush and trusted my artistic abilities. This was the first time that a client had told me to do what I wish with their gemstones as well as take as much time as I needed. I said I think I should be able to devote the time I need to make the piece in October. It was still July.

Through the following months, I did complete her son's piece. I played with what I could do with her jet pieces off and on in-between shows and other custom orders. I just couldn't envision what I was meant to do. Finally, once my last show ended, it came to me. I was going to work with a special number to the client, three, and combine my methods. Once I saw it, I began working on her future creation.

The pendant took over three hours. I had to redo certain parts three times. I had to undo what I did because it did not lay right. After the initial two hours, I had completed a wire crochet net base and a wire wrapped addition. The last bit to do was attach the final piece of jet via epoxy.

For anyone who knows how I work, I have always had a distaste for epoxy. It arose from when I was a child having tried to use it unsuccessfully. As my father about never let me work in areas that involved strong glues or tools, I was scared after my initial failure. It was time for me to conquer this fear.

Multi-Method Jet Pendant from Below
I tentatively pushed the glue's two components together, making sure to mix them thoroughly. Next, I used a q-tip to smear the glue on both the last piece of jet and onto the location I planned to adhere the gemstone to. After having failed twice putting enough glue on the piece, I finally had enough to guarantee a strong hold. The next 45 minutes involved me weighting the final gemstone down and repeatedly checking the piece. At the end of the hour, I walked away telling myself I needed to increase my own patience.
The next day, I was ecstatic. I had did it! I had not only created my first mixed method jewelry piece with wire wrapping and wire crochet, I had included the dreaded epoxy in this creation.  Within a few hours, I had emailed Lenis as well as posted my creation on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to share with the world. Lenis responded as soon as she could saying she loved it.

Throughout this entire creation process, Lenis not once rushed me. She did not wish for a quote, and when I did give one, she said whatever I see she is sure will be beautiful. She essentially gave me a blank check and an infinite timeline to create something special. And due to her patience, kindness, and trust, I did.

Thank you, Lenis.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful recollection of how a chance meeting can turn into something special. How wonderful at the end she commissioned you to do a special piece for her.