Friday, May 21, 2010

Just a little something new

It's been raining, I've been under the weather, taking some REAL time off to read and knit and be a mommy, but I do have a little to show.

This one uses some new (new to me) wire techniques. I'm inspired quite a lot by Cindy Wimmer of Sweet Bead Studio and she's been very encouraging.

I learned chain maille back when I first started beading but this is a new style for me. It's very delicate, with cultured pearls. Not the best photo, but it's eluding me and the camera.

So those are a couple of new things, using my old styles and mixing it just a bit with new styles.

I've been giving a lot of thought to how my customers would take a huge departure from my current style to a totally different style, the style I see in my head when I imagine jewelry, and I've decided that too big a leap, too soon, would be too jarring. I'd certainly lose a huge portion of my customer base, alienate them, as they are used to seeing a certain thing. Adding bits and pieces, such as in these two bracelets, is more apt to garner interest, and I can add bit by bit a few "wow" pieces, because you never know who will see them and fall in love. But if I want to stay in business, I can't just jump ship and change boats and start sailing for a totally different port of call.

That doesn't mean I'm not going to continue experimenting. It means I'm going to hone my current skills, and pick and choose skills that work well with my existing style. It means I may back-burner some of the elaborate things I've been imagining. I keep thinking I have to do it ALL this year, and that thought has just been completely overwhelming me.

What do you think?


  1. I think these are beautiful. As far as changing styles, go for it, don't get stuck in a rut. It seems your heart is into change and change is good, don't worry about others not adapting to change. Just think of the possibilities change brings with it. There is so much creativity hiding inside of you wanting to come out, and you are resisting the growth within you. You are very talented, let it show!

  2. Lori, your new pieces are beautiful...I especially love the chainmaille piece. The addition of the dangly pearls make this one a fresh classic - and one to wear ALL the time! I think you'll be surprised, your customers will most likely welcome the new techniques and style you're envisioning.... no matter what, they're sure to have your stamp on them!

  3. I agree that totally switching gears would be off-putting to some of your customers, so making a more gradual shift makes a lot of sense.

  4. Hi Lori! Love the wire wrap!! You have a beautiful assortment of shapes and textures going with that and the beads are delicious.

  5. Lori - there is a famous quilter, Michael James, who because of the popularity of his quilt style, had to keep going back to that style. He had a wife and young son to support. I think it made him rather bitter for a while. He really has done a lot for the art quilt world - I would say he was one of the pioneers.
    He got out of the "hole" he was in by becoming a full time professor. His work now is as wonderful as his original work but definitely shows progression. And I am betting he is a happier person.
    So, I guess he found how to do what he needed to do for his artistic side while still making a living, which he needed to do for his family.
    Bottom line - if you still enjoy the pieces following your old style, then keep doing them. If you don't, then think of other ways in the jewelry world to earn money while exploring your new techniques. (articles, a paying blog of some sort, etc.)

  6. Cindys things are wonderful! I love both pieces Lori! Theres nothing like a slow gravitation tho..we all get used to chance. I hope your feeling better theres something special about a rainey day and cosying up!

  7. Hi Lori,

    Change is good, and gradual change is good if you want to keep people following you. Or, you could have two separate lines like the great couture houses, one for the elite and the other for the masses.

    Follow your heart,

  8. Lori, both of them are gorgeous. I have to admit that I'm not a pearl person, so I just naturally like the first one the best. Hope you are feeling better. Wishing you well ...

  9. i think you should listen to yourself...if too much change is stressing you out..then slow it down ..these pieces are wonderful, adding a few different things regularly will accustom your customers to new ideas and give them choices while at the same time allowing you to have some fun without loosing business.

  10. I think you are right. I love both, your old and new pieces. But I think "adding" and "transforming" is always better than "starting from scratch". The people who love stability might be shaken....

  11. I especially love that chain maille piece. So delicate and beautiful. I'm always attracted to pearls and I like the unique presenation. For me, slowing down is always a challenge. I find it a leap of faith to believe that I actually have the time in my life to do all that I want and hope for. If I do it all in a rush and frenzy, it's less enjoyable. If I let myself do things at a more sane pace, I have the potential for more joy. But it is always a struggle. Wishing you the best.

  12. I hope you're feeling better! And I love both pieces...I think you're on the right track with making changes, too...Adding "new" touches to "old" ideas in little bits and pieces will introduce new items to your work without people really even realizing it. That will also give you more time to play and experiment with them, too! Like I read in some other comments, you don't want to get in stuck in a rut, but you also don't want to alienate any customers...Bit by bit sounds like the way to go!

  13. You know that one of the reasons I do only one of a kind pieces is precisely because I can do what I "feel" at the end of my fingertips and for some unfathomable reason my customers buy them even tho I never believe the same person would like something so different from the last piece they bought from me.

    You are right about customers reactions to change, and it is best to have few pieces as the "one of a kind category" for instance to allow those who would be looking for a change to find it within your style, as I am sure most people understand that art evolves and so does the artist. I love the new pieces and quite frankly I don't see them as a radical departure from your style, and I would think that those customers would be happy to enjoy one piece with your signature albeit
    different than the last one they bought from you. Speaking from experience here ;)

    Give it a try. It is best to open a window than to close a door. Who knows, the evolution in a serene way may be more welcome by all than by a few. Hugs from here.

  14. Both are gorgeous, but my favorite is the first piece. Though I understand your fears and thoughts I also think that you eventuelly should at least partly do what you really like. So why not provide a stock of regular pieces and then wow them with one of a kind stuff:-)



  15. Oh Lori these are stunning. You are an extremely talented designer and I agree gradual change is good. I leapt in with both feet earlier this year to change the style of jewellery that I make which was not a huge success. I now make some and some, hindsight is wonderful thing but with it I would introduce change one piece at a time. As long as you are not feeling frustrated with what you are doing. Get better soon Lovely xx

  16. Lori,
    I agree with EmandaJ - go for two lines. If you have ideas to develop in a different direction, go for it. Your shop site already is divided into sections, just make another for your new avante garde/couture work. Those who are married to your current work know what place to click to find what they want and those more adventuresome will take a look in the new section.

    I feel your pain about the weather prompting migraines. Every few weeks I wake up with a sinus headache that can only be relieved by throwing up and going back to bed. I can't imagine having regular migraines. Take care of yourself. I'm looking forward to seeing your new work.

  17. Lori, both of your pieces are lovely. If your up for a change, I would do just that. Maybe mix it up a little...1 new style, 1 old style. Sure you'll probably loose some clients but you'll also gain new. I would do whatever made me happiest:) Good Luck.

  18. Lori,
    I love both pieces and I really like the chainmaille piece the best.
    Change is good, but don't overwhelm yourself with the changes. Take your time and incorporate a little here and there.
    Take care!

  19. I love when you show off something new, this is smashing!

    Take care of yourself,

  20. Hey Lori, you know, I completely understand where you are coming from. It would terrify me to have built up a loyal customer base of repeat buyers and then feel the artistic pull to do something different that may not appeal to those loyal folks you worked so hard to gather to you. That being said, though, I think that from an artistic standpoint, you must be loyal to yourself and create work that YOU like and are proud of. The followers will come. And who knows, maybe those current customers will find that they want a bit of a departure from their norm, too!

    These two pieces are awesome, and I particularly love the first one. Nice!

  21. I think your approach is great - add a few pieces at a time. That way, you satisfy your muse! I do love love love the little freshwater pearl piece. That's my style!

  22. I think we all go through feeling the need for a little change now and then. We get in a robotic state and everything seems to look similar.
    I say go for it. My work has transformed from beading to metal work incorporating the beads.
    Go with what you heart tells you!


  23. I think both of these pieces are incredible - and it sounds like you have a good plan :)

  24. I really, really like both of those pieces. I think they're great. I think you should remain faithful to the aesthetic of your current customer base, but you might be surprised by what they'll like too. I would def. test the waters and offer up a few pieces and see what happens. You might even pick up some new people.

    I just think you should do what your heart and creative mind are excited about. Great job!! And never fear your desire to continue evolving as a designer. :)

  25. I like them both Lori.The first one looks super cool and I could see it let's say with jeans and the other with a beautiful dress...
    Both would enhance any out fit...
    Hey thanks for the visit too. Not really doing anything really terrific. Just playing around.


Thanks so much for commenting!