Friday, July 11, 2008
The Epic Necklace
My mom emailed me a few weeks ago and said she'd like something like this to wear to my wedding. So I asked, "Can I consider that a commission?".
Ultimately, I decided to make it as her birthday present. I had a few ideas as to how to get the 'broken' feeling. The Vivienne Westwood necklace is vermeil snake chain with glass pearls custom drilled to fit over the chain. For sure I knew I wanted my version to be all in genuine materials . . . so freshwater pearls and sterling silver. I thought about using sterling Accuflex wire and crimp beads but I decided the wire would look too thin. I had what I thought was a PERFECT idea to use liquid silver beads but my mom nixed that saying she thought they'd be itchy (Diva!). Eventually, I decided to individually wire wrap pearl sections to create my own chain. I achieved the broken look by dotting in sections using larger, misshapen pearls. A MONUMENTUS time commitment, this was. Probably about 5 hours all told.
With all the pearls, unusual findings needed, large quantities of sterling . . . I literally wouldn't have been able to make this piece at all if it weren't for Fire Mountain Gems. My shopping list consisted of 25 feet of dead soft sterling wire (didn't use quite all of it . . . maybe 3/4 of the spool), four strands of white button pearls, one strand of larger freshwater pearls, ten sterling split jump rings, A pearl drop in sterling, a kick a** clasp, and a sterling cross (I used one I already had, instead of buying). Grand total (at my 50 item discount level) (don't look, mom): $29.74. And, you know, HOURS of labor, but whatever :)
My mom is trying to convince me now to put a few larger, more expensive pieces in my shop. A necklace like this, even at only $30 in materials, I'd have to list for at least $120 to cover the labor and the risk of making a (comparatively) huge time and supply investment in an item that may or may not sell. What, oh blogfriends, do you think? Should I make something huge and epic for my shop, just as an experiment?