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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Accepting Facts: Hobbyist or Professional Jewelry Maker

… or Spreading Yourself Too Thin

Actually, it's "thinly", yes? I mean, it's being used as an adverb… as in "how" are you spreading yourself. You're spreading yourself thinly.

So what am I talking about anyway (besides grammar)? Another reason I would say I'm a "hobbyist" rather than any kind of professional or even wannabe professional artist (aka jewelry maker), is because I don't have the time (or the inclination, but I prefer to use time as my excuse) to go out there and hustle the way I should. The way a person who WANTS to make a living making and selling their jewelry would have to in order to… make a living from making and selling jewelry.

I much prefer to be idealistic and believe in the premise: "If you build it, they will come." Oh lord how I want to believe in that. Truthfully, we (Monica and I) create really decent pieces of jewelry and sell them at really decent prices.

The fact that we have no niche probably works against us, as does the fact that almost everything we make is one of a kind.

Combine that with the fact that we don't like marketing ourselves and the end result is… we are hobbyists.

The bottom line, for me, is that I must enjoy what I'm doing. I do enjoy creating the jewelry that I create. Therefore I will most likely continue to do it. I don't enjoy marketing and/or high pressure sales.

I've enjoyed other things in life… that petered out. Is that a bad thing? I had my stint as a classical pianist, a rock guitarist, a writer, a photographer, etc. Yes, I do wonder if making jewelry will be another short-lived (okay, it's been about ten years now) thing for me. In a way, I think not. I mean, so long as I continue to grow and stretch my wings within the arena. I've always had a bent for creative art-type stuff… so I don't think THAT will peter out. And there's so much room to play, in the land of jewelry. There's lampworking, polymer clay, metal, etc. It's endless.

Anyway, I would like to generate a little bit of revenue… just to keep my kids in hockey for a few years if nothing else. So I do have to come up with ideas that will generate a few bucks. I still want my offerings to be useful to people, though. (I'm practical to a fault!) If I felt I had something unique to offer, I'd try a tutorial. Maybe I can look over my past designs and see if there's anything I did that was special. Or maybe I can offer kits… instructions PLUS beads. Shrug.

Okay, enough musing on this. Now I've got a hankering to do some wire-work. As I recall, the last time I tried to find some 30g wire, I couldn't. I wonder where I can get some (in sterling or gold-fill).

Which reminds me… gotta place an order for other things. And man… I've got a TON of beads at home. I need to settle down and MAKE SOME STUFF. TONS OF STUFF. :-)

Projects that will make me feel good
One thing I want to do is tie up loose ends. I want to make sure everyone who was supposed to get something from me has gotten it. And if they haven't, I'll send another.

Aside from that, I want to send some cards out this month. Not Christmas cards, per se, but just cards… touching base with people I care about. Let's hope my ability catches up with my intentions for once.

Day two... still no luck. Computer still crashing when I try to read your blog. Wwwwwwwwwwaaaaa!

How's it going? We missed you at the show. For me and Alex it was more of a beady jam... I think Patrice did okay, though.

You visiting family for the holidays?

I will get out there one of these days... you would NOT believe how crazy this weekend is. I'll update you after I survive.

Sending good wishes!

Now, since I have a dog who puts cats into his mouth and no harm results, I'm showing you this under the assumption the same thing is going on here. My favorite... the expression on the kitty in the background...


  1. Love the pic!

    Hey Laura, Your jewelry is always gorgeous and always unique. Keep up the good work!!

  2. Laura you are a Professional Jewelry Artist.
    That's my story and I am sticking to it - so no spreading yourself to thin - just do it - cause you can!

  3. Hi, here I am. I stayed with family nearby for the all holidays. I wish I could have gone to the show and seen you all. I hope you get a chance to come and see me. I'll send you my address. I start radiation on the 12th for 25 treatments. Blah. And then i'm off work until Feb. 27th, as far as I know at this point. We could meet for lunch. Though it has been tricky between the one IV treatment (not chemo) at Kaiser, the Radiation at John Muir and then any other torture they put me through in between! I have all this week up to Thursday free. Sigh. :) TTYSoon. Erin