I’ll Never Buy Another Jump Ring

January 20, 2015

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As a jewelry artist who loves to boast about my “handcrafted” pieces, I want to put as many of my own hand made parts into my work as possible. While there are times I need to rely upon store bought “commercial” parts, I find that with a little time and effort I can keep that to a pretty good minimum.

I have not purchased a commercial ear wire in ages. Ear posts are another story. While I have perfected one type of handcrafted ear post, it doesn’t exactly fit into the style of every single project I create. It would also probably prove to be pretty boring if I tried to make it so.

There are several different handcrafted head pins that I make, but they are all too large for smaller creations that use smaller beads, thus I do need to purchase commercial head pins every now and then. Learning to use a torch to melt and shape wire is on my to do list, but even that wouldn’t always work out because I would then need to use wire made from pure precious metals. If I did that my price point would spike upward, and that would affect the purchasing ability of some of my most loyal fans, and I appreciate my fans too much to do that to them.

Jump rings are another story. By coiling wire I have all the jump rings at my disposal that I will ever need. All I have to is clip a ring off the coil as needed. I can make jump rings in any gauge wire, any finish, any color, and any size. I am sure that I have more different sizes of jump rings than your average arts and crafts store keeps on their shelves, and I like to feel that using the proper size jump ring puts my pieces into a better perspective than if I had to use a ring .5mm too large or too small.

If you want to see my work simply click the link and off to Gene’s Joint you go.

If you like more colorful work, check out my wife’s work in Miss Poppy’s Boutique.

The Zoe Clutch

January 10, 2015

disco ball clutch purse

As you may or may not know, I have a policy in my Etsy shop, Gene’s Joint, that whenever someone purchases any of my handcrafted jewelry findings I will do what I can to promote their work.

True to my word, I present to you The Zoe Clutch by A To Z Shoppe Designs.

If you look very carefully at the dangle hanging from the bottom of this fabulous “disco ball” clutch, you will see one of my handcrafted clover head pins. While I would never have expected to see my handcrafted findings used in any fashion accessories other than jewelry, I am delighted to see one used in this brilliant stroke of creativity.

This adds Zoe and Adriana, proprietors of the A To Z Shoppe, to the list of those using my handcrafted elements in their work. The other artisan using my pieces is Susan, proprietor of Miss Poppy’s Boutique. Please take the time to visit these shops and support their artistry. While you’re at it, don’t forget to take a look at mine.

Hey Dude……

January 3, 2015

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I will be the first to admit it, the majority of jewelry artists out there seem to be women. Most of the Etsy shops are owned and operated by women. Take a jewelry class at any craft store and you will find yourself surrounded by women. There just doesn’t seem to be many of us men crafting jewelry.

I haven’t done any scientific studies on the matter, but I would venture to say that when you get around those Hallmark holidays, such as Valentine’s Day and Sweetest Day, and when there are gifts to be given for Birthdays and Christmas, men are probably the biggest consumers of jewelry. What man out there hasn’t given one female or another in his life some nice bling? Husbands buying for wives, children buying for their mother, and boyfriends buying for girlfriends, it goes on and on.

Where do these guys shop? Judging by the sales I get in my shop, Gene’s Joint, they don’t shop on Etsy that’s clear. Even my wife’s shop, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, which does a far greater sales volume than mine, has never logged a sale to a male. This is a shame too, because Etsy seems to me to be one of the only really affordable places that one can go to find truly one of a kind pieces of jewelry, like my “Infinitely Cracked” earring creation pictured above.

So do yourself a favor men, check out Etsy, then spread the word. Bloggers should reblog this important information. People who find this via other social networking media should share it as well. Believe me Dudes, she’s going to appreciate that one of a kind creation a whole lot more than that mass production piece you over paid for at the chain store jeweler in the mall.

Head Pins To The Rescue

December 23, 2014

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I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  Having handcrafted head pins on hand is a jewelry making essential. If you don’t have them in your supply stock, then knowing how to make them should be in your knowledge base of techniques. Here’s why.

Moments ago I was watching my wife, Susan, owner of Miss Poppy’s Boutique, making a ravishing set of earrings out of handcrafted Murano glass and Swarovski crystals. Not wanting to use common commercial head pins with such fine beads, she opted for a fancier, albeit still commercially purchased, head pin set with a sort of pyramid structure attached to the bottom. Holding them up and admiring them prior to making the wrapped loop on top, they looked as though they would become an outstanding set. Alas, once the wire wrapping of the loop began to snug up the beads the pyramid popped off the head pin. Obviously it was glued onto the pin. She told me this was not the first time this had happened with these head pins. She thought she was going to have to settle for the common, mundane, commercial head pins after all, since time was of the essence.

Fortunately, I happened to have some of my handcrafted clover head pins all made up, and no thoughts as to what I wanted to do with them. Unlike the infinity head pins, pictured above, they weren’t listed in my shop, Gene’s Joint, and I have no projects on my radar that I could envision them in. I offered them to her if she thought they would compliment her design. She did, so soon there will be another fine set of beautifully handcrafted earrings available in Miss Poppy’s Boutique. I don’t know if she posted them yet, but why don’t you just click on over to her shop and find out. It’s full of all sorts of splendid eye candy.

The Round Ear Wires

December 21, 2014

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What simplicity, nothing special to see here. Why would anybody use something this blah, this bland, this simple? Why even bother to make something this unimaginative? Allow me explain.

Ear wires like these allow the rest of the creation to really shine. If you need a visual example just go back one posting to the blog I published yesterday, “The Lumps Of Coal“. These are the same ear wires I used in making that creation. If you look back at some of my earlier postings you can find more extravagant ear wires, for example, “This Is How I Work“, which features my square ear wires. Sometimes I simply don’t want the ear wire stealing the show, and I want the dangle to be the entire focal point of the creation. At other times I like the ear wires to yell “look at me’.

Why not simply check out my shop, Gene’s Joint? You can find all kinds of off the wall ear wires, and the creations that they are attached to there.

And while you are checking out shops, here are two others I think you might enjoy, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, which is run by my wife, and partner in crime, Susan, and A to Z Shoppe, a whimsical shop where everything is custom made for their clientele.

The Lumps Of Coal

December 20, 2014

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I thought for sure these tasty little numbers would end up in someone’s stocking this Christmas. It’s probably too late now.

Of course they aren’t really made of coal, that is just what I named this creation. In case you are not one of the growing number of insiders to my shop, let me bring you up to speed. Most of the creations in my shop have names. Like all artists, I have little pieces of my soul invested into all of my work, and each and every creation is personal, and one of a kind. I even send a certificate of authenticity to the new owners when someone purchases my work. The certificate includes a picture of the item, the name of the purchaser, the name of the creation, and a signed and dated statement from me that the piece is a one of a kind creation, handcrafted by me, Gene Molloy.

In case you were wondering what these fine earrings are really made of, let me run it down for you. The beads are Czech glass, 10 x 8mm cubes, and 6 x 7mm cathedral beads. The ear wire and the head pins are handcrafted from 20 gauge jewelry wire. This is a 99.9%  hand made item. Obviously an American guy would be hard pressed to be able to claim he makes his own Czech glass beads.

If you aren’t familiar with my online shop it’s Gene’s Joint, please give it a look. If you have been there before, please check it out again. I’m adding new creations almost daily, unless I am waiting on a shipment of materials or such. If you don’t fall in love with any of the creations in my shop, perhaps my wife’s shop, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, has something for you. Either way you’ll be treated to the plethora of visual delights that we have in store for you.

The Spade, These Aren’t For You Creampuff

December 19, 2014

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There they sit in my Etsy shop, Gene’s Joint, when I go to the item statistics I notice that no one is even looking at them. Even the insomniacs who look at any, and everything, in the middle of their miserable sleepless nights must be passing them up.

 

I have racked my brain trying to figure why these are the only items in my shop that don’t get looked at. Is the thumbnail shot that bad? Are they so abhorrent that even the sleepless hate them? Or could it be that the adventuresome, free-spirited, boho that I had in mind when I created them just hasn’t found me yet?

 

If anyone were to take the time to click on the thumbnail to get to the item description they would see that these were created intentionally crude and shabby. Not all of my creations are geared toward the general public at large. Some of them are made for the kindred spirits out there, whom I know are able to relate to the crudeness, the shabbiness, and the discordant notes that swirl around the symphony of life. I just didn’t realize that it would take forever for them to discover me.

 

There are plenty of creations in Gene’s Joint, and most of them are not so crude. Do yourself a favor and take a look. If you have been there before, revisit, there are new creations going into the shop almost daily. If you don’t like what I’m selling, visit Miss Poppy’s Boutique, my wife’s shop. Her creations are usually very different from mine.

Artist Progression

December 10, 2014

Gene Molloy:

Look at this will you, Miss Poppy’s Boutique gave me a mention.

Originally posted on Miss Poppy's Boutique:

il_570xN_662642626_i1orIt’s been awhile since I last published an article on this blog. Business is going very well, and with the Christmas and Hannukah nearing, I am filling numerous custom orders in addition to selling what I already have on the market. Sales are keeping me in the black and very busy, and somewhat to the detriment of my other passion – writing poetry and short stories. Nevertheless, just as water seeks its own level, I will return to writing when it should be so.

I attended a bead show last weekend, and quite by accident. My husband and I were taking a break and walking around the downtown area in our town. We happened upon a sign advertisin a bead show, so we followed the arrows and found ourselves among fellow artists displaying and selling their creations – from seed beadwork, to handcrafted glass beads, to metal work, et cetera.

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The Handcrafted Finding

December 10, 2014

IMG_2265What in the name of Nebechenezer are those things? They look like little space ships, or phallic symbols maybe. Whatever they are they look pretty odd, don’t they?

That’s because they are only a part of what will eventually become a complete, and recognizable piece of jewelry. They are what jewelry artists know as findings.

I make most of the findings that go into my jewelry creations. They give my pieces a rather unique look that differentiates them from the pieces that are assembled from the mass-produced findings that are available in the arts and crafts outlets, and the online bead shops.

Sure, I occasionally use commercially available findings in my work. There are just some things a wire twister like myself couldn’t come close to creating. Take filigree items like clasps, and earring drops for instance. At this point in time I haven’t a clue as to how I would be able to handcraft such items. Perhaps I will stumble upon a technique that accomplishes this some day. That’s one of my goals to be sure.

Anyway, being able to make what you need as you go is golden. Imagine if you will, coming down to the end of a project and discovering that you are a few jump rings short of completion. If you can’t make your own jump rings you have to drop what you are doing and either run out to the craft store for instant gratification, or make an online purchase and put your entire project on the shelf until your shipment arrives.

Having the ability to handcraft my findings opens up some really swell avenues to me, too. I can use a heavier gauge wire for added strength if I wish. I can use any color jewelry wire that’s available to either  color coordinate the findings to whatever beads or focal pieces I wish to use, or add a different color to the piece.

It also saves me ton of money. I can make probably twice as many pieces for the same cost as buying a package of something.

While my main focus is jewelry creation, I do sell handcrafted findings in my shop, Gene’s Joint . Why not stop by and take a look around? You might just find that unique, handcrafted piece that you fall in love with. While you’re at it, check out my wife’s shop, Miss Poppy’s Boutique. She has a sale going on.

Huge Sale!

November 28, 2014

Gene Molloy:

Wow, here’s a great sale.

Originally posted on Miss Poppy's Boutique:

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HUGE SALE — 25% OFF on all my items in my Etsy shop using POPPY25 when you check out.  That means you can get something for as little as $3.75!  Sale runs until December 31, 2014.

Click on this photo to link to my site, or visit my shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/MissPoppysBoutique

You can also follow me on Facebook at http://www.facebook/misspoppysboutique

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