Jewellery display research

Fall season is back! 

Before you know it, Christmas will be around the corner. As time flies at quite a scary pace, I am already planning the winter fairs I hope to be a part of this year.

Last year were my first experiences and I had to build and buy a lot of material quickly. I was happy with my stand, but there was certainly room for improvement. For a start, I am trying to see if I need to buy new stuff. Hopefully not: these things cost a fortune even when you go for DIY.

 

Here are the displays I already own (on the right, the little symbols I use in the sketches viewed from up high):

My display colours are: white, light wood and copper. I stick to natural or aged material as I feel it matches my jewellery quite well.

 

As always when I am in the research phase, I am sketching!

 

jewellery display

I have to take both horizontality and verticality into account. Display the items on several vertical levels looks good, but they also have to be harmoniously spread on the table.

jewellery display

Later, I will put out the table and make real life tests. I don’t pay attention to scale when I draw, so there can be a large gap between the sketch and the real thing. What matters is that doodling gives me ideas.

 

Last year, I had a hard time finding a table cloth large enough to cover the whole table, feet included as they are seriously ugly (it’s a camping table). In the end, I bought a white bed sheet but it was too large so I had to partly fold it. Plus it was see-through so I had to put a smaller, thicker cloth beneath it… Anyway, it wasn’t great.

This year, I want to find something that fits, even if I need to sew it myself. I’m also thinking about a darker table runner (maybe light brown of natural linen to match the wood). It would split the display space into three parts, which could be interesting.

jewellery display

And maybe a sign or a light box with my brand’s name on it?

My goal is to make something that looks as good in reality as it does in my mind. In the meantime, I also need to make a lot of new jewellery pieces to fill this table!

 

 

To be continued!

 

 

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Creations #10

handmade jewelry
Amethyst bracelet

 

handmade jewelry
Green jade and rose quartz jewellery set

 

handmade jewelry
Black and silver jewellery set

 

handmade jewelry
Red, black and bronze ethnic earrings

 

handmade jewelry
Red and bronze ethnic necklace

 

 

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Pendant tutorial – black cord setting

To start this school year on good tracks, here is a new, very easy tutorial!

I will show how to set a pendant on a cord. Setting jewellery on a chain is even easier, but sometimes, depending on the type of pendant, a nice black cord looks better.

 

Ingredients

You will need: 

  • a pretty pendant you want to wear;
  • a good length of ‘rattail’ viscose cord (2 mm);
  • some glue, efficient enough to hold metal and fabric together;
  • 2 cord terminators with a 2 mm internal diameter;
  • 2 jump rings (5 mm);
  • a clasp and, if you wish, an extension chain;
  • scissors;
  • the traditional round-nose and flat-nose pliers.

pendant tutorial

 

Step 1 — The cord

Cut your cord to the desired length. I am making a choker here, so I cut a 38 cm (15 in.) piece.

Now, I am using terminators that need to be glued, not flattened. The problem with rattail cord is that it is made of many fibers that will unravel and bend when you try to slide them in the terminators. So we need to harden the ends and make the fibers stick together.

First, trim the cord’s ends a bit to make them slightly pointed. No need to be very precise, only shape them approximately. It will fit more easily inside the terminators later. But don’t trim them too much so they don’t get too thin.

pendant tutorial

Then, spread a tiny drop of glue on each end, on about 2 millimetres’ length, taking care of gathering all the loose fibers together. Leave it to dry.

When both ends are dry, you will see they are hardened by the glue, which will make them easier to slide in the terminators. And no more unravelling!

Put another drop of glue on the end and push the terminator over it. The glue will spread when it slides in.

Don’t worry if the glue overflows, leave it. It will be easy to take off without making a mess when it’s dry: if you wipe it, it will leave glue traces on the cord. Instead, you can cut it out afterwards very gently with a scalpel of a box cutter.

Step 2 — the pendant

Now, when everything is dry and cleaned up, you can thread your pendant on the cord. Nothing complicated here!

pendant tutorial

Step 3 — the clasp

Once the pendant is set on the cord, open a jump ring using the pliers.

Hook the ring into the terminator’s hole, then hook your clasp to the ring.

Close the ring with the pliers.

Repeat on the other end, with the extension chain attached to the ring (or not).

Tada!

pendant tutorial

You now possess a lovely pendant that you set yourself! It really was easy, wasn’t it?

Have fun!


Did you like this? Check out the ‘tutorial’ category!

 

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Sail & Bead

Some holiday snapshots!

And even though it doesn’t look like it these days, I am actually also working on new jewellery.

 

 

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Summer break with Team Etsy Petit Paris

Since I am less active here during the summer, now is the time to check out my team’s summer selection! The team Etsy Petit Paris is full of talented people who make awesome things by hand.

It’s over here!

team etsy petit paris

 

 

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Happy Bastille Day!

We actually never call it “Bastille Day” in France, just 14th of July. We celebrate both the storming of the Bastille prison on July 14th, 1789, and the Fête de la Fédération on July 14th, 1790. The more you know!

 

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Taking a wee break

I just spent a few days in Edinburgh. Scotland has been a weakness of mine for years now, but I had only visited the Highlands. This time, I stayed in town. Enjoy some pictures!

 

Holyroodhouse Abbey, close to the Palace

 

Holyrood Park

 

Holyrood Park (yes, this is still inside Edinburgh)

 

Holyrood Park, with a view on the city

 

Bobby, the faithful little dog who waited on his master’s grave

 

Old town

 

Well, this wouldn’t be a trip to Scotland if whisky wasn’t involved.

 

Dean Village

 

I recommend Edinburgh to everyone who likes old stones, green hills, the smell of the sea and double decker buses. There are many great places to visit, from castles and medieval streets to modern art museums. Or just wander in the streets, like I mostly did. It is a excellent destination for a long week-end.

 

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Sketching #8 – Music Day

Today in France, it is Music Day: everyone is out in the streets playing music!

 

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Manly jewellery, or the delicate art of gendered marketing

Recently, I have started making cufflinks. I had wanted for a while now to try making jewellery for men. I did not expect to stumble upon the very type of obstacle I hate most, which made me question my design choices a lot more than usual.

jewellery for men

 

Jewellery is for girls

This notion, as sexist and moronic as it is, is everywhere. Real men don’t wear accessories, they are not interested in fashion, and if they do there must be something wrong with them. I will not rant too long on this matter because there is so much to say and I don’t feel qualified enough for it. But there is something furiously unhealthy in our society.

 

Manly designs

When you look up “jewellery for men” on the internet, you get very simple things made with leather, metal, chain. The designs have lots of angles and straight lines, dark colours, wide seams or links, rough looks.

It would seem the 21st century man is supposed to be a suit-clad caveman with everything about him very large and very sturdy (there was so much potential for a joke about size and/or hardness here, be thankful I’m a classy person).

So here I come, all about round shapes and lively colours, ready to conquer the manly market. I would love to make things in leather but it’s not something one can improvise; I have too much to learn before starting and now is not the time. Metal is coming, but slowly. This was not looking very promising…

 

Go old or go funny

After a time of reflexion, the first easy-to-make accessories I decided to try were cufflinks. I liked this idea because I could keep using the materials I enjoy: metal and gemstones.

But cufflinks are either old school or a joke: as far as I know, nowadays, people only buy it for occasions such as weddings or to make a silly gift. I guess it says a lot about how masculinity in fashion has changed over time. Accessories for men, I find, are very limited, just like styles of clothes. Professional wear? Nothing much there except suits. Formal event? Suits again, or maybe a tuxedo if it is really formal.

For women, on any day and any occasion, tons of options are available! Who said that men don’t like diversity in their clothing and women do? Why is it considered effeminate for a man to like jewellery? And why would something ‘effeminate’ on a man be such a bad thing anyway?

 

Marketing outside of the box

We are all influenced by the buttloads of images and sounds we receive daily, that spread all the dumbest clichés. I look at what I make and keep wondering: ‘Is it too girly?’. And then I get pissed off at myself for falling into that trap again.

I have yet to find the delicate balance needed to try to make things that get out of those stupid constraints while also trying to sell them. It is not easy to reconcile your deepest convictions with… well, marketing.

 

In the end, I still finished my cufflinks. I made them in my own style and I’m happy with them. I am not one to be discouraged by ideas I despise, however prevalent they may be.

jewellery for men

Does this look girly to you? I don’t know anymore. I have decided to stop caring.

 

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100th blog post!

To celebrate my hundredth blog post, I will give you a quick tour of my favourite blogs. Warning: my selection is quite eclectic and there is nothing there about jewellery making… I don’t read any DIY or creation-oriented blogs. When I browse the internet, I am rather looking for other subjects for a change.

100th blog post

Bouletcorp — Boulet is a French comic artist who’s been blogging for more than ten years, with great humour and drawing style.

Scandinavia and the world — Denmark, Norway and Sweden walk into a blog…

Letters of note — A collection of all sorts of historical, touching, funny, sometimes crazy letters.

The Oatmeal — Matthew Inman is some sort of comic artist alien with a very weird humour.

Crocodiles Project — A webcomic telling stories of everyday sexism and harassment.

Sarah’s scribbles — Delightfully funny webcomic by Sarah Andersen.

What the fuck France (Youtube channel) — Paul Taylor is English but lives in France. Many French things escape his understanding for three reasons.


What are your favourite blogs?

 

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