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Monday, May 18, 2009

Does This Bead Match My Bag?

One of my customers constructed this bag and she is aiming to embellish it a little more. So she contacted me with the bottom photo and asked if I would design a bead to go with it.

Well of course I'd give it a try. I love looking at custom orders a bit like a puzzle. It's good to mentally and physically challenge oneself to figure out how to make something new.

Before accepting the commission, I look at the colors. Do I own rods that match, or can I layer or mix these shades? What about the shape? Is it within my realm of expertise? And technically, can I figure out how to attempt to do least on the first try?

Often it takes more endeavors than just one. And I know that I don't usually charge enough to cover those extra efforts, but to me, the custom orders almost always are worth it.

Each one teaches me and that's one of the elements that I love. Foremost is the customer's happiness, when I'm able to create what they want. It makes me just as joyful. But definitely secondary, is stretching my boundaries in a different direction to practice looking at the 2-D object and interpreting it into a 3-D shape- boldly going where I have never gone before. It's like a mini class for myself.

Do I ever have to call it quits? Sure. Not often, but I have. Once someone wanted me to make a specific NASCAR racing car less than an inch tall with the numbers and some of the intricate details. What was I thinking? Suffice it to say, it didn't work. I imagine if I had chosen to continue on and make enough of them, I'd get it, but I didn't quote a price anywhere close to the hours I was putting into it. That car is still on my bead rack to taunt me.

Some of the more memorable custom orders? Well I delighted in concocting someone's cat dancing on two legs, wearing a pink tutu and a black pirate patch. Creating pets, or the grandchildren face beads, school mascots, special mermaids and fairies or funny requests like Easter bunnies wearing viking helmets makes me grin. Bringing others' imagination to life is very rewarding.

So this swallow, (which matches a tattoo as well as the tote), is ready to be sent. Just wanted to share a portion of my art with you. These custom orders are a pleasing challenge in many ways of almost every day that I am at my torch.

If you have a custom bead you'd like to discuss, please contact me through my StudioMarcy Etsy shop, I'd love to chat.