Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rainbow Moonstone Pendant

Some of my favorite projects are commissioned from a stone. This stone is certainly moonstone. But when I was working with it, I noticed it had some rainbows in places. I am guessing it is (appropriately named) rainbow moonstone. I have had many people ask me why I don't do consignment work. I can't afford to leave my work at a store. It just has never worked out. If you think about these shops that would have my jewelry in their case for sale, everything else in that store is purchased ahead of time. The books, the pottery, the herbs...all paid for up front. So why should the silversmith have to do consignment? Just because it has always been done that way does not make it the right way....or the only way.
My first jewelry was sold in a store on High Street here in Columbus called Trade Winds (affiliated and joint owned with Byzantium). I took my work in and a woman named Evette looked at my pieces, she asked me prices and she put an order in with me for 10 pendants. At the time I didn't drive a car, so it was a hardship to get back and forth to Columbus. But a few weeks later, I came back to Trade Winds and Evette wrote me out a check for all ten pendants and I haven't ever looked back. She spoiled me and for that I am grateful.
Unfortunately, I don't sell enough jewelry to make a living from silversmithing. My friends who are silversmiths teach classes...sometimes working two jobs to make ends meet. So it isn't as easy as it might seem, even if you can get past the consignment trap. In 1990 when I became disabled, I picked up my hobby silversmithing where I had left off to join the workforce. After a 40 to 60 hour week there just wasn't anything left for creative activities such as stone cutting, silversmithing, and other arts. And while I wouldn't wish a disability on anyone, my disability has not incapacitated me so much that I can not do art. I like to say if I say disability fast enough it sounds like "this ability". So my disability brought me back to an art form I had long left behind. There are people that do not know the story and do not understand what transpired, and are jealous of my situation. Hopefully they won't slip on a banana peel or something that would make them understand disability from the inside instead of the outside. It is no picnic. Mostly it is just a hard way to live and occasionally good friends and loved ones say unthoughtful and cruel things that can't be taken back. A blog can be edited and even deleted...but an unkind thoughtless comment can not.

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