The beginning of the year has been slow. January, February, and most of March have been dedicated to me trying to build back up my stock for shows later in the year and dreaming of the time when the weather is warmer so I can do lapidary things again.
Luckily, I’ve had some really cool custom orders to keep me inspired.
Custom order Gold-Fill and Hawk’s Eye Set, 2017
Custom Order Copper And Client Provided Stones, 2017
While I was vending at Piedmont Pagan Pride Day this past weekend it became apparent that I needed to make a quick update post for you guys. Between the lapidary work, custom orders, vendor work and travel, the online shop, finances, and just making new jewelry day to day, Lapdify has become a full time job. For that reason I left my retail job in July and am now entirely self-employed. It’s scary at times, but I feel like it was the best decision for me and for my business.
I’m currently not associated with any local retailers or “brick and mortar shops.” That means that the only way to buy items I have made are to see me in person at shows or fairs, contact me online, or to buy through my Etsy Shop. If this changes in the future, I’ll let you know!
So what does this mean for you, the client? Well:
- Contact me directly for custom orders. Any custom order requests taken to stores where I used to have items for sale won’t be sent to me, so shoot me an email or a message on etsy or facebook if you’d like me to make a piece for you!
- I will be posting a lot more items on Etsy. I’ll probably be posting things in batches as items get made. I’ll make announcements on facebook as that happens.
- If you see an item posted on Facebook or Instagram and it’s not a custom order, you can buy it. Even if I haven’t posted it to Etsy, you can buy jewelry I post to the Facebook page or on Instagram! Etsy charges fees and percentages for each item I post and sell, so I do not put every item in my shop. Instead, we can do an exchange over Paypal or with cash if you are local.
- You guys get to save your money. I was having to raise my prices about 50% when working with retailers. Without the middle man, I’m able to charge considerably less.
And that’s about it! In other news, Lapidify attended the Enchanted Chalice Renaissance Festival and PPD this month, and I had fantastic time at both. I’ve also started working on a collaborative project with Gwen from Frog Crossin’ Pottery. We’re making aromatherapy pendants- she makes the clay body of the pieces and I add stones and metal to them. You can see a few of the ones I have available in the shop by clicking here!
Lapidify at the Enchanted Chalice Renaissance Festival in Greenville, SC.
If you’ve been following the Facebook page, then you already know the good news: After two years of saving, I’ve finally been able to get a cabbing machine! I decided to take the plunge and get a 6 inch Cabking rather than less expensive model I had been looking at. It is really, really nice.
Pictured: Me and my friends in awe of the Cabking.
So, what does this mean for Lapidify? Well, a couple things. First, it means that I’ll be back to cutting and polishing my own stones again for the first time in nearly two years. I’ll get to make unique shapes for pieces ahead of time rather than seeking out pre-cut cabochons and tumbled stones. I’ll get to conceive my pieces from start to finish now, and really celebrate each rock individually!
Secondly, it means that I can start taking some commissions to polish people’s stones. I have never cut garnets, sapphires, diamonds, or rubies and I plan on not taking those until I’ve had more practice. However, I can cut jaspers, quartz (rose quartz, amethyst, citrine, aventurine), chalcedony, agates, and calcites all day. So let me know if you’d like me to work on your stones!
March will be a busy month for me! You’ll be able to find the Lapidify booth at two different shows, two weekends in a row.
The first show is the Franklin Jewelry and Accessory Show located in Franklin, TN on March 12th. I’m really excited about this because it will be the first time I’ve ever vended in my hometown! The show will only include artists displaying handmade jewelry and accessories- nothing brought and sold from another source. Admission is free for everyone. You can find out more information about the show at http://www.wcparksandrec.com.
The second show is Randy’s County Wide Antique and Yard Sale on March 19th and 20th. It will be held at the Rowan County Fairgrounds in Salisbury, NC. Parking will be free, and admission for adults is only $1. There should be a huge range of items at this show to look at, and I will be sharing my booth with two other talented artists and close friends. Come check us out!
Lapidify will be having a sale through Monday, 11/30! Use the code “CYBER15” at checkout to receive 15% off your entire purchase of shiny things.
I’m excited to report that I’ve uploaded a bunch of beautiful new items to the Etsy Shop! I’ll continue doing so over the next 48 hours or so as I have the opportunity to photograph the pieces.
A final note: I’ve taken a handful of holiday commissions so far, but have room for a few more. Let me know if I can make a special piece for you or a loved one.
This weekend, Lapidify will be selling at the Enchanted Chalice Renaissance Faire
in Greenville, South Carolina!
This is my first time doing a two day show, and I’m excited that its at such a great venue. The Faire is put on every year by the Greenville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, and it runs on Friday and Saturday. Discounted tickets can be bought online right now by clicking here.
I will be at the Spiritual Unity Festival this Saturday! Come visit the booth (we’ll be set up inside), look at my shiny things, and check out the other great vendors and speakers who will be around.
Iolite and Copper Bookmark
When I started wire wrapping the thought of creating bookmarks never occurred to me. It was only when a friend requested I make her one that the thought crossed my mind, and even then I was stumped. How do you make a bookmark with stones and wire? How thick can the body of the piece be? Where can I wrap and where should I avoid wrapping to protect the book pages?
I thought for sure that I’d need to make a dozen to practice before discovering a design that worked. I was wrong. I quickly discovered a basic design which translates well to each bookmark I make. The body which goes into the book is a thick piece of copper wire, hammered into various shapes to provide rigidity and to make the bookmark lie flat. The part which hangs from the book is free hanging handmade chain, and is where I include embellishments like hammered swirls, wrapped stones, and various sized links.
Pyrite and Quartz and Iolite and Hematite Bookmarks.
I’ve gotten pretty fond of making them. The bottom on the body of the bookmark is probably my favorite part. It gives weight to the piece and enough surface area to keep the bookmark from falling out of your novel.
Lapidary equipment is expensive. There’s no real way around it: even used equipment has a hefty price tag attached. Knowing this, I stuck it out in some less than ideal conditions for about six months so that I could use cabbing and faceting equipment.
After taking a two month long break for health reasons, I made the decision a few weeks ago that those conditions are not worth returning to. It was not a choice and made lightly. For the immediate future, the following will be true:
- I won’t have access to any lapidary equipment. That means that the cabochons I use in my new work will be from other lapidaries.
- I have, for the time being, stopped my lapidary training.
- I am going to be frantically saving every penny I make for a trim saw, Pixie, and dop wax.
Happier posts to come soon. I’ve been putting off this blog post for a while simply because loosing access to the tools I love work with is painful. Working with the Earth, whether cabbing a stone or digging a garden, is part of me. Giving up my lapidary work is a rude awakening, even if it is only temporary.