Thursday 17 November 2011

Plus-size jewellery...

This week I've begun producing a dedicated collection of good quality, medium-priced plus-size jewellery to suit all ages for Imogene's, 426 Dundas Street, Woodstock, Ontario. You can check 'em out online, too:

I will be taking the initial pieces in this Friday afternoon if anyone is interested in viewing them over the weekend. The Santa Claus parade is this Saturday: good time to check out all the stores downtown, too. I'd sure appreciate any feedback, positive or negative, and to hear about your wish lists.

Materials will include base metal (pure copper, jeweller's brass, zinc and plated silver) and/or pewter to keep costs down, Argentium sterling silver for the good stuff (weddings, special occasion gifts), Greek leather to make adjustable pendant necklaces, genuine turquoise and A-grade semi-precious stones, as well as interesting pendants in all types of materials. A specific request was feather earrings, so there will be lots of those.
My feather earrings are made with maximum movement and dangle in mind. Each feather is attached separately, so that if one feather becomes damaged it can be replaced; the whole thing doesn't have to be tossed. Yes, it takes a little longer to make and costs a little more, but you'll get a lot more wear out of the piece.

Necklace in progress. I've decided to restring this so that the three ceramic dolphins will be strung in a line on the left (rather than as a pendant) with the other dolphin all by himself on the other side. Earrings to match.

In general, I would also be profoundly grateful to hear from you about what bugs you about jewellery currently available, things like the size of clasps, the weight of chains, how things sit/fit in general, as well as the overall scale of jewellery. What kind of materials do you like? What kind of materials do you hate? If my jewellery style isn't to your taste, I know lots of artisans working in all media I can recommend.

I've developed a list of standard plus-size measurements for bracelets, anklets and necklaces, but pretty much any jewellery would benefit from a little tweaking to fit properly because, quite frankly, everyone has problems with the way jewellery fits.

My favourite wail is: "Don't jewellery designers ever try on their jewellery before they sell it to see if it's actually physically possible to wear it?" Answer? Nope. Except me. The truth is, jewellery irritates me to no end which is why I almost never wear it. My long hair gets caught in chains at the back of my neck (an endless complaint from so many people), or I feel like I'm choking (a length problem), and bracelets drive me nuts. Essentially, I wear what I make and tweak it until it finally doesn't bug me, fall off or fall apart. Then I give them to people who do wear jewellery all the time to test-wear.
One of my customers brought in gorgeous chunky multi-strand stone and glass bracelets and necklaces that she'd bought at a craft show, but which all had grotesquely teensy tiny, itty-bitty cheap-cheap-cheap lobster clasps and equally spindly, flimsy extender chains which made the jewellery look just plain stupid on. Of course nothing fit, the itty-bitty being the problem. I ditched the chintzy findings and substituted chunky, inexpensive but good quality pewter toggle clasps and the wearability problem was resolved. The jewellery finally fit well and it all looked fantastic on.

For people who live in southern Ontario, I am at the Woodstock Farmer's Market every Saturday morning with most of my jewellery on display. I can do simple repairs while you shop at the market.

If you're looking for jewellery during the week, in addition to Imogene's, you will find a range of pure silver, Swarovski and semi-precious jewellery available at Rekindled in Woodstock, pure silver leaf and turquoise jewellery at the Woodstock Art Gallery, and pure silver leaf pendants and earrings at Studio Works in downtown Paris, Ontario.

And I'm always lurking around somewhere online:

Talk to you soon!

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