Monday 19 November 2012

Designing Men's Adjustable Leather Chokers & New Beads from the London Gem & Mineral Show

This is what I put together on Saturday at the market... again, variations on a theme which is my only way of determining which combinations of beads look better or more interesting together. I make as many as I can and the client then chooses the ones he likes. The rest go on the table. These may look fairly simple, but I am constrained by my client's budget as well as the fact that few beads come with large holes and I have to keep these masculine-looking, so matte beads work better, no facetting, darker beads, more handmade style findings, etc. Doing frilly/girly/fancy is easy. But masculine? Uh... no. Now that I've done all the cliches (arrowheads, skulls, that type of thing) plus umpteen variations on those, it's become harder and harder to come up with new ideas.

The three silver-plated pendants here were supplied by my client. They are finely crafted and tiny, so I needed beads that wouldn't overpower them. I lovelovelove the look of the copper tubing with the tiny Tibet-styled pewter beads. My problem is remembering where on earth I bought the copper tubing -- and why oh why didn't I buy more!?!?!? Using multiple jump rings together is also another of this client's favourite looks, especially when they start to darken and tarnish.

This is just one small part of my new stash acquired from the London Gem & Mineral Show held at the fairgrounds in London, Ontario, this past weekend. (I say "part of" because my stooopid camera batteries are being recharged as I write this.) I went with my pal Nancy, and we both had such a good time there talking with vendors. Learned a lot. Nancy found almost all the crystals on her list -- she was super-pleased with the prices and selection, and picked up cards to email dealers with her wish list -- and I got some new stones and pendants for the market.

The next local gem & mineral show is in Paris, Ontario, at the end of March/beginning of April, but there are also gem & mineral shows in and around Toronto over the next little while. For the most part, rock & mineral shows are all-age and interest but especially kid-friendly venues with lots of interesting stones and dinosaur bones to pore over, as well as kid-centric events -- stuff for them to do versus "don't touch!" and "stop grabbing!"

Also, don't forget, The Gem Expo is on for three days over this coming weekend in Toronto at the Hyatt Regency in Toronto, so November 23th, 24th and 25th. I'm going to try to go on Sunday if anyone wants to carpool -- anyone from the Woodstock/Brantford area or Kitchener/Guelph, meet up at Clappison's Corners and drive in together? Email me if interested.

More pix coming later today. Thanks for looking!


Nelson Beads said...

I think you did a great job with the men's jewelry. I have no idea how to make it or what men want. Nice beads, too. Those skulls are very unique.

Barbara said...

Thanks, Joanne. I didn't -- and still don't -- either. I make something and go show it to guys at the market who already wear jewellery and therefore are my target market. I ask if they like it, if not why not, do they think other guys would wear something similar... etc. They're as fussy as anyone about anything: they'll either like it or they won't, and they'll know what they're looking for when they see it. What do women want? Phhht, beats me. What do men want? Ditto. Little kids? Oooh, they're cruel.