Sunday, August 29, 2010

Coloring metal

I know now that I am my father's daughter. Countless new hobbies, mutations of those into other hobbies, stranded projects that didnt get finished out of boredom. For those who know me, you'll question if I'm talking about my dad or myself!

While my love and obsession with metal work and jewelry making hasn't ebbed at all, I'm constantly looking for ways to push it and make it different. So imagine my excitement when I learned that I could actually apply color with Prismacolor pencils! I still have them hanging around from my graphic design years (yes, they are THAT old) although some of them are little nubs. They were lovingly packed away in a Mickey Mouse tin which I located in a box in the basement on Friday (among a lot of unfinished projects that I KNOW I should finish, but won't) and pulled upstairs, dusted off, and are now sitting on my dining room table (heretofore known as "Melissa's jewelry bench")
Here are just a few pictures of why I'm excited...

The first and third piece were done by Deb Karash and the beautiful paisley piece was done by Jane Adams. Expect to start seeing some of this from me ! Of course not on this level anytime soon. I just hope I stick with it long enough to show off some of the pieces!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Favorite Product

Trying to choose a favorite piece of my own jewelry for Handmade Spark wasn't too difficult. With my landscape /horticulture background I always gravitate towards the pieces that represent that part of my life anyway, so I'd pick my Mixed Metal Sunflower Bracelet. It's very three dimensional and a little quirky and actually started as a flat flower, but once I domed the textured center disc, I fell in love with it! It's also the first piece in my upcoming "Whimsies" line (trademark pending) which will combine my love of flowers with my passion for Pounding Metal!

Check out my latest pendant! You can follow along with the making of it (and the reasons) here in my weekend blog about Branding.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Branding phase 2

Phase II of new logo is NOT going according to plan ! I thought I had soldering down 100%, but apparently I still have things to learn because I am having an impossible time getting the tree pieces to stay. A lot of cussing and two burned fingers later, here's where I am with the metal version of the logo design...

You can see the mountain and the foreground taking shape. So far there are three layers. Sterling silver backing with a stamped design around the edge for a "frame" , the mountain is in copper, and the foreground (the hillside) is in silver. It's impossible to see the detail in the hillside, but I've hammered in some texture that looks like long grass.

Hopefully I'll be able to tackle this again tomorrow, but Im off to eat burritos, drink a glass of wine, and settle in for some Sunday night football !

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, all !
Publish Post

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I've known for awhile that branding is important to the ultimate success of a business and have toyed a bit with it. The first impression of my card or my jewelry booth will leave a mental mark on my potential clients even before they see my jewelry.

Branding can be confusing. Just what is it? How does it help? Much more knowledgeable people than I have investigated this, and I've been reading through whatever I can get my hands on that I think will help ! Recently I picked up a copy of The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin and this little book is just full of information on getting who you are and what you do out to the public.

After reading through about 3/4 of the book, I started to ask if the appearance of my Etsy shop, and my business cards really worked. I knew they looked "nice" but did they really do what they needed to do. So I asked friends and family. Wow can people who claim to love you be brutal ! Everyone seemed to agree that the logo, banner, biz cards, and packaging all "went" together, but didn't show one bit what my jewelry was all about. YIKES!

So I've spent some time pondering how to get the handmade, rustic, comfy, quirky, funky feel of my jewelry into a logo that will also incorporate the look of the packaging materials that I've already purchased and love! The image on the left is my biz card now.

I know it doesn't exactly scream cool jewelry or even metal, right?

So my idea is to actually get some metal on it and more of a sense of what Hitch Hollow actually is. First step taken care of.. design. (pay no attention to the middle tree that seems to have an eyeball in it... no eyeball trees will be in my logo!) Second step is to take this little sketch, grab some metal, and torture it into this design. I've got my work cut out for me this afternoon... I'll drop back in and post my progress !

happy Sunday afternoon everyone. Remember to visit my shop if you're in the jewelry perusing mood :)

and please feel free to join me at Hitch Hollow on FB