So, I took part in my second Altrincham vintage and craft fair on Sunday. I was quite hopeful for it as I'd been pleased with the results and sales at the first one - it had been a nice mix of people, not too busy but a fair amount of folk, chatty and obviously enjoying having a mooch around. Sadly, my second one was not so good. My Mum and my sister came along (Mum was up from Edinburgh to see my sister and I take part in some recitals at college) and they saved the day by buying various things as presents for friends, but I only sold ONE piece to a stranger. She'd been to the previous market and was very enthusiastic about my jewellery and so it was lovely to have a returning customer (she's also commissioned me to make her a bracelet for her wedding!) but I was sad that nothing else sold. I'm not sure if it was a different crowd visiting the market that day - I don't know Altrincham well enough to know who to expect - but I do know that a couple of other jewellery stalls there did well that day. Which is great for them but has left me puzzled as to the dramatic difference between the two market days for me.
I spoke to my mum about it - she visits heaps of craft fairs and is always very nice about my jewellery 'habit'! - and one ting she said she would like to see is more silver. Now, I think many of us who have worked in the past, especially jewellery makers such as myself who are not established sellers, are steering clear of silver at the moment due to the heavy cost. I used to work quite often with sterling, but I have given up recently - partly because I absolutely love the patinated copper and brass I usually work with now, but mainly I've got to say, because of the high price tag that comes attached to silver.
So I've been trying to figure out how to make some pieces using silver but keeping the cost down. I've made a bunch of very simple earrings using beads such as pearls and vintage crystal(and in fact am now waiting on some more silver ear wires coming in the post)
and a couple of pendants (also waiting on fine silver chain).
Love this bead frame especially - I've had a couple of these in my silver box for years but never quite figured out how best to use it....I like this simple pendant.
I don't want to move away from my (still developing) style, but I do love silver, and it does give people options when looking at my work. I have quite a few friends who can only wear silver or gold in their ears so it's always good to remember that when creating.
What do other folk think about this? I know that silver isn't everyone's bag but I do personally love it, both oxidised and bright. So I'm going to try and keep some simple pieces in my stash of jewellery and see if they catch anyone's eye next time around. I hope I'm not just pandering to what I think (guess!) potential customers might want (I don't think I am, I really like all the pieces I've made) but am hopefully staying true to myself as a designer, whilst giving people options and keeping an eye on the purse strings.
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