Sunday, January 18, 2015

What its about... part 2

In the last blog entry I discussed what SOME expenses could be as a stall holder/maker/indie artist… from my point of view as a resin jewellery artist.
Each craft has it’s own extent of expenses. Mosaicing, wood painting, decoupage, event planning, polymer clay, beaded jewellery, laser cutting… the list could go on.
But my knowledge is limited to resin and beaded jewellery.
In this post I decided to give some times to show how long one of my “usual” necklaces takes to make, from start to finish, as I cast my own moulds and resin.

·         Resin poured into moulds                             = 2-3 days to cure
·         Epoxy glue to join cameo and frame            = over night
·         Drilling, stringing on chain                         = 1-2 hours

Total time for one necklace with minimal beadwork = 4-5 days to make.

There is work that goes into the making process, hours that no physical handling on the piece can be done (like during curing) and yet the mould, and the resin curing in it, are taking an “earning space” in your workspace/workroom.

This is where it’s very hard to make buyers/supporters of handmade understand the extent to which we go for what we make.
It’s all very well that the stall holder next to you has brought a mass of products imported from China and is selling them next to you for R30 a piece, while you have spent many a 2am piecing together your art/work/inspiration.
Where do we make up the hours and HOURS spent on one project? A project we have lovingly and carefully chosen to make and pass on to someone else that we hope will love/appreciate/display it with pride. A piece of ourselves that we have given out to the world instead of keeping for ourselves.

“How long does a mould take then?”
~ bottom layer (base for the mould) = overnight.
~ 2nd layer (actual mould form) = over night.
~ Then we wait a further 24 hours before we start using it for resin to fully allow the silicon to “settle”.
~ 2 days from start to finish for a mould before we can start using it in the work room to start “working for us”.

This is a lot of work, and often messy. There’s nothing pretty about being covered in silicone while making moulds and something restrictive about having to work with gloves and mask while working with resin.
The safety issue behind certain resins (especially in enclosed spaces like my workroom) can be immense. And no matter how hot it is in Summer, an industrial mask and chemical grade gloves are on and my dogs and cat are outside to keep them from the dangers too.
That is when you cannot always explain to the point where a buyer or market goer will truly understand.

But why?!
I am useless at mosaic, and would probably end up with more glass and tiles in my eye than on the surface I’m tiling.
I find decoupage boring and can be rather selfish with all my pretty papers (I have a collection worth well over R1000 in scrap booking paper. Truth)
I’m no artist… my drawings and paintings would probably scare pets, nevermind children.
Beading (especially the elaborate looming and threading) is not equal to the patience I have.
Sewing…anything. Run for the hills if I get near a sewing machine… as is evidence by one of my tablecloths at the markets, see if you can spot it ;) and if it can’t be made on the overlocker, it can’t be made (according to me)

Nope, resin really has been something I have enjoyed (despite the discomfort and frustrations). It’s something I can express myself in without too much self doubt.

It’s just like job… not everyone can be a surgeon, accountant or standup comedian.

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