People ask me all the time about the name of my business. What does it have to do with jewelry? A trusted marketing guru friend suggested the name because I was committed to using rubber in my work--flexible, right? It took me a long time to find the right material. Naively I bought miles of rubber "cord" instead of tubing when I first started because I didn't know the terminology. Ah, the frustrations of research and development. Cord does not have a hole and therefore limits the beads you can use. In a hardware store I came across screen spline which has a very tiny hole through the tube thus also solving the problem of how to align beads with the rubber. If you know what screen spline is (no fair doing a web search) email me and I will give you a 20% coupon.
For a couple years I stuck with screen spline only because it worked exactly for what I wanted to do. It comes in several diameters but its limitation is that it is only in two colors. Makes sense because its intended use is in fitting screen into window frames so it doesn’t need to be fancy. Eventually I graduated to using some colors because, well……I just wanted to break out a little bit. So, occasionally you will see color in the flexible tubing. You can buy color tubing, and, believe it or not, some of mine is I.V tubing (no used) I buy at a scrape vendor.
My true love is combining textures, patterns and unexpected items. I use grommets and nuts as separators; washers serve that purpose too and they add color. A hardware store is a great source for re-purposing items. Vintage beads are my true love. I haunt the web and stores for those. I generally look for funky beads that are 50+ years old because either my customer will say “I remember when I had a necklace with beads like that” or “I have never seen anything like this bead.” Appeals to my market from both ends of the spectrum.
My work has evolved over several years, and, while I don’t follow the fashion market, I am sensitive to colors and seasonal demands. I want to make pieces that are readily identified as artist-made, unique one-of-a-kind works. They can be simple or bold but you won’t see similar things in a store or mass produced market. For the last 18 months I have sorted out what I do best and settled into a broad style of 36” pieces and short 20-22” necklaces. One of my best wholesale accounts tell me that the longer works make middle-age women look taller and that is why they sell well. I don’t know about that, but that length give me more pattern to play with.
Asymmetry is my thing—not always but very often. As you look through the shop you will see many works that are asymmetrical meaning that there are different numbers of beads and sometimes a change of pattern on each side of the necklace. This look is one I have bought from other artists over the years, and I like the non-standard look. It may not be for everyone, and if it drives you crazy, ask me to create a symmetrical piece for you. I can do matching earrings and bracelets too.