Saturday, January 21, 2012

Commissions are great but....

they can be fraught with peril!

My friend Ingebourg spent many years in India. She came back to Spain loaded down with gem stones and I've been using them to make jewellery for her. Mostly elasticated bracelets, I'm afraid, but we won't go there.....

My friend also has a friend who is visiting from Canada. This friend, having heard of my handmade jewellery, brought with her some lovely little peridot faceted briolettes.  I was charged with producing a suitably gorgeous necklace, using the peridot drops, pearls and gold vermeil. Oh, and an elasticated bracelet to go with.

I spent some time designing said necklace and took it to Ingebourg for approval before finishing. I quoted a price based on the work I had already done plus a bit for adding the clasp and extender chain. Approval being forthcoming, I took the necklace home and set to with my crimpers.

Then, and only then, did I remember to double check the number of spacers and pearls I had used. It all goes into my pricing spreadsheet - once a bookkeeper, always a bookkeeper!

I counted 39 little gold vermeil spacers. Hang on a mo, shouldn't there be 40 of them? Let's have a recount. No, only 39. There was one missing - a peridot drop was nestled right next to a little white pearl and that would never do!

Ok, I thought, I'll have to bite the bullet and restring it. Can't let it go out like that! I made the cut and started to restring on new wire. It was at this point in the proceedings that my tired, sixty year old eyes finally noticed that the little peridot briolettes were not all the same size. They were a graduated set of twenty.

Ok, I hadn't actually used my crimpers yet so all was not lost. Except some time, of course. It took me about twenty minutes to line them all up and decide what order they should be strung in. This is the final result:

and this is the bracelet:

I also had a moment or two of panic with the bracelet. I had promised to use freshwater pearls and the same 2mm peridot beads I used in the necklace.  They have very small holes and not all of them would fit over the elasticity.  Just enough of them fitted, fortunately!

The moral of this story, which I will no doubt forget immediately I have finished typing, is to always double check your components BEFORE you start crimping and wear your best glasses at all times.


  1. The necklace is gorgeous. Sometimes custom work is more trouble then it's worth.


  2. Indeed it is, Michelle! But, I still love it. It's so nice to know that people love what you do.