I was determined to grow my business last year and I made some mistakes ie wedding shows, village craft fairs, expensive directories an advert in Vogue, and the Salisbury Xmas market, but if you don't try you will never know.
I also had some great shows; a conference at the BIC in Bournemouth in March, a couple of village fairs, the Romsey Show, and finally the exhibition in December at Hilliers near Romsey which was a huge success! I also did very well with my smaller items in the Discovery Centre in Winchester.
Now a new year and I am looking into what to do this year. There are some things that are definitely on my list, and some things that I am applying for so watch this space. I had a lot of commissions last year and would like to grow that area.
As I am largely self-taught, my latest project has been rings. I have always used cabachons but I wanted to try setting some cut gemstones. I set a couple of stones in tube settings, tried a claw setting which was a bit of a disaster and yesterday I had my first try at flush or gypsy setting.
I had been told that flush setting was not for the faint hearted so, armed with my books, I decided not to start with a ring but to try a pendant and set a CZ so that if it was a disaster it wasn't too expensive. I had to make sure I had the right thickness of silver sheet so that my stone didn't stick out the bottom so had to solder 4 x .8mm silver discs together. That went well. I then had to drill a hole with a 3mm drill bit right through the 4 discs. That took ages as it was very thick. I then had to set about using my burrs to burr out the silver so that the stone would fit. I used a round burr and a setting burr and had to keep trying the fit. It took quite a while but it was a success. I then had to push the silver over the stone to keep it in place. That is such hard work. My fingers are not strong as I have fibromyalgia but I would do some pushing, go away and do something else and just keep going back to it until it was fixed. It looks good. It has been through the tumbler but needs further work to get rid of scratches so I will save the photo til next time.
I will attach a few piccies of rings to keep you going. Happy New Year X