Monday, September 7, 2009

I will never ever agree to do this again....

that is what I said to myself with each amethyst chip I strung tonight. Get ready because I'm going to rant even though I did this to myself.

I've had a number of people at work approach me to fix their jewlery. And a few years ago I used to do this and even design things with strands of beads they would bring me. But I haven't strung anything in a long time since my interests have moved on to metals. But they still continue to ask. And now that I think of it, the ones that have come to me have never purchased a piece of my jewelry....but they still ask if I can fix theirs. Most of it is cheap and they would be better off if they just threw it out. But for some reason they want it repaired. A while back I decided that I wasn't going to do this ever again. NO, NO, NO.

But I had a weak moment when a co-worker asked about a bracelet. I said OK but it had to be after my shows were finished this summer. On the day after my last summer show she followed me to my office to give me the amethyst bracelet strung on elastic that her daughter had broken. Much to my surprise she pulled out a bag of amythyst chips and proceded to tell me about the necklace she wanted me to string for her and the single strand bracelet now became 4 strands with silver pieces in it. I don't know why I didn't say NOOOOOOO at that point but I took everything home and it's been sitting here for 2 months.

I couldn't give it back to her at this point because it's been so long. So tonight I strung the necklace and with each chip I said..."I will never do this again". And it wasn't like they were spectacular chips and maybe I could have enjoyed the beauty of the gemstone. The chips are really low grade. So it was torture. I also strung the 4 strands for the bracelet but I don't have a clasp that will work from a design perspective. So I am taking everything back to her tomorrow. The necklace is finished and I am going to recommend someone else at work to finish the bracelet. I will not take on the task of looking for the right clasp.

At one point tonight Lou asked me if I was OK. He said I looked angry. I started laughing. I was angry. But I did it to myself.



Susan Dilger said...

Good for you for passing it back for the clasp! I've been put in this situation more times than I care to remember! Maybe you can come up with a set response so it doesn't catch you off guard and PRACTICE saying it several times. For example, "I'm sorry, my regular work doesn't allow me time for doing jewelry repairs. Perhaps you could try ______" Smile sweetly, then zip it and change the subject. I feel your pain!

artemissne said...

I know how you feel, Gail...! Some people assume that we're thrilled to fix their often low-grade broken jewelry pieces and fail to understand that that's not exactly what designing is all about...It's the difference between a jeweler and a designer/artist.
I agree with Susan, it's good to have a response ready for these cases. It is a form of respect for your art, if people can't see that they need to be educated a bit... ;-)

Your jewelry designs are so original, old resonates with modern, I love it! And the colors you can pull out of the bronze clay are simply magical!

All the best to you,

Colleen J. Stella said...

HEAR HEAR! I totally agree! I too get tired of being asked to fix or design something with other peoples cutesy little finds! ARGH! It is hard to say no... but I too have to start. I'm going to remember Susan's response... for sure!

CathDesigns said...

You are absolutely resonating the anguish and anger that we "designers" go through - we make original works, one of a kind, and then are expected to 'fix' ordinary, even boring, things of friends, co-workers, etc. just because we have skills, and are kind. No more of that! Oh, to be that strong!!

Katie said...

I've gotten myself into that same pattern here at work and it is so hard to get out of it - especially when people you've repaired jewelry for come back with more. Hard to say no when you've said yes before. My saving grace will be retirement - IN NINE MONTHS!!!

SueB383 said...

OMG ... I thought I was the only one with this problem! I had someone ask me to take some links out of their watch today that they bought at the local drugstore! Argh! At least I'm not alone!

Stacey said...

Gail...I truly believed i was the only person that this ever happened to! Especially the part about how these are the people that never purchase from you. Hysterical. I have a very good (?) friend that continues to buy crap jewelry on her (many) vacations and then bring it to me when it breaks. She can afford better and never buys from me. And the things she buys are cheap versions of what I do anyway! Here is how I solved this problem: the last little broken goodie she brought me became "lost". Never to be found. Ever. Funny, she doesn't bring me her broken things anymore! LOL!

Nicola said...

Awww poor you, I have a shop on the High Street so get it all the time...
I have 3 solutions:
1) Yes I'll string it for you but it will cost you £20 ($30). This normally puts them off me doing the work.
2) OR I can give you this stringing wire, you can restring it all and bring it back to me, leaving the ends as long as they are now, and I'll sort the slasp for £5 (about $8). Most are so relieved to get this option they snap my hands off.
3) For jobs I know are just GRRRR I explain I'm really sorry but I can't fix their piece because I'm not insured to work on other peoples work! :)
Nic x