Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Heart Lab: Cursive Design

I'm so happy to finally have Sarah of cursive design here!! She makes the most beautiful glass votives, the sweetest earrings AND these lovely necklaces... (sheesh she's one big ball of talent!)

Step 1: Searching for lace trims
For me the design process begins right in the aisles of trim at the fabric store. I pour over all of them looking for the right thickness and pattern that will work for my jewelry. I can be in the fabric store from anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.

Step 2: Mixing the dye colors
This usually lasts an entire day (or even more on some occasions). This is one of the most enjoyable parts for me since I feel color is such a main element in these pieces but it can also be very tedious and exhausting. I never settle until the color in my head matches the swatch of lace coming out of the dye bath. By the end of color mixing day I'm always ready for a glass of wine and a cheers to myself on getting the colors just right. 8 to 9 hours.

Step 3: Hand dying the lace
Once the dyes are all made I need to actually dye the chosen trims in the dye baths. I wash and rinse them until the water runs clear. This can take 30 minutes to an hour.

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Step 4: Stiffening the lace

After I wash the lace I dip them in liquid starch and pin them down flat to dry. This takes about an hour or so since I do a large batch at a time. I let them dry pinned down overnight.

Step 5: Sealing the lace
After they are dry I carefully take out the pins and lift up the stiff lace pieces. I cut off excess parts of the trim I won't use with a fine scissors. I lay them down flat and seal them with acrylic. This takes about 45 minutes and they will dry overnight.

Step 6: Designing the pieces
I typically sketch out ideas for an hour and than get to work with the chain, beads, findings, and lace. I alternate between working flat with the piece on the table and lifting it up to see how it hangs. This process can take 3-4 hours depending on how many I'm working on at a time.

Step 7: Photoshoot/Cleaning up images/Uploading to shop
I'm still learning as I go with photography and is SO important. Shooting jewelry can be very tricky. I just got a fantastic camera which has helped immensely, but I'm still learning about lighting and composition etc. etc. That being said my last photoshoot with 34 pieces took me 2 and a half days. And I wish I was kidding. That time frame will get smaller and smaller as I get better though. Next, I clean them up in Photoshop for about 2 hours. Lastly they get uploaded to the shop. (about an hour).

Step 8: Packaging orders
Depending on how many orders I am packing it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to wrap them up. It's important to me to make the package look special on the outside as well. It makes the experience of getting something in the mail that much more exciting.

Thanks Sarah!!


Melissa de la Fuente said...

Wow! I adore Sarah's pieces and had no idea how much went into each piece! Just absolutely lovely and amazing!