Friday, March 27, 2009

EtsyMetal News 3.27.09

sarawestermark was featured this week on the FoundHandmade blog--see the 3.34.09 "Luna" post. Also this week, Sara hit 500 sales in her Etsy shop. Congratulations, Sara!

chrisparry had a diamond ring and some personalized key rings featured in Wedding Ideas Magazine, a UK monthly bridal magazine. Congrats, Chris.

Lisa of lpjewelry is teaching a whopping
8 workshops this summer at Water Street Studios in Batavia, IL. Wow!--you'll be busy, Lisa! Check out the schedule on the Water Street website and sign up for a workshop today.

will be at Fort Worth Arts Goggle today (Friday) from 5pm to 10pm at the Park Place Pharmacy in Fort Worth, TX. Be sure to stop by and support Ashley if you're in the area.

And a huge congratulations to Delias of deliasthompson, who just received notice that she has won a Merit Award for the Philadelphia Buyers Market of American Craft. She'll be showing her work at the summer BMAC show from August 1-3, 2009 in Philadelphia.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Don't Forget New Release Thursdays!!

check out new items as members post throughout the day!

Elizabeth Rosas

1. Where do you live, and where are you from?
I live in San Francisco. I was born in Prescott, Arizona. I grew up in Fresno, California but as soon as I graduated from High school I joined the Navy reserve so I could see the world (that was a long time ago). I have lived in New York, Chicago, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. And....I would love to live in Oregon someday.

2. How did you get started working with metal?
I started working with metal in early 2002 when I moved to San Miguel de Allende and took classes from Billy King (a Canadian expatriate). I have gone back a few more times to live and study since then. I am hoping that the etsymetal team will take a trip to Penland next winter so we can all share techniques and learn from each other.

3. What are a few of your favorite pieces at the moment?
I love this piece. Layers of silver, stacked to the sky:

4. What inspires you (artists, objects, interests)?
Rainy days inspire me, for some reason I get real creative when the rain hits the window. I love anything vintage and lacy, so that inspires me too.

5. Do you have any other artistic interests?
I started my artistic education in photography, so that is my first love. I have a photographer friend who once said to me "you have a distinct style, all your photos have a blurry romantic feel to them" and I said, "well, it's not on purpose, my hands are just shaky". Since then I look at my shots differently--I look forward to the randomness of dream-like, blurry photos.

My other great love is paper mache, which I also studied in Mexico.

You can find more of Elizabeth's (aka Libby) work in her Etsy Shop , as well as on her flickr and her blog.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How to have a Sale on Etsy

photo by JustifiedSinner -- thank you for the awesome photo and your fabulous metalwork!

There are many ways that you can offer items for sale or provide discounts for your customers. I'm sure many sellers have found ways that work for them - these are things that have worked for me or others that I know.

When I have a big sale - I normally like to do a combination of things. Like have a sale section and then something like free shipping on all orders over $100 or an extra 5% off orders over $200, buy 2 items get any sale item at an extra 10% off, etc. try to make it as confusing as possible! ha ha! not that I try to make it confusing, but I usually like to do something a little extra beyond just having items on sale. Now, that is when I am having a BIG sale. sometimes I'll just have a quick little sale and offer a small section of sale items.

I find that having a sale section seems to be the easiest - no one has to wait for an invoice - they know what the price is and what it used to be (I write it in the listing like: "was $78, now only $60!") It is also a reminder to me what to change the price back to when the sale is over.

I always get the best response from my repeat customers (thank you!!!), or people that have signed up for the mailing list but haven't purchased yet. A sale sometimes just gives some one an excuse to buy something they've been looking at - that seems to be helpful for those people that particularly want an item but are having guilt about spending the money. If they get a chance to get some $$ off, they just go ahead and do it. I think this is the kind of shopper I am. Who doesn't love to buy an item on sale?

To promote, I email my list of etsy folks, my personal list of family and friends, blog, twitter, facebook, myspace, change etsy avatar, post in etsy forums and renew sale items every so often so they get moved up to the top and maybe get some more views.

I've done a week long sale and I've done a sale for just a couple days. i think it seems like 2 - 4 days is enough. I email about a week before the sale is going to happen, and then again when the sale starts as a reminder. That way you catch people that might only check their email every few days. Don't inundate you customers though, too many 'sale emails' and I just tend to ignore them all and eventually want to be removed from the mailing list.

Offering discounts is a little more difficult. It will require sending a paypal invoice or sending a refund if the customer paid already. Which is fine, but I like for things to be as easy and efficient as possible. As of right now, the only way I know of using a discount code is for the customer to write it in the 'note to seller' box, and then wait. For customers newish to etsy, it can be a little confusing. Plus, as a customer myself, I like to go ahead and pay and be done with it. I do sometimes have conditional discounts (like my, buy more than $100 and get an extra 10% off) though I rarely do those.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Weekly Review: Zam

Delias Thompson has been suggesting Zam polishing compound the her fellow Etsymetal members for a while now. I recently followed her suggestion, tried it and "Sha-ZAM!" I was thrilled with the results! When first applied to a muslin buffing wheel, it was abrasive enough to remove sandpaper scratches and as it wore off the buff, it polished to a high mirror shine. I found it to be a superb all purpose compound good for buffing and polishing.

Formulated especially for silver and turquoise jewelry, Zam is a mixture of chrome oxide, aluminum oxide, and a binder. It not only polishes metal, but it will not scratch soft stones and polishes epoxies, plastics, bone and other soft materials. Many goldsmiths prefer ZAM to rouge as a final finish.

Try it. You just may find it ZAM-tastic as well!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Charm Swap 3 Update!

I've been working very hard with Nina Gibson, the etsymetal shop manager, to get all 18 of the 20 charms listed for sale in the Etsy Metal shop. We have already sold two members charms! Congratulations to Kathryn Riechert for selling her seascape charm and to Laurie Brown from Aubergine228 for selling her one of a kind cast seahorse! If you have been following this progress, I just want to remind you that these are limited edition charms and only one is for sale in the etsymetal store--these are rare and true collectors charms. The last charms will be listed this weekend. I'm still waiting for 2 more members' charms to arrive and hopefully they will be here soon. Check out the Etsymetal Store Charm Section!

This photo shows all the charms currently for sale in the Etsy Metal shop. (Note: the doggie charm and the heart charm are being listed this weekend, so be on the look out for them!)

This weekend I'm going to begin to assemble the Etsymetal Charm Swap 3 charm bracelet. When completed it will be offered for sale in the etsymetal store. You can still purchase the charm bracelet from the very first charm swap by etsymetal. We owe all this fun of the charm swap to our member Vic from Experimetal, because this was her brilliant brainchild.

I've already begun to take names for the Etsymetal Charm Swap 4. The due date for that is August 31. Since we just juried in some new members this spring, we've managed to get some of them to sign up too!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

EtsyMetal News 3.20.09

Overgrowth--sterling silver and opal necklace by Kathryn Riechert

Some news from our members this week:

Kathryn from KathrynRiechert will be showing her work on March 21st at Art Encounter at Oatland, a great opportunity to meet and purchase original artwork and creative crafts from the creators themselves.

Clare from stamp is featured on the Bright Side Project blog, which offers readers a chance to win either her Constellation Cuff or a pair of Abstract Daisy Earrings. In order to win, all you need to do is answer a simple question in the comment field at the end of the post. Fun!

CynthiaDelGiudice's beautiful fold-formed flower jewelry is featured on Daily Art Muse blog. Visit Cynthia's etsy shop to see even more in this line.

Lena from lenastudio will be at the Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park in Houston next week. The show is Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and she will be in booth #5.

esdesigns hit 5000 sales this week. Congratulations, Elizabeth!

Kirsten Skiles of knitsteel will be giving some fantastic workshops later this spring, along with her husband Bill Fiorini, and just announced the lineup on her blog. Be sure to check out her two "Chasing and Repousse for Jewelry" workshops on June 12th & 13th and June 25th, 26th and 27th.
Check out this beautiful piece from her collection:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weekly Review: The Road to Wellville by T.C. Boyle

I just finished reading this book and it is amazing! Written in 1993 by T.C. Boyle (and later made into a movie), it documents Will Lightbody's journey to the Battle Creek Sanitarium with his wife Eleanor to fix his ailing stomach problems. A hilarious read, I looked forward to some downtime with this book every day. Although fictional, it is based on a great amount of research and gives some good and interesting insight into the beginnings of America's health consciousness and food industry.

I am definitely looking forward to seeing the movie next! You can find this at Powell's Books (a local Portland store with an online counterpart) for $5.95!

Friday, March 13, 2009

EtsyMetal News 3.13.09

It's Raining Slider Ring by new EtsyMetal member mujoyas

Our biggest news this week is that we have 19 new EtsyMetal members!! Please help us welcome them! And be sure to visit their shops and spread the EtsyMetal love around.


Our other members have lots of exciting news, too. Read on....

daniellejewelry is having a March Madness sale from March 10th through the 17th to celebrate her birthday. Happy birthday, Danielle! Visit her shop to receive FREE SHIPPING on all orders! Also, receive 10% off orders over $75 and 15% off orders over $200.

ashleyjewelry is also having a big sale, offering 20% off all orders of $50 or more!

At swizzlet, all bracelets are 50% off through the end of March. What a great deal, Nina!

Lisa at lpjewelry is participating in the Water Street Studios Gallery Open House today--Friday, March 13th, in Batavia, IL.

On March 22nd, Nina at NinaGibsonDesigns will be participating in the Pink Parlour Festival, an arts and crafts festival geared toward women in business. It's being held in the infield of the Santa Anita horseracing track in California.

KathrynRiechert will be at the Savannah Market Bazaar Show in Savannah, GA today--Friday, March 13th.

chrisparry had a nice write-up recently featuring his sterling shirt stiffeners in Rare Bird Finds.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Weekly Review:

Member Clare Stamp turned us on to a great photography site a while ago: Their commentary and tutorials are great, with simple solutions to problems. They have a great tutorial on making a super simple light tent, as well as a fun tutorial on creating your own Bokeh.

images via

Saturday, March 7, 2009

EtsyMetal News 3.6.09

Our Etsy Metal members have been up to all kinds of exciting things lately. Here are some highlights.

Sara of sarawestermark is showing work in the 5th Annual Artists Aid the Animals Art Sale in Wilmington, NC, Saturday March 7 from 10am to 5pm. In addition to being a fabulous jewelry artist, Sara also has a singing career, and was written up in The Beat, Wilmington's performing arts magazine.

Over at ashleyjewelry, Ashley is having a big sale through the weekend, offering
20% off orders of $50 or more, and 30% off orders of $100 or more, excluding items in her sale section. The sale runs through Sunday, so hurry and pick out some new jewelry for your collection!

Rachael of sudlow was recently featured in
CITY DOG Magazine! The article showed off her King and Queen of Farts dog tags. Congratulations, Rachael!

At swizzlet, Nina is having a closeout sale, offering
50% off all her Swizzlet bracelets through the end of March. Be sure to get one before they're all gone!

Nina from NinaGibsonDesigns will have work in the Handmade District Craft Fair in Tustin, CA on Saturday, March 14th from 1oam-3pm. Over 40 local vendors will be there, showcasing jewelry, art, sewn creations and other kinds of handmade goodies.

At rubygirl, Shannon is offering
free shipping on all items in her shop! Be sure to check out her great deals in the sale section — up to 30% off select items.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pouring an ingot for wire

My husband and I recently cast some wire ingots with my clean gold scrap. Here is a quick tutorial for you. Don't forget...Be safe...always wear safety glasses, protective clothing and have adequate ventilation!
  • Coat the inside of the ingot mold with the carbon soot from a reducing (smoking) flame. You do this by limiting the amount of oxygen to your torch. This soot acts like a lubricant, allowing your metal will pop out of the ingot more easily.

  • Pre-heat the mold in a kiln or with your torch. This will dry out any moisture in the mold and help prevent the metal from chilling too quickly when pouring it into the mold.

  • Put your dry and clean metal in a pouring crucible with a dash of dry casting flux

  • It is best to have your ingot and crucible in a line for a smooth pour (left to right for right-handers OR right to left for south-paws). Begin to heat your metal...

  • Melt your metal until it has a fluid (mercury-like) quality. When the metal is ready, position the crucible's rim next to the mold and pour. This will take practice, you are looking for a single consistent stream of metal for a pour. It is important that the flame is always on the metal during the melt AND pour.

  • Let everything cool for a minute.

  • Remove mold clamp and inspect the ingot for voids, cracks or any other flaws.

  • Cut off the top button and file away any flashing. Isn't it pretty?
Tune in next Wednesday for....turning it into wire! Thanks for reading.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Finished Charm Swap 3!

Deadline for the Etsymetal Charm Swap 3 was this past Saturday. I've already received 9 sets of charms in the mail and I love it! Its a bit like Christmas being the curator. I have all these interesting small boxes and envelopes arriving and I am thrilled to get a first peek. Here is your first peek of the finished charms. Limited edition individual charms make great pendants and will be for sale in the Etsymetal store. There will only be two for sale in the store, one for sale as an individual charm and one in a complete charm bracelet. Be the first to get yours!

Experimetal sterling shielded rock charm.

TreAnelli sterling concentric circle charm.

nyhedy with her unique castings.

erosas 14k gold foil and sterling charms

deliasthompson's cobblestone collection

Tuizui's enameled copper and sterling charms

Maggiejs petal and gemstone charm.

NinaGibsonDesigns brass and sterling teacup

KathrynRiechert hand stamped sterling disks with brass rivets.

IstanbulDesigns etched bronze owls.

Ashleyjewelry's charms use copper and polymer clay

rubygirl has filigree and enamel charms

sarawestermark copper and sterling leaves

Weekly Review: one-a-week-challenge

Our own Alisa Miller has been joining the one-a-week challenges inspired by Project Runway, and I must say, her creations from this are fantastic! It makes me look forward to either summer, or when I graduate 3 years from now and have the time and energy to do something spontaneous each week like that! You can check out Alisa's blog for more information and other peoples' responses to the challenges!
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