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Archive for the ‘Computer Design & Jewelry’ Category

Hi all.. Can you believe it’s October already?! This year is flying by faster than the Man of Steel & his sonic booms! Anyhow…

webpage 1

I’ve just been updating the custom orders page on my website, and wanted to share a few words.. After a really good conversation with my husband yesterday, I realised I am charging far too little for custom pieces.. I so want to be able to accommodate everyone, but the truth is, custom work takes 2-3 times as long as any other work – from designing (with options!), meeting clients, working out costs & quotes, and actually manufacturing – often trying something I’ve never done before! Anyhow, I’ve realised that I need to actually start charging for my time, or else it’s just not worth it for me to do :/

So – if you check out my website’s custom orders page, you can see a new pricing guide, with some minimum costs.. As you can see, I’m keeping custom name necklaces as low as possible, as these don’t take me long to provide a few font options – but for necklaces and rings, well, those have definitely gone up! I hope this doesn’t put too many people off – you will be getting absolutely awesome custom pieces if you order, but they will cost a little more..

Name Necklace Gerri

Click here to see some new pics of custom orders recently made up, as well as new pricing guides: http://www.starbrightgirl.com/custom%20orders.htm

Have a fantastic day everyone 🙂 Megs xxx

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Phew, I have to say, I’m glad it’s Friday – even though I’ll be doing some work this weekend.. It’s been a super busy week – with stock finished off & sent off to both Fringe Arts Cape Town shops, as well as the new Lonehill shop (JHB), as well as stock being dropped off at the KZNSA gallery, and a number of smaller orders!

(Update: I’m publishing this on Saturday – have to wait until some of the gifts at the bottom have been given! 😉 )

But, the week has ended on a really good note – as I received some jewellery production tools, which I ordered from overseas, this morning..

New Jewellery Tools

My awesome new jewellery tools

On top, in the picture, you’ll see a brand new, aluminium saw-frame. This is absolutely wonderful, as it’s really light-weight & nicely balanced, which I think will definitely help reduce the strain my arms and wrists have been taking! I know some jeweller’s who use these, and only have good things to say about them – and, so far – so awesome! The other nice thing (a technical detail), is that you can set your tension for your saw-blades – which means my chest/shoulder can rest easy – as I used to have to push my old frame against myself to tension it!!

In the box, is another totally awesome tool – a mini belt-sander for the bench.. I’ve been trying it out today, and it really is great.. Basically, it clamps to the bench, and then you connect your pendant motor to it. As I have a Foredom, variable-speed, motor, I can control the speed it runs with my foot pedal, which means no hot/burnt or sanded-off-skin-fingers! I ordered a variety of sandpaper belts to use – but must say, I’m taking a while to get used to the different grits – here it’s all 400, 600, 800 etc, but these are American, and so are 320, 500, 1200.. Sigh, why can’t the world be more standardised! 😉

Anyhow – here’s a pic of me using the set-up sander (yes, I’m normally right-handed, but that would have been an awful picture!)

Using the Wolf Belt Sander

Trying out my new Wolf Belt Sander

I was honestly surprised by how beautiful and flat the pieces are sanded – which is just perfect for my style & designs! To be honest, it is a bit of a mission to change the sandpaper belts, but for assembly production sanding – I can tell this is my new best friend!! 😀

To end off, here are just a couple of pics of things I have been busy with this week.. The Converse pendant isn’t quite finished – but I’m just so stoked with how it’s looking – must make more! The others are mostly gift items, so I’m just hoping they have all been given to their recipients by now! 😉

Orders August 2013

August 2013 – some custom orders

And that’s all from me – hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend 🙂 Megs xx

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Hi again – and welcome to the new week – hope it’s going to be a great one! ;)Today I thought I’d write a little bit about custom orders..

I really enjoy doing custom orders for people – even though they stress me out, to be honest! Trying to match up with a vision in someone’s head is not always easy! But, I like to tackle them.. Plus, I have one fallback – I NEVER start making things up until people are 100% sure about the design!

I’m pretty lucky in that I do all my designs on the computer (vector files) – so I’m able to create a jpeg, and email to customers to check.. This is also useful when I have to make sure of, for example, a ring size – when the customer is on the other side of the world! I send a 100% scaled image, they can print it out, cut it out, and wrap it around their finger to check! I did this recently for a ring headed to Germany – and thankfully, it apparently fits perfectly! (Plus, I love the fact that most Germans I have met are really accurate – and these customers were great and gave me perfect diameters!) 😉
Here’s a pic of the design, and the finished ring 🙂

Cthulhu RingIt’s also really helpful for designing – I get some interesting requests, where a customer will ask, for example, if I can combine a variety of images to form 1 design – see the example below:

BuffyAngelPendantIt was highly useful to be able to send a rough design first, to make sure I was on the right track, before spending ages fine-tuning it all!

So basically – I really do love doing custom work, and I’m always happy to be able to work with people all over the world, to create something they’re going to love! 😉 I’ll leave you with a few more examples of work I’ve done this year.. Have a great week!! 🙂 Megan xx

Comp Design Collage

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Morning all.. It’s been a while since I last blogged, bad Megan, so I thought I’d give you an update on what’s coming next..

I’ve been looking over my stock, trying to see what’s unique, that I can focus on and try and market, and I think I’m going to spend some time working on some more quote rings.. I don’t think anyone else is doing anything quite the same, and they’re really fun 🙂 Here are some pics of some I’ve done before, just so you can see what I’m on about:

I’m thinking I can try and market these cos they’re totally customisable – I can do them with movie quotes (with appropriate fonts – I love to be accurate!), song lyrics, or names etc – doesn’t have to be ALL pop culture-y! 😉

I have just had some new ones cast, so I’ll be working on them over the next week, will upload pics as soon as I can 🙂 In the meantime, gotta think of ways to promote them (tricky – as rings have to be custom-made to size, and they take a few weeks each.. And unfortunately we live in an insta-world, where everyone wants things NOW! Ah well, if people want cool stuff, guess they’ll have to wait! 🙂 )

Anyhow – will have to update my website this weekend, will be difficult as my hubby’s got a story-boarding job to do, and we just have the one computer! Ah well, this is why I get up at 5am – at least I have time while he’s still snoring away! 🙂

Have a fabulous weekend everyone, stay warm fellow South Africans – and enjoy your lovely hot summer if you’re up north! Bye for now 🙂 Megan xx

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Hey all

So, yes, I know I was supposed to have my revised webpage up this weekend, but hey, these things take time!

Anyhow – I thought I’d run these new ideas by you – I want to still keep my site simple, but with a funkier logo etc..

Herewith my idea for the homepage (links obvs. will be added later):

Then, a slightly squished version (no other way to put it, really!) for each page header..

Thoughts? Opinions? Horrendous backlash? 🙂 !

Anyhow – am also going to change my website to more of a portfolio site. Since I don’t have a shopping cart, I do very few sales of stock – most people seem to prefer to consult with me re. custom pieces.. So – once up, images will be purely portfolio – and if you want to order, each may take up to a few weeks to manufacture..

So – that’s my progress news for now – will post as soon as my revised website is up! 🙂 (Please, do comment on the above, though!) Bye for now!

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So, I thought I’d give some more insight into my design process…

For me, I’m not a natural born artist, like my super-talented hubby, so I find it much easier to work on the computer, when it comes to design work..

So, to start, I look around for patterns – I find a lot of inspiration in graphics, fabric designs, as well as actual shapes- I trawl around online to find references, and then I get to work..

Next step, is what some people would call tracing, but I say it’s just using reference.. I’ll use a bezigon tool, in a vector-based programme, to trace the basic outline of a shape, then will spend a great deal of time refining this, and simplifying and adapting for jewellery purposes. If I’m doing a layered piece, I’ll break it up into the layers, then superimpose them to see how they’ll look..

flower designs

These are some new designs I’m working on – I’m thinking of some domed studs, drop earrings, and pendants. Again, I love that working on the computer means I can just scale up or down as necessary, reflect for a perfect mirror image etc.. Plus, there’s a uniformity that comes with each pair (odd for an artist to like, I know – but I guess I’m odd!)

So – that’s enough writing for now. Please feel free to post some comments 🙂

Almost weekend – woo hoo! Megs xx

PS – Re-discovered the most awesome blog site to check out rings – http://www.thecarrotbox.com/index.asp Such an awesome variety of arty pieces – very inspirational! Check it out!

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Thought I’d give a little insight into my design process:

So, I’m trying to work on a new, mainly silver range (the Perspex is fun, and I’ll keep doing it – but unfortunately it’s not that lucrative, especially for the amount of effort I put in!!)

Anyhow – the way I work: I start by browsing the net for inspiration (love shutterstock & iphoto – I like to find design ideas in graphics), then I start sketching by hand in my sketchbook.. (I’m not great at drawing, so these are really rough ideas..)

Sketchbook page

Sketchbook page

Once I’ve got a few designs down, I move to the computer, and re-design everything in a vector-based programme.. (I’m a little AR – so am fanatical about angles etc – especially for symbols like stars and hearts!)

Computer Designs

Computer Designs

I also like that I can create very even “stencils” – so that when I start piercing out the silver, I know I’m going to have perfectly matched pairs, or perfectly angled symbols!..

Today I’m going to go on a hunt for some interesting materials for roll-mill work.. I’ve seen some lovely stuff done online, and have some great ideas on how to make uniquely starbright girl styles!

Anyhow – I’ll show the process and progression through to the final pieces.. Hope this is interesting to someone! 🙂

Have a lovely weekend! 🙂

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