Archive for Handcrafted

Excited About Metal Clay

I’m always excited about learning new techniques to complement my stringing. My latest thrill is working with precious metal clay which is a crafting medium consisting of very small particles of metal (silver, gold, bronze, etc.) with an organic binder. The clay can be shaped just like any soft clay, and once dried, can be fired in a kiln or on a stove. Once the binder burns away, pure metal remains.

Here is a peek at a ring and pendant I made using silver clay.

And here is the finished product.

This is just my first try. I’m working on perfecting my style though I’m drawn to the organic. Let me know what you think.

2012 Wins and Takeaways

It’s that time of year again — reflections on the past and projections for the future. In reflecting on 2012 in my personal life, I am truly grateful and thankful that I have a roof over my head, a job and caring friends and family. On the business front, I have a lot of work to do to make RAM Jewelry Designs what I think it has the potential of becoming.

Some of my “wins” during 2012:

  • I farmed out work I don’t have the expertise to do myself, like photography
  • I took time to expand upon my craft by learning new techniques
  • My online sales have picked up

Here are some of my major takeways of 2012 which form the basis of my plans for 2013:

    I will:

  • Better utilize my blog to create valuable content as well as an essential part of my outreach strategy
  • Continue to differentiate what I do best from what I should hire others to do as I can’t do it all well.
  • Consistently follow my inner guide, my “gut,” that ultimately serves as my compass.
  • Remember to be thankful for small gains while focusing on my ultimate goals
  • Do a better job at networking within the many communities of which I am a part

I’d love to hear what you’ve learned over the past year and how you plan to apply what you’ve learned to your business in the coming year. Please feel free to share your comments.

Here’s wishing you all much success, peace and blessings for the coming year.


Toward the Perfect Blog Post

Well not really. I have this idea of the perfect blog. It is filled with useful content that readers can’t wait to read, detail-ridden photos, and comments from admiring readers and guest bloggers.

This is certainly not my blog, at least not at present. But one day. But these illusions of grandeur sometimes lead to paralysis. If I can’t get my Pulitzer-worthy content onto the page with matching photos, it’s just not worth doing. And so I don’t. I’m sometimes my own worst enemy.

Right now I’m struggling with the usual juggling of designing, inventorying of parts and finished pieces, photographing pieces, optimizing photos for the Web, and marketing. I’ve been spending a bit more on advertising this year and it seems to be paying off; not as much as I’d like, but still. Next year, I plan to be a bit more strategic with the marketing.

In the meantime, I’m working on new designs – mostly trying to diversify my earring inventory and techniques. Let me know what you think.

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