Friday, June 22, 2012

The joy and pain of SPECIAL ORDERS

                                                                                                                        by Kelli Pope
    Sigh.........    I've always had such mixed emotions about special orders.   Some come with  free artistic  range, which is WONDERFUL, while others are very specific in their desired design and outcome.  The former gives me great joy. The latter, for some reason, usually fills me with anxiety and procrastination.

At my last show, 2 weeks ago, I received 2 such orders.    A longtime customer was thrilled to bring me a little sack of beads she'd purchased in Arizona.  Beautiful, matte raku beads.  She said she had never purchased beads in her life, but when she saw them, she KNEW I would make her something special.  She had no specifications other than length of her necklace.  Otherwise, she told me to "do your thing"...."I trust you".... "I know I'll love it".   :o)    What a wonderful affirmation.   I was thrilled to take on this order.  

  I was able to incorporate some shinier bronze raku beads I had on hand with some of my metalwork, and a little leather to create her pieces.    I LOVE how they turned out, and was thrilled to give them to her today.   She was so excited, she couldn't wait to call her best friend, who is also a customer of mine.   YAY!!!!   Mission accomplished.  

One down, one to go..... 

The 2nd special order was a little tougher.   It came from a vendor I often see at shows.  Of COURSE, I want to make her happy, but given a specific design outcome, I of course was nervous.  She wanted a short, choker type necklace of chunky, orange beads, with just a simple clasp or link in it.  No pendant or chain.  She saw a bead she liked, that was in a bracelet I made.  The bead was not one of mine.    Hmmmm......

Ok.... so I finally got around to tackling the beads earlier this week.  When I pulled them out of the kiln this morning, I was pretty pleased with the outcome.  It was the first time I combined glazes (yellow & orange). 
Tonight, I finished the necklace, just in time to take with me to my show tomorrow, and deliver it to her.  HOPEFULLY, she'll love it.    This project took working outside of my rustic, natural, neutral colored box, but I believe I met her criteria.       Strange how when we work outside of our comfort zone, we question the finished product.  Will she like it?   Do I like it?   hmmmmm...... I still haven't decided on this one, while the first order gave me no pause WHATSOEVER to deliver.  I knew she'd be as thrilled as I was!  
How hard is it for you to work outside of your comfort zone? 

6 comments:

Erika said...

Love those first pieces with the raku - gorgeous! The orange piece is very cute! Those silver curly cue's make the piece, I think. I would wear it with the clasp in front, to show them off.

Working outside my comfort zone is an exciting chance to stretch my artistic boundaries - but doing it for other people... Very nervous-ing (new word for ya.)

Shelley Graham Turner said...

All gorgeous, but I especially love the bracelet and earrings! Pinned ya girly!

mairedodd said...

it's torture - and especially for people i know... agonizing... i think you did a beautiful job! she is sure to love the necklace...

Julie Holmes said...

I am your opposite Kelli...I can't let go of color and embrace neutrals. It would be good for me to try! I like both pieces you made...but yep..drawn to the orange one :)

Jean A. Wells said...

Beautiful - both pieces. I prefer the first one but I also love the orange choker.

Special orders are difficult and what I have found in trying to fill special orders is that our language leaves so much room for interpretation. That is also true in my profession as an attorney. Take the word "simple". What does that really mean?

I applaud you for your courage to take on such things - you have hit a home run. I can't imagine anyone not loving either set.

Carla said...

Aaaahhh, the dreaded customs orders with specific instructions... I do the same thing, procrastinate until I can't any more. Although I must say in some cases they actually drove me to find new solutions and experiment with things that end up exciting me and being used elsewhere.
But hands down I love the joy of having someone give me full artistic liberty - and they always turn out best.

I love your first necklace! But you followed the brief to the letter on the second one, so I'm sure she'll love it too!

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