We all have those little things that we need or want just so. After years of knotting, I like to think I know what things work best in my jewelry designs. When I'm buying beads to use as focal pieces in bracelets, I want them to have two holes large enough for my cord to pass though. If I'm buying bracelet bar connectors, I look for two holes on each end, instead of just one. I also have colors I prefer and colors I avoid like the plague. In handmade jewelry, these little details can make a big difference, even if they sound a little silly.
I spent quite a lot of time searching for the perfect components over the years with very inconsistent results. Sometimes I'd find just the thing, and other times I'd strike out. Then one day it finally hit me - you won't get what you want unless you ask for it. It might not sound like an epiphany to you, but to me? It was huge!
Many of the artisans who make jewelry components will take custom orders. I recently came across some raku pieces by Valerie Cristo of Clay for a Cure, but of course the ones I liked only had one hole. I messaged her and asked if she would make the pieces with two holes and all that loot in the photo up there is the result.
Not only did Valerie agree to make the pieces I wanted, she took the time to ask some questions about why I wanted the changes. Because she made the effort to understand why I was asking, she was able to suggest an alternative which led to these double shanked pieces I'm really excited about!
You'd think these pieces would hold me for a while, but since I was out pestering artists for favors, I hit up Sue from Star Spirit Studio, too. Sue is always great to work with and when I asked about getting some of her designs on bracelet bars with four holes, she was most obliging.
*Swoon* Aren't those amazing! She actually made more than this and let me choose which ones I wanted. I had a really tough time narrowing it down to a dozen. Just look at those colors! I can't decide if this one is my favorite:
Or maybe this one:
I do really like the spirit horse:
And this one just makes me feel serene:
Next time you find yourself wishing you could find a certain this or that, like a bead with a larger hole or a pendant with just a bit more blue in it, try asking! That's part of the beauty of using handmade components. Not every artist can or will take custom orders, but many of them will go the extra mile to get you just what you need. It's worth asking!