The approaching spring and summer means one thing in this part of Scotland - dust off the shelves and get ready for the visitors! And with this dusting off of shelves comes the need to create new pieces for the various shops and galleries that will be displaying Ailleas Designs jewellery. Much to do, but I love the creative process, so I welcome the need to sit down and make beautiful things.
My first task has been to complete the pieces that will be traveling 'over the sea to Skye'. On the 20th, we will be making our way to Duncan House, located on the road between Broadford and Elgol. I am thrilled to be selling my jewellery at this beautiful place. Garth Duncan, an American ex-pat and son of Scottish father and Finnish mother, is the proprietor and a silversmith/goldsmith of immense talent. I love Garth's work and long before I started making jewellery myself, Chris and I had met Garth and bought some pieces from him - most cherished of all is a lovely quaiche (traditional Scottish drinking vessel) made of 5000-year old bog oak and sterling silver. Not only has Garth offered space in his gallery, but he has agreed to teach me some new skills so that I can create even more complex designs. I can't wait. (There are those who suggested I teach myself by availing myself of tutorials on YouTube - um, no thanks. I somehow feel that working with fire is something I need to have one-on-one tuition for rather than try to teach myself and burn who-knows-what in the process!) I am creating three sets of jewellery for Duncan House. The first complete set is called The Mermaid's Jewels and is comprised of sterling silver diamonds (that is, squares of sterling silver that have been turned on end and then drilled at the top and bottom) from which hang chains of AA+ grade aquamarine. Each chain ends with another sterling silver diamond. The earrings repeat one of those chains (there are five on the necklace) and the bracelet is made of seven sterling silver diamonds, between which are trios of aquamarine. The second set, the necklace of which is complete, is called The Faery Queene and is made of sterling silver, morganite and handcrafted sterling silver celtic spirals. The earrings and bracelet are on my list for today. The third set will be called Under the Sea and will feature a stunning AAA-grade lemon quartz briolette, complemented by aquamarine, apatite and petro tourmaline. Sounds strange, I know. But the final outcome will be, I hope, incredible. This set will be a necklace, earrings and, for a change, a stick pin.
I am thrilled to be able to display in various shops and galleries. It takes some of the marketing duties off my shoulders and I welcome that. I feel as if I spend a great deal of time with the administrative part of the business and not enough on the creative side. This will allow me the time to create.
In addition to all this, I have decided to have a weekly Saturday sale during which time one piece of jewellery will be offered at 20 percent less than its original price. I do hope this will prove popular with all of those people who frequent the site. That being said, I am fully aware that most of my Ailleas Designs jewellery will not sell online. People want to see and touch jewellery before they buy. To that end, I may, at some point, turn the site into a catalogue only site with details for contacting me in order to purchase. That decision will be made in the very near future.
So, it would be a good idea to leave this blog now and get back to designing and making. I have a lot to do!
Until next time, thank you for stopping by and don't forget to visit my Facebook and Twitter pages!