Rant about some custom work I'm doing

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Rant about some custom work I'm doing

Post by Tribble on Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:58 pm

Right, my sister is getting married on new years eve.
She commissioned two silver broaches two weeks ago, for the mothers of the couple. These are to be presented on the day.
Right, not bad, I have some silver, but it will be tricky to think of something she will like, and I can do in the time. I drew up some designs, and she loved them. Went ahead and got most of the work done before that weekend. I had kept the designs minimalistic and tailored them to my abilities and available equipment.

The following week... could I make headpieces in gold with large cluster settings, to appear like flowers, and suitable to go with the hydrangeas they are also wearing in their hair? Um... no, I have no gold, and no gems for the settings, and would have barely enough time to order the materials if it wasn't EFFING CHRISTMAS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER! Although I was a little more polite >.>
So... then could I make a boutonniere (lapel flower holder) for the groom as a surprise?
If I hadn't already made the broaches and had to redo them because I messed up due to inexperience... maybe... maybe I could have figured out a design for all three pieces and fit that onto what little silver sheet I had bought with my meager initial budget... but not now...
I would have to get seriously creative and modern with it, and that is not her style...she wanted a replica of Poirot's 'flower broach'.
So I asked what few contacts I had if they had some silver tubing I could buy (would make the whole process faster and then I could focus on the details instead of having to forge a tube from scratch), and of course came up with nothing. I can't do the piece.

Cut to today, the reason why I'm writing this.
She looooved my idea for the broaches; using the mothers' birth flowers as central designs, keeping them unique and personal. So.. could I maybe make hairpieces for the bridesmaids along that line?
"But I don't have any silver left, I told you...."
"Oh, what metals do you have then?"
"I have some brass, and that can give a passable 'gold' effect if highly polished."
"Perfect, now one is the carnation and I don't know the other one, I want them to be unique, and much bigger than the other broaches... and in 3D...'
"I guess I could possi...." googles carnations... what...
You want me to replicate a 'large' bunched, frayed petal flower with three distinct colours on it.. in metal... that can be worn in the hair and later as a broach.
As what time I have left could essentially be marked in days, and this would require tools I don't have, or hours of experimentation and hard labour literally hammering the metal into thin petals that I then have to solder into layers potentially melting them and having to start from scratch... as well as another piece in a completely different flower (a rose it turns out).

Woman... you can [censored for delicate constitutions].

It's less that a month to your wedding.
Assuming I get access to a workshop two days a week for three weeks... I would be hard pressed to make one unique item of that scale and have it finished to a presentable standard. I'm sorry for the rant, and I know she means well, I also want to make money and this is a great way to get my work out there.
But COME ON, give me more time than this to do the work, and don't keep adding new stuff when you already know that I'm pushed for time and have no materials on hand...

Tribble
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Re: Rant about some custom work I'm doing

Post by Zoundz on Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:17 pm

Shocked Shocked 

Honestly, how have you kept your cool?! I would have lost it by now. I know what it's like doing skilled art work for people when you don't have the equipment you need (and can't afford it either in the time allotted) - and when you're pretty inexperienced (though I'd say you're very good from what I've seen of yours).

Weddings bring out the worst in people, wonderful, lovely, sweet people turn into the most awkward of demons! >Sad

Anyway - hope you manage to get something sorted for your own sanity, the only advice I have is to tell her to shove it, or to buy her something that fits the bill - whichever extreme you want to go to - but don't work yourself to the bone! Are you being paid? That's another of my bug bears, friends and family don't expect to pay either, and I often offer (that's OK), but when they ask me to do 100 hours work for them for nothing... I get a bit cross.

xx

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Re: Rant about some custom work I'm doing

Post by Tribble on Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:24 am

She is paying, in fact she's overpaying. She thought I under priced the work I did... I'm not refusing extra money.
She's just completely misunderstands how much time it takes and what work I can do with what I have.
I want to do more work, and more money means I can buy more materials and equipment. But the series of requests is ridiculous, as she should have asked earlier.
She has a friend attending who is getting married next September, and I'd be happy to do work for her too. As long as I get to complete it and wash my hands of it before the summer or something like that. Get it done, hand it off, move on. Better to do work like this well in advance, as it can be done.

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Re: Rant about some custom work I'm doing

Post by Zoundz on Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:10 am

Yeah, I hear ya :/ it's a really sticky situation, and I don't envy you. I do photography of course, and the few weddings I've done so far have been pretty high in demands, but nothing I couldn't handle, you do get odd occasions though!

xx

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Laura Woods British Blue
Bongo Fury Rattery - Hobby rattery breeding for Russian varieties and Mink and Cinnamon with plans for Pearl based in the future. Based in West Cork. We are NFRS and IFRA members.
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