Monday, August 6, 2012

The Great Jewelry Purge

As artists, sometimes we can be our own worst critics - everything from doubt to perfectionism can get in the way of the pieces we want to design or share. On the other hand, sometimes we are a little too forgiving of our mistakes and mishaps, or a little too eager to share designs that might only be fridge-worthy. At least, I know I am.


I once read a help article for Etsy sellers that said something like “Get rid of your amateur items - you know which ones I mean…”. I knew alright, and I got rid of those not-so-great pieces right away. I thought I was done, but later learned that cultivating one’s work is an ongoing job.

This weekend, I did something that was long overdue. Encouraged by the refreshing and liberating experiences I’ve had during the destash beading challenge, I decided it was time to go through my jewelry inventory and weed out the duds. There were a lot more than I thought there would be! I pulled out all of the pieces that didn’t quite fit my current standards and style, and a few things that made me say “What was I thinking?”.

Destashed Jewelry

I’ve never been much for frogging - that is, dismantling - jewelry or even unfinished designs, so I have a whole pile of jewelry to deal with now. The good news is that I get to wear some of my favorite pieces, like my Raspberries and Cream lariat.

How do you feel about frogging, purging, and deactivating your jewelry designs?

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  1. Oh, I am very loyal to myself. I would wear everything just because I made it :)

  2. I call it 'pride in workmanship', but it's actually an insane need for perfection in my work. If I don't like it, I'll frog it and use the beads for something I do like. It makes me happy.

  3. Oh I see some in your destash pile that I like very much. However, I do know what you mean. I've only been beading for a couple of years and recently I went through my older pieces (some of those, "what WAS I thinking" lol) and tore them apart and a bunch I donated to my son-in-law's fundraiser. He was involved in a horrific motorcycle accident on Memorial day weekend and suffered terrible injuries. So his church is having a fundraiser to help them with expenses. So even if you don't like something, remember someone else might, so donate it to a worthy charity.

  4. My question is... If you're getting rid of it all, can I have them?! I have no problem frogging and sorting. I never throw away any of my beads, even the one I accidently spill on the floor, or the bed, or the chair. I love frogging. Maybe I should hire myself as a "Bead and Jewelry Frogger". I'm sure I can make a few buck!

  5. even if I have a piece that is straight up hideous I cannot bear to frog it. It is just like tearing one of my children apart from end to end, can't do it. Hopefully whoever inherits them won't be like me!

  6. As makers we have a tendency to make everything we have ever created "precious". Sometimes it's just not - frogging is a great idea. The trouble with frogging is that it takes time (which always seems to be at a premium!!).

    I have a pile that closely resembles yours. Maybe I should invite the girls over for a "Frogging Party"? Wine, cheese and sharp scissors... will I need a rider on my insurance for that? :)

  7. That sounds like great fun!! Especially if we all brought our "duds", we might end up exchanging them instead of frogging them!! LOL

  8. There are so many factors that make frogging tough - time being the biggest one for me. But having a rip-it party sounds like a fun way to spend an afternoon, and rescue a few beads!

  9. Mortira,
    I have been following your blog since 2009 and have learned many beading stitches from you through many of the pieces that I see in the pile. My husband is an artist, and he suggested that you might consider assembling all of these pieces together into a tapestry to create a different form of art. I would hate to see you cut apart these pieces because I know how long they take to make, and I really like your work. Of course, you must do what you think is best. I would just hate for my husband to rip up his early artwork just because... it all shows the artist's process of becoming. If you really need the materials, that's one thing, but your time and effort are major investments. I would think twice before 'frogging' all of that work. Thank you for continuing to share your work with the art world.

  10. Thanks Julie! I'm actually thinking of doing something wild and creative with all the culled designs. I never frog - I just can't invest that much labour a second time around.

    I do think that the experience of making them is worth it in the end - even if all I learned was never to do it again!

  11. I keep some of my "Duds" to look back on and and say 'Oh yea I don't want to do that stitch with those beads". Learning from mistakes is a good thing :)


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