I haven't blogged here in quite a while. I have been doing a lot of work. Got my stuff up in a shop here in vegas on consignment. Cross your fingers people I need sales! I don't have any particular subject this week. I would have loved to do a project with you and I think I will have that together over the next few days. I had a interview with a very talented polymer gauge artist who has yet to get back to me. I can't say I blame her as it is pretty clear how flaky I can also about my own blog. I am looking forward to getting her answers from her though. The pyrometer on my kiln broke and I have not been able to do any PMC work in a while. I ordered on in and it should be here in about two days.
huge thanks to all my followers. Sorry about not being on top of this like I should be. Running a business alone is time consuming. Stay patient with me though. Fantabulous things to come I promise!
Several weeks ago I was contacted by a few of the rudest and most ignorant people I've ever had the displeasure of conversing with. Most of them I didn't bother writing back. These people seemed to be very upset because I sell polymer gauges in my Etsy shop as well as on my company website www.jpjewelsit.com. I was told that polymer is not only dangerous but that the ideas I had for different kinds of designs were "retarded" and "looked like a 4 yr. old made them". Why any grown person would take the time to write me these awful things about items they do not personally like- I have no idea. It would seem to me that these people are in desperate need of something better to do with their time. I contacted a fellow polymer gauge artist and found that she too, had been harassed by such people.
Among many of the hate mail I received was one I'd love to spotlight. In my shop I sell decorative tapers. I was "informed" that a taper is used ONLY to stretch your ears and that if I had my ears gauged I might know what I was talking about. He told me I shouldn't be selling something I do not wear and if I did wear them my "ears would have fallen off by now". He even gave me a link to a wikipedia definition of taper. Well...I actually DO have my ears gauged and I do wear my own work. Yes- I do understand that in modern ear stretching a taper is a word used for something which stretches your ears. The definition I was given was roughly this-
Taper: a spike-like tool used to stretch gauged ears to the next size- usually made out of stainless steel.
Let us take a look at the actual definition of "taper" as found in Websters dictionary.
Taper: 1 a: a slender candleb: a long waxed wick used especially
for lighting candles, lamps, pipes, or firesc: a feeble light
2 a: a tapering form or figureb: gradual diminution of thickness, diameter, or width in an elongated objectc: a gradual decrease.
Etymology:Middle English, from Old English tapor candle, wick, perhaps modification of Latin papyrus papyrus
Date: before 12th century
Yes- within the modern world of gauged ears taper only has one meaning- but through the course of the actual history of human relations this word has come to mean many different things. I began gauging my ears in the first place because I saw someone wearing a Plastic taper. I love the way tapers look and I CHOOSE to wear them solely for decoration. Instead of following the heard I have chosen to go off on my own and wear something different to express myself... What a concept! So yes, I sell tapers in my shop for healed ears because I personally like them. If anyone else disagrees.... don't buy them- simple as that.
The same man told me that he had many gauges and obviously knew more about it than me- a person who so obviously has none and knows diddly squat... right? He told me that polymer is toxic and I am endangering the lives of my customers with my product. Besides the fact that I am not forcing anyone to buy my product I feel the need to remind everyone here that it is also the responsibility of the customer to research and decide what they are willing to put in there bodies. Non- Sterile wood, stone, bone, clay, dirt, and even animal feces and lard are just a few of the many different materials used for body modification over the millennium by tribal peoples around the
world who were doing this long before it became an American FAD.
Polymer clay is Guaranteed by it's makers to be Non-toxic as long as it is fired correctly. It's used to make many different pieces of jewelry including the many different pairs of gauges I have worn, without complication, for many months at a time. PMC, another clay I use in my studio, stands for precious metal clay. It comes in silver, bronze and gold and again- is used in many different kinds of jewelry including classic earrings worn by millions.
My point is simply this. Setting constraints and boundaries upon art or any type of body modification, especially out of blind ignorance or "know-it-all syndrome", completely defiles their purpose in the first place. Self expression is within the roots of human nature as far back as anyone can remember. Who are you to tell me, or anyone else, what I can and cannot make into or call art, wear on or in my body, or how I should express myself according to your mainstream society?! The whole point of my tats, my gauges, and my art is to express the fact that I am different from everyone or anyone else. If all of you get together and decide to gang up on a fellow gauged person for being tatted or gauged in a way that sets them apart from you- you
are no different than the conformist main stream people you set out to be different than in the first place.Unless of course you just gauged yourself to be like your totally cool and popular friends... then I suppose your staying true to yourself.
Now please enjoy an interview with talented polymer gauge artist-
How long have you been making polymer gauges?
4 years I started making them out of the old white sculpey and painting them. The first pair I made was a pair of purple tri-rails with little designs carved into them. I broke one the second day!
Are your ears gauged?
Yes, 7 years this summer.
Do you wear your own work?
Absolutely! I started making clay ear art for myself! I can make anything I want and it’s a great way to promote around town and it’s free!
Have you ever had any problems with your piercings from wearing polymer in your ears?
No, not at all. I have a good routine though. I take any jewelry out, wash, dry and oil my lobes every night.
Roughly how many customers have you sold polymer gauges to?
200. But I’ve made maybe twice that many earrings. For myself and friends before I started to sell.
have you ever had any complaints?
Where do you stand on the issue of the safety of polymer gauges?
As far as PVC, we are exposed to pvc in countless everyday household and commercial products from the plastic cup you get a to-go drink in, the container premade tofu comes in, to my Chaco sandals and Tupperware containers. The list goes on. There are many styles of polymer jewelry that have prolonged contact with healed skin, like pendants and beads. If you wear acrylic plugs, you are exposed to PVC just the same as if you are wearing polymer. In regards to phthalates, here is a quote from a study on I found online; "In summary, phthalate esters found in these polymer clays offer little or no acute toxicity concerns and are not a chronic hazard concern even assuming a large (24 mg) daily ingestion of these clays. Analyses of these clays for residual vinyl chloride found non-detectable (<1>
Well I haven't written in quite a while. We all have bad work days and well...i've been having a very bad work week. Everything that could go wrong... did. More than one metal smith tool broke, I nearly lost a finger, two of my newest projects presented huge problems I was unaware of and I managed to get a piece of hot solder shot right into my eye! Now that this wave of catastrophe has seemingly passed, it all seems rather funny. Especially since I still have all body parts intact. I have decided in light of my hellish week that I would love to hear from readers to see what sorts of shenanigans they themselves have gotten into around the workshop and how it turned out for them. Comment me about this with your own tale of workshop terror. Author of the best story gets to be featured in next weeks blog!
I know I had said I would be blogging on the polymer gauge controversy this wk but
I've had a delay in some of my research for this particular subject, so I will save it for next time. I've decided that instead, I will blog about my Houdini Hair systems and what can be done with them.
I call them Houdini hair systems because they are the ultimate hair illusion. First is the Houdini head cap (shown at top). This item is so amazing! You can wear it alone to change your style or your hair color, to cover up thinning hair, or to make you hair thicker and fuller. Not only that but it also acts as an extension set for the top of your hair. It can be worn with one of our clip in extension sets and helps to blend the top of the hair into the extensions so a person with the shortest hair cut can change their whole look without the discomfort of a full wig. The head cap can also be pulled back into a pony tail. To add even more pizazz you could pull it back with one of our transforming pony tails and wear it in a bun, a twist, a braid or whatever else you can imagine. Designs may be added for even more WOW right onto the top of the cap and no one will ever know it's not some incredibly expensive treatment you got at a salon that you must pay hundreds a month to maintain. All in all the Houdini head cap is one of the most amzingly versatile hair systems you will ever own. The only other would have to be the transforming pony tail- which I will discuss another time. Houdini head caps start at $215 and can go up to $260 depending upon the treatments, if any, you choose to add.
Houdini design pelts (shown right) are 4" across by up to 18" long pelts of human
hair with awesome designs dyed in. We carry design pelt originals which must be worn under the hair which is then clipped back to reveal your design. Houdini design pelts are different because they can be worn directly on top of the head for all to see clearly. These pelts are a bit more expensive than their original counterparts due to the labor of their construction. You will find them starting at $75 and going up to $90.
Houdini hair streaks are also quit amazing. They are streaks made of human hair which can be worn on the top of the head. Buy them in many different colors and change them everyday. No one will ever know you arem't making constant trips to your local beauty supply for more bleach and dye. These come 1 for $39.99 , 2 for 59.99 or 4 for $79.99.
These are just three of the amazing customizable hair systems designed for the client and hand made by me. Many of my clients have found that they are all worth the money- now it's your turn! I will see you all next wk... or possibly sooner. Thank you all for reading and don't forget- followers receive 10% off through May 1st 2009!
Hello and thank you to all who have so far chosen to follow my blog. There were many feelings involved in starting this blog. There were many questions I needed to ask myself. Once I got through the first one I realized that there are quite possibly many of you out there who are unsure about how or why to start a blog. It is for this reason I thought it fitting to interview another artist/blogger about their first blog.
Nathalie, who I will be featuring this time around, is a very talented artist of many different mediums who loves to blog about her craft. She is fairly busy with her work and her life in Canada but I was able to catch up to her this week. I took the opportunity to ask this French bi-linguist some questions about her feelings on writing her first blog.
Q: What is the name of your blog?
Q: When did you start your blog?
A: About three years ago
Q: Why did you start your blog?
A: A friend suggested it to me and mentioned that it would be good for my soul and for me as a person and that I would get to meet great people and she was right.
Q: What was your first topic?
A: " Hello and welcome to my blog" I believe
Q: Was your first topic hard to think of?
A: Well I had no idea what blogging was about, and I m french, I started with picture of my creations and of what I was selling in boutiques under consignment. I was only writing in french and then as time went on I went to see other fellow bloggers and started to write in both English and french to eventually give up french as I didn't have time any more to do that. I know I lost my french friends when I did that.
Q: How often do you post your blog?
A: I usually post every other day but this years was a hard one as I battle with chronic depression every winter and find it hard to post regularly. That is the reason I started to blog at first. Nobody said it would be easy.
Q: How do you promote your blog?
A: I just put myself out there by commenting relevantly on other blogs and going to regular blogs of mine.
Q: What is the best advice you could offer the newbie blogger?
A: Be true to yourself and always keep it short- have great picture too. People want to see great pictures.
Q: If you could pick one post of yours to best represent you and your craft, what would it be?
Nathalie works making very unique items in a very admirable way. She takes old things and recycles them into new things. Old jewelry, clothing and other items are all tactfully designed into fashionable, functional new items by this talented artist. Just like most of us, Nathalie has several shops she sells her art in. One of which is an Etsy shop I have asked
her some questions about.
Q: What is the name of your Etsy shop?
A: I have two- Recupefashion and Recupefashionstuff
Q: What made you pick those names?
A: Recupe for recuperation and fashion, well the word speaks for itself.
Q: What is your favorite item to sell and why?
A: Tea wallets (shown above in green), They are my favorite to make and they are so sweet to have. I personally own 5 of them. One for each bag. Also my bath trio because you gt to try out all the items for a low price.
Q: What is your favorite medium?
A: Fabric, cotton yarn, beads, paper and anything that I can turn into something else.
Thank you to Nathalie for being so gracious and patient with my questions and thank you to all those who have joined us for this weeks issue of JP Jewels~it!. Next week I will be covering the ongoing controversy surrounding the safety of polymer clay in gauged ear jewelry.
I am JP, Owner of JP jewels~it! and www.JPJewelsit.com. I am happy to present to the world my very first blog. I have always had an artistic sense of style and I have been working long and hard to share that sense of style with the rest of the world. I design many forms of wearable art which I then craft into
reality with my own two hands- nothing is more rewarding to me. Among these items are hair piece
s such as my very own, never before seen Flip'N'Clip transforming pony tail, hair designs,Candied hair, streamers, and my newest line of hair products called Houdini hair systems- all of which you won't find anywhere else. I also work to provide great looking and affordable hair loss solutions for clients with hair loss and victims
My other line of work is Jewelry making. I am a professional metal smith and though silver is my favorite material to work with, I also provide bronze, gold and even polymer or acrylic. I offer all of these mediums so that fellow people of every budget may have a chance to purchase something nice for a loved one or themselves.
All in all my main theme is customization. The idea of customizing your look- trademarking yourself if you will, is so intriguing to me that
I have made it my life's work to literally customize people. From your hair, to y
our nails, your neck pieces, bracelets, rings, gauges and even your clothing... My company can help customize it all to match! For a birthday, anniversary, wedding, party, or just because - More and more people rely on me to customize their look.
I am so excited about the invent of this blog! Within it, I hope to be able to give the public a better understanding of what it is I can do for them. I will be, at times featuring other artisans that I admire, perhaps other bloggers. I hope also to share a few projects for fellow artists to try and to spread my creative gift to those who would accept it.
That is the business for the moment. Please feel free to leave comments, suggestions or to subscribe and thank you for visiting my blog. Here's to many more posts and zealous followers.