I get asked a lot why do orders take so long! I guess a lot of people visit a website, make a purchase and expect it to be delivered the next day. Well I am sure some products can be bought in this way but here at Addiebeads HQ things can take a little longer than a 24 hour turn around! Making the product that you sell by hand and from scratch can take quite a bit of time. The process does not just involve the actual assembly of a piece of a jewellery, there is also the extensive research for your raw materials and the endless hours thinking, searching, sketching and designing each and every piece. I constantly plague myself and bombard my weary mind with all sorts of questions …
gold or silver
round chain, oval chain or ball chain
large heart? small heart
resin or grout
ceramic or glass
all one colour
On and on the the questions go until the decision is made …. or not made!
Today I am making earrings. I am not making a lot of earrings as I am finding it hard to source the right ‘finding’ that will suit the millefiori. The bezel or carrier has to be of a certain depth to take the millefiori. But when the wonderful Nunn Design came up with their selection of mini pendants or bezels they turned out to be the perfect fit for the tiny millefiori. Just add long silver kidney wires for the perfect way to showcase the tiny aqua glass pieces.
If only it was as easy as that! Working with millefiori is time consuming. The pieces are so small and come in such a variety of sizes and heights that before you begin to place each one into the bezel you have to sort out the correct sizes to use. This means rummaging through hundres of tiny pieces to find the tiniest ones of all!
And once I have my selection I then start to assemble the piece.
Then its time for the science bit … first a pre resin glaze and then the resin itself. The resin can take upto 5 days to cure properly and sometimes, depending on the height of some of the millefiori pieces I may have to do another layer of resin. Personally I do not mind feeling the odd bump here and there but I think it is better if the bumps are smooth at least! So very often for peace of mind and in my persistent effort to get each piece as perfect as I can, I will nearly always pour another layer of resin.
Resin is time consuming but creates such a finished and professional look to each piece that it is well worth taking the time to get it right at each pour. Resin has to be mixed and prepared at the correct temperature or it will not set or even worse it can be full of bubbles. I have discovered that using resin here in Ireland lends for a lot of ‘outside the box’ thinking in terms of temperature control and bubble troubleshooting!
There is an alternative to using resin …. either NOT using it at all and settling for a glaze OR to use grout. I am experimenting with coloured grout at the moment and it gives each piece a totally different look and feel! The finish is much more rustic and tactile and is certainly something I will be offering as an alternative to resin once I get the process perfected. It would also mean a much quicker turn around from ordering to despatch.
Today I am working on these orders. Whether the piece is a small earring or a larger heart pendant, each piece of millefiori glass has to be handplaced, making sure that any gaps are far and few between. This little lot are now ready for their pouring of resin ….
From the date of ordering your piece of jewellery it will take at least two weeks before it is despatched. As I only make to order sometimes this timeframe can be longer. Please be assured that as I wish to continue making each piece myself that the wait for your unique piece of Addiebeads millefiori jewellery will be well worth it. And remember – no two pieces will ever be the same.