I have often wondered...How does one go about selling "jewelry" made out of paper or other fragile materials???  I absolutely love the look of handmade or specialty paper...and have combined it with some of my metalwork in the past...but it definitely takes a "special" buyer to actually purchase it.  Check out the brooches made by Sabrina Meyns here on Crafthaus...they are beautiful...and delicate....

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Comment by Catherine Marche on June 16, 2011 at 7:52am

they are gorgeous, people will wear them


Comment by Aimee A. Domash on June 14, 2011 at 11:38pm


Durability is key...without losing the visual delicacy of the piece!  Easy to say, hard to accomplish;)

Comment by Aimee A. Domash on June 14, 2011 at 11:33pm

Oh my Gosh, Li Chu's work is amazing, simply amazing!!!

My problem is that I want my jewelry to last...out last the wearer...have a story or connection behind it.  To be passed on to someone who will remember the story and that person.   Yes, I see the beauty behind the fragility ...but does the general public???  To me, fragility and transparency go hand in hand.  (I guess we all need our definitions)  That must be why I enjoy the look of plastic...durable, lasting, perhaps even socially responsible if using a recyclable material.  Evan the transparency of enamel is appealing and wonderful.  Yet,  in all these materials...they lack the delicate, tactical nuances of beautifully handmade paper.  

Francesca... I love your answer.  You must make what you are compelled to make...it's the creator within you!

I guess the answer lies in educating the consumer...just like selling enamel pieces.

 2 Roses - the ice piece sounds very interesting (and wet).  Would have loved to have seen that one!!;)

"Performance Jewelry" ...I will have to ponder on that concept for a while.  I have sat at my bench and looked at a piece of jewelry and a specific song has come to mind...but that's about it.

Comment by Francesca Vitali on June 14, 2011 at 2:46pm

Aimee, I’m mainly working with paper.

Since two three years now I'm selling my work at craft shows, which is a much direct way than doing so on-line or through galleries in the sense that you can hear all your customers comments on you work (right Thea?!).

And during this time I have learn a lot on how people perceives my use of material.

At the beginning of my journey I was very very sensitive to comments like "oh my, what happen to this if I through it in a fire?" 

Besides learning how to control the strong impulse to ask back why you want to through your jewelry in the fire, I have noticed these comments less and less and I started focusing in those people really interested in the process and in the material. They are really keen to learn more about the process and the reason behind the paper, and of course they may ask about durability, but it is not really a concern, normally they ask about it as they would ask how do I reoxidize this piece in case the patina comes of.

I explain very carefully how I seal my work and this generally end the discussion about durability.

And to answer  your question : “How does one go about selling "jewelry" made out of paper or other fragile materials??? “

With passion and determination and a big smile, or at least that’s what I do because tit makes me happy!

Comment by Thea Clark on June 14, 2011 at 9:31am
I'm a big fan of Myung Urso's work, she seals her paper with lacquer but it is still looks matte. Given her recent feature in American Craft magazine (hurray Myung!) it would seem this medium is more embraced than you might realize. The article made a point to have a quote from one of her collectors attesting to the work's durableness. Some of my earliest jewelry efforts used paper they are still in excellent shape after more years than I care to mention. So perhaps samples and testimonials can be used in one's promotional material.
Comment by 2Roses on June 14, 2011 at 9:06am

Excellent topic Aimee. It demonstrates how far out ahead of the mainstream some makers are willing to go. We love the entire concept of momentary adornment. At the SNAG Conference in Seattle, Katja  Toporski wore a necklace made of ice. The hotel cooperated in the venture by allowing use of its kitchen freezer to make the piece.

This kind of adornment seems to be drifting towards performance or experiencial jewelry. Perhaps the path to selling this kind of work lies in emphasizing the performance aspect along with a price point that supports a user "experience rather than the acquisition of a permanent object.


Gabriel Craig comes to mind as one artist who has been exploring the performance aspect for several years now. Many formal performance artists in the fine are world have crafted a methodology of monitizing their work over the last 40 years. There are plenty of examples to see what works.

Comment by Miriam Rowe on June 14, 2011 at 8:27am

Interesting conversation!

Perhaps the best solution is to have a range of pieces on offer (some with a small amount of fragile material integrated with traditional metal elements for the not-so-brave, up to avant-garde pieces made almost entirely of the fragile material for collectors), so there's something for everyone. I've found that to be a good solution for me, and Li Chu Wu, another jeweller working with paper, does a good job of it too:  http://www.lichuwu.co.uk

Comment by Yu-Ping Lin (Rainey) on June 13, 2011 at 7:16am
Same here! Though I use fabric as my main material for my jewellery, which seems stronger than paper, audience still have more trust in metal work... But I still keep exploring this unknown answer. Good luck! btw, I like Sabrina Meyns's work as well!

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