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Can I get your opinion? 
29th-Jan-2013 11:52 am
Hello everyone!
(this is my first post on EGL besides random comments) First off let me give a little back ground info :)
I've been a lolita for just over a year now. I've been selling little charms, bracelets and hair accessories to friends and at art sales and a lot of people have loved them. I haven't been able to actually work to be able to fuel this fashion, so I decided to take it to the internet. I want to know what you guys would like to see jewelery wise and I'm up for criticism too :)

[See some of my recent work in the cut!]

Little chocolate bar charms, Kind of inspired by Angelic Pretty's Chocolate rosette
Simple brownie charm.
Strawberry charm. The camera decided not to pick up the cute sparkles it has on it.
Small strawberry ice cream charm.
These are what I would call cotton floss twists. There is a heart and straight twist. I had made a star too, but I dropped it and it cracked.
Brown and pink twist
Small macaron charm with pink gem and sparkles around the whip.
Large blue and pink macaron charms. The original prototypes.
Pearl chain bows either for hair or as a broach.

Thank you so much for taking a look :) at the moment I am working on pony and unicorn charms and I hope they turn out well and not derpy. I am also working on the bracelets so people can mix and match what they want (pastel star beads, more pearls, heart beads, and much more...)
29th-Jan-2013 05:04 pm (UTC)
Frankly they look very amateur. I don't know what prices you are asking for them, that's an important factor. My only advice really is to keep practicing and improving, look at other people's work for ideas, there is an abundance of this sort of thing on etsy. However, it seems like the most "consistent"/high quality versions of this type of accessory are mostly made using molds, rather than entirely hand sculpted. I do want to say though that for hand sculpted, you have managed to entirely avoid my pet peeve, which is visible finger prints, so excellent job there!

Your bows are a little plain/limp. I highly recommend this tutorial for making bows with a bit more body. Also, consider layering rectangles as shown in the tutorial for more "3D" bows, I'm not sure if I'm really explaining it but if you look up "[brand name] bow" on google image search you'll see most brand bows are either 2 rectangles like the one you have, layered, or else "tube" bows (where you have basically a long tube of fabric, bring the ends together, then put the band around the narrow in the middle and cover the two ends.

I commend you for asking for feedback, I hope my advice is helpful and not discouraging, it's not meant to be. I also give you mad props for trying to make good use of your time to be productive and a way to achieve your fashion goals. Good luck!
29th-Jan-2013 05:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the criticism. Those were the very first ones I tried doing and I have improved very much. I had tried something very simple at first using very simple tutorials, that's why they look so amateur. I'm very confused with the bows though... That's exactly how I did them but without the layering, so I don't know how they look so different.
29th-Jan-2013 07:28 pm (UTC)
The layering helps the shape! It's very important actually. I like your icecream scoops best but they look a little odd by themselves. Maybe you can stack a couple flavors on top or use a single scoop as a charm on a bracelet? After that, I like your macrons. Becareful of lint and fingernail marks though, it looks messy that way. If you're using polymer clay you can use water to smooth away the marks and lint.

My least favorite would be your chocolate bars. They look so uneven, make sure your lines are straight before you press it into the clay. I'd use a reference picture to get the details just right.

Hopefully this was helpful! :)
29th-Jan-2013 07:43 pm (UTC)
I think your bows could do with some interfacing, otherwise I agree with yllsa.
29th-Jan-2013 05:05 pm (UTC)
They all look very cute and are nicely made, but honestly, the Lolita market is sort of flooded with things just like this, so you're really going to have to find a way to make people want yours and yours specifically. Maybe instead of individual charms, you could look into adding them to very artistically put together charm bracelets or even on necklaces or on those brooches with the swag on them.

To give you some C&C on the individual pieces- there's lint on a few of these, it's mostly noticeable on the macarons and I would highly suggest you try to make them as lint free as possible. I seriously have no idea how to go about doing that though xD which is why I don't do a lot of clay work! The strawberry, doesn't exactly look like a strawberry, I feel like the leaves on the top need to be different to portray a strawberry, as strawberries tend to have a "cap" of leaves. The brownie is a bit too plain looking, it sort of just looks like a brown rectangle. I love brownies, but maybe add some nuts and fudge to the top or something like that to make it look a little more decorated.

The ice cream looks adorable, and just like ice cream! I'm sure with a few tweaks, these would all look really nice all together on a charm bracelet :D
29th-Jan-2013 05:11 pm (UTC)
Also to add, make sure those eye hooks are in there securely! If they're just an eye pin pushed straight into the clay, they will fall out, it's just a matter of time! Make sure you either secure the heck out of that or, better yet, use a bent eye pin. It should look something like this, although I find that just making a V at the end of my eyepins, and inserting it in the clay and then twisting it tends to work very well.
29th-Jan-2013 05:25 pm (UTC)
Well what I wanted to do was have it so people could choose what charms, beads, colours for bracelets or necklaces. As customizable as possible using themes seen on popular dresses :) As for the lint, The pajamas I happened to be wearing left their mark everywhere. I won't make that mistake again XD
29th-Jan-2013 05:41 pm (UTC)
That makes a lot of sense! However, you still might have better luck offering finished products, and having that be an option for those that want it. Try putting together some charm bracelets based on popular dresses, rather than waiting around for people to come to you asking for them. Individual charms are not always very exciting on their own, and putting them together in a cohesive and artistic way can make them look about a million times better than they look on their own, especially if you add in some extra beads, charms, and sparkly bits!

For example, take a look at this charm bracelet: the clay charms used on it are a lot simpler than the ones you made, but put all together like this they look a lot more appealing. Personally, I would rather buy a premade bracelet like this, than one I had to think up charms to put on it. It makes for easier shopping because I might not always know what I even want other than a general color scheme, and visualizing a completed thing out of it's components is much less sure of a thing than just looking at something that is already made.
29th-Jan-2013 05:17 pm (UTC)
I agree with milkteamilk, there is a ton of stuff like this online. If you want to sell to lolitas you want to get a little fancier. I'd like to see something like a pearl bracelet with several charms dangling off it and maybe a bow tied around the middle. or putting some of the charms on the bow pearl chain brooch/hairclip. make charm earrings, but instead of just using plain fishhooks, use pearl posts and/or add cabochon bows to the tops of the charms. make the pieces a lot more detailed (like nuts or sprinkles on the brownie) and make them into fancier statement pieces.
29th-Jan-2013 05:20 pm (UTC)
Though this is a good start, these could all use some refining. For example, the chocolate bar is cut slightly unevenly and is very plain. Ensuring that the bar is even and adding more detail is something I would encourage you to aim for. Here are some good examples:

Note that even the simplest ones without any lettering still make good use of angling and beveling to make it look like a real chocolate bar, rather than just cutting lines into the clay. Your candy twists are also something that seems easy, but are harder to do than you might expect, since you want all the stripes to be an even width to keep it looking polished. Right now, some parts are thinner than others. As for your bows, I would suggest looking at various tutorials to get a good technique down, and consider using a folding technique to keep clean edges and maybe use some interfacing. This is one of the tutorials I like, although I recommend sewing it rather than using hot glue:

I hope this helps, and best of luck!
29th-Jan-2013 06:17 pm (UTC)
I think the ice cream looks very real and I'd love to see other "flavors"! The macarons also look quite realistic (other than the lint! Haha ) and I'd love to see them on a necklace with little bows :3 as for the strawberry, they tend to be fatter and have a cap of leaves, if you could make them look more real I'd surely purchase some! (I'm a sucker for strawberries) Id like to use fake strawberries as hat decorations for my country coords :3
29th-Jan-2013 07:55 pm (UTC)
I'm going to chime in with what a few others have said here, in that the Lolita market is overrun with this kind of sweets jewelry and that you'll probably have more luck with another theme that doesn't have hundreds of others doing the same thing.. ^^' also, you might want to practice some more, or buy molds if you're going to be making several of the same piece. Also, resin is a nice material for casting, and you can make your own molds :)
I think getting a good camera and photo setup spot is very important, since the quality of the picture often makes the customer want to buy something! Get some nice, simple color paper and a good, neutral light to put your items on, and make sure the photos are clean and well-lit, you can also use a little bit of color and light adjustment in photoshop to make them better ^^ good luck with your crafting!
29th-Jan-2013 09:58 pm (UTC)
I have a few pointers for your deco jewelry!

From my experience sculpey charms as themselves don't really sell, especially if they're just stuck on a necklace or bracelet. I've seen so many people just stick them in a bin or on a table at artist alley tables and they just kinda sit. :(

One thing you can think about doing though is making deco pieces that look really realistic, follow some tutorials and put a lot of time into them for something that looks really interesting and unique. For me, those were the pieces that really sold. You'll want to look into shading, blending your clay to make it less "out of the package". Also look into some glaze. Work on smoothing out and sanding your pieces (pick up some tiny nail filing sticks from beauty supply stores, they're great for getting in tiny areas, using a tiny dab of lotion is great for smoothing stuff out before you bake it if the surface calls for it).

Definitely display them on some pretty necklaces. Add some cute beads, make tiered necklaces with bows and things like that. Also, dummy-test your jewelry by wearing it yourself to make sure it's not prone to breaking, just to make sure you're using good materials/findings and techniques.

I find selling stuff like this online to be pretty tough. Artist Alley at a convention is a better bet. TBH, I'll be more prone to buying a cute deco necklace I see at a table rather than on Etsy.
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