Brooches that sell well are of two types, I've found.
Either they are directed at fashion......as in, HEY! this looks great on my coat, suit, sweater, etc. So then, either the right:
1. Metal color
2. Combination of metal colors (that's why I LOVE mixed metals!)
3. Solid color or combination of trend fashion colors. For that, always check
The piece is something that speaks to the buyer. Who would be the buyer of this brooch? What does this piece 'say'?
The buyer might be somebody that just loooooves our Silverware Silverplated Brass and a kitschy, vintage look. Silverware is just too-too rich, nothing like it. And as for kitsch, well, I'm a sucker for kitsch ANY time.
OR: somebody who loves the French language, and LOVE. As of couse, AMOUR is love in French. So there's a little sophistication there for you, besides that LUSH-US silverware plating.
Or: someone who loves artistic, handmade things and LOOKS for meaning in a piece, whether that be sculpture, a painting, OR! a piece of jewelry. THAT person might say, hmmm, there's a telephone, she's in love and wishes he would call her, because she'll never stop loving him. (There's an I'll Never Stop Loving You Charm in there, too....and a heart dangle.)
When people started getting knee deep in making assemblage brooches and jewelry hmmm, maybe 30-35 years ago...that was when Wendy Gell hit it big with her art jewelry and set the world on fire with a whole new American pop look.....they would sometimes name their jewelry compositions. Some still do. Just like painters name paintings.
What would be a good name for this one?
1. There's Got to Be a Morning After
3. My Cherie Amour
I always think of song titles, LOL Actually, I never named my pieces but MAYBE that's an angle for you. Naming a composition may bring understanding to the potential buyer, resonate with them somehow.
On the other hand, maybe not. Think of Eric Clapton's composition, Layla. Pretty name, very cool song, and just like this brooch it had a lot of facets: screaming guitar motifs, pleading lyrics and a haunting, pensive piano solo. But Layla, well, who was that?
(Actually I'll digress and rid you of the suspense. Layla was a character in classic Persian literature, a story of unrequited love. Clapton evidently had a strong dose of that when the song was written. At the time, he was in love with George Harrison's wife and muse, Patty Boyd. The song was written for her, and the rest is history.)
Anyway, returning to the original thought, naming your compositions may work and may not. SO, I'd say give folks some kitsch, something pretty, something to smile about, something to ruminate over, lots of texture and detail, something that looks like YOUR style and says YOU....while speaking somehow to THEM.
I know, you're scratching your head now. I'm sorry!
It's really not that hard. More specifics:
These are the parts needed (or ones similar) to build the best-selling brooch from my 1990's line of gift jewelry.
Its stock number was PN-38. Back then, if you were a shopkeep and you bought twelve assorted, you'd would get a 13th from me, for free.
They all had the same basic shape, but it was a shape unique to our line; it was also very, very, B'sue. Nobody had brooches in this shape or made JUST this way.
To this day I find I still favor an inverted V pattern!
We made literally thousands of them and they all came on a special card ready for sale. I did not sign any of them. We made every incarnation of this style brooch you could imagine, many of which were suggested to me by my shopkeeper customers.
We had Mom, Grandma, Sister, Friend, Friends Forever, Special Friend, Secret Sister, Secret Pal, Aunt.....and others. When they were made up, they would look something like this:
The gimmick was that I would engrave the heart with the sentiments above, in script, with a Dremel engraver.
I have not made one in at least 15 years. And I must say, this one's an upgrade. I was tickled to find that I could still make one in about fifteen minutes and not make a mess. Just a couple glue strings on the front and a little gob on the back that will be easy to get rid of.
Here is the back:
I WILL sign this one....I might even engrave the front, yet. It's not too late.
Back in the day when we made 'em like cookies on a sheet, I engraved all the hearts first on raw brass that had been shined up on a big old jeweler's buffing machine. We used tripoli and the brass would just glow. It would also add a little antiquing to the details in the heart.
I would stand there and engrave them until my eyes were crossed and my right hand was numb. Then my shop assistant, Rachel, would take them and paint them down with black acrylic paint, and then buff them out again so that the writing would show. I had to use just the right pressure and as steady a hand as I could muster.
The hardest part about this line was that it was not easy to teach placement. It's not like my You Tube videos
Here she is with that deer-in-the-headlights look....
Or maybe it's time for a nap?
ANYWAY, again I digress....say! This is gonna be a FUN challenge!
ABOUT REPRODUCING THINGS FOR A LINE OF JEWELRY:
When you take time for my video classes, you get ideas, you go off and decide to try it or come to the website or go rummage through whatever stuff YOU have lying about and just have a little fun. You're not out to copy the item verbatim (well, I hope not!) You watched what I did, and I just gave you a new idea.
For my artisan helpers, there were no new ideas. WE WERE PRODUCING A LINE. Shops knew it was handmade and there would be a bit of variance....but the brooches needed to be a basic size and have a basic look.
In other words, they ALL needed to look like *I* made them.
In this case, NOT easily done.
There were so many other themes, too.....typical ones like Teacher, Nurse, Hairdresser, even ones with peoples' names on them. Then we had ones for square dancing and quilters, and even babysitters. Each brooch had different little trinkets that had to go on top to co-ordinate with the engraving.
So everyone had to learn what trinkets each brooch 'took'. They also needed excellent glue technique, and that could be a real problem! I can remember being MIGHTY steamed having to clean up work that was not up to par on orders that were already late shipping out....arghh! They also required a good lacquer finish.
We used to use a lacquer on the line called TREASURE CRYSTAL COTE. I used to call it LAK and when I began to sell stuff (parts, tools, etc) online, I sold it too. I don't even know if they still make it. It made the pieces pop but it was not good for my health, and I was the one that ended up doing a lot of the finish work. So glad that there are better ways to do things, these days. There is no lacquer on the one I just made today, and there won't be, either.
I hardly ever use a paint on lacquer anymore unless I am doing resin. Resin would not be good choice for a delicate piece like this, with a lot of bits and pieces. If truly necessary, I'd use a little Jewelry Shield or possibly Swellegant Clear Cote.....we sell both at B'sue Boutiques
A LITTLE NOTE: if you are lacquering over plating, and this piece is NOT raw, it's brass ox....do NOT use Diamond Glaze, DG and brass ox don't jive chemically. You can get this strange blue run off that SOMETIMES I actually like but you gotta know what it's gonna do and plan for it. So just don't do it, don't go there, stay away from Diamond Glaze over brass ox plating, okay?
Here is one last example of how you might get attention with a line and have it be uniquely yours. I made this bracelet today with some of my little rhinestone owls and one of those wonderful double-hook adjustable wire bracelet forms:
Okay so yeah, we do have a little something extra going on.....we have some crystal chain swag and dangle, it's not just charms or beads on a wire bracelet thingy.
Still.....if I wanted to get really personal, and I did:
Not ONLY do I have BLING (very good) OWLS (owls are HOT as charms and jewelry motifs right now) and mixed metals! but now, I have a hand-engraved messsage that talks back to the owls. AND it says B'sue because this looks like something I'd make.
There are never any guarantees when you design or build a line, but there are a bunch of reasons to buy this bracelet. The more reasons you give them....
The more your line works.
"Gimme one reason to stay here, and I'll turn right back around...."
AND BUY YOUR JEWELRY.