Inspired by historical jewelry

 

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Historical jewelry, glass beads from Glyptoteket, Copenhage

A few years back I was visiting Copenhagen. Work related, so I did not have so much time for myself, but enough to visit Glyptoteket.

There I was drawn to some glass beads they had got made that was copies of beads they had in their collection. I bought a few with me, and have contemplated how to use them since. You know how it is like when you have been thinking on something for a long time, not always consciously. Suddenly the solution just stands before you, and you wonder why it took so long.

This week it dawned on me that I had to use the kumihimo braid as a cord.  Bronze seemed like a time-appropriate choice of wire, and I tried to make it look authentic by wrapping it rather rough around a mandrel, then slipping the wrap onto the cord.  I am very happy with the result.  Even though all parts in the necklace are of this century,  it just has this historical reference. I like it very much.

 

Custom order – Larvikite pendant

Larvikite pendant
Wrapping a larvikite pendant with copper

I find these difficult to do. Not technically, people are usually asking about something I already do. But timewise. Communication can be challenging, even more so online. The whole process can be time consuming. At this point in life, I am not always sure I have the free time needed to ensure that we are in agreement, so custom orders are not something I do often.

However , when a woman from south of Norway contacted me asking if I could make a larvikite pendant like this for her, I said yes at once. She had already seen the product, knew what to expect, had time to wait for me to finish weaving, and last but not least – was going to use them almost exactly as I had. Gifts for family and friends. We set a date, I got some extra supplies imported – and could start a bit before I had said I could. It was slow at first. I had to start over on the first one (she ordered several) seeing as I was a bit out of practice. I entered a certain flow, and worked on them when I had the time, finishing them all before my own deadline. Yay!

I had sent off some photos of the work in progress. The reaction was good, and she was happy. She had ordered a few more of these, but I had no stones left in stock. I was able to buy a few more from my supplier, and made a video for her to see so she could pick one she wanted. I sent off the pendants I already I had made, and the video of the new stones I had acquired.

I never heard back from her alas. Maybe life got busy, or her plans changed. That means however that I have a few pendants to wrap closing in on christmas. If you would like these specially made for you, I can do that. Check out the video linked and let me know which one you would want wrapped. The cost is 300NOK +shipping.

I will post these eventually on Etsy. This is just an opportunity to order beforehand.

Name and shame

As an avid netshopper, I sometimes stumble over companies that utilize business practices that are …strange.

While I expect that from some shop owners in certain parts of the world, I do not expect the same from a big company in north america. When I was shopping around for some soap supplies, I was directed to a big company called Essential Depot. I always check shipment options on new websites, what they charge for shipping and handling to my country.

So I added an item in my cart, and proceed to checkout to get the shipment cost. I could not believe it. They wanted 215,24 USD to ship some mango butter to me. I checked out the weight of the item I had added, and it weighed 2,5 pound. This is probably some mistake I thought in their software, adding the most expensive option without me being able to change it. So I tested out with a lighter item, this time with 8 oz of mango butter, that is approximately 227 grams.
crazy

Notice how it says “Duties paid” right next to the amount they want to charge me for shipping.  There are no duties to pay for an item like this when importing to Norway. None. Now, of course even big companies like this can make mistakes. So I contacted them by email, pointing out the blatant error I just encountered. Since this was a big company, and the error so very obvious, I thought this was an easy fix. Not so…

This is their answer.

“Essential Depot shipping is calculated by distance and weight, for our international customers duties and taxes are paid by us. The quote you received at EssentialDepot.com is correct.”
So, the correct amount for shipping a 227 gram bottle of mango butter to Norway, is 215 USD. There are no one in that company that find that slightly over the top, at all? No one that even raise their eyebrow, and try to correct the blatant mistake?
I contacted the norwegian custom office, just to be on the safe side. They confirmed what I already knew was true, that there are no duties or taxes to pay for this item, at all. And Essential Depot cannot charge these in US in any case, they are charged by Posten Norge when the package arrives in my country. The one I was talking to on the phone, suggested I stay away from a company like that.

 

So, why does this company lie?  It’s not that the claim above from the company cannot be checked and double checked. Why waste time telling me something that clearly is not true? One reason is that they charge me a fee for a low cost order. There are a few companies that do that, and I have no problem with that, as long as it is clearly marked as such. Not here though. Maybe there are benefits for companies that offers their goods internationally,  in corporate America. That the shipping and handling fee is  high ensures that no one use that option. I don’t know, I find it weird for sure. If someone out there know why, please do share!

I  am a returning customer with many companies that offer other and better shipment options to my country. Metal is heavy, and often far heavier than the 227 gram of mango butter above, but I am happily importing that while being charged sane shipping costs. It can be done.

 

Learning new things

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Sterling silver ring with Cubic Zirconia in a flush setting

I just love it.  This weekend I was attending a course downtown, learning how to set stones using the flush technique and also some bezel setting.  Coming in, I just wanted to learn more about the bezel setting – but afterwards I can see myself using the flush setting more than I would have thought beforehand.  I know, the picture is not so good. The cubic zirconias are flashing all over the place, making them very hard to get a good focus on.