Let me preface this with: I am cautious about custom orders. I have had my share of stinkers. And I have rules – mostly that it shouldn’t be trademarked and it should be something others will want to buy, too, since most people don’t want to buy ALL of a custom cane or bead that a batch is. Which leads us to a request for beads with a Tabasco (er… pepper sauce) theme and beads with a fleur de lis theme.
Since I figured I could work with those, I did a sketch for the customer, to make sure we were on the same page and she okay’d it. I highly recommend not skipping this step. Not only is a sketch good frame of reference for you and the customer… you can work from it. Then I started pulling the clay together and… voila! Canes. Followed shortly after by beads with cane slices.
A customer requested henbane beads which, apart from the insanely detailed veining on the petals, were pretty much my regular 5 petal flower beads. So I said sure, let me give it a shot.
Turns out crazy detailing is tough to figure out. While I couldn’t replicate quite the detail nature managed… the second try resulted in some fancy veins I was satisfied with. The petals were done more or less like simple leaves that were then reduced and recombined to make a complex petal cane. At that thinness the lines in each petal have a bit of a moirÃ© effect. Luckily, in this project, that works just fine.
A lot of my custom orders – and new items – start like this. A customer asks for something I haven’t the faintest clue about. Usually a type of flower. I image search and see if it’s something I can sanely attempt. If so, we go from there. Sometimes the design joins my regular catalogue… that’s how most of the colour ways in my shop came about and no few of the specific flower types. I’ve had some stinkers but mostly, customers have good ideas.