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View Full Version : When is a Series a Line??


Barrie
03-31-2004, 03:58 PM
Hi guys!
This is something I've been pondering for a bit. I make mostly one of a kind silver jewelry, have done for many, many years (okay, 10, but who's counting!). Anyway, how the heck do you figure if something is a line or a series? And how long can a line or series continue?

I have a few tried and true series (lines?) that I make, a couple of which have been going on for years now! My sticks & stones rings for example. I've been making them for about 6 years. I still like making them. They are still my best selling items. And to this day, almost every single one is a one of a kind. But when is it time to say enough is enough? I don't want the owners of these rings thinking they're mass produced, but after this many years, I know there's lots of them out there! I recently started selling in Ontario (the opposite end of the country!), and of course, the sticks & stones are selling famously. So I guess it makes sense to keep making them. So are these a line or are they a series?

And what do you guys do with pieces that you make that don't sell? Especially the lines or series that you figure will sell like hot cakes, and sit there like lumps? Years ago I had a series that sank like a battleship. I made 36 rings, of those original 36, I sold 4, made 4 custom ones, and the rest just sat there. So after about three years, I tore the darn things apart, and tossed the silver. Well, darned if eople didn't start suggesting I make something similar! Yeesh!!

Anyway, just the ramblings of a procrastinator, who should get off her butt and go back to work!!

glitterbead
03-31-2004, 04:40 PM
Barrie - I am sure that someone wiser will correct me, but I always THOUGHT that a line was mass production of the same thing, and that a series has variations on the same theme (ex. Monet's Water Lilies). I hope someone comes in to clarify....my feelings won't be hurt (unlike SANTA beads - I am STILL crushed about that)!!!

Emjay
03-31-2004, 10:47 PM
Ooohhh, I'd like to see those sticks and stones rings......................

Kerensamere
03-31-2004, 11:23 PM
Barrie-
Being the former English major that I am, I picked up my handy dandy dictionary to see if I could help shed light on the whole line/series issue.

This is what I found in The Oxford Desk Dictionary and Thesarus:

Line: class of commercial goods (a new line of hats)

Series: number of things of which each is similar to the preceeding or in which each successive pair are similarly related; sequence, succession, order, row, or set.

I'm thinking that your sticks and stones rings would fall under the definition of series primarily because to me "commercial" means big business or mass produced.

But then again if we are selling our work it is a means of commerce. I also have certain styles of work that I do and I too was wondering if I could call them a series or a line. Before looking up the words I was leaning towards "line" but personally I think I'll be using the word "series" instead.

Unless of course someone else comes up with a better argument! :D

By the way, I love those sticks and stones rings too! Gonna have to save my pennies and bug you about one of them in the future!

beclectic
04-01-2004, 07:56 AM
On one hand, when a couture brings out a new line of cloths there are not thousands made. The term 'line' refers to the design behind the cloths for that season. Unless a piece is exclusive there may be several made that are alike or almost alike that season.

On the other hand, in Lithography and other print media a series usually would be a numbered series and limited to a certain number. Each print would be exactly like every other print in the series.

In conclusion since your ring production is unified by a central idea, is produced commercially but not in great numbers, and each piece is somewhat different, I would go with line. This is IMHO only, YMMV.

Now you have opinions for both sides. :)

Hope I didn't muddy the waters.

Patch
04-01-2004, 08:30 AM
My 2 cents:

For me, a line would be a collection of pieces made with the same basic elements: necklaces, bracelets, rings, all made with the same stone or bead and silver or gold.

Then, the serie would be a single piece: rings made with various stones or small modification that make them all different.

That's the French vision of this question ;-)
Patch

TurtleBay Jewelry
04-01-2004, 08:53 AM
/chuckle

Poor Poor Barrie!

I too am an English major, sooo......I hate to tell you this Barr, but ~everyone~ is correct. The problem is that the meaning of these two particular words will always change slightly depending on the context of their use and the media you're using them for. Barbara's comment about Haute Couture is a perfect example.

In my opinion, a line of jewelry is what I create. No two pieces are alike, and within that line, I may offer a series of items that share a common theme/idea. This series may run for a while, but most certainly, it's not a permanent fixture in the line of jewelry I create.

For example, I'm in the midst of (once again) revamping my Gallery and dividing up my jewelry into the following lines: The Plantation Collection, The Summer Cottage Collection and The Water's Edge Collection. Within these lines, series will be run, i.e. The Safari Series (within The Plantation Collection).

Now, maybe this just muddled you up more, but I hope it helped. /chuckle

Anyhoo, best of luck here! LOL.

~Danielle, who likes to create mass confusion and runs off chortling.

:p

beclectic
04-01-2004, 09:24 AM
There you go Barrie.

Call your sticks and stones rings the Sticks & Stones Collection and you've avoided the whole problem of line and series. Sounds real fancy too!

Could you post some pics. so we know what we've been talking about?

:D

Rosie2000
04-01-2004, 09:25 AM
Good Morning from the beautiful Oregon Coast. :) Lots of food for thought here. First of all, it drives me crazy trying to think of names for my creations. I admire all those that can. But I have some favorite things that sort of speak to me when I am doing them so I have come up with collections. (probably because I do not want to name each one) :angel:

I have the "Fish are My Friends" collection, and so forth. I like collection because it does not mentally tie me in to producing. A one of a kind collection comes and goes and will be in and out of popularity but to me is always on the edge.

SuzyQ
04-01-2004, 11:01 AM
LOL!! O.K. I think I'm just going to start using "collections" :)

glitterbead
04-01-2004, 11:05 AM
COLLECTION!!!!!!!!!!!

(I like that one)

Barrie
04-01-2004, 12:46 PM
Bwaahaahaahaa!!! I knew this would get you guys thinking!!! And trust a group of wildly creative artists to come up with the perfect term!! "Collection" it is!!!

Here's a little taste of the 'Sticks & Stones Collection' -

The gold one is 14k gold, freshwater pearl and two diamonds - a commission for an engagement ring. The opal & tourmaline has 14k gold sticks, and the others are all sterling silver. I also do these with dichroic glass, and of course can't find a picture of one - go figure!! But there are quite a few on the bench, so maybe I'll get some done in the next couple of days and post pics!!

Thanks for the discussion, you guys. I knew I could count on you!!

glitterbead
04-01-2004, 12:50 PM
BARRIE!!!!!!!!!!!

*thud*

TurtleBay Jewelry
04-01-2004, 12:52 PM
That Sticks and Stones collection can break my bank account...forget my bones!

LOL!

Gorgeous as always Barr.

~D.

beclectic
04-01-2004, 01:08 PM
Wow, I see why they sell well. They are so enticing with the different stone combinations and the interesting angles of the sticks.

mjcall
04-01-2004, 02:09 PM
Barrie

All I can say is I'm glad my DW doesn't read this forum. :evil: Call it a line, a series or a collection, I call them stunning. I am in the process of putting my jewelry making studio back together after a 20 year layoff. Sticks and Stones makes me want to get back to stone cutting and investment casting ASAP.

Thanks for sharing. :clap: :clap: :clap:

M_

Charlee
04-01-2004, 02:10 PM
GAWD Barrie, those are gorgeous! I toured your site a few days ago and was goggle-eyed most of the time. :D I really like these rings and love seeing the bigger shots (I have a ring thing LOL). There's thing about certain jewelry that really draws me - it's hard for me to put my finger on it. Obviously, I'm not a fan of traditional "mall" jewelry. :eek: A lot of what I like is very organic and usually has cabachon stones and/or pearls. Sometimes, it's just the way a line curves. Hmmm. Anyway YOUR rings have that thing - whatever it is. :confused: :D

Charlee

mjcall
04-01-2004, 02:15 PM
Barrie

I just went back for a second look at the Sticks and Stones collection. When I first looked at them I thought investment casting, a second look made me wonder, are they fabricated? What ever they are still beautiful.

M_

Patch
04-01-2004, 02:51 PM
WOW Barrie, they are great... The opal one is fabulous but so are the others... :clap: :clap:
Patch

Barrie
04-01-2004, 02:55 PM
LOL! Thanks you guys! They really are my favorite pieces to make. (Must find time to update website!!) Each and every one of these pieces is fabricated from start to finish. I do know how to cast, but hate the whole messy process (especially the carving wax part!!), so I don't do it!

I do cut some of my own stones (like the white drusy) and make my own dichroic. If I had the time and patience, I'd cut all my stones, but that would be way too obsessive compulsive!!

Rosie2000
04-01-2004, 04:11 PM
Barrie....Your sticks and stones collection is awesome. Off to look at your website and drool.....Rosie

flynfire
04-01-2004, 07:18 PM
When I grow up I want to be as good as Barrie! She sure gives us beginners something to strive for.
I use the term "collection".
(Glitterbead, the Santa Claus comment was all in fun.)

Fyrsmith
04-01-2004, 07:46 PM
On the other hand, in Lithography and other print media a series usually would be a numbered series and limited to a certain number. Each print would be exactly like every other print in the series.

In conclusion since your ring production is unified by a central idea, is produced commercially but not in great numbers, and each piece is somewhat different, I would go with line. This is IMHO only, YMMV.


I agree with the use of line above, but series for me has a different meaning. In mathematics, a series is a line(!) of numbers that depend on the one before them for their value. In art, for me, a series is a linear(!) development of an idea. The line may have branches, but it starts from a basic idea and develops from there. Each piece builds on the experience of working out the one before it, so each is related but different.

Barrie, those rings are gorgeous! And yes, please post pics of any using glass instead of stones.

-Don-

lisilk
04-01-2004, 09:00 PM
I agree with Don's explanation. I do several series in my silk scarves, fallen leaves, petroglyphs, etc. They all come from an original idea that keeps growing and changing but the original idea is still in tact.

Barrie- Wow ! :clap: :clap: Beautiful !

Li

jacki
04-02-2004, 01:23 PM
First-Barry your Sticks and Stones rings are wonderful. I love the contrast between the pearls-faceted stones-cabs-glass etc. And, beautiful silverwork! I really had fun exploring your website! Some gorgeous jewelry there! I dont know how safe I feel living so close to you :D VERY tempting!

Speaking of which, I have three kitties that look like they have the same daddy as Marvin and Stache :confused: could he have really traveled that far..... they could be called lots, some and none. and all with the same pattern on their bodies :)

I agree with the consensus. I have a "line" of production dyed scarves, and several "series" of scarves that are explorations on a theme. Same with jewelry, I have a series of "Shields of Glass" and another series of earrings that are "balancing acts". I like the series label as much for organizing my thoughts and ideas as anything else.

To me, "Collection" connotates a body of work, in a partilcular theme, or series, ---or to show the progression of ones work over time. Your Sticks and Stones are the perfect example of a Collection in my mind. :)

Nunu
04-02-2004, 01:30 PM
:rolleyes: Geeezz...Barrie! A line? A series? A collection? When you have so much talent...you can call it whatever you want. Beautiful rings kiddo :clap:
Rock and Gem Show :clap: :clap: See you there! D.

ringslingin
04-02-2004, 03:01 PM
Hi guys!
Anyway, how the heck do you figure if something is a line or a series? And how long can a line or series continue?
Anyway, just the ramblings of a procrastinator, who should get off her butt and go back to work!!


i'd call your sticks and stones earrings a series. When I think of the word series, I think of several SIMILAR, but different/unique items. But thats's just me, what do I know? I'm trying to think of it as a consumer, instead of a jewelry maker, that IS the point isn't it?

Denise

Barrie
04-03-2004, 01:04 PM
This is incredibly helpful you guys. And thank you so much for the kind words.

Darlene, see you Sunday!! (great stuff at the show, already spent more than I intended to! :evil: )

Don - I'm working on some new dichroic pieces, when they're done, I'll post them.

Jacki - Port Townsend!! I love Washington! Some day, when I have a few spare minutes (will that ever happen! :) ), I would love to go to Port Townsend for a day trip. I hear you guys have some great shops there!!

Denise - Thank you! Consumer input is so important, and the biggest reason I torture myself with doing shows!

The general consensus for me now is that the 'Sticks and Stones' rings would be a series, and the 'Grafitti' necklaces, earrings and such would be considered a Collection. But since I'm thinking of doing the Sticks & Stones in earrings and pendants, that would then make it a collection. (see what happens when I have a few minutes to spare - the brain gets carried away!!!)

Here's a peek at the Grafitti collection! Although I don't have any of the earring pictures, I do have some charm pictures!

beclectic
04-03-2004, 10:07 PM
Here's a peek at the Grafitti collection! Although I don't have any of the earring pictures, I do have some charm pictures!

Oh Barrie, those are fantastic! :) Did you cast those backgrounds or fabricate them somehow?

Barrie
04-04-2004, 12:42 AM
Fabricate, fabricate, fabricate!!! I don't cast much of anything - I think I made a ring once - and I know the technique, and teach a beginners workshop in it once in a while, but I'm so much faster with fabrication than I am with casting!!!

SuzyQ
04-04-2004, 08:01 AM
I love those charms! You have a fresh and funky style. I really like it.

beclectic
04-04-2004, 08:40 AM
Fabricate, fabricate, fabricate!!! I don't cast much of anything - I think I made a ring once - and I know the technique, and teach a beginners workshop in it once in a while, but I'm so much faster with fabrication than I am with casting!!!

So, how did you get that pebbly finish on the background? Is it repousse?