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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Designing For Men

The drawing is over and the cabs are well on their way to the new owners.

Let me tell you... life has been a challenge lately. We developed a water leak under the house. Don't know how long it was there, but by the time we found it, we had a huge mess. Somehow- the phone line developed problems at the same time. Whether because of the swamp we had, I can't say for sure, but it sure is coincidental.

The phone has been real staticy and the dsl has been slow to intermittent. (Boy, you really take your connection for granted until it has problems.) Anyway, they came today to fix it, accomplished their task and I went to the zoo.

While I was gone, they came back and did something that reset my connection to a new and unsecured connection. I don't play unsecured, so I had to deal with them on the phone for over an hour.

Anyway- I thought I'd share that just in case any of you ever thought these things only happened to you. :) Oh- and to top off the day, we were drowned at the zoo by unpredicted rain. I was soaked for the whole visit. But, at least, it was below 90 something degrees F.

To the topic at hand:  Designing for Men.

As you all know, a lot of my work tends to be simple and unisex. A man was visiting my site, my blog and my Etsy store and liked what he saw, so he asked me to do some work for him. This man, who prefers to be anonymous, is pretty well known for the work he does with cabochons. I'd love to say more because he is so interesting, but I won't. I will say, I'm really flattered. :)

Ever since we exchanged emails, my mind has been racing with ideas for manly designs. Believe it or not, I have never actually stopped to think hard about it. I have made pieces that tend to be more for a man, but I didn't start out by designing it for a man. So, what would constitute a masculine design? Clean, bold, heavy lines? Simple ornamentation? Western style? Durable? Large? All of the above?

I actually laid awake at night designing in my head. I came up with lots of ideas that seemed workable until I tried them in the morning. Finally, I struck on an idea that seemed doable. My first few tries were utter failures. Ready to give up on this idea, too, I gave it one last shot.


Bloodstone


This is the first one I've finished. I can see a few changes to make in future pieces. But, I do like this for a man. It is sturdy without seeming too heavy or utilitarian. It has very little ornamentation and what there is is functional. I think it has a Western flavor- think bull. The bail is strong and not frilly, though it does have some texture and detail. It lets the stone show, which is most important and the stone is very secure.

What do you think, manly?
   



23 comments:

  1. Love the looks of this one. All man..., but nice enough a lady could also wear it and no one who ever question it.
    Beautiful stone also...
    have a nice day...

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    1. Thanks Debi! You have a nice day, too. :)

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  2. that's just gorgeous. would love to see it with gold too. wish I had the cash to buy it for my man. ah, maybe I'll get him something like that to celebrate when he gets a new job.

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    1. HI and thanks :) Wish mine wore more jewelry...

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  3. shoot, was gonna say....
    Good morning Tela, hope all of your troubles are over.... but got involved in the beautiful artwork....
    And as for troubles, wow... that is all I have had for te last 3 weeks running...burned my whole left leg with a boiling pot of coffee... silverdean cream and ice packs and now everythings fine, woke up to a flat tire, got that fixed, went on to town, and on the way back up our mountain, my motor blew up.... and """LOL""" I had a flooded bathroom, hallway, and partial bedroom.... pipe busted under the sink....lol
    Has been quite here since Sunday afternoon... fingers crossed....lol
    All this happened in order and over the course of 3 weeks....
    Knew things happen in 3's,,, but not 3 weeks...lol

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    1. Wow Debi! Now I feel like a total whiner!! That's horrible about your leg!!! I can't imagine. You have had a rough run- I'll keep my fingers crossed, too. :)

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  4. Your challenging days sound very familiar! I live in a run down, money pit of a house on Long Island in NY - an incredibly expensive place to live and haven't had hot water for 2 weeks (but that's another story).
    Interesting coincidence that you've been asked to design jewelry for a man recently. I just did a 2 day show where a young man purchased one of my "masculine" basket weave, copper bracelets for himself while he was looking for a gift for his sister and something for his dad. He bought a necklace for his sister as well.
    When I got home, I found that he emailed me wanting me to design a "manly man" copper bracelet. He said his dad was a big man and I should think John Wayne.
    I don't want to make this comment too long, but I've just seen a local production of La Cage Aux Folles and thought of the scene where the main character imitates the famous John Wayne walk (in a rather feminine way). I literally laughed as I read the email.
    Anyway, I think your necklace and pendant would look great on a man (or woman). The design is clean, attractive and doesn't cover up that fabulous stone. I love it!

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    1. Yeah- we have a money pit, too. Waiting for our hot water to go out. It's old as the hills. I lost my water heater in my old place soon after my divorce when I had 3 young kids and not a dime to spare. Luckily, it was a hot summer, so the room temp water was barely tolerable for showers. Took till the weather cooled to get a new heater. Boy- the good old days....

      Yes, that is a coincidence- good for us, huh?? :) I can see one of your cuffs for a man actually. It seems to me that more men prefer copper than do women. I wonder why that is?

      Every time I think of John Wayne now, I think of my husband. Because... he was at a theater to see an old John Wayne movie and there was a life size cut out of the Duke. DH says that he stood next to it and was shocked to find that they were the same height. DH grew up idolizing him and always thought of him as being so much bigger. (DH is about a foot taller than me at 6-2.) He was a little disappointed by that.

      Oops- guess I was long...

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  5. Before I read to the end of your post,where you said "bull", it was reminding me of a horse!

    I think a piece like this is definitely masculine enough for a man to wear, but your clean lines would also be appreciated by many women. When I think of jewelry for men, I typically envision thicker, heavier, but not necessarily really large overall. For example, I would expect to see a man who wears this piece having it on a thick, perhaps braided leather cord. I envision a woman wearing it on something sleeker, or worked into a wire and beaded piece. But, that's just me!

    I hope your travails are soon over, and that everything at home is put back to rights ASAP!

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    1. I know what you mean, Kay. The right chain or cord can make the difference.

      Thanks for the well wishes. :)

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  6. Hey Tela, So sorry about all of your water issues! These types of challenges can drain our good energy which is so precious.

    You have done a great job with this piece. Manly stone, wrap and bail all working very well together. Since my man does not wear jewelry, I don't usually think about designing for males. I do think there is a market as you have found out. Fun to hear you have someone exciting to design for.

    Hoping all is well as the new month begins!

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    1. You know Christine, I think I posted that pointless whine because it did drain my good energy. Now I am all worried about mosquitoes. But, things are on the mend. :)

      My man wears his wedding ring and a tattered (and I do mean embarrassingly tattered) bracelet that I bought for him years ago. He refuses to take it off. I desperately need to make him another, but you know me and bracelets... Anyway- it would be nice if he liked jewelry more, then I could get more ideas off him. He knows when something is masculine, but can't really give me ideas.

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  7. Tela, yes, this is definitely manly, although I'd love to hang it around my neck, also! I think that whatever metal wire you use, for a man it should be patinated so it isn't shiny, but looks old. that seems to work.

    Since I live in Arizona, where bolo ties are worn, I bought the findings to make some of those but haven't gotten to it yet. I am looking at my cabachons with an eye to bolos now. These are mainly for men, but I love the look of a woman wearing a bolo with the correct blouse, also.

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    1. Hi Susan :) I have thought about bolos, too. But, I don't think I would know how to make one. I've never known anyone to wear one.

      I agree about the darker patina. I'm really glad that my client wants copper because I think of it as more manly and I love to work with it.

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  8. I can't really pinpoint why, but this doesn't say "manly" to me.
    Unisex, maybe...but not manly. Maybe a larger stone? Larger gauge wire?

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    1. Thanks for being honest, Deb. I'll take unisex. The stones he's sending are larger, maybe that will make the difference. A bigger stone will allow a heavier gauge. Plus there are a few tweaks that I already know I want to make.

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  9. i think it looks manly enough. its definitely not too overly feminine. i suppose a woman who wasnt into dainty swirls and delicate pastels would find it appealing. i dont see why a man wouldnt, either. at the store where i work, id been making a point of noticing what kind of jewelry some men wear, and what styles of commercially produced jewelry for men they have for sale there. many men dont wear any at all, my husb included. i have noticed some men like really chunky, thick chains with large, bold pendants, and i saw a young guy wearing some large jobs tears-looking beads. theres a lot of braided leather cording instead of chain, as well.
    sorry to hear about your water woes. i certainly hope things get straightened out soon. :)

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    1. Sorry so long to get back here- wow, I have been too busy.

      Denise, that was a boatload of good info. I don't think I have ever personally seen a man of any age wear beads. Interesting.

      I'm glad I have the opportunity to do some work for a man. I'm hoping it will unlock some new creative avenue.

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    2. i saw another young guy (teenage, maybe 16-17) wearing a sort-of choker-style necklace, of fairly large cream and brown glass-looking beads with gold spacers, and there was also one similar in the jewelry case at work. it may be a "limited" fad, not many guys going for it, but enough must be that they're offering them for sale commercially.
      good luck with that! i think it will, and you'll do very well with it! ^^

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  10. I'm going to date myself, but the first thing that popped into my head was, "Manly, yes, but *I* like it too."

    Remember those commercials?

    :-)

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    1. LOL!! Yes, I do- didn't it also say something about being clean as a whistle?

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts and comments.