Monday, May 16, 2011

Why I sold off a pile of cool supplies for almost nothing

At almost the last possible minute, I decided to bring something unusual (for me) to International Steampunk City: a box of watch parts and other supplies to sell to steampunk fans on a pay-what-you-like-or-can basis (which worked out in the end to an average of 45 cents per thing--almost certainly less than I paid for most of the bits in the box). Read on for why it made sense for me to get rid of a huge swath of my carefully-accumulated stash.

Box of neat stuff!

The impetus for this destash was me realizing that some of my supplies were not quiiiiiite right for me.

In the time since I acquired them, I've been moving my jewelry away from assembling existing bits together in novel ways, and towards metalwork pieces that I fabricate myself, with watch parts incorporated the way one might incorporate gemstones or wire filligree.

An earlier necklace of mine
from my pre-metalsmithing days

A new necklace of mine,
available on

This distinction may only make sense in my head, but it's a big deal to me. This is the way of making jewelry that I find really exciting and fulfilling--and there's a narrower range of parts that I'm interested in incorporating this way. Life is too short for supplies that don't light you on fire with inspiration! Once I realized this, I knew I needed to move a lot of my stash out from my workshop as efficiently as possible. I wanted to free up both physical and mental space so that I can focus on the components that fill me with joy (and that touch of slightly-fearful awe that propels me to improve my craft to be worthy of my materials).

The deeper reason for bringing the box of supplies to the festival was that I wanted to connect with other makers and tinkerers. It's no secret that I like geeking out about making things! And what better outlet for unwanted parts than folks who are dying to get their hands on that sort of thing and build something cool with them? I was so happy to give people a chance to sift through a box of interesting stuff that I knew they could use.

I hope that some of the 30 or so folks who took supplies home with them will speak up in the comments section! Tell me about the projects you're thinking of, or link to pictures of any work-in-progress or finished contraptions. I know I can't wait to see what you come up with!

No comments:

Post a Comment