An increasing number of my making hours have been taken up with commissions in recent months. I love the sheer variety of the silvery requests that appear in my inbox. A silver wren, a Rowan tree-themed disc to go with a silver fingerprint, a miniature apple, a cluster of little enamelled bluebells, a tiny silver hazelnut. Many of them are nature inspired, and, of course, this makes me very happy.
Another lovely element of making to order is the creative process of finalising the design. Emails fly back and forth, sometimes with sketches or images of works in progress in them. I especially relish receiving pictures of gardens, flowers, treasured items or even people who have inspired the idea or for whom the piece is to be made. Sometimes I am making something to cheer someone who is ill, sometimes as a surprise or simply as a gift to themselves. Whatever has driven the person to contact me the story behind the commission is one of the elements that makes the process such a joy.
Sometimes I am asked to seek out a tiny vintage treasure like the one shown above, and make and source a collection of treasures to go with it. I couldn't believe my luck when I saw the little curlicues and decorations on this tiny 1940s sewing machine.
The three dimensional enamelled bluebells mentioned above are today's challenge. First I have to get the design of the flower itself right before I add the colour. Aswell as being slightly unseasonal they're also tricky little so-and-so's (I'm really not sure whether to put an apostrophe there or not. Apologies if it doesn't belong). Their petals are causing one or two explitives but I think I'm getting there.
Whatever the design or the story behind it I'm always honoured to be asked for a commission. I think it's my favourite part of this whole making lark.
It's always tricky to know when to stop taking Christmas commissions but this year I'll be closing my festive order book around 1st December to allow me to get everything finished in time.