Studio Saturday with Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati Jewelry

to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak
peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a
related question of our readers and hope you’ll leave comments! As an
incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.
• • • • • • • •
This weeks winner is…. Heather Fig

You have won a set of ceramic beads from Gaea Cannaday of Gaea Handmade.

Send Gaea an e-mail with your address and she will get it right out to you.
• • • • • • • •
This week we visit the studio of Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati Jewelry.
• • • • • • • •
I lost the entire month of April.
 I am not sure where it went. And if I didn’t blog at all that month, does that mean that I did nothing?
Au contraire!
I was so busy that month that I am having a hard time cataloging everything. But I will give it a shot.
Here is a sampling of what went on behind the scenes at Tesori Trovati in April…
I was approached by someone through my Etsy shop to inquire if I ever did mushroom spores in my work. Hmmm… that was intriguing. I had no idea what that meant, so I had to search and found out that spore prints are made when you take the tops off mushrooms and leave them overnight on paper where the impressions of their ruffly edges appear from the spores that are released. That is how they tell the type of ‘shroom it is. She belongs to mushroom enthusiast groups (I had no idea!). I made the spores and also some other mushrooms using my own original artwork and textures. Available in my Etsy shop.
Every year I make a commemorative piece of jewelry for the director of my daughter’s dance studio themed to the Spring Showcase for the upper level dancers. My Tiny Dancer was in nine of the pieces including a really amazing duet with an older dancer. The show this year was called The View and the opening and closing song that featured the five seniors was one that I suggested, ‘Kaleidoscope Heart.’ So I made this faux fused glass bib style necklace with all the lyrics from this short but powerful song.
You can see more of this up close on my blog.
A few years ago when the dance studio turned 10, I came up with a special necklace that would be for the dancers that had been there for 10 consecutive years. This is the third year that I have done this. It has become a right of passage for the these girls, something to cherish. The dog tag style has three pieces: one with their name stamped, one with the motto of the school stamped (above), and one with an etched dancer logo of the school. This year I had help with the etching from my friend Cat Pruitt of Boo Beads who did a great job. I like to hire experts and that helped me to focus on what I can do rather than fretting about what I can’t. Thanks, Miss Cat!
I also do an annual fundraiser for the National Honor Society for Dance Arts (NHSDA) themed to the show. We are the only studio in the state of Wisconsin that is accredited to have this honor. This year for The View I made kaleidoscope and dancer images under glass. Each pendant is hand engraved on the back with the year of the show.
In previous years I did a semi-custom order and usually donated around $250-300, which is 40% of the total. This year it was strictly cash and carry, which meant I had to have a lot of stock on hand. This fundraiser was at least 3 times more successful than in the past. I will be giving them a check for $900 at the NHSDA banquet tonight. My Tiny Dancer will be inducted into the middle school chapter after getting the necessary points in just over one year! So proud of her and this school! And since this was so successful, I am currently putting plans into place to offer a line of jewelry that will be for causes close to my heart that is affordable for all and interchangeable so that you can add to it every year. Stay tuned for more developments.
The April Art Bead Scene challenge painting of a walk in the meadow inspired me to bring a little bit of wild {flowers} to my Sampler Club offering. I thought about what it might be like to live in that field, as if you were getting a mouse eye view. On the back is a quote from a song… “you belong among the wild flowers.” How is that for a pairing… Tom Petty and Monet! Get yours in my Etsy shop for a limited time!

 I was delighted to be the one to select the painting for our May challenge. I was drawn to the glory of these amazing flowers, the incredible detail and also the architecture and the romantic little view out the window. I happened to find the perfect bezels with that rounded niche shape and focused on tulips to recall the ‘Tulipomania’ that transpired in the 1600s on tulips in Holland. These View to a Tulip charms and a coordinated Tulipomania pendant are available in my Etsy shop.

My friend Tanya Goodwin approached me to ask if I would consider a custom order. You see she was testing for her black belt in karate on April 12th along with two other women and she wanted something to remember this momentous occasion. I created a hand carved yin-yang symbol with the words “we are what we repeatedly do” on the back. I finished this in the Swellegant patinas to give it an aged metal appearance. You can see the really awesome necklace she made with this and a beaded infinity symbol here. I will take custom orders for this yin-yang pendant and your custom message in my shop.
I was honored to be selected to participate in the Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month challenge. Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictions created murrini glass headpins and sent me two. I made a flower bloom cuff bracelet for a corsage that will never fade. You can see more of this design on my post Bursting Forth.
I saw a post that Brenda Schweder had on her Facebook page about a bit of rust she picked up in a parking lot. Coincidentally, I had found the same piece from my own rust farm (i.e. van). She proposed that we make something and share it. I accepted the challenge. This led to the creation of a new series I am exploring called “LIES They Told Me.” That afternoon I met a local boutique owner who was impressed by the story and has asked me to add to this collection and sell it in her shop, so now I need to work on that!
Whew! That is just a bit of what has been going on behind the scenes at the Tesori Trovati studio! (Can you believe that there was MORE? There was! But I am out of room to write about it here!)
I think I need a vacation 😉 

I realize looking at this that pretty much all of these pictures show something that I custom made for a client or was suggested by someone else. 

My question for you…
Do you take custom requests from clients?
Or do you prefer to just do your own thing?

Share your thoughts!
A random winner will be selected to win their choice of either one of the available mushroom pendants shown above, or a pair of yellow tulip charms from this month’s Simple Truths Sampler Club.

P.S. Happy Mother’s Day to all those who are moms!
Erin Prais-Hintz invites you to go on a journey of inspiration at her blog Treasures Found :: Inspiration is Everywhere. You can view a gallery of her work at http://www.tesoritrovati.com/ or purchase her popular line of ‘Simple Truths’ in her Etsy shop.

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27 Comment

  1. Saraccino
    May 11, 2013 at 11:02 am

    I love to take custom orders. But that is part of "my thing" because the people asking me know my work and would like to have something in that style. Quite often they would like some other size or colour or somethign for a special occasion. Most of the tome I forget to take pictures because it happens also quite often that I am ask last minute ^^

  2. Kathy Lindemer
    May 11, 2013 at 11:25 am

    I welcome custom work. The challenge in doing custom work is making sure you know what your client has in mind. For that reason, communicating throughout the process of creating is important. Getting feedback from your client at the end is also key. So far, my clients have been pleased. Keeping my fingers crossed!

  3. Alice
    May 11, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Wow, its no wonder you felt like you missed the entire month of April!

    I am so impressed with all you accomplished. And as always, your creations are beautiful and inspiring.

    Most of the time I do my own thing when it comes to making jewelry, but I have had a few special requests here and there.

    A Happy Mother's Day to you as well!!!

  4. Divya N
    May 11, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Wow..wonderful accomplishments. I am more comfortable with doing my own thing and prefer to take custom orders on repeat pieces or when I know the client really well. Sometimes the initial vision of the client and their final expectation doesnt match, so it gets a little frustrating. I give a lot of variety in my lines, so that clients can pick according to their taste, rather than feeling compelled to custom a piece

  5. Nan Smith
    May 11, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    I prefer doing custom orders since I find I'm more inspired when I know who I am designing for.I am still finding my style but after 5 years of experimenting I'm finally getting there.
    I love all of the work you posted here but especially the mushroom spore pendants. such a great idea and beautiful results.

  6. LisaS
    May 11, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    What an interesting theme to explore! I hope you will share more of this one with us in the future.

    You have been busy – !

  7. Erin S
    May 11, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Oh my word, you've done SO MUCH incredible work in such a short time period. What, are you on crack or something? This makes me feel like a TOTAL SLUG by comparison. LOVE the fused glass necklace!

    I actually HATE custom requests. Since I have to work to the client's specs 100% of the time in my graphics job, when I do jewelry, I am much more about "if you like it, buy it. If you want something different, find it somewhere else." Yup, pretty bitchy that way.

  8. EB Bead and Metal Works, LLC
    May 11, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Oh my gosh Erin you were one busy bee! I love all those pieces you created in the month of April (especially the rust piece!). Mom and I do take custom orders and it can be so much fun working with the customer to come up with the perfect piece for them. I think our most favorite custom orders were the one we did for you and one where we created seven differnt hummingbird pendants – now that was a blast playing with the enameled colors!

  9. Beti Horvath
    May 11, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Wow! What you ca got with a little suggestion! I am in love with the mushroom series!

  10. Kristina
    May 11, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    I take custom orders. They can be challenging if you have a seriously picky customer, but getting an idea from someone else is a fresh point of view. New ideas, color palettes, and getting out of your normal way of doing things. It's fun because it's a marriage of the idea of the giver and what my style of jewelry making is. LOVE all of the piece displayed this week. Just beautiful.

  11. becca
    May 11, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    My sister and I have done both- custom orders but we really try to do just our own thing.
    We've both had good custom orders and bad custom orders. Times when the orderer didn't communicate very well what they were looking for & then didn't buy. We have learned to take partial payment when they place an order. That way we get some recompense if they don't want the final product. This also cuts down on people placing rather frivolous requests and then not coming back for them when they are complete.

  12. Carolyn
    May 11, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Have never been asked to make a custom order. Do not think I would have a problem if asked.

    [email protected]

  13. KayzKreationz
    May 12, 2013 at 12:08 am

    I usually end up just doing my own thing, but that's because I haven't really been asked to do a custom piece for anyone yet, except in my stained glass art. Hopefully one of these days someone will ask me to make a custom piece of jewelry for them as well. Love all your pendants/charms, etc.

  14. beadrecipes
    May 12, 2013 at 2:13 am

    I'd be happy to take custom orders if it was something I felt I could do justice to. I have done that once for a friend, and also made matching earrings a couple of times for pieces I have sold. But I'm definitely open to it!
    Miss Erin, you look like you've been incredibly busy, no wonder April disappeared in a haze of dust!

  15. Carol D.
    May 12, 2013 at 2:29 am

    I am working on a custom order now. I am careful what I agree to as I have heard some horror stories from others.

    Love your wildflower pendants and all the tiny dancer pieces.

  16. Cindy
    May 12, 2013 at 4:20 am

    Erin, I don't know how you had time to breathe in April! I honestly think you had more to show for that month than I do in an entire year! 🙂 I am amazed and dazed. You made an incredible number of memorable, custom pieces from the new mushroom pendants to the special black belt pendants. You have an unlimited supply of creative energy and talent.
    And to answer your question…no, I am definitely not fond of custom orders. I have taken them whenever they come in, but I would not seek them out. 🙂

  17. Jean
    May 12, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    I always have taken custom requests as that is far more of a fun challenge, to me. I have to try to imagine two things instead of just one: 1) what they are thinking and 2) what they love!
    thanks–your pieces are stunning.
    jean xox

  18. Sarajo Wentling
    May 12, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Wow! You have been one busy lady! I love the mushroom spoor pieces and the ones you made to go with the Monet. Lovely!

    I'm still just starting out turning my jewelry making into something more than a hobby so many of my repeat customers are close friends and family. I'm open to custom orders but most of the requests I've had so far have been to repeat something that I've done before with a different color or some other minor twist. I hope to grow that part of my business as I go along…we'll see where this all takes me!

  19. freshbakeddesigns
    May 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    So impressed with all you've accomplished in ONE month, Erin! Especially love your take on the 'rust' in relationships.
    I do accept most custom orders, but carefully. And I'm honest if I don't think I'm up to the challenge or timing.
    Most of the time, I find it going on a 'bead hunt' exciting and the collaboration with a client gratifying.


  20. May 12, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    I love Tesori Trovati, such beautiful creations!

  21. Angi
    May 13, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Congrats on your amazing accomplishments!Im tired just reading about all of it, Whew!!!! I do take custom orders, but I try very hard to get a real feel for what my customer wants. I try to be accomadating, but I have been burned when the communication has broken down.

    Angi Mullis [email protected]

  22. Elaine
    May 13, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    I take custom orders for items that are along the same line as what I do. Stuff like: can I have x flower or y colour or b longer.

    I do very few completely custom requests as they usually end up as giant headaches. Worthwhile but giant headaches nonetheless.

  23. Cynthia
    May 13, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Holey moley – you have been so busy!! Love the sampler club pieces!
    I prefer to do my own thing. I made bridal jewelry a couple years back, with little direction from the bride. She was super easy to work with, and loved everything I made, but I was worried along the way!!

  24. Klassy Joolz
    May 14, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    WOW…way to go Erin!

    I love to do custom orders. I have a regular customer that always challenges me with themed jewelry…Like Doctor No, Charlie Brown, the Monsters, Inc, Garfield, etc…coming up with fresh ideas is the most difficult part of doing so many pieces for one customer. She is a wonderful customer and she always likes what I come up with. I do send her pictures though the whole design process. Some of my dear friends, also, like giving me custom orders…but it's more along my jewelry style (or do I have a jewelry style?).

    Thanks Erin!


  25. Ann Schroeder
    May 15, 2013 at 3:38 am

    Love to read about all you are doing. I don't sell jewelry, but I do make it sometimes for people. I am stressed by a specific request because I worry that it won't turn out to be what the person wanted. I prefer my sister's attitude: if you make it, I'll take it!

  26. Shaiha
    May 16, 2013 at 4:21 am

    I would love to be known enough to do custom orders. No wait I guess that I have once when I made up the jewelry for a friend's wedding and again when another friend asked me to make up a necklace and earring set in orange. Now that was interesting as orange isn't one of my favorite colors so I had to quickly do some shopping.

  27. Creations by Kari
    May 18, 2013 at 9:19 am

    I am currently not taking custom orders, only do them for family and friends as a favor. Possibly someday 🙂

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