Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Working Efficiently

Not that I'm an expert on the subject. You see, I KNOW what to do to be efficient, I just don't always do it.

There are certain repetitive tasks associated with making jewelry that are best done in an organized manner. For example, when I make earwires, it's best to spend a whole day doing it. It's silly to make just one or two pairs. A rhythm develops in my work and the efficiencies follow:

cut 50, 3" pieces of wire
make the loop in the leading edge -- 50 times
bend the wire around the knitting needle (or Sharpie pen) -- 50 times
hammer the top curve -- 50 times
file the ends -- 50 times
put 50 pieces in the tumbler for a while

See? After about 2 or 3 of each of these tasks, the efficiency becomes apparent. I only have to lift the hammer once for 25 pairs of earrings. I only need to lift the round nose pliers once. The same for the knitting needle and the Dremel (for filing).

What I have not mentioned yet, but will now, is that I'm stark raving mad at the end of the process. It's incredibly tedious, which is why I still use plenty of commercially available earwires in addition to making some of my own.

Another task that falls into this category is making simple earrings:

put beads on head pins -- 50 times
make top loop -- 50 times
trim excess wire -- 50 times
add these drops to earwires -- 50 times

Voila! 25 pairs of earrings done.

It's amazing that I have any sanity left.


Anji Gallanos said...

As I look around my desk and studio I realize efficiency is elusive to me.

Must get more efficient..must get more efficient...must get more eff..hey what's that shiny thing. Very problematic.


Pricilla said...

This is why that bracelet I made with the 250 little sparkly rondelles on their own little headpin about drove me mad. Do you see another one like it? And you probably won't.....

ShinyAdornments said...

Acting efficient is kind of like losing weight. You KNOW exactly what you need to do, you just choose not to do it. LOL

I'm with you on the sanity bit. Making ear wires all afternoon practically makes my head pop off.

Simply Shiny Blog

Shirley said...

What a great tutorial for your fellow jewelry artists!