Thursday, July 28, 2011

What are we up to?

Dark Side customs is looking like it's headed in the right direction. I'll be investing quite a bit into raising the standard of D.S.C. Excellence. Better materials, new designs and more ways to buy are all in the works. I'm doing everything I can to make Dark Side Customs a Household Name.

The Gear Box (Dark)
You may - or may not - be aware that the metals market has been in a state of flux lately. The price of silver and gold has been through the roof and traders are in a panic about prices skyrocketing over a number of months.

Many jewelers, like myself, have turned to using base metals for their small-ticket items. Though most have kept their noble metal items in production, the cost is, as always, passed on to the consumer. I'm working on a way around that. I will continue to produce handmade base metal pieces; I'm stepping up to the noble metals in a way that will keep them affordable and not sacrifice quality in any way. I want D.S.C. to be the Gold Standard so I'll keep reaching for that Brass Ring.

You may have noticed that I've placed donation buttons on the D.S.C. website and at the bottom of this blog. Well... don't be frightened. I'm not telling anyone that they have to pay "or else" and I'm not begging for 10% of your weekly earnings. I'm just leaving the option open for those interested in being a part of the growth of Dark Side Customs. A couple people have asked me to explain. So...
Dark Side Customs started out as an idea - between a few former friends and myself - several years ago. We liked working on cars and motorcycles and wanted to start our own custom shop. Differences happened, people split and I'm sure you can figure out the rest. The idea never left my mind.

I had already run a small jewelry business and I felt comfortable with it. When the opportunity came around and I was able to start again, I figured I would combine the dream name with the dream of being creative and making a living at it. Thus we have the current incarnation of D.S.C.

Now, I'm looking for ways to bring the full dream of my art feeding my family to fruition. That is the reason for the donation buttons.

The Aviary
My friends are doing great things. Really. Take a look for yourself. Some people are just amazing at altering your perception and challenging you to open your mind. Kelly Kotulak is one of them.

"There is a fire in your heart, sometimes shy, and sometimes bright, and it yearns for magic. You carry it like a secret. It reaches for mysteries, it delights in the strange, it dares. You step behind the curtain. That fire sets your eyes alight".
-From Kelly's Etsy profile.

(right) Three brass bird skulls hang beneath a gate of ornate brass filigree, graced by the rhythmic drape of chain.

She is the essence of SteamPunk. You can find more of her beautiful work on Etsy. She's among my favorite shop owners. I have a feeling she'll be one of yours as well. Check out her shop:


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The New Blog Format

Welcome to the NEW blog for Dark Side Customs.

I'll be able to update this more often and I'll be looking at, not only my own works but some of the works that have inspired me as well as some of the other artists that are trying to make their own way on Etsy and the web.

Dark Side Customs is stepping up its "A" game. Those who know my earlier work from Celestial Silver (my first company) know that silver was my media of choice. With D.S.C. I've been working with base metals as a way of making pieces more affordable for my customers. The plan is to re-introduce sterling (.925) and fine (.999) silver into the mix on a larger scale while still making pieces that are beautiful and affordable. 

ANGELIQUE - Winged Goddess
Some Higher End pieces like ANGELIQUE, that still use base metals and heavy plating, will stay in the mix as well as many of the bone and polymer pieces. 

One of the things I like most when it comes to designing new pieces is to receive feedback from people that view my works or just happen to like a particular style of jewelry. I especially love when people tell me about pieces they have never seen but would like to. It's a challenge and I love a good challenge.

I mentioned stepping up the "A" game. As part of that initiative, D.S.C. is looking for investors and people willing to make donations to help Dark Side Customs grow. Even $1 is welcome. I'll be setting up a paypal button for those who may wish to invest. I will also be setting up an investors page on the website, once that is done, where the names of our investors will be shown for all to see. (Should you not wish your name posted, just send a note and I will make sure to keep your name private.)

I'm also looking to add some outside artists to the D.S.C. umbrella as a supplement to my own work. I'm not inclined to go the route of simply buying wholesale pieces and reselling them to turn a profit. Not really my cup of tea. I have done this in the past with Celestial Silver but there wasn't much satisfaction in it.

I'll be looking for innovative designers, just starting out, looking to make a name in the business as well as lesser known artist with a great eye for design. Keep your eye out.

Golden Age
There are some people making some beautiful pieces for sale on Etsy. Let's take a look at Paradise Jewelry Shop.

"We enjoy making wonderful jewelry items for family and friends at unbelievable prices. We decided to reach more people and show what we have created and to bring a smile to you and your family as well."

(right) A pair of earrings that are as easy on the ears as they are beautiful to wear. The little white balls have a touch of pewter lines painted on them.

There are a great number of beautiful items in their Etsy shop. Stop by and let them know that you were sent by the Dark Side.