Thursday, June 19, 2008
The Good, the bad, the...chop?
The Good: We have a winner in the koi pendant giveaway. Drum roll, please... It's Jill B.! Thank you to everyone who entered. Jill, I will be contacting you shortly with details on how to claim your prize.
The Bad: Sadly, as I feared, I did not place in the top five in the pearls category of Bead Star. Alas. Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to vote for me - I certainly appreciate it! Still, I have to say, it was a great contest - it inspired me to create new designs (one - my favorite, ironically - did not make the finals) which is always a good thing, it enabled me to meet new people which ditto and the bottom line is that it was really fun. I intend to enter next year again. Until, then, congratulations to those who placed!
The Chop: Yes, I know the title of this entry doesn't make much sense, but that's often the case with my titles, no? For some time now, I've been contemplating designing a chop for myself or simply ordering a metal stamp with my initials (for anyone who has bought or won one of my pieces, that untidy chicken-scratch type mark on the back is supposed to represent my initials). And by "chop" in this context, I mean essentially a maker's mark - something that will identify a piece as having been made by me.
It occurred to me the other day, though, that I actually already own a chop, and a pretty nice one at that. When I was in my twenties, my parents took me to Korea to meet my extended family for the first time. While there, my father insisted that I have a stamp made of my Korean name (in Chinese characters). This service is offered in various places (I believe that we ordered the above one at one of the big department stores in Seoul). It is carved from stone and has a nice weight to it. (I also have a larger, more elaborate square one with the figure of a tiger carved on top, but I believe that may be at my parent's house, as I have been unable to find it hanging around here.) It was a very nice memento of my visit, but practically speaking, I hardly ever used it. I dug it out last month and, lo and behold, it does look pretty nice stamped in fine silver. Of course, it's a little large to use on the back of a bead, but it's about the right size for a jewelry tag. I could also see it as an attractive component for a piece of jewelry. In fact, it seems like a potentially versatile little stamp from a crafty point of view.
So, I thought I'd share it with you. If you find yourself traveling in Asia or know someone who will be going, you may want to consider ordering your own chop for use in jewelry design, scrapbooking and/or many other crafty endeavors. If you don't have an Asian name as I do (curiously enough), you could have a translation rendered based on the meaning of your name. The result is sure to be attractive and to add a nice, personal touch to your work. It's possible that you may be able to find a similar service in one of the large Chinatowns in the United States, but I'm less sure of that (if anyone has any opinion on this, please do leave a comment).
Thanks for stopping by!