Friday, October 10, 2008

About authoring articles on this blog

Each member of CAGEY gets author privileges on the CAGEY blog, although we may revoke that if a member uses it inappropriately. I just sent an invitation to be an author to every CAGEY member who emailed me at when you first joined the team. If you did not get an invitation, then please send an email to the address above.

Members are encouraged to post articles that are interesting and informative to members OR to jewelry purchasers. If you write an informative article on your own blog or if you find one elsewhere online, please make a post on the blog linking to it. If you are simply linking to an article, please do not include any bio or other self-promoting material. If you write an informative article and post it in its entirety to the CAGEY blog, you are welcome to include a brief bio and a link to your shop or an etsy mini – a perk for contributing!

Each member is allowed to make one tasteful self-promotional post per month. Please make this a post that people will be interested in reading. Ideas include an overview of new pieces, announcement of a sale, a new technique you learned or some wonderful new stones you got – try to make it read like a newsletter and not just an ad.

If you make a treasury featuring CAGEY members, by all means post the link!

Also, we have our first official thread going over on the etsy forums - please drop by and enter into a discussion!


Friday, October 3, 2008

Supurb article on show security for jewelers

I was really impressed with this and wanted to share it with everyone. It's from the Lapidary Journal and is one of the best security articles I've ever seen.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Team info from etsy

These are some useful excerpts for team members that I received in the acceptance email from etsy.

• You can email updates to your Team's profile page to We update the pages from the inbox in the order they're received. We do reply to each and every email we get there, and you'll know your email was received when you get an autoresponse after sending it. Unfortunately, for the time being, this is the only way to make updates to your Team's page. Thanks in advance for your patience. New members should always be sent in the username, username, username format (similar to how they appear on the page). Please just send the bits that need to change. This expedites the process greatly.

• There is information on how you can have information on your Team included in the Storque, Etsy's blog, at and

• If your Team plans on using a tag for people to search, the tag needs to include the word "team" in it somewhere for Etsy to recognize it as a Team tag. Find the guide to Etsy Team tags at

• If you have questions, check the Teams FAQ here:, and do use the Guides and other resources linked from the top nav bar at

Monday, September 29, 2008

A couple more things...

Leaderofmen has set up a flickr group for us at and will be sending convos to team members inviting all of you to join the group.

I have sent the official application to start the team to etsy - hopefully we should be official before long.

Here's a lovely team graphic for members to use if they wish:

Materials and Components in CAGEY Shops

As I look through more and more shops belonging to potential team members, the more I have seen the need to clarify, for myself and other jury members and applicants, what we will and won't accept in the way of materials and components.

Here are things we shouldn't find in a CAGEY member's shop:

  • Plated metals
  • Plastic (unless it's handmade polymer clay components)
  • Elastic and other stretchy materials prone to deterioration
  • Dyed stones, unless said dye is fully disclosed in the listing
  • Mislabled or misrepresented materials
  • Jewelry items that cannot be exposed to water
  • Mass-produced lampwork beads and other low-quality glass beads
  • Earrings modeled by a person, UNLESS there is a clear and obvious statement within the listing that the customer will receive a brand new and unworn pair of earrings.
  • Gemstones set in flimsy snap-in settings
  • Plastic or cheap glass pearls

The following are acceptable:

  • Lab grown and created gemstones, provided this is made clear in the listing
  • Dyed stones and pearls are marginal - they should be fully disclosed and should not make up the bulk of a shop's listings. You won't be turned down for incorporating dyed stones here and there but their use shouldn't negatively affect the overall quality of your products and must be disclosed.
  • Swarovski pearls, provided the fact that they are not genuine pearls is made clear.
  • Polymer clay componenents handmade by the artist or purchased from the artist who made them.
  • Furnace and cane glass
  • Genuine Murano art glass
  • Lampwork and fused glass handmade, not mass produced, by a skilled glass artist
  • Base metals such as copper and brass, providing they are solid and not plated

Sunday, September 28, 2008

On the subject of fused glass and bails

I’d like to start off by saying I understand if this position seems unreasonable or offensive to those of you who work with fused glass, as it amounts to saying, “change your industry standard if you want to be part of this team.” I have enormous admiration and respect for those of you who create fused glass – I love it, I buy it.

With that said, a major goal of this team is to create a pool of jewelry artists that buyers can purchase from with confidence that the items they are buying are of excellent quality and will stand the test of time. If as a team we don’t have a specific appeal to buyers that will lead them to trust and purchase from our team, we’ll just be a club of jewelry buddies – which is fun, but doesn’t help sell jewelry!

A large number of fused glass artists use silver or gold plated bails. Plated metals simply do not meet that standard, so we will not be adding fused metal artists who use plated bails and other plated components in their work.

We realize that there are cost and availability barriers to using solid silver or gold bails. As far as cost is concerned – the glass you work with is already quite costly, and if I were a glassworker I would gladly pay extra for solid metals in order to bring the bail up to the overall cost and quality of the rest of the piece. I’d also look at it as a rare opportunity to set my work apart from the crowd.

As a buyer of fused glass, I have seen many, many stunning pendants I would have purchased had the bail been made of solid metal. Perhaps I am not the only buyer making that choice?

My understanding is that solid metal bails suitable for fused glass are very difficult to find, so here are a few ideas. First of all, Rio Grande does sell them. They are not the easiest company to purchase from, not are they the cheapest, but they do sell them. They also sell Attack, a product which can be used to remove the plated bails in order to replace them with sterling.

Second, the bails are something that would be very simple for most metalworkers to make. I’ll be suggesting that the well regarded handmade supply store Prolifique here on etsy begin making them. CAGEY team member onegarnetgirl has offered to make them on request.

And of course, you can always convo your favorite metalworker and ask them to create something for you…how about your own, exclusive signature solid sterling bail design as a way to stand out from the crowd?

Brass might be a good, affordable metal to use in lieu of gold; talk to your metalworker about finding some nice yellow brass to create bails for your gold-toned pieces if your budget doesn’t quite run to solid gold!

Hi members! Could I get your opinion on something?

I am a little torn on one issue, and I'm hoping for some fresh opinions. I'd really like to have our members steer completely away from plated metals, for the same of building a reputation of quality with customers. I'd like this team to become known as a pool of artists that buyers can trust to provide durable, quality, and truthfully represented jewelry that won't deteriorate over time.

With that in mind, the issue of fused glass artists arises. I am a big fan of fused glass, I look at and buy a fair amount of it, and I would adore having some of the many incredible fused glass artists on the team. The only problem is, the use of silver and gold PLATED bails seems to be nearly industry standard. There are a number of artists I personally would have purchased from if only their pendants had utilized solid metal bails.

I think the reason for the prevelence of the plated bails is the fact that the only readily available commercial bails are plated, not that many of these artists are not passionate about quality. To hold true to the direction I'd like this team to go in, we'd decline members using plated bails. My dilemma is that making that decision would wipe out most of these artists from being able to join, regardless of their skills.

Should one of our first projects be to find sources of workable sterling and perhaps gold bails for fused glass artists and seeing if said artists would be receptive to switching over? Or is the notion incredibly arrogant on my part?

Should we accept or decline quality fused glass artists who use plated bails?

Please weigh in! :)