Bijou: elegant, delicate, highly-prized

Beaded Sun Catchers

Beaded Suncatchers

Again, I’ve been away from this blog far too long. It’s tax season and that’s my day job. But it hasn’t been all work all the time. Even when I’m too tired to do much else, my brain doesn’t feel drained at all when I turn my attention to my beaded projects. The newest endeavors are beaded sun catchers.

Beaded Sun Catchers to Wire Wrapped Jewelry?

The sun catchers arose out of my interest in wire-wrapped jewelry. Some artists make really intricate pieces like those shown near the end of this blog post. It is going to take many years for me to get that good, if I ever do. In any case, the sun catchers are a good starting point. It is enabling me to develop techniques for making the wire do what I want it to do. Unlike jewelry, the sun catchers don’t require as much specificity. What I mean is a bracelet still needs to be within certain lengths and widths, and comfortable to wear, whereas a sun catcher just needs to be pretty when it’s finished. Also? Making them is a lot of fun.

The Evolution to Beaded Sun Catchers

The first two sun catchers I made are shown in the photo above. I haven’t yet listed the first one – the one on the left – in my Etsy shop. I’m still trying to determine whether I am satisfied with the hanger I made for it. The second sun catcher – the one on the right – did not last in my shop more than a day. I was pleasantly surprised. That got me to thinking….

I knew jewelry was a very competitive category, and my slow sales reflect that. Perhaps my marketing skills could be further honed as well. But when I checked the numbers, the competition is more extreme than I imagined:

    An Etsy search for “jewelry” resulted in 14,832,771 hits.
    A search for “beaded jewelry” resulted in 4,526,262 hits.
    And a search for “beaded necklaces” resulted in 1,112,323 hits.

A search for sun catchers on Etsy? 25,881 hits. Hmmmmm. Dramatically less. That’s all sun catchers. Granted, the number of people in the market for sun catchers is also probably less than those in the market for jewelry. Interesting nonetheless. While my bead and wire projects are a hobby – not necessary income – it still seems that specializing may net better results in regard to selling my products. (Any income I make from my Etsy shop does help support my hobby. And it keeps my space from being overrun with completed projects.)

The Latest

Beaded Sun Catcher Start
Beaded Sun Catcher Start

This beaded sun catcher is starting with a framework of Merlin’s Gold – a low tarnish brass. The beginning is kind of hairy. It’s important to wire the framework together so that it’s sturdy enough to keep its shape. Some of the wrapped wire will remain in the final design, but others may ultimately be removed. The addition of the beads will also increase the structural integrity of the piece.


Am I going to stop making standard jewelry altogether? I doubt it. But in the long run, I hope to take it up a notch.

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