Critique Me


Creating a plethora of jewelry pieces, a designer is bound to come up with a design that doesn't seem to turn heads. Although it was really exciting when the piece was born, in the studio, and the designer is totally excited and elated about this unique and eye-catching combination of beads- there just isn't many "hearts" so to speak, or views or many comments at all. 

So, yes. I'm speaking of this bracelet. I listed this way back in December. When I made it, I was soo very excited. Pairing Nancy's ceramic butterflies with Bob Burkett's Pewter floral connector in this cuff style, as the focal, was just brilliant in my mind. And the fact that the chunky chain on the end, loops around that big vintage shell button as the clasp- another super move in my book. 

I listed it and it's got a good 1/2" thick layer of dust on it in my Etsy store. It's even on the last page. Completely ignored. Although it has 502 views,  it has one lonesome heart, from a secret admirer. Who probably bookmarked it so that they could become inspired by the design, or because they wanted to look up Round Rabbit's shop later. 

The point of my post- I know, I am totally rambling, is to have you, my viewers- critique this piece. Because if it's something as simple as the chunkiness of the chain, or the color, or the cross bars that I attached with hematite wheels, these are all easily removed and replaced and revamped. 

If this was your design, how would you rearrange it? Would you disassemble it and start over from the beginning? What aspects would you keep, and what would you change? Do you do this often? Rethink jewelry designs after they've been sitting around awhile?


  1. I think it's an amazing piece. Maybe a photo of the bracelet on an actual wrist may help. I wouldn't change a thing and the idea for the clasp is awesome.

  2. i agree with Davinia: it's a fabulous piece and you are right that it's very clever and has so many neato pieces. maybe photographing it on a nice wrist would help just because maybe people might not think it would fit there small or big wrist.

    then again, it may just be one of those pieces that takes an extra special customer to appreciate. i think it's lovely!

    great idea at reviewing your shop to find the things that may not be flying out of it.... i would leave it as is and it'll probably sell tonight!

  3. I think that seeing this bracelet a wrist might help it sell too. If that still doesn't work maybe if you tried to use the same shade of silver in the chain and the links that hold the butterflies and round part together might help? Good luck!

  4. While it is unique as it is, my only thought was to replace the hematite wheel connectors with either ceramic or lampwork beads that have the same or similar pattern as the big flower focal, in a similar color theme as the butterflies.

  5. for me, there is a disconnect in the hematite beads, a more feminine design element or more color might work better.... you might try switching the butterflies to face the focal eye is drawn away from the silver piece...

    but i agree with the other ladies, it's hard to tell without seeing it on a wrist...that can make all the difference

  6. I am going to present a dissenting opinion...While I am a big fan of your jewelery, this is not one of my favourite pieces. The elements seem disconnected and (to my eyes) it doesn`t have the same flow Ii associate with your your bracelets. I would suggest eliminating the connectors between the chain and perhaps weaving ribbon through the chain in a colour coordinating colour to soften the look. I having trouble seeing the connection between the Perhaps the butterfly connectors and the focal/button elements - this may be the photo. Another suggestion would be to leave the focal piece in between the connectors and use a button that picks up the texture/colour of the connectors.

    If you do decide to re-make the bracelet, I hope you will post it so we can see it.


  7. I think it's the sense of balance ... which several of your other followers have noted. It's got gorgeous color at one end and the other end is crying out for color. I like the ribbon idea or just incorporate some colorful beads among the hematite. I hope you will post another picture when you've decided on the changes. Looking forward to meeting you in a couple of days!

  8. Anonymous3/03/2010

    I like everything from the button to the last butterfly. The chain is too clunky, reminds me of a bicycle chain. I think you have a wonderful eye for jewelry design, but a thinner double chain sprinkled with beads of color may be the ticket.

  9. WOW! So many great suggestions!!! I am thrilled to be getting this feedback. It never even occurred to me that one end was color and the end was begging for color. I totally see that now. I guess I was going for a "Heavy Metal" meets Girly flowers and butterflies motif.
    Also I love the suggestion about changing out the button to something that mimics the same colors in the butterflies. That is a great idea!!!
    AND! omg I love Jean's suggestion about facing the butterflies in towards the pewter connector instead of facing outward. why did I not THINK of that!??!
    I love it. thanks so much guys, I can't wait to play around with this one later.

  10. I think I'm agreeing with some of the other posters...While it's a neat design, I don't feel like the Round Rabbit and floral connector pieces fit right with the chain portion of the piece...To me, it feels like it's half "industrial" and half "pretty." I agree that changing the hematite to something lighter that mimics the rest of the bracelet would make the piece more cohesive...

  11. I peeked at it in you shop and I do like it alot. I noticed that you do have a photo of it being worn and I like how it hangs on the wrist. I also like the stormy colors and it seems like it is a perfect chunky casual bracelet that works perfectly with denim in particular. I think if I were to change anything, it might be the button. I love the idea of the button-it completes the design, but maybe a different one that compliments all the elements you have. It might just be the photo though. Some thinks just refuse to have their picture taken. Maybe add a single blue or brown spacer in each row between the hemetite also. Does that make sense? Just my two cents. However, if you love it like it is, keep it that way!!!

  12. Your really very inventive All the time! Maybe this piece is out of balance? With the delicate Bob Burkett pc and chain versus the more chunky look of the ceramic butterflies. Thats my take on it! I agree more lampwork or ceramic to add to the butterfies. No hematite and maybe chunkier chain.

  13. Hi Lorelei! I love the butterfly part of the bracelet...the heaviness to the chain throws it off. What about the same concept but with leather cord. A natural leather color with some ceramic beads to add color. Or..what about half of a leather cuff attached on that end. a loop could be "cut" into the leather to loop over the button.
    Bead happy!

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  15. I am thinking in the same direction as Cool Moon, I am not a huge fan of hemmatite, I was also thinking, add a little colour with ceramic discs or a mix of beads from your fabulous stash! I fyou don't already have a picture on your wrist, those are always the pictures I look at because it really shows what it looks like on. Good Luck!! Can't wait to see what you decide :)


  16. I, too, am a fan of your jewelry. And while this piece has its own beauty, I have to agree with others about the hermatite beads and chain. I don't know if maybe switching out the beads for something with a bit more color would work or maybe changing the chain for something in a lighter color... because, in my opinion, its a bit dark for the lightness and femininity of the ceramic wings and flower focal/connector.

    Also, I think maybe putting something between the button and the wing would help bring a little more balance to the piece. While I certainly do love the clasp, something about it being so close in size to the flower focal AND being so close to the focal itself is a bit distracting to me. Maybe carry a bit of the chain (or whatever you use to replace the chain) over between the wing and the button.

    And because you probably cant read it enough, I agree with everyone's suggestion of showing it on a wrist. The first thought I had when viewing the bracelet was "Will that chain stay like that or flip over?" I think seeing it on a wrist will be a big help.

    I can't wait to see what you come up with! Everyone has such good ideas!

  17. Yes, I agree with the comments to change the hemitite connectors. It looks a little "biker" or maybe too masculine (despite the butterflies) for some women. And, yes, a picture on a wrist to show that it is not too chunky would be helpful.

    Your designs are great! I admire that you are asking for advice and are willing to rework something!


  18. Hey, Lorelei, just a thought, now that I and so many other people have 'critiqued' as you requested. Maybe we're overthinking it - just giving it a new NAME like 'Biker Loves Butterflies' - may be all it needs to connect with the right person....

  19. I was amazed by this too! and I actually sketched your treatment of the chain with the crossbars in my sketch book b/c I wanted to try something similar. Only variation that comes to mind is to replace some or all of the hematite wheels with something in color that echos the butterflies. I wouldn't want to change it much more than that, it's a wonderful design.

  20. I have to agree with many of the previous posts... It love the design, but from the photos posted I was a little confused at first. It took a moment to realize it was a bracelet and how exactly the clasp worked.
    I'd agree that a photo of the piece on the wrist or even just clasped together would probably help.

  21. Incredibly detailed suggestions so far...not sure what I could add, but here is my 2 cents...
    This is not a fave of mine. Usually you have a playfulness with your pieces and this feels heavy, and a bit forced. I like the idea of the chain and the way it connects to the button, but not in this piece. I am looking criticially at some pieces I had at the gallery that didn't sell, one that was even published in a magazine! But I play to rework them... I love the Round Rabbit butterflies but I like the idea of turning them around to frame that round piece better. And I think that this could be turned into a necklace, like that article in Stringing recently. That would be a good challenge to pictures of the before and after of a piece that you changed, but like you, asking for feedback first from the participants. That is a great concept!
    I know that whatever you do with it will be even better and will sell quickly now that you have given us all the chance to give you feedback into the process!
    You are a brave girl to admit when it isn't working to the rest of the world. But look at the response! You are a marvel, Miss Lorelei!
    Looking forward to the reincarnation of this piece.
    Enjoy the day!

  22. Hello Lorelei,
    Everyone has given you some great suggestions. I just wanted to add that with all the large individual parts, it just doesn't seem to have the right scale. It looks too small to be a bracelet, if that makes any sense.


  23. Well the bracelet sold. No changes necessary after all! I am just happy that the perfect person found it. I do think it's a great bracelet, although very different than my regular line of jewelry. thank you everyone for all of your great comments! I will take these into consideration when I create something again similar to this one.

  24. Mel Mel3/03/2010

    Wow i'm glad it sold "as is", that's what flowed from you when you created it and perhaps that's how it was meant to be. My suggestion was going to be to turn it into a choker with chain or some lovely ribbon on each side. I still feel happy for you that it sold as you had dreamed it.

  25. Hey, was this a sales ploy! You smart girl! Just kidding. But I want to congratulate you for putting yourself out there. It takes courage and gives us all a chance to really put our design skills to a test. Thank you for being the sacrificial lamb ... the suggestions were stimulating!

  26. Whew - you saved my from giving you my two cents! Glad it sold as is. Yes, sometimes I look back at a piece and ask myself, What was I thinking?

    Thanks for sharing your dilemma - and giving all of us an opportunity to think in another creative way.

  27. Congratulations on the sale and to the person who loved the bracelet as you first designed it!

    I have to admit, I read your post this morning, went over to your Etsy store and then knew I needed time to think about a critique...throughout the day...I though about this lovely bracelet and finally my conclusion matched my first impression (funny how that works) -- I thought the bracelet was perfect.

    When I wear a piece of jewelry that I love... I want people to admire it and when it's special enough to draw the admirer closer for a one-on-one conversation...well that gives me the opportunity to talk about where I bought it or if I made it.

    Thanks for gave me the opportunity to revisit my shop and yes pull a few things to rework...

    Thank you,


  28. Anonymous3/04/2010

    I've made many things like that Lorelei... I make them, love them, then they don't sell right away like I think they will. I've also had a vision for things, that I do NOT like once it's finished, but my motto is usually, "someone will like it". And like this wonderful bracelet, someone did.

  29. Yay! Congrats on the sale. It has always seemed with me that some of my LEAST favorite pieces are the ones that sell right away. My metaphysical minded peeps tell me it's because I put so much loving energy into my work that that same energy HOLDS the ones I love the most. I need to learn to let them go....
    Happy SPRING!

  30. The concept is interesting, but I would like to see antique brass chain inside replacing the hematite and use leather instead of the gunmetal chain. Accents to compliment the butterfly, perhaps flowers or leaves incorporated into the chained end. The large siver bead is nice and works fine with the butterflies. Please share your updated piece with us!

  31. Hi, I only just discovered your blog & etsy store but I'd still like to comment even though the bracelet sold. I'm glad you didn't change it. I liked it even though I'm not fond of hematite myself. I think your explanation helped and sometimes it takes a while for the owner of a piece to come along.


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