Saturday, August 25, 2007

Off Topic Yet Bead Related

I have a situation on my hands that I cannot deal with on my own - with the incredible pool of talent and experience here, I am reaching out to all of you for advice.

I made a set of 3 peyote cuff bracelets for a young woman in Florida. When she asked me to make these, she told me she was trying to replace a peyote cuff she's had for 6 years. She told me they would be worn constantly and would I please make them extra strong. Well, I used 6 lb test Fireline to make them. She was delighted (at first) with them and I thought that was that. She emailed me after about two months to tell me one of them had broken in half. These cuffs are two inches wide. Broken in half? A few weeks later she told me a second bracelet had broken. I asked her to send them back to me and I'll try to fix them. I was very puzzled.

In her last email to me she said to remember "I wear these constantly, even in the shower, so think indestructible."

Now, I'm going to repair them and give them all a leather backing, but if she's wearing them in the SHOWER, I don't see how I can prevent any stringing material from breaking down after a few months, or prevent the metal findings from decaying. Is there some magical thread I am unaware of that will hold up to the kind of wear she intends? Is there something I can treat it with to waterproof it?

Any and all suggestions will be gratefully accepted.


Vicki said...

Wow. Perhaps she wears them in saltwater?? Several years ago, instead of getting a tattoo, I made a peyote bracelet that I sewed on. By sewing the edges together. I used delicas and some antique beads and nymo thread. I wore it for over a year and finally cut it off, but it never broke, and I think I just had one bead break on it. So I'm puzzled about how this could "break"

No Easy Beads said...

I am puzzled also on how they could break in half. Seed beads are glass and should be treated as such. You could not drop it on a stone tile and not except it to break. I would suggest to her to remove them before stepping in the shower. MHO

a2susan said...

We always try to be so accommodating to our customers that we don't realize that their requests can be unreasonable. You cannot make an indestructible beaded bracelet that can be worn in the shower. If that is her expectation, then you cannot fulfill her request. Personally, I'd rather refund her money than remake or repair the bracelet, because I don't think she's ever going to be satisfied.

On another note, I have stopped using 6lb Fireline because I have had it break on me while beading. I either use 8lb or PowerPro now.

Good luck!

vivage said...

I suggest that you tell her you cannot guarantee your work will stand up to the rigorous use and natural breakdown of the materials that she is encouraging by introducing chemicals (soaps, condiitioners, bleach?, etc). Something breaking in half like that (!)is pretty much either great force pulling on it or the materials being weakened by abuse.

Go on to explain to her the materials you use and let her know there is no indestructable materials that will hold up to how she chooses to treat the bracelets.

If she chooses to ignore the info you give her and chooses to treat the work the same way, charge her for repair. And be upfront about the fact you won't/can't guarantee breakage so the charges will be X.

Morwyn said...

Thanks, everyone, for all your input and advice. It's helped a lot.

Lavender Rose said...

The only way I can think of that might make these "indestructable" would be to superglue the beaded work onto a sterling silver cuff. Then, weave it onto the cuff with decorative wire and overlaid beading. Surely she wouldn't be able to break that!!
Deb in FL

freebird said...

This is why I give what I make as gifts instead of selling and even then everyone expects me to repair or even change a finished design much later. We need Aretha's song RESPECT!!!

Robin said...

I have a peyote bracelet, a simple one, that I wove about 6 years ago. It slips over my hand. I wear it a lot, including in the shower (sometimes) and when sleeping (frequently). I'm amazed that the thread has never broken. I used Nymo D for it.

If your customer sends the cuffs to you, I encourage you to examine them very carefully to see what you can learn. Did it break at the knots? Were any of the beads you used sharp enough on the edges to cut the Fireline? Did the Fireline break in more than one place?

It's such a difficult call about repairs on work that you sell. But from what you say, it seems that your customer has unreasonable expectations. Probably in your shoes, I'd get the bracelets back and refund her money, just to get closure and be able to move forward again.

Good luck! Robin

Fab Fibers said...

I would repair the item one time and politely try to get across to her that these are pieces of art, and really should be treated as such. Good luck!