Announcement: My Etsy Shop is “PAY WHAT YOU CAN”

As an artist, it’s important for me to not just pay my bills, but also to make sure that people who appreciate what I’m creating are able to own it for themselves. The payment part is a necessity, but it’s seeing someone enjoy your art that is the gratifying part. I also come from a shareware software background (remember PC-SIG?), where the concept was that if you create something worthwhile, people will gladly pay you for it after appreciating its value to them. Now, unlike software, I can’t give rings away for free and then hope to be paid, because there is a raw materials and time cost per item, but I am going to try what I think is the next best thing — allowing people to discount the price of any item by as much as 50%, with them choosing the amount.

I have created a bunch of new coupon codes for my Etsy shop. You enter them at checkout if you want to use one (obviously I am very happy if you are able to afford to pay the regular full price). They are:

 5PERCENTOFF — Save 5%        10PERCENTOFF — Save 10%
15PERCENTOFF — Save 15%       20PERCENTOFF — Save 20%
25PERCENTOFF — Save 25%       30PERCENTOFF — Save 30%
35PERCENTOFF — Save 35%       40PERCENTOFF — Save 40%
45PERCENTOFF — Save 45%       50PERCENTOFF — Save 50%

If every single person chooses the maximum coupon I will probably reconsider the wisdom of this idea, but I will be truly surprised if that happens. I believe people will continue to support the shop fairly, but that it will mean that more people will be able to have access (so don’t feel bad if you do choose 50% off — I wouldn’t have included it if I didn’t want people to use it). I will report back in the future on how this idea works. Thanks again to everyone who has supported the shop so far.

Now, I also wanted to share what I made today, and I have to give credit to Caitlin who gave me the idea after seeing the last heterochromia ring I made — she told me I should make a David Bowie Ziggy Stardust inspired ring. So I present to you Ziggy Skulldust… or… Deaddy Stardust… or something…

You can click the pic to jump to my store and snag it before anyone else or just look at higher res pictures. It’s currently a size 7.5 so it fits smaller hands, and has two slightly different coloured gemstones. The inset lightning bolt is coloured with a permanent epoxy that I baked in place.


  1. Eddie wrote:

    Shannon, those are very cool. You have to point me to a site that explains how you make them. Is it lost wax?

    Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink
  2. Shannon wrote:

    You know, I keep meaning to make a proper “how to” document but haven’t had a chance to… I really should because I keep getting asked.

    I have done some lost wax work, but these are not lost wax.

    In short — For these ones, I first sculpt a master in polymer clay. Then I create a two part mold using silicone in my vacuum chamber. I coat the inside of the mold in graphite so there’s no bubbling, and then pour in molten metal. The finishing of the ring, mounting of stones, etc. is all done by hand.

    Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink
  3. Eddie wrote:

    Thanks. That’s awesome. So the silicone will handel the heat of the molten metal. Very cool. I’m not an artist but it would be cool to learn how to cast small parts like that. Maybe to repair something or make custom gun parts.

    Thanks for the reply,


    Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Permalink
  4. Shannon wrote:

    Yes, silicone is great. You can use it for frozen popsicles, room temperature plastics, baking candies and cakes, and even molten metal. Not sure off the top of my head where its ultimate upper limit is, I’m sure there are some metals that it’s not compatible with, but there are definitely other polymers that can handle it.

    It doesn’t require any real artistry to do the molding and casting, it’s a purely technical skill that anyone could enjoy doing stuff with.

    Friday, April 27, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink
  5. Tim wrote:

    hey shannon, are you planning on making any more lego man key chains?

    Friday, April 27, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink
  6. Shannon wrote:

    Yes, I’ll be making more… Some time next week I hope.

    Friday, April 27, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Permalink
  7. Nicole wrote:

    You are awesome.

    Friday, April 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink
  8. ELY M. wrote:

    this remind me of the skill ring i had when I was a kid :)
    I have idea for your new skull ring… you should add glow in the dark eyes :)

    Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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