Friday, February 19, 2016

The Countdown Begins

Good Friday Morning,

4,985... 15 to go, I think I called it about right when I said we'd hit the big number sometime in late February, we're getting there!

So for those of you that are old enough to remember Paul Harvey (a radio broadcast announcer who famously coined the term "Now, for the rest of the story"), here's how it all came about.

A few postings back you'll see that I threw in the towel on attempting to do anything on the 5,000th sale.  With all that we have going on, and there is a lot of stuff going on, I realized that there simply aren't enough hours in the day to do a commemorative set and display case of some sort.  Concurrently, I had been corresponding with Samantha (Sammi), on designing her custom order.  We had been chatting off and on about different design ideas for several weeks, and it was very early on in the process when I realized that she is much more talented than I am when it comes to actual artwork design.  Man, she's wicked good!

Well, shortly after I made the blog announcement, apparently my idea of throwing in the towel just didn't seem acceptable to Sammi.  So, on her own volition, she took it upon herself to design just one stick to commemorate the 5,000th sale, and she did good.  As often happens however, I decided to use her design, but kick it up a notch.  The test dowel rod just came out of the laser, and it's a winner.  So thank you Sammi for all that you did, I clearly couldn't / wouldn't have done it without you.

I still don't have a final count on the number of inlays, but I'll start counting when I actually start tackling the stick, which will begin this weekend. 

Once it's completed, I'll post pictures here, and after we officially record the 5,000th sale on ETSY, the stick is going to EBAY.  Now I've never really been a big fan of EBAY, other than watching Gray Dog's sticks (the master hair stick maker when I first began, selling on EBAY), some of which were selling for incredible numbers, it was fun to watch.  Now I know it's probably a foolish concern that I have, but I've always felt uneasy about the "reserve price" (the minimum price) that needs to be set on an EBAY listing.  If I set the reserve price to low, then there could be the appearance that I think it's a lesser quality stick, and if I set it too high, I could come off as arrogant.  It's still a concern I have today, but I've figured out a way around my concern so I don't have to deal with the reserve price.

So Sammi, come on back, you get to set the price.  You see, as far as I'm concerned, the 5,000th stick never would have come to fruition without your help and gentle nudging.  Since I'm all about giving credit where credit is due, through your efforts, you've earned yourself a free stick, anything of your choosing (any off the shelf design, not a custom, because I need to know in advance of the EBAY listing what the retail price is of whatever stick you choose).  So, grab yourself a cup of coffee, go to the sold section on ETSY and pick a stick, because the retail price of whatever stick you pick will be the reserve price set on EBAY.  For example, if you choose a full body paua with a normal retail price of $150, that will then become the reserve price on EBAY.

OK, now for a few details, or should I say, a bunch of details:

The stick will be... Ebony, 6.5", with the following inlays, in no specific order:

Up to 30 different freshwater pearl inlays
Some leafs and extreme pearlessence
Blue / Gold Goldstone
Blue Apatite
Green Goldstone
Blue Goldstone
Green Turquoise

All set on an underlayment of Natural, Purple, Red, Green, Blue and Teal paua... pretty much as previously described as all of TT in one stick.

So there's the rest of the story, thank you again Sammi, you rock!

Have a great weekend, hopefully my next posting will be the finished stick.



Good Saturday Morning,

Sammi has selected her stick, and I'll post pictures of it here when it's finished so everyone can see the stick that set the reserve price on EBAY.  Quite predictably, she chose an expensive stick.  Heck, can anyone blame her?

On another note, I've started on the stick, and I have my first count.  17.  This is the number of pieces of paua that were individually cut and wrapped on a 45 degree bias, forming the underlayment which will ultimately be engraved, inlaid and finished.  I can say unequivocally that this is the most challenging stick I've ever attempted, my Holy Grail so to speak.  Thus far, the underlayment alone has taken me just under 5 hours, and the real work hasn't even begun yet, and this was the easy part.  I've even had to pull out from under all kinds of stuff an old burned up lathe (I'm on number 6 currently), and set it up in a separate area in anticipation of a multi-day inlay.

Have a great Saturday, I'll continue to update on this posting until I'm ready to either post Sammi's stick, or the 5,000th stick.


  1. Wow, that sounds so interesting! Wish you could do several commemoration sticks "in line" ,lol, , maybe in quarter inch increments.... Slim chance I can be the lucky one to buy it, but I still can't wait to see it! ....and yes, it's beautiful how you gave credit to your collaboration partner !)

  2. Thanks Cipriana. I wish I could bang out a bunch, but I can tell you that I'm not tackling another one of these until (if) we hit 10,000... it's too difficult to repeat for any other occasion, it will be an extremely busy stick.