About me

I’ll start with the most current “about me.”  I am very proud to have this website. It is a dream I have had for a number of years with friends encouraging me to “just do it.” I finally have the time to fully devote to it and am very excited that you have come to visit me and my work!

I have been creating some form of artwork for as many years as I can remember. Photography was my first love and I’ve had several one woman shows and sold my work in galleries.   So how did I get into jewelry making?  I lay the blame/credit (depending on how you look at it - smile) squarely on my sister (and I hope she is reading this!). I saw her enthusiasm in making beaded jewelry and then I caught the obsession. I now have an embarrassingly large bead stash!

For a couple of years I have been making beaded and soldered jewelry and truly enjoying it.  The need for design, composition, and color combinations in photography has translated naturally into what I am doing now with the jewelry.  The most fun to me is that I rarely have a final piece in mind. I just start with a favorite bead or two and see where the muses lead me. Any of you that create things know that during that time you are transported to another world.

Each piece I make is unique. If you want more than one of a given design, or a different size, or different colors, please email me. I normally do not have enough materials to make a second one but sometimes I do. Once I have designed a piece, I usually want to move on to the “next thing.”  But do email me because ya never know……

Expect my website to change and improve as I learn more from you as well as my muses.

Please browse and send any comments my way. My email is admin@notyourmothersjewelry.com. My name is Norma Fries and I live in northern California.

What’s the story behind my business name?    

With a name like “not your mother’s jewelry,” there HAS to be a story. Besides, anybody that knows me knows there is a story with almost everything with me. 

Well, I was thinking about the style of what I make and trying to determine if there was, indeed, a “style” to the wide variety of my jewelry.  It came to me that this jewelry was not something my mother would have worn. This is neither a good thing nor a bad thing. But that is what occurred to me.  The amazing thing was that when I went to register the domain name as a “.com” it was available!  And there you have it.

How do I determine my prices?

It depends on whether talking about the beaded jewelry or the metal jewelry. For beaded jewelry, it is largely materials that drive the price. But for the metal jewelry (copper etching and narrative found object jewelry), it is labor.

For the beaded jewelry, I take design and labor into the price, but mostly it is my cost of materials that has the greatest influence on price (however, please see the note below about commissioned work).  Some beads are $5 a strand; others are well over $90.  Sterling silver is more expensive than the base metals (brass, pewter, etc.) and vermeil (22K gold plate over sterling silver) is more expensive than sterling silver.  Some beads are $.10 and the focal beads (usually end up as pendants in a necklace or the mid-bead of a bracelet) that are hand blown glass can easily be more than $50 each.

Labor and design time comes into play with intricate designs as well as soldered pieces.  If you look at my $100+ category you’ll get a sense of what I am talking about.

You’ll also see that I offer things in $20 price ranges (ex. <$20, $20-$40, $40-$60, etc.) so that there is something for everyone and every budget.  There is no difference in the quality of the workmanship or spirit that I put into any of these ranges…..just materials and labor.   

A quick note about how I price commissioned work. For commissioned work, design time can be equal to or greater than the price of the components. This is because I usually have to buy components (as opposed to having them on hand) in order to work with the theme, color, materials, etc. requested by the customer. I often spend a lot of time researching where to get the right materials as well as how to best meet the specifications set by the customer. We often spend a lot of time trading emails and phone calls to ensure the design meets what the customer is looking for. All this takes considerably more time than a non-commissioned piece. I will have a discussion with the customer on a commission prior to their committing any money, though, so we don't have any surprises.

Here's a picture of me

Fiona, the helper dog

A picture of my booth from a recent show

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