A regular work week - A regular work year is 2000 hours; working 8 hours per day. Multiply that times seven years & that is a lot of hours doing the same simple steps.
I like to stick to a simple routine in our family. Up @ 6 a.m. Slowly wake up and begin work by 7:00 a.m. They stop for 1/2 hour break @ ten and 3 and one hour for lunch. This is a job and it is treated as such. They do not want days off. They are happiest when busy; carving listening to music and having a good time together. They have all tried the 'girl-friend' routine. (enough said).(later is soon enough).
Currently now - for the first time - the boys are making a good ear-ring run; and prefabbing shapes and getting set to make a bunch of ear-rings. I told them I need 10 pair. We were up to six bracelets in our inventory but we had to ship out three & some ear-rings to ... ? (chuckle).
Free is fun - I get a good buzz - a very good feeling - no hangover-!!
THE END OF A TUSK: is usually hollow. Being creative and using that existing shape, A little smoothing of the edges and polish. These are easy to sell.
Remember those Arc type pieces ? That fell apart when we cut that first piece of mastodon ? Here is a finished pair of one set of those. Quite a difference eh ?
We are going to make a reversable bracelet
- step by step. these are two bracelets in one - so we charge between 500 -600 for this. No one has ever complained about the price. We are the only carvers that make these.
Here is the line up for the pieces to be used to make this reverseable bracelet.
There has been many a time - (very rare) we have had to let a bracelet go for double digits as in under 20 bucks.
You have heard me say many times - this is all about learning how to use your imagination
and think .. .. 'different'. So I said to the boys one night - how about a poker bracelet ? What ? Hearts Diamonds Clubs & spades for insets!! We made two of them - I just gotta have that
, was the reply from one woman. I love it when people say those words - (before the sale). The price just jumped 100 bux. In the lower 48 100 bucks is a lot of money - here in the arctic; it is like having ten bucks.
Meaning - not too much you can get with that, everything is so expensive up here.
A full sheet or two of plywood. paint it all white. Now spray some expando foam (for insulation purposes). a thin coat. Let it day and paint it all white. Get some of that volcano crystal glass that is flat and large and blue/green and place that in various places to simulate water. Now make small dolls and artifacts of the Inupiaq way of life and fill that board with everything (you can think of) Of the native way of life in the Arctic..THAT DISPLAY will fletch anyone $50,000 from ASRC or UIC or the North Slope Borough. That is a great project to work on. People in Point Hope have been talking about this for over 20 years. but no one will take the time to actually do it.
We purchased a new piece of Ivory today @ Alaska Fur Exchange; 80 bucks for this small piece.
Here is what is inside this piece for colors. This is a perfect piece to just slice up for ear-rings for the natural shape of the IVORY itself.
You may wonder?? If this is so easy to do- and there is so much money to be made.. why aren't more people doing this?? The answer to that is simple - people are just too lazy! Let me illustrate: In Point Hope a new church was sent to the village in crates. All prefabbed up for them. A small one room church. They began construction on this in 2003. They also refused to let me help (for free) with the electrical (there are no qualified electricians in Point Hope). Rare Breed in the villages.
To this very day..That small one room church has not been completed.
It was only a two / three month job !!
IN fact: in 1983 A new playground was shipped up to Pt. Hope.. It sat in crates for years. When asked for volunteers @ the community center, the main response was "how much will we get paid:. That school playground finally got built in the summer of 1987. Some high school kids in California took up a collection flew up and did it themselves !!
THIS IS A GOLD MINE:
all over the state of Alaska : Quality craftsmanship!! There is plenty of junk all over this state. It is only because of this 'junk' that we were told.. two years in a row.. by the barge captain.. Get out of here and get to Barrow!!
When the barge comes in to Point Hope - stay away - leave us alone - we have work to do. There is just no way anyone can get up to and on that bridge and get into the captains chair - Unless they have been invited. That whole village was pissed when the captain called Jesse up there with his bracelets.
He was the one person responsible
.. Get up there with your stuff he kept saying. There is nothing up there... not like this.!!
Now I am handing everything we know over to you; What you do with this knowledge and information is totally up to you. But if you can get 4 or more people working skillfully - Whew !! The numbers are staggering
Simple #'s that's what we talk about. We are not setup yet; we need some more essential tools to really speed things up. A 12" disc sander and good dust collection system. Downdraft tables. etc.
I am not greedy; not one bit. I have yet to find one verse in the entire bible that says "save" your money. I have however found dozens that say the exact opposite - give it away, help others. We take that very seriously.
4 people (family members) making a bracelet per day (in an area that is set up perfect). That is 28 bracelets per week = 112 bracelets per month. It doesn't matter at which price you sell them for .. you are going to make a lot of money. At 100 each = $11,200 in one month; and that is nothing to laugh about - But .. .. double or triple that amount is a lot to laugh about !!! And it is very possible to achieve those results- we have done this too many times.
IN a perfect set up shop. A complete bracelet can be made and finished in 3 1/2 hours. If you take the time to get ready for the next day and prefab you can get the job done much quicker. Learn how to make a 'game' out of this and have fun and PLAY! It takes more than twice that time if you are not set up properly. that is what we are experiencing here now. It takes 12 - 16 or more hours for a simple plain bracelet.
Yes it is / was very
easy for the boys to pump out 8 bracelts per day. They were on fire!! And believe it or not; It shows all over the villages. When the boys first went into the court house in Barrow; They were met with much skeptisisim. You didn't make this bracelet - you are too young. You stole that bracelet; But in time they found out - the boys did indeed posess these rarely seen skills.
Where are you boys from? Point Hope.. ... No! your not !! was always the reply. We know the people of Point Hope and you boys do not talk like they do; Your too polite & very well mannered.
Now if you were to walk into that office today; Well one woman bought 5 braclets and everyone of those other women has at least two or more.
Caroline Cannon of Point Hope had purchased over 80 bracelets in a two years span of time In Point Hope. We have seen some of the ones she has sold in Pepi's in Barrow & in Alaska Fur Exchange here in Anchorage.
She doubles or triples her investment. She bought these for a low price so it is easy for her to get twice or three times what she paid for it. Inupiaq women use their collections as cash when traveling. They know how & where to convert this stuff.
NOTICE the hole in the back; Why ?? are you boys doing it in this manner ? Because the slices are too thin Dad. Bull it; In other words, you are cutting them too thin and by the time your finished sanding you can't push the knots inside the pieces. I am disappointed but not afraid to point out the 'flaws' in their work.
BRING ME EVERYTHING YOU HAVE:
Those are the 'magic' words we like to hear. We heard those words in Kotzebue @ the NorthWest Arctic Borough; The School District in Barrow - The North Slope Borough- The city of Barrow- and here in Anchorage we have heard that phrase twice; A Nana Corporation (on Friday's) & Carl Jewelers in University Mall.
You have pages & pages of photos and information.
I taught my sons by speaking 5 simple sentences; that's all I did.
Cut me a slice of ivory 1/4 " thick
Draw your shape on the slice
Cut out your shape and smooth it
Drill your pieces and string it up
Polish your bracelet !!
Then I refined their techniques. I wanted to see what they could discern by themselves first. It took three bracelets.... Dad ? how come these bracelts don't lock and line up in a circle? They are all over the place when we string them up. Then I asked them ?? DID you make sure all the holes are in the same spot?? On each piece?? How do we do that ? I said draw lines like Alan Lane did with a piece of cardboard bent around the piece. Like this
Once they did that - their bracelets snapped & locked together perfectly.
It will only take you a couple / few bracelts before you begin to produce excellent quality work!! I am not here to waste my time. I like to teach and I have a 40 year history of teaching many different subjects.
I have had in the past; had to work with apprentices and teach them; all day every day for years. I am a good teacher; too many people have told me that and also the IBEW wanted me... to teach in the classrooms. I said NO WAY !! It is a matter of fact: I have won more awards and certificates than any member of the IBEW in this state.
I've won many awards in photography - being published many times etc.
I have learned a great deal working in the Electrical Industry which does what all other trades do.. They train people to learn "how to think".
They develop certain skills working with tools & blueprints.
that a child can easily do with proper supervision. Teenagers ? Well this is something to keep them out of trouble and busy learning a lot of kewl things like marketing, salemanship, responsibility,craftsmanship and the list goes on and on. They don't teach that in high school properly. I pulled all my sons out. You are wasting your time. I got much more to teach you. I am proud to say that my four sons wired their first house when they were all in elementry school!! They didn't use romex- they did the entire house in pipe!! bending pipe and pulling wire. They know how to listen. That is the whole secret: They listen & obey me. And we are wildly successful. More so now than ever !!
Do these steps over and over and I guarantee you - you will become quite good at this. Anyone ever been in the military ?? Remember the 'shoes'? No one ever forgets that part. The mandantory shine . Dull black leather was turned into glass like shine. Remember? NO matter how much polish you rubbed in, No matter what other methods you employed. YOu did not get that shine to POP. Until you began to use.. .. ... h20.
Its the shine that sells.
Unless you get 'that' shine.. .. better than everyone else.. ..YOU HAVE TO STAND OUT as different; Blue Magic is the very best stuff out there, but it is expensive but well worth it. Especially for baleen !! BLACK GLASS !! That is what you strive for!