Display cases and photographing jewelry

Speaking of cases… I used abstracta until last year, when I had a
new booth designed. I actually like the customer to touch and feel my
work even though it means cleaning the jewelry constantly during
shows. Bruce Baker says that’s a “good thing” - I look busy when I’m
not with a customer! ;-S Of course I am aware of the controversy on
this. Popular thought is that rich looking cases add value to your
work in the public eye. At this point I am going to continue with
what is comfortable for me. I had a table built that is black
lacquer, and I put a beautiful Ecru handmade paper on it. The jewelry
is then on props. I have only had the new booth since October though,
and will watch my sales to see. If I decide to go the case route at
some future date, I wonder if anyone would have ideas on what to use.
The table is eight feet and sort of kidney shaped. I could buy cases
that are the traditional lines (square or rectangular), but I really
like the softness of the curves on the kidney shaped table. Anyone
have any ideas?

Also I have another dilemma. Photographing post earrings, that have
blades or bullets hanging from them (on that thread - I make my own
bezels using bezel wire shaped around the individual blade or bezel
for a tight fit). I do use an epoxy for added insurance at the base
of the blade or bullet, but really rely on the tight fit to hold it

On the Photography question. Another jeweler friend came up with a
great idea for photographing jewelry that my photographer now uses.
Buy a pane of non glare glass, paint the back of it with a flat black
paint and shoot the work on it. It gives you a nice gradation in the
photograph. You can see it on my web page at www.jodyochsdesign.com
. However the final shoot to complete my site is this week, and one of
the things we will shoot are earrings with the top being a gemstone
with post and bullet/blade hanging from it with a jump ring. No design
awards on this one - but they do sell… It is so difficult to get the
post to stay in the tack he uses to stick things to the glass, and
then to have the blade or bullet stay stationary as well, while it lay
on the glass on the table. I thought perhaps we could drill holes in
the glass to put the post through - but the glass company says the non
glare is too thin to drill. Maybe I could use some cyanoacrylate to
make the blade stationary for the shoot. But I also wonder about some
medium to glue on the glass that could hold the post at a 90 degree
angle and then we could shoot them with the glass standing up instead
of flat on the table. Any ideas on this? Thought about foam core,
but worry that it would not hold up. May try it though.

Thanks in advance for any ideas! I know I don’t participate very
much, but I sure do enjoy this group.


Jody- To shoot your post earrings- why not rough up a piece of acrylic
with 600 grit sandpaper, and drill holes in it- use it instead of the
glass. Anne

Hello Jody,

Re: the photography set-up. Your description leads me to believe

that the jewelry is laying flat and being photographed from above: “
It is so difficult to get the post to stay in the tack he uses to
stick things to the glass, and then to have the blade or bullet stay
stationary as well, while it lay on the glass on the table.” You
might try children’s modeling clay in black or dark gray. Use a
small ball to stick the post into and another dab on the back of the
blade of bullet, position and lightly press to the glass. Try to
keep the clay concealed behind the piece. If it is visible, the dark
colored clay should not be obvious against the background, and is
easily removed after shooting the photo. My personal favorite mode of
display (at shows and for photos) is clean, fine sand in a clear
tray. The jewelry can be stuck in the sand at almost any angle for
good visibility and the background is uniform in color. There are
black sands that are gorgeous backgrounds! For photos, think of
those wonderful Oriental meditation gardens where patterns are
carefully raked around rocks, driftwood, etc. Hope you find a useful
thought here.

Judy in Kansas

Buy a pane of non glare glass, paint the back of it with a flat black

    paint and shoot the work on it. 


I have a few questions about painting the back of the non glare
glass. When painting the back of the glass do you paint the entire
surface with the flat back. Also, what angle is the glass when it is
photographed and what background (i.e.: gray paper, etc) is behind
the glass. Thanks in advance for your time.

Linda Crawford
Linda Crawford Designs
Willits, CA


I don’t have answers to your questions, but I took a look at your
site. Some of the images have a nice gradient background, and some a
fairly flat black. Which ones were photographed on the painted glass?
Couldn’t you get the same result laying the glass on a sheet of black
(or graded) paper? Also, I find it hard to accept the notion that you
can’t drill the glass. In my experience (such as it is), with a nice
diamond bit (I really like the hollow-core ones from Rio and others,
though the smallest is 2mm), a delicate touch, and the surface to be
drilled submerged in water, you can drill almost anything. That
really sounds to me like the simplest solution. Good luck!

PS–If you are not using cases, don’t you have problems with theft? I
used to let people have access to things, on the same premise, but
after I got ripped off a few times, I got glass cases.(I use the kind
with sheets of glass and screw-on “clips”). I still occasionally lose
a piece when things are crowded, especially from my low-end ring
tray, which is not in a case.

Orchid is the best!!

Hi Linda,

The paint takes the place of paper - but if you want to change
background sometimes, maybe you could try paper instead of paint.
Don’t know if it would give the same effect or not. And my
photographer lays the glass on the table, lights from above with white
side walls to bounce light. Shoots the work from in front, and above
at an angle directed towards the piece. Hope that helps.


Hi Judy,

Now that is a really interesting idea too - I guess the photos don’t
have to be exactly the same for the web page. I certainly don’t use
these for any juries. Someone really adept at photo shop could
probably change the back ground too. I have proven myself NOT to be
adept, having spent the last week trying to create my own postcard in
photo shop and upload it to Modern Postcard. Yech… Actually AI
learned a lot. But alas, turned it over to someone who knows what
they are doing yesterday. :wink: That I had a “limited version” of Photo
shop didn’t help either! I like the sand idea, and it seems the most
quickly accessible before my Thursday shoot.

Many Thanks!!!