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  • Writer's pictureLisa

Yay, Shawl Pins!

Updated: Apr 26, 2022

Hexagon shaped shawl pin made in polymer clay and Sterling Silver
Hexagon Shawl Pin in Polymer Clay and Sterling Silver

Did you notice that the shawl pin page on this website was under construction for a while. I'm embarrassed to say almost two years. It's live now, but what took so long?

When I started selling yarn, customers also asked for shawl pins. I've always been a fan of a little bling so why not give it a go. I had minimal wire working skills. Learning new things is always good. Practice is the key, and I did. But the spring shows were looming large. I had to stop playing with pins and build stock for shows.

My workbench in the basement.
My Basement Workbench

More important things always came up. No time to design shawl pins. Did anyone even know I was working on them? I'd get back to them eventually. Haven't you experienced some version of this?

Building the new website seemed like the right time to introduce the shawl pins. Certainly I could have some products on that page in just a few months. Then the pandemic lock-down happened. It was the perfect time to hone new skills, but no. I told myself, “Who's going to buy anything like this now?” The wrong way to think, but that's how it was.

Early copper pin ideas.
Early Copper Pin Ideas

Eventually, I got back to hammering. I was working with copper and brass, and feeling confident. There were some shapes that (sort of) made me happy, but nothing fresh that I could call my own. Time to move on.

Silver was so much more expensive. What if I made big mistakes? When I was learning to paint fabric, I thought nothing of throwing away $40 to $60 of silk that I had just ruined. I wasn't going to learn anything from wringing my hands. Onward! Right from the start, I loved working with silver, but couldn't coming up with any original ideas.

At some point, can't remember when, I came across pictures of leather and metal scarf rings. Never thought of that. They're sort of like shawl pins. Why not try? I was was pretty comfortable with polymer clay, and thought some of my button techniques would work on scarf rings. After a bit of tinkering I figured it out. But, would anyone like them?

Blue & silver polymer clay scarf ring on a turquoise silk scarf.
Blue & Silver Polymer Clay Scarf Ring

Many of you, my dear customers and friends, loved them.

Confidence is such a motivator. I was more than ready to get the shawl pins out into the world. Just needed to find a design that made me happy.

One day, I noticed a polymer button next to a safety pin on my cutting table. That's it, my shawl pin! It took a couple of weeks to get the design sorted out. Now I'm cranking them out. Hope you like them. You certainly waited long enough.

A Button next to a safety pin.
The Button & Safety Pin My Muse Left Me

Trio of polymer shawl pins in copper, brass, and sterling silver.
Polymer Shawl Pins in Copper, Brass, & Silver

It's so easy to get stuck when your challenged. Just put it off, and eventually you'll get back to the task, maybe. An approaching deadline always spurs me into action. There was no shawl pin deadline. I thought that blank website page would drive me forward. Nope! In this case, it was encouragement from you that pushed me forward, along with a little serendipity on my cutting table.

What do you do when when your stuck, perplexed, and the muses won't answer your call?

Happy Holidays,


December 1, 2021

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