Friday, March 26, 2010


I wasn't going to blog about this at first but who else would I kvetch to?

I mentioned that I had my first etsy sale this week, right? I packaged the thing in double boxes with lots of bubble wrap and cushioning but when the lady opened it, she said it (the Orrery) had come loose from the plastic box I had attached it to and was now in 4 pieces, one of which she lost in the packing material as it was so small.

I was using a new product to keep the thing stable in the plastic box. It is called Museum Gel and is supposed to be the best thing ever......apparently not. After 30 minutes, the item attached with it isn't supposed to so much as budge, nevermind release. But I am finding that a lot of things are over-rated. A "fabulous new glue" I bought a while ago didn't work as touted either.

So I've asked her to send it back to me for repair, which is easy enough to do but now I am a leary of mailing these items. As I recall, the one I sent to Nikki for Debbie' Get Well box arrived with a piece off. I don't remember if she said that one came loose inside the box but that was one of the reasons I looked for something other than the wax I was using.

The Orreries are pretty sturdy with normal handling but they will break apart if they get knocked around....I know....I've accidentally dropped one off the display table myself. When I get this one back, ( and I haven't heard back from the customer as yet) I will know better where the attachments/glue failed.

Until then, I think I will pull the others off Etsy and try to figure out a better way to secure them in transit or to improve the holding power of the glue. Actually, I will investigate both.

I use a pretty aggressive jewelry glue which dries cystal clear and cures fairly rapidly. I didn't have good luck working with a 5-minute (2 part) epoxy. I solder the balance scales and thought of doing that for the Orreries but some of the metals in the watchworks won't solder very well and of course the beads don't solder at all. :-)

So I am back to the drawing board on this at several levels. Grrr......bummer.

And it will take me away from Alice's place for awhile which is even a bigger disappointment. :-(




Evelien said...

Hi Tabitha,

That's definitely a bummer! When you put a lot of work in a beautiful miniature it's painful when it breaks.

I've tried something too and maybe it works for you?
A friend of ours uses a lot of screws and he gives me the empty boxes. They fit through the mailbox and are sure strong. You can fill the remaining space with cottonwool. Maybe an idea?

groetjes Evelien

nikkinikkinikki72 said...

Love you hat stands in the previous post.

Such a shame this has happened to you. I know you wil have packed it ever so careful so it will only be the adhesives that have failed you.
I wish i knew of a great product to advise you on, but i gave up with the brass oreries i was trying to make because everything just failed.
Have the parts but not doing them because i know the same will happen to me.
Im sure your customer will be very understanding, it happens to all of us and you just learn to accept every now and again a problem will happen in transit.
Hopefully somebody may comment about the best glue to use.
It might be a good idea to pack them in a tiny hard box or tin and wrap in wadding, or even put cling film over some cotton wool (to prevent fluff sticking to the tiny parts) and then pack that around them in the box, then put in another box.
There are so many items i'd love to make and sell but dont because i know they can never be posted.
Lots of best wishes sorting this problem!
Nikki xxx

Tabitha Corsica said...

Thank you both for your suggestions. Ideally, the item would be held firmly by it's base with little touching the rest. That was the purpose if the inner plastic box. My son (god bless him) suggested some sort of "guard" that slid over the base of the item and then attached/taped to the bottom of the plastic box. I understands what he means but the execution of such will be a challenge. We'll see.

In the meantime, the customer (an artist herself) feels she may be able to make the repair. That actually is very embarrassing to me but I agreed to let her try. What a lovely woman.


Whittaker's Miniatures said...

Oh Susan how dissapointing for you . I bet you were really looking forward to the feedback on your first etsy sale being great and then the post mucks it all up! I had 2 lovley items sent from the US, a troll and dragon made of clay and even double boxed and packed with cotton wool they arrived completly in pieces so I think its more the way they throw things around rather than your packing or even how the miniature is stuck together when made. I think most of my orrerys were soldered but even then if they were to be chucked about by the posstmen in their trucks, then as the ironwork is so fine, they could break easily. Like Nikki says some things arnt easy to post. Maybe you and Nikki could continue to make these lovely items but only sell at fairs so the customer can take them home being safe themselves and get them there in one piece. Good luck, hope the customer can mend it ok. Kate xx

Lize said...

Oh, this is SO frustrating for you! Here, if the package manage to survive the journey, CUSTOMS do the last execution of anything that is not yet broken. I had gifts arrive with everything inside broken. Even things that you think could not break! And a few shoe prints on the packaging to boot. They also open packages that we send.

Good luck with fixing it!

Debbie said...

Susan the beautiful Orrerie you sent me only had a tiny bit of damage. One of the watch cogs with bead attached has fallen off. Its on my to do list. It's going in the Apothecary in Diagon Alley and I Love it, damaged or

Tallulah Belle said...

What a bummer. I don't think you need to be embarrassed about it though.

I am not even sure solder would help simply because the join is so small and the way our PO throws things about we are lucky if anything survives transit.

My Realitty said...

I have had people send me things in cereal boxes. I have had people put styrafoam in openings in shelves so tightly I almost had to break the item to get it out. I would make a funny card telling your customers what to do it the mail bangs up the package and say actually it's really a kit... I sort of think its the receiver"s job to glue it. I always do.
:) C

Peach Blossom Hill said...

I worry about that, too and am sorry it happened. But don't let that discourage you! I am not a glue expert but have you heard of the website, This to That? It has all sorts of materials and which glue to use for what material. Maybe it can shed some light. I think I may need to resort to Crazy Glue for my peach leaves and stems as I don't think Aileen's Tacky will hold them. I've had a few things arrive that came apart and just now have a Lee's Line coffee table to glue the under shelf back in place.


Glenda said...

Thanks for this post!! I live at the end of the world (New Zealand) and to investigate foreign made glues and adhesives is very expensive and usually very disappointing. I can't use the ones with atomic-bomb cautions on them - even with every precaution in place, I get tingling lips and tongue, and if it touches my skin it smarts for a day. The stringy glues drive me mad, but I've had to learn to manage them.
I've made orreries as gifts, and bits have fallen off them. I'm convinced there's no such thing as an all-purpose glue. Also, cleaning the metal watch parts with very hot water and detergent was a valuable lesson.
As for gluing glass/beads/cabs, the best thing I've found lately is glaze, but I don't know its long-term stability.


Debie Lyons said...

Tabs how frustraiting for you. I use E2000 it stinks you have to wait to let it go off but so far fingers crossed.
Debie xxxxxxxx