My Preemptive FAQ:
•How long does it take to make a betta?
A betta takes a minimum of two days to make just the fish. I make the body first and let it harden overnight, so that I don't risk squishing any details. Once hardened, I make the fins and shape them to fit the body. I either let them dry and then color them for a flat or slightly waved/curved effect, or I color them immediately and get very nice, flowing finnage before the clay hardens too much to pose properly.
A Betta on a stand takes two-three days. I may make the stand before beginning the fish, or after sculpting the body, but I do not decorate it until the entire fish is done. This is to make sure the betta fits in nicely with it's environment.
A Bowl-Betta takes the time to make the betta, and then three-four days for the bowl. Why? I want to make darn sure that the glue holding the sand, rocks, and decor in place is fully cured before I even think of shipping it.
Figure for a stand betta: 3-5 days crafting process. If requested, I will send pictures showing the progress of the betta-in-the-works, as well as a photo at the end to make sure it's what you want before you pay for them.
For a betta in a bowl, expect a week crafting time.
•When do you mail artwork?
I require payment before shipping. For a drawing, as soon as you confirm the order is what you want and pay for it, I will pop it in the mail! For a sculpture, I either need to walk or drive to the post office. I try to time my mailings when my mom happens to be driving past the post office. When college starts, I have Tuesdays off of school (however, not off of homework!), so I think mailing days will be tuesdays or the first convenient chance I get.
If you really
need or want the fish mailed ASAP once you've confirmed it's what you want and have paid for it, I will run on over to the post office and get it mailed for you. As long as it's not sunday, of course, or really late at night. I don't fancy getting squished by a car or something
I happen to live by a busy road, and I rather enjoy living.
I apologize I do not have a more concrete, consistent answer for you, but due to my life schedule (or sometimes lack thereof), I am pretty much always on the move. Also, do note that I take vacations to ;) My mother happens to be a historical reenactor for the Early American Fur Trade era, and travels to places called Rendezvous. She runs her own trade shop, housed in a 18'x18' white canvas tent(well, more gray now, really... Many years of weather exposure kind of takes a toll on pretty white fabrics). And I have grown up going to these events, and love it. However, there is a catch; no computer. (I'm ok with this... a break from technology is nice every once in a while!) I will try to keep you updated on the times I will be unavailable for contacting via email or PM'ing. And as you may have guessed, betta-fish making will be put on hold during these times(usually just weekends, sometimes 4-5 days).
•What Payment do you accept?
Aaah, good question, can't believe I forgot to mention it sooner. I currently accept strictly paypal.
•My fish arrived broken - what will you do about it?
First, email me about the damages received. Photos would be preferable. Some fixes are very easily fixed with a touch of superglue, often seamless. If it is a major break or you are not comfortable fixing it yourself, I will issue a full refund of the fish's cost not including shipping and DC (delivery conformation). On top of the refund, you can ship the fish back and I will repair or replace it for you if you choose. I will cover the shipping to return
the sculpture to you.
If it is a minor break, a partial refund of up to half the sculpture's original cost, not including shipping, will be issued.
•What is a 'minor' break, and what is a 'major' break?
A minor break is, for example, the very tip of a fin snapping off, or the ventral fins breaking in half. Both are easily fixed.
A major break is, for example, the anal, claudal, or dorsal fin snapping in half, a third, more than that, or completely separating from the betta's body. This may or may not be easily fixed.
Each fish is unique, so each case of (hopefully few or none!) breakage needs to be addressed individually. Please provide me with clear photos of the betta not yet removed from the box(obviously the covering foam will have been removed, though). I will do my best to quickly and effectively work through this unfortunate incident with you; please contact me via email as soon as you are able to, and we can make arrangements to fix the matter.
Please Note: Damage must be reported within two weeks of delivery to be eligable for refunds. Repairs are always an option, however you will cover all shipping charges to send the broken/repaired betta sculpture back and forth, if damage is reported after the two week period has passed.
•I really love your art, but I cannot afford it!
I understand not everyone has 25 bucks or more to drop on a little sculpture, or some of my drawings. I am open to trading and haggling prices; please PM me and we can work something out for you. Believe it or not, I'm not in this just to make money: I love
making these bettas, and I love given them away. Unfortunately, giving all of my artwork away won't cover the cost of replacing the materials used to make them, nor will it feed my tummy or help pay for college.
•Why is your stuff so expensive?
There are two main reasons for this: Time, and materials. I've already addressed the time it takes to create the different art pieces, and I base my time spent on a wage of 8-10 dollars an hour. Then, I add on the cost of materials used. Some things, like the pretty tumbled rocks and silk flowers, I already happened to have an abundance of, so for right now at least, their cost doesn't figure in(for the most part).
•What do you make them out of, again?
Drawings are done in Copic markers, and copic multiliner ink pens. They begin as light pencil sketches.
Sculptures are made out of Model Magic, a product by Crayola. They are painted and colored with a variety of materials; copic markers are the primarily used medium to color them, via either working the ink directly into the clay or painting right ontop of it. I have a limited supply of acrylic paints, namely Lumiere metallic ones; very pretty, very rich colors. Bentley was painted using the blue metallic one I have. Some bettas get a wash of metallic paint to give them the nice sheen real bettas have. I have also used nailpolish. As for other materials, they can include but are not limited to; bits of rabbit fur, pretty rocks and fake gems, silk plants, sand, ribbon, fabric, feathers, and of course, superglue, Elmer's glue(for the sand), and toothpicks.
I have also made bettafish that dangle from a string, so you can hang them up and watch them wiggle and move. However, I am not comfortable with how easily broken they are, so I do not recommend them.
•Can I fill my betta-sculpture-bowl with water?
Well, you can,
there's nothing stopping you, but unless you want your fish to melt I highly discourage this. While a live betta rather likes and needs his or her warm waters, my fake betta fish are not water proof. I repeat: not
•I have a question that isn't answered here...
Well, either leave a post on this thread if appropriate, or send me a PM! We'll work to get it answered right away =)
~Thank you all for your patience, I think I am done posting! I invite you to give feedback on what you think of the prices, policies, and all the jazz written up above. Some tips and advice for a newbie seller would be greatly appreciated and welcome.