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Ransom

Jeweler's Coffee House

136 posts in this topic

Welcome indeed, Rumba and Eris. I would have greeted you sooner, but my DSL has been down due to bad weather here in Oregon. There is coffee, tea, and hot buttered rum, to take off the chill, and good conversation to while away the time between projects. This is a friendly place to share ideas, web sites, sources, trials and tribulations, triumphs and anything else you feel like getting off your chest (jewel chest? LOL). And yes, pictures would be appreciated...from all of you! :D

What's in the works for 2009?

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I should have pics of some of my stuff later in the week after new years.Where the rum be flowing for sure.

ERIS

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bump!! I have to wonder if I'm a thread killer. I don't know <_<

I found a new book a good source on jewelry history. 7,000 years of jewelry history by Hugh Tait. It is a book that has pics of the British Museum's jewelry collection. Explains hisotry,techniques on the jewelry.Mine is on order from Amazon. I thought I'd share the information. The other one I think i mentioned as well and maybe some of yo ualready own a copy; History of Jewellery 1100-1870 by Joan Evans. I love to make bling. I am currently working on some period correct(I love making historical jewelry) and some fantasy Hollywood stuff.

ERIS

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Ahoy, Eris! No, ye ain't a thread killer. I don't know about everybody else but I have been going nuts the last week or so - making jewelry like there's no tomorrow for a show next weekend; enjoying the energy coming off our book and the latest review; my day job has gone through the roof; and the young man that I mentor wanted to go on a double date! LOTS goin' on! But, I'm going to try and get some pictures and put them up. The book sounds great - let me hear from you about it when you get more into it.

Blackbead

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Ahoy, Eris! No, ye ain't a thread killer. I don't know about everybody else but I have been going nuts the last week or so - making jewelry like there's no tomorrow for a show next weekend; enjoying the energy coming off our book and the latest review; my day job has gone through the roof; and the young man that I mentor wanted to go on a double date! LOTS goin' on! But, I'm going to try and get some pictures and put them up. The book sounds great - let me hear from you about it when you get more into it.

Blackbead

Good luck with your show. I'd love to see some of your work.

ERIS

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ERIS,

Check out me website, www.Blackbead-jewelry.com, and follow the links to the pictures of me handmade swag. I plan on putting up more after this weekend. Thank ye for the good wishes! I'll be reportin' in about me successes next Monday!

Blackbead

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Sometime very, very soon I'll be taking pictures of my works and then I'll share with all.

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Huzzah, Rumba! Let's see 'em!

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I love your work Blackbead. I got to find time to upload me pics.

ERIS

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I love your work Blackbead. I got to find time to upload me pics.

ERIS

I thank ye, most kindly, Eris! And, YES!, ye do need to find the time so's I can return the kind words!!

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Sorry, all. I didn't mean it to look as if I had abandoned the coffee house. It's just been a crazy week. To make amends, I have brought more tea, coffee, and some lovely raspberry scones.

And a big YES, to all of you as to pictures. Please, let's post some samples of our work, so we can all see how marvelous we are! LOL I'm also very interested to see how each of our styles are different, since we're all working with about the same basic supplies, give or take. Also, pictures of your workplace, or of what inspires you. I've always had an "inspiration board" since I was a kid. Just a bulleton board pinned with pictures, clip art, pretty much anything that I find interesting and that would spark an idea. Anyone else got one?

So, post away. Pictures, pictures, pictures. :blink:

I'll start. Here is my inspiration board. It is for jewelry and costume/sewing ideas.

100_2995.jpg

And here a work in progress and the pile of bits and pieces I was working with.

100_2992.jpg

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Okay, here's the finished piece. Vintage buttons, charms, chain and pearls.

100_3035.jpg

Here is another piece I just finished. I had a baggy of mixed chains, some old, some not. The center piece is an old earring of mine. Some of the chains "float", so the swags change as you wear the necklace. I got a lot of compliments on it when I wore it for a road test.

100_3037.jpg

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Ooooh! Aaaaaah! Some very nice work there, m'Lady! You can take a look at some of my stuff by going to me website, www.Blackbead-jewelry.com, and navigatin' to me page of homemade swag. I'm off to Scarlet's Mid-Winter this weekend and hope to have more pictures up before it's all over. Been doin' a lot with glass lately and some not-so-precious stones!

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Very nice, Blackbead. I must ask, do you have better success selling the pieces as a set — necklace, earrings, and bracelet — than you do as individual pieces? Also, I must bring up that ugly word...pricing. How do you determine what price you will ask for a piece/set? I'm never quite sure how to work that out, other than cost of components plus a percentage for my time.

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I'm not Blackbead, I hope I can help. And i love your work!

Here's my advice. You can sell stuff as sets or separate depending on price of actual beads/findings, some more expensive beads like Venetian(are Venetian beads PC let me know) and crystals (I like to use) so the cost of the price of the piece reflects that. If you are buying beads lets say Joannes or Michael's you can price them less. But I also look in stores/websites/ebay to see how much similar stuff costs. You also include labor and mark it up by 75%(I do) I have nothing under $10.00 and nothing over $50.00 because of beads & materials I use. Also consider your clientele and how you market yourself to that clientele.(I am hoping for an etsy store in the future) what helped me figure it out, was a book" Marketing and Selling your jewelery by Viki Lareau." The formula beads X labor + markup. Never sell yourself short, If you think your piece is worth $40.00 then sell it for that. What you buy in stores is total markup. You all want to be competitive with the market. My clientele is sci-fi conventions,ren-faires,belly dancers and soon, my own Pirate line of jewelry. Now to find time for my grand plan..

ERIS

Edited by erisblackrose

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ahoy again,

been away fer a bit but taking the time to review the posts i have missed since. looks like some interesting pieces are here or in the works.

one the subject of metal clay here is one of the books i mentioned but never posted PMC Decade: The First Ten Years of Precious Metal Clay another: Metal Clay: The Complete Guide Innovative Techniques to Inspire Any Artist

Author: Jackie Truty

And the one I purchased at a ceramics convetions 2 years ago: The Art of Metal Clay Author: Sherri Haab

I am looking for resouces for casting metal if anyones knows any books I amy look up.

ye ship's potter,

salty

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incidently do the same proticals when selling jewelry need to occur for items you collect and make yourself?

for example, rocks you collect and then cut and polish

salty

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incidently do the same proticals when selling jewelry need to occur for items you collect and make yourself?

for example, rocks you collect and then cut and polish

salty

I would because you took the time to find them and polish them and make it pretty. why not? It also depends on what rocks you collected. You can always research the price of rocks or gems online for a ballbark what to charge.

If you are making jewelry with clay have you considered with working with "art clay" in jewelry? fire mountain gems sells it. My friend uses it and swears by it. I also dabble in fimo/polymer clay. With these clays when dabbling I highly recommend separate trays and cheap toaster oven from wal-mart to cook the polymer clay. I don't want them fumes in my regular oven I bake in, the brownies would taste funny. It is pretty easy to work with. Nothing will beat actual "clay pottery" These clays are easier to work with for jewelry.

ERIS

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Ransom,

Eris makes some very good points and I agree with her in a large part but here's my slant -

All of this is so much more an art than a science and the real answer is "know your market"! THe problem with that is that your market is constantly fluctuating and changing and things that work one weekend will not work the next! Part of that is the fact that every customer is different and this market is such a personal one. Another part of that is the area you are selling in. Another part is the environment our economy is in. My answer - beflexible and present a flexible edge to the market place. For every one thing you have that is very nice and priced that way, have a half dozen items that are priced between $5 and $15.

I do all kinds of shows and I've been in business long enough now that I've seen some good times and bad. I can recall a few years ago doing a women's Federal forum and having one lady buy EVERY piece I had that was made with African trade beads! Last weekend, at ScarletFest, I only sold ONE set that was over $30. The rest of my sales were earring/bracelet sets that ran from $9 to $12. I did a pirate show a couple of months ago where I sold everything I had that had a skull and crossed bones on it. This last weekend, heavily pirate oriented, I couldn't GIVE away some of the same kind of stuff! Why? Who knows?

I do know that jewelry is VERY personal thing and what a dozen people would never be caught dead in there will be one person that will just HAVE to have it. Don't get impatient - expect a piece to loiter for awhile and then it will jump off the shelf.

Pricing - me personally, I price it by the cost of my components and what I think the market will bear. I've made things out of components that were very inexpensive and yet if it is something that people like they don't mind paying for it. I also don't think of myself as a true artist (my true artistry is in my poetry) and think instead of myself as an "artisan." I applaud people that automaticall triple or even quadruple their component cost; I just can't bring myself to do that unless I think the item is worth it.

I still say have a wide range of prices in your booth! You will be surprised how those dozen $8 sales added to that one $30 sale will make your day!

In the end, the idea that pricing is more of an art than a science holds true over anything else I have ever seen. I think Eris's suggestion that you look at what similar stuff is going for is a good one. I charge what I think someone will pay for it otherwise these things become very expensive souvenirs! But every show is different, every customer is different.

Oh, and sets or not? My fashion coordinator (Captain Jasper) says whether you make a bracelet to go with the necklace is optional but never, never, NEVER make a bracelet or a necklace without matching earrings! I don't know if she's right but 90 percent of the time people buy the set.

Raising the black flag!

Blackbead

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Agreed on all points.

ERIS

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I'm with Blackbead, in that my true artistic side is devoted to my writing and artwork. However, I do think it takes a certain artistic ability to think up and execute designs in jewelry.

The whole idea of what will sell at what event is pretty fascinating...and frustrating! I've had a little experience selling things at Christmas bazars and on consignment in shops (which never really worked out very well), so I understand that something may sell like hotcakes one event, then be dead as a door nail at another.

Interesting that the sets of earrings and either bracelet or necklace sell so well. I thought all of that matchy-matchy trend was long gone. Something to keep in mind, for sure.

All in all, great advise, Blackbead. So, here, let me fill your cup with more coffee...and would you care to spice that up with a bit of rum? :lol:

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Ahhhh, I thank ye, most kindly! On a cold, icy night like this, a jigger of rum in me coffee is most appreciated!

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You asked and you shall see some of my work:

Tiger Eye Set-$48.00 (earrings are 14k gold plated)

TigerEye.jpg

Adventurine and Jade-$38.00

AdventurineandJade.jpg

Ameythist earrings (sterling silver ear posts)- $8.00

Ameythistearrings.jpg

Blue and silver earrings (sterling sliver ear posts)-$10.00

Blueandsilverearrings-1.jpg

These are just a few of what I make, I've got more, but until I can get my own website somehow, they will have to wait to make their Internet appearance.

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Very Beautiful!!

ERIS

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Wow Rumba, I so love that Tiger Eye set..Tis gorgeous and one of my favorite stones!

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