Friday, January 27, 2012

Wire Work Questions-Smooth Ear wires?

I am re-posting this information because the question came up again.  And if you make handcrafted earrings, smooth wire ends are so important.
I use a cup bur with my Dremel. All I do is put the end of the ear wire into the cup and the bur files the wire to a nice smooth end. If you do not have a Dremel or Flex shaft, there is a nifty little hand tool that also works pictured below. A fine file will work, but is time consuming.

I make my ear wires with 20 gauge wire. That is the perfect size for most piercings. Choose a bur cup that is slightly larger than your wire. The best bur cup for that gauge wire is a 1.0mm. It is just large enough to get the wire into it nicely. If you use 18 gauge wires for your earrings, then use a 1.3mm bur cup. Note: make sure you get the ID measurement (inside dia) and not the OD (outside dia) or your cup will be too small.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What to charge for Artisan Jewelry?

As everyone knows the price of silver has raised a lot. Checking this morning a Troy ounce of silver is about $30.55. A Troy ounce has 31.10 grams, but finished metals cost more.  I usually use fine silver which is at about $37.00 currently.  So I pulled out my Pocket-Tech gram scale and weighed the silver I was using in my bracelet on my work table.  My scale lets me chose between grams or ounces.

Because I cannot get the long wire on the scale, I use a Styrofoam cup to hold the silver and subtract the weight of the cup from the total.  The cup is .06 gram.  In the pictures below I have my scale set on ounces.  The four love knot beads and the clasp are a little over  1/2 ounce-$18.50.  The last picture shows the total silver that I used is one and a quarter ounce.  That would be about $46.00.

So the next question is; how do you price the finished piece?
cost of silver $46.00
cost of crystals
labor/time - creating the piece,oxidizing and polishing the piece, taking pictures and writing the discription of the piece. 
Etsy and PayPal fee's.

I will continue this post after I finish the bracelet.