|Mrs Owl is Waiting for Spring - I don't understand why all owl beads are referred to as 'Mr'. After all, if there are no Mrs Owl's, where do cute, fluffy little baby owls come from? The beautiful copper owl clasp is from Jo at Daisy Chain Extra.|
It's difficult, 'cos when I make a piece I fall in love with, I have to remember that I'm not gonna get to keep it. A part of me is tempted to say 'hey, in a month or so after I've stopped inventory building, I can make myself another one', but in a way I feel that would be unfair to my potential customers who are paying to receive a unique one of a kind piece.
Now the thing is, preparing to open an Etsy store has forced me to face the pricing issue. From reading various blogs I have long since sussed that pricing is an object of aggravation for many people. It is really rather difficult! I read somewhere that we as artisans are often tempted to under value our work. We put our pieces through the pricing machine and come up with a total that just can't possibly be right surely!!
|Mother Earth is Waking Up - a simple beaded chain for my Mum on Mother's Day - I didn't bother pricing this one as it was a gift :)|
The owl bracelet above? That came out at £38. It can't be worth that much surely?? It didn't help when I took it in to work the next day and asked a colleague of mine who also made jewellery how much she thought is was worth. She said she would charge £15-£20, but she wasn't really sure as she doesn't usually make such complex pieces. I found that just a wee bit disheartening. My other colleagues didn't do much to boost my ego - they were too polite to say but it was clear they would not pay so much!
I have been through this before though, the last time I tried calculating prices I was so astounded that I was put off jewellery making all together! For about a year! Why is that? When I browse through Etsy and look at other Artisan made jewellery the price seems quite reasonable. In fact it could even be a little on the low side. When you compare the market, £33 for a necklace like the following is perfectly acceptable:
|Leaves Burn Beneath the Water - Ceramic leaf pendant by Teresa of Bo Hulley Beads|
It also made me think about how long it takes to complete a given design. I love to make really long beaded chains like the one below (sorry for the awful photo - photographing long necklaces is hard and a massive storm cloud came over and stole the light). Making over a hundred little links, joining the together and then making sure they are all secure sure takes a looooong time. This necklace would cost a whopping £52! Yet the actual materials come in at less than a tenner.
|I haven't named this one yet - it is so so long though! You can't really tell from the photo, but this reaches my navel! |
And I am rather tall!
Also, I think that when people buy artisan jewellery they are buying a little bit of the artist as well. They are buying a little bit of your lifestyle - or perhaps rather a bit of the lifestyle they perceive behind the layers of shop fronts and photo props and blurbs. Whether it's gritty urban priestess or flowing-gowned hippy chick, they are buying a little bit of that lifestyle for themselves. When you say an admired piece of jewellery you are wearing is artisan handmade you are drawing a little of the mystery of the artisan world to you. Perhaps that is why my friends and work colleagues shy away from my suggested prices - they know me, and so the mystery is truncated - jewellery made by that nutter in the corner doesn't have quite the same ring to it, does it?