Saturday 9 September 2017

A Microwave Mishap, Hollow Lentil Beads and Charging for Actual Time Spent, I wish. . .

Hollow, Image Transfer beads, using my digital images. . . 1'' 25mm.

Having managed to lay myself low with relatively minor but still unpleasant food poisoning, due to not heating up leftover moussaka sufficiently in the microwave, duh. . . I have had a day or two of sitting around, feeling delicate, and recovering my equilibrium, which is a poncy way of saying 'getting my guts back to normal'. I'm not normally that dozy, not quite anyway. Dunno what I was thinking, but I wasn't concentrating on the matter in hand that's for sure. Still, lesson learned and no lasting harm done.

Hollow polka dot image trans beads, first experiment.

I'm feeling hugely better now and have been in the workshop/studio messing around with stuff. A valued regular customer asked me to make some more hollow, lentil shape, textured beads like some I had sold previously, so I made a set or two. While I was making hollow forms I decided to try the lentil shape with image transfers instead of textures. I liked how it looked so I tried some experiments to define the best way of getting the result I wanted.

Not too bad. Not so sure about the varnished look but I shall live with it for a while and see.

I got quite close to the look I was after but the process was pretty time consuming. I will do a step by step with pics if anyone is interested.

The reverse side of the ones in the top pic

Which leads me to wonder about the whole subject of charging enough for the time things take to make. Especially with supplies like beads, which people mainly buy in order to use in items which they then sell on. Whatever the theories about pricing, I don't think it is realistic for me to charge twice the unit cost (although not a lot when using polymer clay) plus a generally acceptable hourly rate etc etc if I actually want to sell what I'm making.
Finished items, like jewellery, maybe, as perceived value is connected to price and many sellers say that raising prices helped sales, but supplies are a bit different I think. Maybe?

I made some smaller ones 3/4" 18mm. maybe a more usable size.

I tend to look at what other people have sold similar things for, and price bearing that in mind. I suppose, pragmatically, if something is not economically viable to make, it's probably not a good idea to continue making it.
But then again, there is a lot more than economics involved in what I do, and a lot of my time is spent on all sorts of unproductive things anyway, so the question 'Is it worth it?' becomes a more complex and subjective one ;-)

Any thoughts?

Jon x

ps - I'm still not sure how much to try to sell these for. . .

More groovy small ones

And another