I came across an interesting article from another jewelry artist blogger about pricing handmade jewelry - Nancy Troske Jewelry. The article made me want to comment further on the subject of the cost and value of handcrafted jewelry.
When you buy a piece of handcrafted jewelry, you're buying an artistic creation. Artistic creations cannot be replicated in mass. All the pieces going into the individual design requires evaluation, manipulation and translated into a wearable artwork. Any jewelry artist worth their muster clocks in a considerable amount of time crafting the individual pieces. It's a creative process. Replication isn't creative. And, creativity is not a thing that can be turned on/off at will. There are many days that go by where my creativity to come up with new design ideas are blocked. And, creative people will often come up against creative blocks. We look for inspiration in our surroundings hoping for a spark. I will do rough sketches of whatever comes into my mind to help generate creative sparks. It's a process.
Handcrafted products are an investment in exchange for a unique commodity. And, if I can go so far to say, an investment in history. Handcrafting is as old as time. It's easier and cheaper to make jewelry casted from a mold. However, you're losing the uniqueness handcrafted products offer. The discerning buyer seeks the special quality and originality handcrafted jewelry gives to the wearer.
It's a compliment to me when people ask if I make all of the designs seen on my website. The question, I think, is valuable. And, I say this because, I work very hard at creating high quality jewelry designs. I work hard at coming up with fresh ideas to keep my work alive. I don't work 9 to 5 on my business. It's a 24/7 work in progress. I live, eat and sleep working on coming up with new design ideas and finding new and improved ways of marketing my business. It's not taken lightly in the least. And, it's far from easy. Some might think, "I can do that". "It's easy to make handcrafted jewelry". In fact, it isn't unless you're either copying what other jewelry artists do or your buying the jewelry and passing it off as your own. An artist works to creating what reflects them as individuals and individual experiences. And, that is what makes the art so interesting and unique.
If you come across handcrafted jewelry designs that are priced too low, it's good to think, is it worth the price? Is the item well crafted? Are the products unique? Did the person selling the low priced items create them by hand. The prices of the jewelry designs I make reflect the time, effort and resources going into each and every design. I have no desire to pump out a piece in record speed. I prefer to work slowly and deliberately creating products of high value and hopefully become a life long treasure. With that being said, a well handcrafted piece of artisan created jewelry is definitely worth the price over anything you find made in mass.