If you don’t really want to part with the 40 hour piece, put a huge price
on it. If it sells anyway you will feel greatly encouraged and if it
doesn’t, you still get to keep it. As far as lowering your hourly rate,
don’t do it. Use a fair rate for someone with your level of skills. If
the piece prices out too high you may have to make a decision whether or
not you want to sell it. If so, you can lower the total price to
something the market will tolerate. If you didn’t pay wholesale for all
your materials you will have to factor that into the formulas that have
been suggested and, alas, buying is yet another necessary skill.
Perceived value (on silver or gold) can be hard to judge and is often
affected by the show you are doing. Not all juried shows cater to the
same clientele, so you have to find the shows or galleries that already
have a following that supports your kind of work (another big part of
marketing!!). Look around on the net at other handmade jewellry sites and
their prices. Compare these to your design skills and craftsmanship and
see how your prices compare. Lastly, try to price your work so that you
can give a wholesale discount of 40-50% in case a gallery buyer wants a
number of pieces, but don’t discount at a retail show for just a few
I was once told that I needed to master 4 things to be successful in
this field… design, technique, sales and marketing.
If you want to be a one of a kind independent jeweller, I would add buying
and business fundamentals to your list. Good luck on your first show!!
ICQ # 9472643
Bacliff, Texas Gulf Coast USA