Your last paragraph prompted me to now come in to this thread, where
you ask what is the standard hourly rate? etc.
There is NO standard rate for a self employed jeweller. You are
worth what you can make.
You are confusing what a hired jeweller earns per hour working for
someone or a big co. There is a broad hourly rate, that depends on
where you are working, ie 5th Ave NY or some small town out in the
farming mid west, and how good you are.
But to return to being self employed, you need to start with a
pencil and the back of an envelope and work out what you need as an
income per week just sitting at home with your feet on the table, and
how many hours a week you are able to devote to your chosen work.
Devide one into the other will give you the absolute basic hourly
rate you need to keep you from getting an employed job doing what
ever your skill set points you toward.
Then, you have to decide wether your going to design, make and
market your own products, or undertake making to contract for say a
big store, or make products to sell wholesale through galleries.
Which ever route you go down will dictate what equipment and
materials you need to deliver to your customers.
You then add to this all the over heads per week plus the material
costs per item with a percentage to cover wear and tear on all the
equipment and any interest on money you borrowed to purchase capital
If you limit yourself to making things that people wear on the body,
as opposed to smithing ie hollow ware, or cutlery or buckles or
buttons, then your seriously constrained what products you can make.
Then theres the competition, those who are well established, with
many yrs of experience and lots of capital behind them.
No easy task, you have set yourself.
You will need 3 skill sets, design, making and marketing. How good
you are at these 3 will determine wether you succeed or fail.
Its not all gloom and doom, if its been done before then it can be
I wish you well, Ted in Dorset UK.