Consider the time it takes for you to hand make one pair of
these earrings settings with the twisted wire and jump ring all
being hand constructed.... I would calculate that it takes about 1/2
hour per pair ( without the wire wrap).
Rather more than that, but perhaps if I were to make them more often
I would acquire sufficient expertise. I’ve come to the conclusion that
the time I spend is less of an issue than the amount of blood I lose
when I prick my finger on the wires or on my tools.
assume that you wish to make $25/ hour before you make your
markup, This would calculate out to $12.50 labor /pair ... now add
your gold weight and the cost of the scrap gold weight of the extra
wire that you cut off into the cost factor. I
I don’t charge for material costs at all, certainly not at this usage
level, though I have to account for it to the IRS at the end of the
year when I total up the books. I would cheerfully go through several
grams of gold to get it right, if necessary, though usually I can hit
it with only a few false starts, and then I just melt down the main
part of the scrap and make more wire.
realize that the unusable gold clippings are recoverable, but
you won't see that money until you have a fair amount of gold to
refine... then you still don't get all your money back for the gold
being refined and if the lot being refined is not huge, they will
assess an extra charge for handling it which can end up being as
much as $250 /lot. This eats up a large amount of the returned gold
value. If we cast these items in a quntity of 60 Pcs, your total
cost would be
I’m not sure I would survive making that many earrings, even if the
mount were already done for me. I’d probably need regular
Would sixty pieces be a minimum order for casting? I might sell
thirty pairs of earrings eventually, I suppose, though I’m somewhat
doubtful of that. My work doesn’t seem to have mass-market appeal.
about $3/ pcs including the gold and labor ... This actually
costs less than the labor it takes to make the setting by hand. Now,
since this cast part is only a small part of your overall finished
piece and the rest of the work is still done by hand, Then it is
still considered a hand made part And you can still charge what you
were originally charging. Now, If you find that the item becomes
popular, you can refine the idea and actually design some wire work
that that looks like the wrapping that can also be cast in place for
very little more , reducing your costs further and allowing you to
make a decent profit at a lower cost.
When someone commissions an earring, or a pair of earrings, I’m not
entirely sure that an hourly labor charge is relevant. Also, I have a
large stake in the nature of the knot as a knot, and would
cheerfully cede the market for cast knots to anyone interested in
occupying that niche.
I do appreciate the suggestions, Daniel, though I don’t believe
casting is the answer for me in this case. Thank you for helping me
out, it’s given me some ideas and helped me clarify my own thinking on