I have encountered, but not solved the problem. I had a recent
experience that gives me a different slant on the issue.
Over the summer, I started working with a new gallery in a prominent
location. The manager and employees really seem to love the stuff, but
it could be selling a little better. C’est la vie… Anyway, one of
the employees was flipping through my portfilio and focused on a
southwestern style overlay bearpaw pendant with a small turquoise cab.
I still had the piece and had not included it in the inventory for the
I felt the piece was really not up to standard. I think I missed the
solder flow and overheated the piece, causing the 24 ga. backplate to
warp a little. I had also soldered the bezel in before sanding the
overlay part flat, causing a less-than-smooth reflection on the silver.
I chocked it up to a learning experience.
Anyway, the guy really wanted it, and when I dropped it by the gallery,
a girl there wanted it, too! More than what was for sale in the case!
She wishes she had seen it first, and was amazed it wasn’t included in
the initial inventory. I explained why, and she felt that those "flaws"
gave it the character of being handmade.
Well, that threw me into a headspin, because like you, I strive to do
everything as perfectly as possible. I’ve seen work done intentionally
with a “crude” look, and I’ve seen crappy work, but there seems to be a
third type… visibly wrought?
I’d be inclined to do what you’re doing… being as careful as possible,
but don’t sweat the minor flaws if it adds to the “character”. I would
also be interested in hearing from other viewpoints!