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Is there a market for intarsia?

Hi, I mostly do intarsia, and so far mostly as a hobby. I have
learned to make some decent settings, and have sold a few (thanks
Mom!)

I LOVE to do this. I could do it all day, and dont think I would
miss my day job. I guess what I am wondering is whether or not there
really is a market for the intarsia, mounted or unmounted. Perhaps
you full time jewelers (Goldsmiths? Jewelry Designers? :slight_smile: would have
a better idea of whether there is really a market for these. I see
them sometimes at shows, and ask how they are selling. Ususally the
response is not too enthusiastic. The ones I see are pretty much all
the same, same 2 or three shapes, same 4 or 5 materials, same 4 or 5
patterns (you know - trees, a sun made out of ringed rhodochrosite,
sailboats). You can buy these for incredibly cheap (for example

http://www.rhodoco.com/rhodoco.com/Scenic.html )

so they must be made by machine or in overseas sweat shops. Anyway my
stuff is a bit different. I use some exotic materials (high quality
opal, etched meteorite, ruby, amber with bugs, etc), and the pieces
are no two the same.

I’m just wondering whether the market would bear selling these at a
price that would make it worthwhile to “make a go of it”? I would
need to sell them for a couple of hundred dollars a piece minimum,
perhaps double that for set pieces. Any opinions out there…? Can I
compete with the $25 intarsias?

Todd Welti
Research Acoustician
Harman International Industries
Northridge, CA
(818) 895 8124
@Todd_Welti
TWelti@harman.com