Was: Torch firing on copper
"Yeah, but it's just copper, who'll buy it?"
I must confess that I’m a little prejudiced against copper too. I’m
not sure why - perhaps it’s its perceived “cheapness” that bothers
me. I love the colour but would sooner use red gold to achieve that
When I first started making jewellery, my husband suggested that I
buy some copper sheet and wire and practice with it. I’m afraid I’m
an all or nothing type of person so I don’t really do practicing. I
didn’t see the point. I figured that I could learn in silver which
is what I chose to work in. If anything went wrong - which of course
it did - I would just melt it down and re-use it.
The other thing, apart from its lower value is the fact that it
doesn’t stay its lovely red colour. Of course sterling tarnishes too
but not to the same extent as copper.
However, although I love using sterling silver, I have decided to
move onto gold as soon as I can afford to do so because fabricating
jewellery in sterling just doesn’t pay an acceptable hourly rate for
the labour involved. No matter how good a piece is when it’s
finished, the value of the piece will only give a wage that’s below
the minimum wage - unless you’re a really famous designer I suppose.
To this end, I’m now incorporating gold into my sterling pieces to
add value to my work. Hopefully this way I can slowly move towards
the gold jewellery market and raise my prices (which is something
many people have advised me to do).