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Minimal Power Use in the Studio


#1

Was: Hagglers at your jewelry booth

i work with minimal or no power equipment, for no other reason
than choice. i do not price to be "fair". i price based on my
perceived value of the completed item. 

I agree with Joseph about using minimal power - sure there are
electric rolling mills and they cut time but they consume a good bit
of power if used for large blocks of time- I had a durston for two
weeks and sent it back as I watched the batteries on my power system
drain in less than 5 minutes- I have found it a challenge to find
good hand powered tools, but they exist- I wouldn’t trade my manual
grinding and polishing wheels for any electric bench grinder ( though
I have one and use it on certain types of work that require two hands
to effectvely do whatever it is I can’t do without assistance)…I am
confident in my skills that I don’t need electric equipment for most
operations- some absolutely need electrical assist like vaccum pumps-
sure I could do it without electricity but the time it takes to
manually pump out the air in the bell jar doesn’t return a true
savings…so one has to assess which equipment is worth the cost of
power, and which are more cost effective in manual types- the bottom
line is will it help me continue to make jewelry in a power outage-
if the answer is yes, then I have that equipment and opt for it
perhaps more than the electricl version…but if you have it for a
backup and have not refined your skill with whatever “it” is then you
aren’t really saving anything…

When I first began making jewelry the majority of my tools and
equipment were non-electrical, after loosing everything in hurricane
Katrina I had to replace every piece of equipment and tool I owned
and collected over a lifetime, and many Orchideans were generous in
their contributions in my crisis, but in terms of economics and
replacement of an entire studio, manual tools are the clear choice
when available. As a society we have become far too dependant on
all-electric homes, and that transfers to many attitudes regarding
our studios too…After living off the grid for over 20 years, and
then after going through Katrina and having an entire city without
acess to electricity for months (it is still not turned on over two
years later in some areas of town!), I know what it is to not be
able to use all the electrical equipment you may have on hand…so
when my students ask what should I buy, I ask them how important its
it to be able to make a living at making jewellery full time and
on-demand…then tell them where to buy manual equipment…