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Need Advice on nightmare job!


#1

HELP!!! I need professional councelling!! I have a customer
who loves me to death and loves my work, but has a bad habit of
collecting faceted stones when she goes on cruises and to gem
shows. You all know which ones I’m talking about, too (not the
standard 7X5 ovals) these are the ones you gem dealers crack a
bottle of champagne when you finally unload.

ANYWAY… She had me design a pair of earrings, matching
enhancer, matching ring and matching bracelet, complete with
gold hinge assemblies and handmade clasp, using her stones (about
40 total). She wanted the pieces mostly sterling with gold
accents and all the stones absolutely HAD to be in sterling
bezels (some of these are 10mm deep!!). After 3 hours of
sketching I came up with some designs I could live with (but
wouldn’t be caught dead wearing). I need feedback on two things:

  1. Does anyone have any advice on the best way to make odd
    shaped sterling bezels for really deep stones? There is no bezel
    wire on the market that will fit some of these.

  2. Any words of wisdom on how to bid really complex jobs?
    Should I add extra for mental anguish?

  3. Does anybody want to make these for me? Do you have an
    apprentice you

want to give a real learning experience to? Mine would quit if
I gave her this, plus it would probably take her 4 hours to make
one bezel.

              Thanks for listening & wish me luck!

                 Wendy Newman   designer/ goldsmith
                  e-mail  @Wendy_Newman

–RAA08092.854933151/upsmot01.msn.com–


#2

In a message dated 97-02-03 14:32:24 EST, you write:

<< 1) Does anyone have any advice on the best way to make odd
shaped sterling bezels for really deep stones? There is no bezel
wire on the market that will fit some of these. >>

Just a thought . . . you could try using sheet Fine silver in a
(say) 28 G. and cut it to fit the stone (30 G would work too! )
You wouldn’t need to use a saw to cut, scissor would work fine.

I


#3

Wendy-- you asked:

  1. Any words of wisdom on how to bid really complex jobs?
    Should I add extra for mental anguish?

We realised that we would be either nuts or out of business if
we didn’t take a more hard-ass approach about this – add on 40%
for tsuris.(Yiddish for that particular brand of trouble: mental
anguish, fury, broken stones and wasted materials, hating a good
client, etc.) If you don’t, you will end up paying it yourself.
We found out, finally, that these jobs are not worth doing unless
we get paid for all the parameters. If the client decides not to
do it, well, OK. If you can’t stand to back out because you’ve
already got time in on design and consult, you could have a
major self-inflicted problem. this is a nasty response but it
reflects years of survival in custom design. eve wallace
evew@netone.com


#4

Hi Wendy

Does ggraphix stand for golden graphics? That’s what I used to
call my old business. :slight_smile: Anyway, here’s a start of an answer for
your quandry.

1) Does anyone have any advice on the best way to make odd
shaped sterling bezels for really deep stones?  There is no
bezel wire on the market that will fit some of these.

I’ll need to know the actual shapes of the stones, I use
different techniques for ovals and cushions… etc… However,
I make custom bezels almost daily, usually for largish genuine
colored stones (such are the dictates of jyotish jewelry), and
almost always non standard cuts… I just want to be specific in
my advice. I seem to only do nightmare jobs anymore…

2) Any words of wisdom on how to bid really complex jobs? 
Should I add extra for mental anguish?

Yes, DON’T UNDERBID!!! :slight_smile: write down the time you estimate for
each and every process you’re going to use in the mfg. process,
then triple and quadruple check it to make sure you’re left
nothing out. Then, if you can, DOUBLE it! Large jobs almost
ALWAYS take longer than estimated.

(I just bid out a job to make a braided 18 kt necklace set with
143 diamonds, and hanging as part of 15 braided strands of lapis
(tiny) beads. Three weeks later I am just finishing it. I
couldn’t visualize at the beginning that I would have to design
an entirely new type of clasping system to attach the braided
bead strands to the centerpiece. The final product is
breath-taking, but that doesn’t do me any good when I worked a
week for free…)

3) Does anybody want to make these for me?  

I could do it, depending on the price you quote her. Due
date???

         Jeffrey Everett

Handmade 18K, 22K, and platinum gemstone fine jewelry.
Diamond setting, rubber/metal molds, casting, lapidary
Die and mold engraving, plastic patterns for casting.
Cad jewelry design, cad/cam milling scroll filigree…
P O Box 2057 Fairfield IA 52556 515-469-6250


#5

Send me your design. Lloyd


#6

Dear Wendy,

I will contact someone who I know who might be interested in
making the bezels for you. In addition, if you ever have any
difficulty with designing some unique pieces, let me know. That
is what I do best. Also, just a tip…hopefully your customer
doesn’t have access to this forum…as you might suffer more
mental anguish from loosing her. I’ll be in touch. Bye


#7

Hi Eve,

You wrote: this is a nasty response but it reflects years of
survival in custom design.

I really appreciate your insight! With the best of intentions,
my folks raised me to believe nice guys finish first. I’ve been
burned by this more than once, and a little harsh reality is
helpful. It’s exactly the type of advice and for
which I subscribed to Orchid! And, hey… what else is the
client going to do with all those stones??? :wink:

Thanks for helping me keep my head screwed on straight,

Dave Sebaste


#8

You wrote: this is a nasty response but it reflects years of
survival in custom design.

… With the best of intentions,
my folks raised me to believe nice guys finish first. I’ve been
burned by this more than once, and a little harsh reality is
helpful.

David - i still agree with your parents. even after years of
doing custom design. what one needs to do is discriminate
between (A) doing what you do, with pleasure, with integrity,
with warmth for your clients, and (B)feeling that, no matter what
it takes, you must please the implacable client. Placing the
client in the God, Judge, or all powerful Parent position, and
getting tied up in knots demonstrating your inventiveness,
creativity, pleasantness, etc. is ultimately detructive to all
concerned. be realistic, and truthful, and if you find that the
zoinger fabuloso design costs way too much, have a back up,
“just for them” that’s in their financial and your time budget.
nice guys, and people too, don’t have to lose out. just take
care of what you need to take care of. a lot of the damage we
all sustain as craftspeople is self inflicted. but that’s another
thread:))) eve wallace evew@netone.com


#9

Hi Wendy

Does ggraphix stand for golden graphics? That’s what I used to
call my old business. :slight_smile: Anyway, here’s a start of an answer for
your quandry.

1) Does anyone have any advice on the best way to make odd
shaped sterling bezels for really deep stones?  There is no
bezel wire on the market that will fit some of these.

I’ll need to know the actual shapes of the stones, I use
different techniques for ovals and cushions… etc… However, I
make custom bezels almost daily, usually for largish genuine
colored stones (such are the dictates of jyotish jewelry), and
almost always non standard cuts… I just want to be specific in
my advice. I seem to only do nightmare jobs anymore…

The “worst” ones are odd shaped amatrine trapezoids that are
really deep. There is also an irregular hexagon rose quartz.
There are two really beautiful apatite (one rounded rectangle,
one I think oval about 7 X 15 mm at least) that I’m really
nervous about. About 60% of the stones are oval.

2) Any words of wisdom on how to bid really complex jobs? 
Should I add extra for mental anguish?

Yes, DON’T UNDERBID!!! :slight_smile: write down the time you estimate for
each and every process you’re going to use in the mfg. process,
then triple and quadruple check it to make sure you’re left
nothing out. Then, if you can, DOUBLE it! Large jobs almost
ALWAYS take longer than estimated.

(I just bid out a job to make a braided 18 kt necklace set with
143 diamonds, and hanging as part of 15 braided strands of lapis
(tiny) beads. Three weeks later I am just finishing it. I couldn’t
visualize at the beginning that I would have to design an entirely
new type of clasping system to attach the braided bead strands to
the centerpiece. The final product is breath-taking, but that
doesn’t do me any good when I worked a week for free…)

Thanks for your feedback!! I sure don’t want to underbid this!
Last year I made a bracelet/ enhancer set in 14k gold for a
customer with unusually shaped very large colored stones. I had
to hand make the bezel wire by soldering two pieces (28 ga) of
different heights together. It took me an average of an hour a
stone to make the bezels, but since there weren’t too many and
the job was in gold, I made out pretty well.

3) Does anybody want to make these for me?  

I could do it, depending on the price you quote her. Due date???
I don’t think she’s in any hurry. If you want I’ll mail you a
copy of the designs and the bid, if she accepts.


#10

From: Wendy Newman ggraphix@msn.com

I could do it,  depending on the price you quote her. Due
date??? I don't think she's in any hurry.  If you want I'll mail
you a copy of the designs and the bid, if she accepts.

Yes, please mail me a copy of the design. The address is at the
bottom of the sig.

         Jeffrey Everett

Handmade 18K, 22K, and platinum gemstone fine jewelry.
Diamond setting, rubber/metal molds, casting, lapidary
Die and mold engraving, plastic patterns for casting.
Cad jewelry design, cad/cam milling, scroll, filigree, etc…
P O Box 2057 Fairfield IA 52556 515-469-6250


#11

HELP!!! I need professional councelling!!

If you are anything like me, you may. I set my self up on these
jobs on such a regular basis that it is truly frightening.

  1. Does anyone have any advice on the best way to make odd
    shaped sterling bezels for really deep stones? There is no bezel
    wire on the market that will fit some of these.

Maybe you want to invest a hundred dollars or so in a bezel
block and punch. I use mine on a pretty regular basis.

  1. Any words of wisdom on how to bid really complex jobs?
    Should I add extra for mental anguish?

If you don’t charge for anguish, remember that your competition
will. He doesn’t want to do that job either.

  1. Does anybody want to make these for me? Do you have an
    apprentice you

want to give a real learning experience to? Mine would quit if I
gave her this, plus it would probably take her 4 hours to make
one bezel.

Sorry. My apprentice is here to help me make money. I’m not
going to train him for free. Nor am I going to pay him to learn.

Figure out what this job is going to cost you in time or labor
and charge accordingly. For years I have given estimates based on
my fears of the competition. I thought that if I was unwilling to
do these jobs cheap that I would lose these customers. Hey!
Customers like these, I don’t need. They got their bargain when
they bought these lumpy stones cheap. All these jobs do, is set
me up for failure. I end up rushing because I have to go back to
making a living, break or burn something, do the job 2 or three
extra times. How much more can go wrong?

****************************************************** Bruce D.
Holmgrain E-mail: Manmountaindense@Knight-Hub.com WWW:
http://www.knight-hub.com/manmtndense/bhh3.htm Snail Mail: POB 7972,
McLean, VA 22106


#12

I usually take a piece of sheet or flat wire 1mm or so thick and
the height of the stone and make the bezel from that. Cut a seat
into it with a bur- usually a cylinder bur- to fit the stone
leaving a wall thickness of 1/2mm or so. But then, I make rings
out of flat bezel wire, but thats another story…

Rick Hamilton
Richard D. Hamilton, Jr
http://www.rick-hamilton.com
@rick_hamilton


#13

Bruce Homgrain wrote:

For years I have given estimates based on

my fears of the competition. I thought that if I was unwilling
to do these jobs cheap that I would lose these customers. Hey!
Customers like these, I don't need. They got their bargain when
they bought these lumpy stones cheap. All these jobs do, is set
me up for failure. I end up rushing because I have to go back to
making a living, break or burn something, do the job 2 or three
extra times. How much more can go wrong?

I couldn’t agree more!

Kenneth Gastineau
@Kenneth_Gastineau1