One of these wonderful Nepalese metalsmiths shows up at my flea
market booth from time to time… Generally, he stays and smokes a
cigarette or two and offers me one while he’s at it.
Unfortunately (for him, but not for us), he doesn’t have much of a
concept on new york mark-up prices… A lot of times he says to me,
‘you can sell this for x amount of dollars and make money!’ -
generally, he quotes me a markup price that’s about half of what I
will usually turn around and sell it for. Then again, that’s just
me, because I am a charming and aggressive salesgirl. Getting to
know this man, and listening to his stories about Nepal, gives me
lots of good tidbits to pass on to customers, who then walk away
happy, feel they have something unique, and don’t feel bad at all
about paying my markup price.
His shop does this beautiful filigree-style work, and usually he
manages to sucker me into buying at least a few of his pieces every
time he shows up (at least twice a week when he’s here). Every once
in a while, I take a few of his pendant pieces, deconstruct and
reconstruct them a bit (removing bails and then turning them into
earrings, five-pendant chokers and such). He periodically threatens
to steal my ideas, although as of yet, he has been kind enough not
to, or at least kind enough not to try and sell those to me.
The one thing that annoys me that I see in a lot of these sellers’
pieces are dyed beryls - an attempt to make them into shades akin to
topaz, peridot, or deep purple amethysts - this annoys me almost as
much as foiled stones. He does this too, periodically, although
sometimes they are so bright and unnatural it actually DOES make for
an interesting piece, as long as people don’t mind buying a dyed
stone. I made a necklace with one of these pieces, using blue onyx
beads, and it actually looks really good.
Regardless, I have an awful lot of vendors - indian, nepalese,
tibetan, african, morroccan, etc. come by my booth wanting me to buy
jewelry, and I have to say that the stuff I see from Nepal,
especially this man’s, is so, so pretty - definitely some of my
favorite - the filigree-type work is usually nearly perfectly
symmetrical. I really enjoy seeing the ‘peoples’ metalwork from
around the world, too. It makes me really want to go to nepal,
He comes to new york three or four months out of the year, and then
returns to Nepal. Now that I know they need workshop items, perhaps
I will send him back with a few tools for his shop.
I have a few pictures online of some of his pieces, if anyone’s
interested in seeing them.