I was taken aback by the charges that can get for your work. I
as an RN went to college and have >worked for 20 years and I
don't make half of what you all do. But >then I am only
trusted with peoples lives not their jewells.
I am going to say this although I’ll probably kick myself for
putting my foot in my mouth later.
I wake up every morning wondering who might be willing to pay me
that day. No benefits, no job security, no health insurance, no
job market (you have to make your own and be a good business
person as well as a metalsmith) you have a public that doesn’t
need you, the medical profession is always going to be in demand.
I have to own and purchase many thousands of dollars in
equipment and maintain it and a studio space with no guarenteed
return on my investment. I miss weddings, family gatherings and
have no summer vacation since that is show season. Unless you
have a P.H.D I would guess I have more years of college
education than most nurses. I constantly am upgrading my skills
to stay current.
The charges we CAN get for our jewelry…can being the operative
word. I can get it after I create the design, learn the skills to
produce it, puchase the materials on speculation, develop a large
and hard to insure stock of work that I then lug from show to show
during thunderstorms, blistering heat and high winds…searching
for the clients that MAY decide to pay me. Oh, don’t forget the
fact that I know several metalsmiths who have been followed from
shows and robbed of their jewelry and cash. I have gone through
galleries as well, robbery and speculation is possible there as
I realize you probably didn’t mean your post to sound like it
did, but to think that this is an easy, reliable or financially
secure way to make a living is fooling yourself.
I have friends that made money being a jeweler for years, been
written up in books, had their work published. Despite critical
success and a high level of skill they would starve if they have
to survive on what they are making strictly by selling their work
now, even though many of us keep hours that would be illegal at
a place that pays an hourly wage.
No offense, but I have several friends and neighbors that are
nurses and even with the current health care situation none of
them are having a hard time finding work. It may not be their
ideal job…but it is a steady job. Think harder if you think
this will be any kind of financial boon versus your current
And yet many of us choose this as a way to live our lives…I
wouldn’t discourage anyone from exploring their creative side,
only from looking at it through rose colored glasses.