... I find that when I finally find the process to refine the
little details, the profit on the piece has shrunk considerably!
I'd be careful not to be too critical of the value of this habit.
Could be that you might look carefully into the past and see if some
of that research isn't now a part of your regular vocabulary of
techniques, in which case it's paying off profitably in the long run.
I do a lot of that too, especially with all this "estate" jewelry I
work on. I thought I wasted a lot of time puttering with resins,
enamels, polymer clay, etc, but I discovered how to do a number of
fix chipped watch dials
replace missing pieces in micromosaics
repair chipped or missing jet, tortoise shell, bakelite, etc.
make colored foil backs (yep, need em, can't find em)
sounds like junk, but did you know, a bakelite piece sells for
hundreds of dollars?
sometimes little flaws make the difference in price to the tune of
hundreds of dollars. You have to disclose such repairs, of course,
but even then, it can make or break a sale if there's a crack or chip
somewhere that's distracting.
I've become a great counterfeiter, replacing the patina on old
silver coins, removing lead solder from gold ones, stabilizing cameos
that are breaking down, etc. But it used to drive me crazy when I'd
look at the clock and see how much time I'd spent trying to plug some
hole in some ancient doo-dad. Couldn't bring myself to charge nearly
enough for the time, but I think I'm getting a better return on the
stuff now that I've expanded my vocabulary of little tricks.
David L. Huffman