Sunday, February 12, 2012

Things that make me go...hmmmm?

It’s an interesting conundrum (for me) as to why lampwork beads sell but ceramic beads seem to sit around just a little longer on the Internet shelf. Not that they sit around for long but there does seem to be a difference.

As far as ease of work it’s a toss up. You can use presses/moulds to make your lampwork and the same for ceramics. So if you are working at making production pieces either (IMHO) takes an equal amount of time. If you are hand making either of them, stamping letters on ceramics, hand forming the beads, and making holes –or – forming the lampwork piece, making sure those edge holes look good, surface design work, and so on, they also seem to both take a fairly equal amount of time.

In fact, the clay might actually take a little more time if you are hand painting them – clay doesn’t generally come pre-colored, as glass does. If you aren’t using the color of the clay as a design element then under glazing takes many coats topped with a clear glaze coat. Actually, several if they aren’t dipped. That means clay beads that are fanciful take longer to make than lampwork, yet seem to command less in pricing.

Now you see the problem….right? I’ve checked the best of some of the Etsy sites too. It appears this might be so (not for all – just the norm) and I wonder if there could be a misinterpretation of the medium. If there is, then that is too bad because both are great to work with – look fantastic on jewelry – and take, for the most part, and equal amount of time and expertise to create.

I’ll keep making them both and will charge accordingly. What have you noticed in pricing trends for various mediums? Other than the ridiculous cost of metals - - - which is still in the “yikes” category.

1 comment:

rosebud101 said...

I agree, Sharon. I didn't catch on to the ceramic beads, but I do work with polymer clay, and the prices for polymer clay beads make me cringe. They are truly for the thrifty, and they don't sell very well. That disappoints me, but it is what it is.