Wednesday, February 22, 2012

In My Studio - Beads and Baubles

I thought it might be fun to take a look at some of the new beads and items we have available for creating beautiful things for you!  The Alchemists Vessel specializes in Sterling and Semi-precious gemstone jewelry, but lately has had an in flux of or custom orders asking for glass beads.  I have listened and obeyed!  Greens, Reds Blues, Faceted, Bi-cone, Round, we have a nice selection and are in hope of receiving the Japanese Seed beads soon!

Many of these beads have been purchased per customer request to complete their orders.  Upon completion of the custom orders these beads will begin to appear in many of the pieces created by Alix, The Alchemist, Designer and Owner of The Alchemists Vessel.

 Also available in limited quantities new gemstone and brass beads, along with a brass finding or two.

Precious Metal vs. Jewelry Wire

Many people have asked me why precious metal is so much more expensive than a plated jewelry wire, and why I do not offer ready-made Chain Maille pieces in Gold or Sterling Silver.  Precious metal is just that, precious and it is also more expensive.  Things like copper and brass are more abundant.  The Alchemists Vessel does not determine the price of precious metal; we watch the market for the current price, as it fluctuates, currently Sterling is $34.02 an ounce, and Gold is $1753.44 an ounce.  Sterling Silver is usually available in 5 or 25-foot spools to be spun, soldered, wrapped, and hammered or other wise fashioned into jewelry.  It is common of Gold wire to be "Gold filled" or a brass core with a .15 mm to .25mm outer layer of 14kt gold.  Current Supplier prices are about $90.00 for 25 feet spool for Silver and $150.00 for Gold Filled.  Manufactured jump rings may be purchased, but size cannot be guaranteed as many manufactures measure outer diameter instead of inner diameter, which is used when calculating appropriate jump rings size for Chain Maille.

Precious metal pieces are available per custom order only.  A 50% non-refundable deposit is required before your work begins.  Pricing works as follows.

We charge per foot of wire. 5 feet of wire makes one pair of earrings, it takes 12” of wire to create a 1” coil from which jump rings cut.  Depending on gauge, Sterling Silver wire is $25.00 (20g) to $45.00 (18g)

A 20 gauge pair of Byzantine Weave earrings in sterling silver would cost, $40.00, $25.00 for wire, $5.00 for findings,  $2.00 for beads, and $8.00 for spinning and assembly.

A Necklace takes about 30 feet of wire, depending on the weave.  It takes about 459 jump rings to create a necklace and earring set, depending on Gauge.  To create on of the “Parures”,  $175.00 for wire, $5.00 for beads, and findings, $100.00 to spin and assemble.  Total cost $280.00.

Necklaces, bracelets, or different weaves require different amounts of wire.  The above Precious Metal prices are quoted from the suppliers catalog. All materials and costs will be discussed prior to ordering the necessary material for your project.  The above is an example of possible cost to the customer, your cost may vary depending on your project.

Jewelry wire is usually copper, either colored (dyed) or tinned (plated) with a thin coating of precious metal.  Sterling Silver Plated copper wire is used in many of our projects and is just as pretty, and an affordable alternative to precious metal pieces.  The wire is plated or surface dyed, and some copper will show through the cuts, this is a mark of a hand made item, and although we try our best to keep these marks to a minimum, they do appear on occasion.

Thank you for stopping by and having a look.

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