I have a little pair of sterling silver stud earrings listed in my Folksy and Etsy shops. When I priced them up, they came to £12. I wondered if anyone would pay that for a pair of studs, then I thought about all the work that goes into creating them, and realised I couldn't charge any less.
Instead of trying to justify the price, I catalogued the process when I was making them. So, if you're interested in the work that goes into making this simple pair of earrings, read on.
Take a big box of scrap silver (yes, I know, I'm very wasteful!)...
Put little piles on your (cruddy) soldering sheet, and melt into balls... well, they're not really balls, as they have flattish bottoms - what would you call them?
When silver is heated oxidisation makes it turn a lovely blackened colour. Give it an acid bath in safety pickle and it looks so much better!
See? Almost pretty again!
Now for the bit that makes my neighbours hate me. Take a large flat headed hammer and BANG - a lot. Then take an aspirin or two.
Select a pair that look matched for size and shape. These ones will do nicely.
Solder the ear posts onto the back of the flattened studs. Hmmm, not shiny any more again. Back into the pickle you go.
Out of the pickle and sanded with two grades of wet and dry sandpaper and a little steel wool, all ready for the polishing wheel.
A thorough polishing with tripoli and then rouge turns them back into beautiful, shiny silver. Yummy! Next, a wash and brush up with good old soap and hot water and a toothbrush (an old toothbrush, I should add), and they're ready to be parceled up and sent out.
You can see the finished product in either of my shops. I'm off to wash my hands!