I think I’ve decided what I’m going to do with the beadwork thing. I’ve written before about the differences between hobbies and businesses, avocations and vocations. I came to the serious realization today that maybe I really would be best off as a hobbyist, where it comes to my beadwork: giving jewelry away as gifts; and selling once in a blue moon when I meet a friend, or a friend of a friend, who wants something. Not primarily intending to sell. Even if I have skill enough, to sell. Beadwork isn’t time wasted if it helps me with my mental health.
But it is really apparent that I need to get a good primary job that can support me — not this.
This resolution has some powerful implications where it comes to — seriously, how much — I purchase, and where it comes to what I purchase. If I were producing things to sell, it would make sense to get, largely, substantial quantities of those things that went into what would be sold. If I’m primarily making jewelry for the pleasure of it, small amounts of varied colors and shapes and sizes and finishes of beads, is a better tack. At least, unless I see something like a hank of tiny beads — or beads I know I’ll use — on sale for 60% off, or at 2.5x the amount for a few dollars more, that I know will not always be easily findable.
If I want to make something on the scale of a necklace or circlet, which take much higher quantities of materials than simply earrings or bracelets, then it makes sense to buy in larger quantity. I had limited myself to earrings and bracelets, primarily because larger pieces of jewelry take substantially longer to make, and are substantially more costly, as a result — even before materials are factored in.
When working with metals and stones in addition to glass, well; metals are one of the things that actually cost, in beadwork. More than stones, unless you’re getting really high-quality stones. This is part of the reason why I took Smithing classes, to begin with (jump rings and earwires are fairly easy to make). The more direct reason is the inefficiency of bezeling a stone using beadweaving stitches. There is another potential post in this — using bead embroidery techniques to bezel a stone, which Jamie Cloud Eakin says is less obtrusive (if I’m recalling correctly) — but I don’t have much experiential information to give, right now.
I should note that I found myself at a loss where it came to having pre-fabricated earwires in Sterling, the other day. I looked at my spreadsheets and discovered that I hadn’t purchased any. Then I remembered that I had intended to make my own earwires. This is why I bought wire and some tiny seamless-look beads, and why the sandpaper, files, and cup burs were even on my mind.
All of this also means that this site is, above all, a labor of love — even if I do take it seriously. If I post as to how to make anything, it will likely be to hone my Desktop Publishing skills. 🙂 Or animation (or video) skills, if I get there. This is kind of like how I’ve been training myself in spreadsheet design and maintenance by keeping records (which do help, from time to time). And like how I’m training myself not to constantly write gigantic posts! 🙂