One of the goals I have is to make my jewelry affordable for many shoppers. Handmade one of a kind jewelry can be very expensive. In today’s world, many artists create a mold of a beautiful design and then cast the piece over and over again for efficiency. This is one approach taken to reduce fabrication time. I do not take this approach, but make each piece individually. I love the process of working with the metal and stones. I especially like letting the design flow out of the process as well. Very inspiring and motivating for me.
The best way for me to reduce the costs of my designs is in the stones. I find that cabochons are very expensive as they are mostly finer stones like turquoise, emerald, amethyst and the like. Cabochons are the stones that are rounded on top and flat on the bottom. I find there are a lot of beads that are much less expensive and still just as beautiful. The variety and colors of beads available are endless. My favorite shapes are flat round pillow shaped beads similar to cabochons but have rounded edges on the bottom.
One of my favorite beads are Czech glass. They come is all kinds of colors and patterns. You can find striped, spotted, gradient, bright, and subtle colors. I love matching a variety of stones together that are similar color tones and different sizes. One of my favorite bead shops is Funky Pretty Beads. Great name and lots of beads to choose from.
My methods to use beads are varied as well providing lots of design choices. I sometimes dangle the beads with interesting embellishments and wiring techniques. Other times I set the beads in bezels just like you would a cabochon setting. And sometimes I incorporate both methods!
The business choices I have made to keep costs low have opened up a wide variety of materials and designs for my jewelry. Variety is the spice of life! Hope you find great variety in your life and your endeavors!