Earring Process – How Many Steps???

Vickie Hallmark flower box earringsAfter the compliments on my highly detailed jewelry, I often get dismay about the price. I understand that it’s expensive, and I offer less expensive alternatives produced in a more time conservative way. However, I think it might help understand the pricing to illustrate the many, many steps (and hours!) involved in my earring process, in this case the production of a small set of four pairs of Flower Box Earrings.
Vickie Hallmark hammered square rims

  1. Form each flower and leaf by hand in metal clay, then sand smooth & kiln fire.
  2. Cut sheet and wire materials.
  3. Form wire rings, fuse closed.
  4. Wind jump rings, then saw apart, flatten & close each one.
  5. Torch form each granule from a wire snippet.
  6. Shape each ring into a square rim, then hammer texture.
  7. Hammer texture the sheet for the flower boxes
    .Vickie Hallmark flower box earrings layout
  8. Layout the flower boxes with rims, jump rings, granules and flowers; fuse together.
  9. Layout the stone drops with bezel cups, leaves, jump ring and granules; fuse together.Vickie Hallmark leaf drop layout
  10. Saw out all flower boxes and stone drops.
  11. Sand all sides of every piece through multiple grits of sandpaper.
  12. Form ear wires from wire.Vickie Hallmark flower box earring back
  13. Sign the backs of flower boxes with an engraver.
  14. Heat harden and raise germanium to minimize future tarnish.
  15. Apply dark patina and then remove on highlights.Vickie Hallmark leaf drops with stones
  16. Set all the stones.
  17. Assemble the earrings.
  18. Final polish and detailing.

Vickie Hallmark flower box earringWhew! This week, I used Toggl to keep track of all the hands-on time for these earrings. I spent over 10 hours total to produce these four pairs of earrings, so 2.5 hours per pair plus materials. It made me realize that I probably have these particular earrings currently underpriced!! I have one pair of the ruby flower box earrings still available. If you’re interested, please contact me or see them in my Etsy shop.

4 thoughts on “Earring Process – How Many Steps???

  1. Rick

    Amazing looking piece of jewelry. I am not a jewelry maker and had no idea how much work went into making a piece of jewelry…. If you don’t mind me asking, what kind of metals did you use and is the stone a real stone? Anyways, very very beautiful earrings!

    Reply
    1. vichall Post author

      Thanks, Rick! The metal is all silver – Argentium sterling for the sheet and wire and fine silver for the floral pieces. The stones are lab grown rubies and moonstones.

      Reply
  2. Nana Louise Nielsen

    You’re right! Looking at all those steps they are under-priced! I’m continually learning with my own creations and some designs I have just had to abandon when the perceived value just doesn’t live up to the effort put into the piece.
    It’s a tricky balance, but haven’t you had components cast before? I don’t sell enough myself to justify it, but I would have thought that you do. Does that cut down on production time?

    Gorgeous design by the way. :o)

    Reply
    1. vichall Post author

      Yes, I have cast my low priced items. I have tried to keep this collection as hand made, but that may not be possible to continue without changes in pricing or complexity.
      Thanks for your comment!

      Reply

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