Monthly Archives: May 2012


Reposting a blog post I made on an old blog from July 2008.  I think it’s still pretty accurate though except to maybe double the price of everything including your hourly pay, but not the price of the beads.

I’m reposting because a fellow bead/jewelry artist got the ol’ “why is that pendant so expensive?” when she saw a pendant bead set in silver.

The original post was because of this:

This little blurb is from the shop of a fellow “etsian”…
“♥ As a jewelry designer I’m always looking for high quality lampwork beads that I don’t have to pay an arm and leg for. FINALLY, the market has opened up and we don’t have to be held hostage by inflated prices! I don’t know about you but I refuse to pay $30.00 for six beads, that nuts! ♥”
And here was my reponse:
You want “high quality” beads and you get your beads from Austin Hamilton??  What are you going to do when all your jewelry starts getting returned to you because the beads are splitting in half because they have not been annealed… and what about the poor girl who happens to be wearing one of your “high quality” bracelets and is allergic to the bead release that wasn’t cleaned from the beads? 
Here’s the breakdown people:
$30 for a set of 6 beads / and let just say that a person only pays themself $5 an hour to make the beads, clean, temporarily string them, photograph and upload them to the computer…
  • 1.5 oz of glass = $1.20
  • bead release   = $ .05
  • oxy/propane  = $1.50
  • kiln run           = $1.00
  • make beads    = $2.50 
  • bead cleaning = $ .83    <10 minutes
  • string ’em up  = $1.00 
  • computer time = $15.00
  • listing fee        = $.20
  • etsy’s cut after sale = $1.05
  • paypals cut     = .90
  • packaging/shipping supplies = $1.50
  • time/gas to post office = $.50 
  • GRAND TOTAL is $27.23  — whoo hoo!  You get $2.77
Let’s see… divide that by 6 and you made yourself a whopping .46 cents a bead, congratulations.  Make sure you get everything done right the first time ’cause you’ll be losing money if you make any mistakes at all. 
For sure this is not a totally accurate breakdown, but you get the idea.  Handcrafted artisan made beads do not have over inflated prices.  And I can guarantee that there are artists out there who charge the $30 and are losing money after the sale.


I’m having a rough day, a total crash from my high on Friday.  Daydreams have been crushed, and that is all they were.  I wish I wasn’t such a dreamer, reality is a painful place to be.