Wednesday, May 4, 2011

HELP! I'm Being Robbed!

Okay, so maybe my post title is a bit over dramatic, but when it comes to the price of silver and gold these days, I do feel like I'm in the midst of a personal heist.

Gold and silver are at unprecedented prices right now, and that really affects what I do in my studio.  My goal has always been to create original, affordable jewelry.  With the cost of metals so unbelievably high, I have pretty much given up on designing with sterling, which is (as of this writing) almost $20.00 an ounce.  To put it in perspective, one square inch of sterling silver 24 gauge sheet is over $10.00!  So, no sterling in my studio right now except for wire, which is also priced through the roof.

For now, I am working with nickel silver which is much, much less expensive and looks and behaves a lot like sterling.  The downside is that many folks are allergic to nickel.  I'm trying to come up with all sorts of creative ways to get around this, like backing pendants and rings with resin-set images, transparencies, and even textiles so the nickel never touches skin.  The results are pretty cool, and this "dilemma" has given way to some new design ideas.  The photo below is of a new pendant made from Imperial jasper, amazonite and shell on nickel silver backed with a resin-set text transparency.  I  think it's lovely, and the cost is so much more reasonable!

For those of you that will settle for nothing other than sterling silver, I'm happy to oblige, but be prepared for some heart-stopping sticker shock.  The days of inexpensive metals are least for now!

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