Why is handcrafted jewelry so expensive? A peek behind the scenes!

Lisa Lehmann

Posted on November 21 2013

The money factor. It is a factor right? There are very few of us that have it to throw around. We work hard for it. We spend it wisely {most of the time}.
Yet people like yourselves value handcrafted artisan goods. I love that. In a mass produced society something that is made by someones hands is a true treasure.
The problem? It costs more.
One question / comment I get all the time is "I love your work, but I can't afford it…why is it so expensive?"
I am not offended by that at all. You really don't know the process behind what I do. The time it actually takes.
Sure, I could have many of my components manufactured overseas - but I don't. Sure I could buy lesser quality metal that isn't eco-friendly - but I don't. Sure I could purchase inferior stones - but I don't.
I am committed to remaining completely handcrafted. I am an artist through and through. A maker. A goldsmith. NOT mass-marketer.
One design that came into question recently was my The Earth Day bracelet. Created to draw attention to the planet we live on. The planet we love. The planet we are responsible to care for. "Pretty. But I would never pay THAT price." It has been said.
This is the "story" of how this design comes to life. The steps behind the design. It LOOKS like a fairly simple design. But remember…looks can be deceiving! To begin creating the Earth Day symbol I cut the eco-friendly recycled sterling silver wire into the length needed. That piece of wire is then soldered closed to begin the formation of a circle. It is hammered on a mandrel to create the circle, THEN hammered on the bench block to flatten the circle. Then I take out my circle template and mark out four equal quadrants on the circle. Using a Goldsmiths Hammer, I hammer directly on the top and bottom of my drawn line to create the slightly flattened out appearance of the circle. Tediously flipping from one side to the other to ensure a very complete and very equal disbursement of metal.
Time to create the cross bars for the circle. They are measured and the center marked. Again using my file, I gently file the wire to create a groove in each piece at dead center. When I'm satisfied these pieces will fit flush together, they are soldered together to create a solid crosspiece.
Now the solid crosspiece is set into the grooves of the original circle. Tweaking as needed until though the crossbars fit perfectly in the filed out indentations. Now the cross is soldered onto the circle on all four points of the circle. The pieces that extend beyond the circle our side flush with the edges. And gently beveled so was not to leave any harsh sharp edges. The pieces are pickled. Then tumbled. Then polished. Whew!!
Now it's ready for some leather. The leather strip is cut directly in half to go around one of the crossbars on the thinner side of the circle. A piece of half round wire is cut to size to become the wrapping for the leather. The wires then wrapped around the leather pieces and gently tucked underneath itself to create a secure connection.
If the bracelet is to be worn as tying bracelet it is done!
If not, it's time to solder the pieces for the clasp! I like all my jump rings to be soldered, so nothing will just "come open". And then more wire wrapping of the leather.
So you see what looks so simple to the eye is actually a very labor-intensive very meticulously created design. A labor of love so to speak…but oh, so very worth it! This Christmas season I challenge you to buy handcrafted. There are so many talented artisans out there. Choose handmade. You will NEVER regret it! Don't know where to start? My favorite place… ETSY! If you have a question for me, send me an email! If I choose your question you will get a $25 gift certificate to use on any of my jewelry! Thanks for joining me in the studio today - I LOVED having you! xoxoxoxox lisa ps and sometimes I make mistakes! :) a blooper

More Posts

GET 20% OFF

Oh hello lovely! Join my VIP list. Sign up and get exclusive news, special offers and more. And? I'll give you 20% off your first order just because! xo, lisa

Search our store