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Boro Room -- For Boro-related tips, techniques, and questions.

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  #1  
Old 2015-08-23, 8:09am
SteveR SteveR is offline
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Default The Value of Floral Pendants

Hello all-- I have noticed friends, co-workers, relatives want my floral pendants--- and I started mailing them all over to a number of people. I just give them away-- because I am still learning. I have been doing these for about a year-- prob like 100 pendants made.

I was at a county event where artists are selling fused glass--- ceramics and metal jewlery-- but no floral implosions in the county where I live in Oregon.
So who here is actually selling their boro jewlery? - and how much is a pendant worth at a fair or on ebay? Its costs about four dollars to mail a box with several--- and a couple of dollars of materials to make a pendant. You can mail six of them for the same price as one. Can a person actually make some money on the side doing lampwork jewlery?

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  #2  
Old 2015-08-23, 9:55am
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first you must define "make money", because the materials are actually the least expensive component of making jewelry. Try to determine the time it takes you to do the following, multiply by the bare minimum hourly wage you desire and then price your pendants.

time to select and acquire materials
time to make object (set-up, creation, clean-up)
time to find venues to sell, either on-line or on-site
time to photograph, edit and post pictures of your work for sale (good quality photos a must)
time to manage on-line store
time and materials to pack, ship, track and communicate with buyers
time to drive to/from, set-up, sell and break down set-up
time to manage "social media"
time to manage finances (track, figure out taxes, etc)

After you have a working minimum price, go to a site like Etsy and see what they are selling for $, look for quality of the art, indication of annealing, etc. Based on what you calculate above and an average market price for similar work, you can set your own price.
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  #3  
Old 2015-08-28, 5:47am
SteveR SteveR is offline
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Thanks Elizabeth
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  #4  
Old 2015-08-28, 5:13pm
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Most floral implosion pendants sell between $20 to $35 dollars as an average price. Some sell for less and others for considerably more. It is possible to "make money" at it. However making money at it for most people (not all) means making extra cash as supplemental to a primary income. Even those that do it full time and it is their primary income do not for the most part, earn enough to actually make an hourly wage from their work.

I work glass full time. My pendants are my bread and butter work but I also make several other items. If I calculated my time for working glass, shipping my work, traveling to shows, set up, break down, working on finincial and business paperwork etc, the amount I make hourly is far less than acceptable. Owning and running your own businedd is different from being employed by someone else. You can "make money" making and selling glass work, you can make more committing to it and running it like a business. Ultimately the monetary return is up to you.
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  #5  
Old 2015-08-28, 7:00pm
SteveR SteveR is offline
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Thanks Otter- I have a number of long term friends who are professional artists-- who work hard long hours to make less than min wage. Currently I have a corporate job but will retire from that within five years and start to draw Social Security. So I plan on doing a small home business. I have run about five different small businesses over the past 40 years and abandoned them after around the second year -- and returned to just working a job. Far easier to work a job than run a business-- thanks again.
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  #6  
Old 2015-08-29, 6:36am
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Keep in mind too, folks love anything they can get for free. Put a price tag on it and they often scatter.

Don't take it personally if you find sales slow at first
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  #7  
Old 2015-08-30, 7:23am
SteveR SteveR is offline
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Thanks Tom--Marketing is a huge part making any art related business work. The Idea is to find people who want the kind of things you create. I have found some people like glass jewelry and some are indifferent. I would not quit my day job and just run a torch and try and sell pendants-- I would starve immediately. But once retired I might give it a shot. I suppose I should open an Etsy and see if I can sell some as I learn----. There is a process of doing the larger enterprise of creating, selling, tracking sales,keeping books and using money to keep it going--. If that larger process works out OK for a person-- then it is probably worth a try for some retirement supplimental income.
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  #8  
Old 2015-09-11, 8:24am
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Saw this and could not resist chiming in. I have been melting glass for over 15 years, and started off with beads. These days I work only in boro, and floral pendants are my focus. I get about $75 to $95 or more for each pendant unless it is something experimental or not up to snuff, one's that aren't perfect go for $35 to $45. But those were not my price ranges when I had only one year experience. As my work has moved up, so have my prices. I have an etsy shop, it sucks. never sold a thing. I sell on FaceBook, and do very well, there are pages devoted to glass art and I sell my best stuff there. I also have 3 major galleries that buy my work, I do not do commission. I sell them my work at my usual prices and they double that and sell them just fine, as they get the foreign tourists who have money. I also sell my work at Art shows and some fine craft shows. I make more now than I did before I retired. Looking at your picture of your work SteveR you have a ways to go, but for only one year I see some real potential in your work. Your bail is neat, while the implosion ( you are working on tubing?) is crude, it shows potential. Keep working, your skills will improve, take some classes and push your boundaries, it just takes years behind the torch to develop your own style and create a following of customers. Here is some of my work, I work on solid rod, so these are compression's, not implosions.


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  #9  
Old 2015-09-11, 12:49pm
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Thank you for sharing ( yet again ), Mary.

-BEP
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  #10  
Old 2015-09-13, 8:05am
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Thanks Mary K for your info and commentary. Its encouraging. I still work full time with retirement about four years down the road. A local friend who has made a living making Boro salt and pepper shakers for 40 years sold me one of his older a 30 year old Bethlehem PMD2 Watercooled model A torches. It very worn but still works. I used to build cars so I had gas welding gear I adapted for the torch. I have never had any lessons and in small town Oregon have no idea were to find them. In Eugene there is Snodgrass, who is the world famous pipe maker-- but I am not interested in pipes-- and blowing glass is different in techniques than making pendants. So I watch YouTubes and try different things. I ordered ordered a Ken Jen Chili Pepper that is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow-- so I am excited about that. I also have a large kiln that has no controller that has 4 inch thick blanket and is 16x14x14 inches( friend used it in his shaker biz) But having a better chance of my glass not cracking is a big deal to me, because I can feel that the time I spend on making a piece is worth investing in the extra effort. Some of my best stuff broke- and that is a negative experience. So I tend not to invest too much in a piece- and that has lead to not being disciplined in technique.
Currently I make a piece in about 20 minutes time. If I believe a piece will not likely break I would slow down and spend more time on canes and spend an hour on a piece. So once I get my annealer going I am going to work on making better canes, and tooling my dots and lines in different ways-- and laying dots and line in succession as I heat and compress. So my first florals like the one pictured in this thead are done with 12 mm and 16 mm rod. Currently I am constructing just two color canes with white as a base. But I an still at a very basic level with making canes. Pulling a cane to the right size- is still an experiment to me. Usually I pull them to the diameter of a pencil lead. But I have had some results that are good bu pulling one very small. There are dozens of variables related to cane stringer diameters and ultimate floral effects. I also have to work on getting everything in place before starting in making a piece. And I am still working on organizing my studio space. There is a considerable skill to develop to in order to understand the behavior of glass under different conditions in order to get a desired outcome in a piece. I am progressing a little at a time and mindful of what I do, and how the piece turns out. But I still need to work on isolating the variables and final outcomes. If I were to equip all at once it would be overwhelming. Lampworking boro is a complex enterprise. Andagain you have to remember what you did to achieve the final outcome. For example I notice how rod size in relation to the moriah size and thickness of the miriah influences how the colors migrate in the clear glass in making floral patters. There are about 20 or more critical steps to making a glass pendant-- each step effects the outcome-- so each has to be deliberatly controlled-- and I have gotten to like step 17 and messed up the piece-- or ruined a piece by messing up the bail--- or heat shocking it--- or earlier slipping up when applying a colored line--- or smushing the expaned floral too flat and distorting the pedals in a marble mold. And tried to flatten the back of the marble at the wrong stage---that is mishandling the piece when the floral was developed-- wreaked the floral. But I like the process of working with a torch and the glass, and I like glass.

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  #11  
Old 2015-09-13, 2:42pm
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well if you like glass, you are likely to stick to it and overcome the difficulties that we all face, for sure. Lots of things involved like heat control, and knowing how colors work as well as the forming and the designs, etc. But you learn with each one! Feel free to post more of your work. And welcome to the glass addiction.
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  #12  
Old 2015-09-14, 6:15am
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Thanks Kristin-- Yes something learned with each piece--even the ones that fail.
I give the good ones to friends-- and it makes them happy. So its all good.
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  #13  
Old 2015-09-14, 6:17am
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Got to say Mary K-- I have never seen glass work that amazingly beautiful ever-- glad that you post the pics of it and I enjoy your FB too.
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  #14  
Old 2015-09-14, 9:15am
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Hi Mary, Thanks for posting pictures of your beautiful work. It is simply amazing! I notice you are running a Scorpion and 2 10 lpm concentrators. Is that correct? I have nearly the same setup with a Scorpion and 2 15 lpm concentrators and find that working boro is somewhat difficult and achieving strike is nearly impossible.

I'm curious if you are using NG or propane? I am using NG. Could that be the difference or have I just not figured it out yet. Thanks so much for any insight.
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Old 2015-09-16, 7:37am
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Thanks to everyone for sharing their experience. Mary K your pendants are da BOMB!
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Old 2015-09-19, 7:55pm
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Hi Patti, you have two M-15's? I used to own one, and then replaced it with my first Regalia concentrator and I can say there is no comparison. My Regalia gives me much more Oxy than the M-15 did by about double. I'm not sure what they run these days, but when I got mine, I paid about $1500 each for my two Regalia's by Sequal. My M-15 was $400 or so when I bought it, big huge price difference. Also big huge oxy difference as well. I can't say enough for the Regalia, I was kind of scared when I got the first one, I didn't want to spend that much, but I'm so glad I did, and that's why I have two. My first m-15 I ran a lynx on it. Then I got the first Regalia and I could see a huge difference in the flame and heat with the Regalia, far superior to the M-15. When I upgraded to the scorpion which is made to work on concentrators I got a second one, and it works quite well. I have the two machines Y'd together, since they have the same pressure I can do this. I do not know about NG, I have never used it, so couldn't say. Could you get a barbecue tank of propane and find out? I would think though that it is your oxy source that is holding you back.
About striking, that has a learning curve as well. Are you making pendants or marbles? Striking is complicated and simple at the same time. There is a temperature zone that you must be in on both sides of the strike. Try this: take a stick of say...silver creek, one of my favs. Put it in the flame heat a small gather to clear. Take it out of the flame. Time it for say..20 seconds, then return to flame, far out in the flame not near the torch, does it strike? It may not. Not enough cooling time. When I want to achieve strike, I get things hot, and then spin my compression out of the flame for at least a minute, I have a big clock in my studio that I watch. Longer is ok, and maybe better. Then introduce to the flame, the outer flame, not near the torch face, and spin it until it just starts to change then take it out. It will strike beautifully. Get it too hot and then you go into overstrike, and its not so pretty. Striking is the result of crystal growth, do you know about that? I wish you didn't live so far away, I'd have you over and show you how it's done. It's easy once you get the rhythm. Hope this helps, very hard to explain striking, I know what to do, but hard to write what to do. hope this helps, feel free to ask more questions, I will answer as best I can.
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Old 2015-09-22, 1:19pm
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Thanks for replying, Mary K. I'm convinced my problem is oxygen and/or heat. I've also heard that propane burns much hotter than NG. Yes, I've got to M-15's Y'd together but I still struggle just to make a simple implosion pendant. I guess I'm a lazy bum. I've long resisted having to refill and change out tanks of stuff. Maybe I'd like it so much I'd gladly do it LOL! I could see myself changing out propane tanks. That's easy enough to do at the local King Soopers and if I didn't want to mess around with that, there's plenty of propane companies around here that would gladly set up a refillable tank for me. I really wouldn't even know where to begin to find someplace with oxygen tanks. That's why the concentrators are so appealing to me.

So, I'm curious, not that I doubt you at all, but what makes the 10lpm Regalia so much more effective than the M-15?

I don't mind spending the money at all if it makes a big difference. Do you think replacing my M-15's with one Regalia would be an improvement or would I need to purchase 2 of them? If you think it would make a big difference and it didn't, I could then switch from NG to propane to test that theory.

I've been working with soft glass for over 10 years ... and trying to play with boro just as long. I assume the theory of striking glass is the same whether soft or hard? If so, I feel pretty comfortable with that, fortunately.

I'd be over at your house this afternoon to play if we lived closer for sure!

Thanks for helping me
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Old 2015-09-23, 1:41pm
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It all depends on you, really!
As our techniques advance, we change prices. Some things drop as we progress because we deem them to not be our best.

So for implosions, our basic no frills, we charge $18. As they get more complex, time consuming, etc they grow. So I'd say evaluate your work. See where you think you are personally. Price your best work the highest. But don't necessarily worry what other people charge all the time. What works for you might not work for someone else.

I try to fall in the middle. Not put my prices so low that it seems insane, but not as high as others because I feel I will never sell. I'd rather sell 50 $10 pendants than only 5 $100 pendants. I want a bigger range in customers. But, that is just me.
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Old 2015-09-23, 4:22pm
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I can see I have a different slant on things than you Miss Elektra, I would much rather sell pendants for $100, and I do, quite frequently. Lol, I have been at this for a long time, so the price I get is reflective of the quality of my work. I do have some simple bead pendants I sell for $10, but it's not my mainstay.
Patti ~ one Regalia on a Scorpion will not be enough. You would need two. The Regalia is a horse of a different color when it comes to oxycons, they are superior to other types of concentrators. They are made by sequal, they are brand new units meant to be used by glass artists. They are not reconditioned units strung together by someone in a warehouse, they are a very high quality machine that runs quietly, and efficiently. I don't believe the M-15 or M-20 ever really did what it was susposed to do. In my oppinion they are crap. I did not feel that way until I actually bought a regalia. Now I know. This is just my opinion, not meant to offend anyone.
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Old 2015-09-24, 12:10pm
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Thank you so much for replying Mary. I'm going to add that to my "wish list." My setup works just fine for soft glass, but takes FOREVER to do anything with boro. I'll have to think seriously about whether or not I want to make the leap (even though I really do).
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Old 2015-09-24, 4:18pm
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One thing you could do Patti if your Scorpion is the 4 stud kind, (mine is) is to Y the two concentrators you have together and hook them to the inside ring of flames, and get one regalia and connect that to the outside, or vise versa which ever worked better. I think you would see a difference for your soft glass as well. And that way you could spread out the costs, get one now and one at a later date. I was glad I didn't have to get both of them at the same time.
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Old 2015-09-24, 8:10pm
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Humm -Mary K vs. Elektra--Well my compromise would be to sell 50 for $100.

But seriously-- the information in the comments you both have given consists of some good starting guidance-- and motivation. Thanks-
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Old 2015-09-25, 10:57am
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Oh, Mary! That's an EXCELLENT idea!!! I do have the 4 stud version and currently I'm not using the second set of studs. I've got the 2 M-15's Y'd together, but only using one set of studs (LOL, that sounds funny). The cost of 1 Regalia is definitely easier to handle and a year or so from now, another one would be manageable.

Thank you so much for this idea!!
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Old 2015-09-25, 1:35pm
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Ok Patti please tell me, do you have your 4 studs Y'd together right now? If you don't you are only putting oxy into one set of ports.
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Old 2015-09-27, 5:58am
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Yes, I do. I had a lovely long conversation with the lady (can't remember her name right now) at Pyronamix. She was extremely helpful and I learned tons about my setup as it is and as it could be. I ordered one Regalia and we talked extensively about the options for setting up. She suggested I could "Y" the 2 M-15's together with the Regalia also. She suggested that if I port them separately, I should put the Regalia to the center fire so that way I use it more frequently.

Any thoughts on whether I should Y them all together or separate them inner/outer ring?
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Old 2015-09-27, 7:34am
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Originally Posted by missp_32 View Post
Thanks for replying, Mary K. I'm convinced my problem is oxygen and/or heat. I've also heard that propane burns much hotter than NG. Yes, I've got to M-15's Y'd together but I still struggle just to make a simple implosion pendant. I guess I'm a lazy bum. I've long resisted having to refill and change out tanks of stuff. Maybe I'd like it so much I'd gladly do it LOL! I could see myself changing out propane tanks. That's easy enough to do at the local King Soopers and if I didn't want to mess around with that, there's plenty of propane companies around here that would gladly set up a refillable tank for me. I really wouldn't even know where to begin to find someplace with oxygen tanks. That's why the concentrators are so appealing to me.
Appealing or not, a lack of high purity oxygen is most likely your issue. Consider switching to compressed oxygen tanks for a little while to see the difference in heat. You wont go back to the concentrators.
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Old 2015-09-28, 11:36am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR View Post
Humm -Mary K vs. Elektra--Well my compromise would be to sell 50 for $100.

But seriously-- the information in the comments you both have given consists of some good starting guidance-- and motivation. Thanks-
Glad to have helped, even if it is just a little.

I hope one day I get my work to a level where I feel I can charge more for some things! But for now, I'm happy where I'm at. I'll keep at it and keep getting better.

I think that is most important. To always challenge yourself. Don't look at something and declare that you'll never top it. Retry, remake...it's all good!

And also, even your "junk" is gorgeous to someone else. I started offering "seconds" for sale, much cheaper. Just because I hate them but I always end up selling them anyway!
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Old 2015-09-30, 7:56pm
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Oh how I would love to burn tanks, but I am intimidated with a homefill and don't have room for it anyway, I have no idea where I would get a tank or the stuff to do that. If I had someone who could come over and set it up in my tiny mountain town that would be different. There is zero possibility for me to use tanked as I am not physically able to handle the heavy tanks and they are super expensive where I live, no delivery available. That is why I went to concentrators. I have taken classes on tanks, they deff rock.
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  #29  
Old 2015-10-01, 8:51pm
SteveR SteveR is offline
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Yes Mary K--- tanks are great. I used to be a welder and had tanks. I use 281 cubic foot O2 tanks- they are heavy-- but I have handled O2 tanks since I was a kid. I have a pick-up truck and the welding supply is just a couple of miles away. When I need to exchange tanks, I make the short trip to the welding supply--- exchange tanks and get them in my studio in about 20 minutes total. It costs 26 dollars to fill one 281 tank. It would run a major torch for about 20 hours of flaming doing floral pendants. So you could make about 25 pendents from one tank. So it costs roughly a dollar per pendant for O2. Glass costs another dollar or two. Propane lasts about four tanks-- and cost only 11 dollars to refill. So 20 cents for Propane per Pendant. So concentrator vs. tanks is a matter of situation.
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Bethlehem Champion, Bravo and Model A PMD2, various hand torches too. Bottled O2 from my days as an industrial production weldor.
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  #30  
Old 2015-10-02, 4:13pm
GregD GregD is offline
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Ok
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