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My thoughts on the Precious Metal Clay price increase



When I read about the upcoming (Sept 1) price increase from Mitsubishi Materials I think I stopped breathing for a minute.  The beginning of the news from a representative of Rio Grande went like this...

Kevin Whitmore, from Rio Grande here, Sadly, you will not be happy to hear what I have to share, but I thought I should mention this news here, so that youcan make or adjust your plans accordingly.
...soooooo, my first and only thought was....AHHHHHHH, THEY ARE DISCONTINUING METAL CLAY!!!!!  When I read further, and discovered that the news was that there would be a substantial price increase, I was actually relieved.

So how do I feel about this?  Not great, obviously, but this is not going to push me away from silver and towards the base metal clays.  There are lovely things being made out of base metals, but it is simply not my aesthetic.  Silver is what I do.  I love it, and I find it really easy.  I must say, I've never really understood the flocking to base metals when the price of silver goes up.  From everything I read online, the firing of the base metals is not 100% consistent, although it seems to be getting better.  People forget that time is money, so even having to go through double firings, and sometimes refirings, eats away at the savings from the clay.  Whatever, I'm sure many base metal clay lovers will argue with this, but it's not meant to be an argument...I simply want to make and sell items made from precious metals.

Regarding the increase....if you are pricing your work correctly, and really taking into account your time, labour, tools, etc., the silver is not the majority of the cost of your item.  Yes, a price increase will probably be necessary to keep your margins, but it will not be the perhaps 20% increase in the cost of the silver, if the silver makes up only 15-20% of the cost of the item in the first place.  Get it??????

This is also a great time to think about ways to save on clay....making hollow pieces, going a tad thinner/smaller/more delicate, incorporating other mediums....and so on.  We all weathered the quadrupling of silver prices in the last years, and we shall weather this:)  Remember sisters:

Chin up, boobs out, press on!

You don't want to be googling 'boobs out' to get a suitable photo, so
I settled for a puffed up bird:)

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