I am finding - as I slowly assemble the needed new equipment and tools - that working in metal has considerably increased my overhead. But since I am funneling all the gross revenue from my sales back into the biz in the form of capital investment, I'm thankful that I at least have a fairly healthy budget to work with.
Still, at the current market price of $17.23 an ounce, silver is not cheap and I have to be careful with conserving it (in contrast, gold is at $918.25 an ounce and platinum costs $1,762.50 an ounce so I should be thankful I didn't develop a taste for gold- or platinum-smithing).
Because I am known among my family and friends as a hopeless klutz, Mr Hazel has relegated all metalsmithing activities to the utility room in our basement, whose concrete floors will better protect the house from my accidentally setting it on fire. We went to IKEA over the weekend in search of a workbench for me, and ended up with this square table that's sturdy enough to withstand future poundings and hammerings. Thanks for assembling it, Mr Hazel!
I still plan to keep my beading things in a separate area, so here are the beginnings of the new metalsmithing set-up! Notice that I am now a proud owner of a giant, manly tool box. Sweet.
Here is my butane torch!
And brand-new, pristine, virgin tools.
My soldering tile and new anvil/bench pin, which the guy at the equipment store, Zach, was kind enough to notch for me for free. Thanks, Zach!
I have more stuff coming in the next few days and weeks before I can start in earnest, and in all this I haven't had a chance to touch a single bead or loop so much as an inch of wire, so it's going to be busy in the weeks ahead, as I alternately produce new things for the store and practice my newly-acquired skills.