Well, the last two or so years has certainly been a dumpster fire of epic proportions for yours truly. In addition to COVID-19, I experienced the following major events:
--> I relocated back to Mexico from Texas
--> My dog, Bella, passed-away from cancer
--> I purchased a beach house
--> Five months of repair and remodeling to said house
--> My company imploded
--> I retired
Just a huge amount of drama, overall and I am nothing but grateful that most of this is behind me. My shop has been re-established and I've even added some new tools to my arsenal of equipment including a smelting furnace!
I worked on learning how to inlay stones - starting with silver, I smelted the ring base sheet and hand-pulled the square border wire before inlaying powdered silver and turquoise. Stunning!
I made a couple things by commission including some wedding bands for my niece in her colors, and some various pairs earrings.
These are titanium ring blanks I purchased and then I inlaid crushed opal and polished.
(Look for more opal inlays coming soon to the site!)
With retirement set to officially begin at the end of April, I'm attempting to start generating quite a bit of store inventory with the goal of making one piece per weekday during April.
As these pieces are completed, I'll add them to the online inventory which, conveniently, brings me to the next announcement.
Starting immediately, I will identify all products listed into one of two possible categories.
The first category is that of a regular inventory item - meaning that I may or may not have the item in stock (I usually keep one.) but will make new items as requested via order placements.
The second category is for exclusive pieces, one-offs if you will, that I plan on only making once. This is because the piece was either by commission, or incredibly difficult for me make. I will make the piece again, via special order - but I won't make one just to hang-out indefinitely in inventory.
I've also started to improve the website by adding features and content. New features include membership sign-ups, an online forum where you can ask questions and post comments, and the ability to leave comments (reviews) on your purchases. Site improvement will be ongoing as I get better with the Wix tool-sets.
The small graph (click it expand) to the right is the history of the spot price of silver. In the past year, alone we've seen the price of silver nearly double in value!
This means that product pricing will be adjusted accordingly to cover for the dramatic increase in the price of the base metal.
I've started to recycle my silver, smelting and forming my own sheet metal and wire in order to keep costs down. These items are all hallmarked at 0.925% pure although the purity of the silver is actually much higher since I don't differentiate between sterling and fine-silver in my scrap collection.
I am still supporting Service Dogs Inc., by donating at least 10% of every sale to their organization. Because I've been slow in ramping-up the online site, sales haven't exactly contributed a lot to their coffers. This is a Texas-based business and delivers service (including hearing dogs) to Texas residents, and Veterans. I've set a base minimum for donations to be $100 per year which is paid out-of-pocket when sales don't reach this minimum. SDI is a 501C3 organization and you can also support them directly using the link above with your tax-deductible donations.
That pretty much catches you up on the site and what's been going on - look for considerably more activity and site-features, in addition to my push to create a new piece every weekday in April! Thank you for your support and your patience!
Stay well, Be well!