Creative Dilemma

I have this shop on Etsy.  Have for a little over a year now.  I take coins from around the world and make pendants out of them.  I don’t just drill holes in them.  Even though I’m not a numismatist that thought makes me cringe.  This is what they look when finished:

I get special orders all the time.  People want a specific coin, or a specific date or have coins of their own that they want made into pendants.  I love those orders.  Mostly.  Recently I had someone ask me if I could do a bezel that was gold filled.  I haven’t done much work with gold.  In this economy it’s hard to sell and I can’t afford to stock it.  But I checked and found that I could get the material to make the bezel without too much expense so I said yes.  Then I got another message asking me if I could also gold plate the coins.  That question just stopped me cold.  It’s not that I can’t.  I know how to copper and silver plate things.  I’ve done that.  It would take a significant investment in materials, but I’m sure I could do it.  But.  I don’t want to.

I do this because I’ve always like coins from around the world.  It’s a tiny glimpse of another culture.  I like the art, the symbols and the history of each one.  I like to emphasize their details.  I don’t want to cover them up.  I don’t mind making a setting to the preference of the wearer, but I don’t want to change the essential appearance of the coin.  The marks of wear and the patina of each one are what make them interesting.  Doing that is like buying art that matches the sofa.  It matches, but it will never be anything but boring.  Art should be something you have because you love it, not because it’s the same color as your drapes.

So while I have an easily understood reason not to accept the commission, the investment outweighs the profit by a large percentage, the reason I’m not accepting it is that I don’t want to do it.

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