If you’ve been thinking about electroforming jewelry, you’re probably wondering if it’s worth it or not. For this reason, I decided to give you a list of the different advantages and disadvantages of electroforming. I made this list based on my own experience, so I wrote down the main reasons I could think of. First, I give you good reasons to try, and then I list the main disadvantages of electroforming. Read on, so you can decide if you should start this form of art or not.
Here are the 3 main advantages of electroforming:
1. You can create beautiful, high-quality jewelry
To me, this is the main advantage of electroforming. After all, you are plating metal onto something, so you are creating high-quality jewelry. Electroformed jewelry is often very sturdy and lasts in time. This is the reason why most artists charge a lot for a piece of copper electroformed jewelry. Once you made it, you can literally keep it forever. The only thing is that it will darken over time, but this can be easily solved with a quick polishing.
Copper electroformed jewelry can be sold for a good price. Most electroforming artists sell their jewelry between $50 and $150 a piece. Sometimes even up to $200. That is quite good, so when you make a sale you truly are happy, believe me! And if you make bigger things, like home decor, you can sell your art at a higher price.
Also, electroformed jewelry truly has a unique look. It’s absolutely beautiful and original. To me, it’s not just jewelry, it’s wearable art. When you successfully electroform something, you just feel so proud because you created something that is one of a kind and that’s gorgeous!
2. Not many people do it
When I was looking for a new way to make jewelry, I wanted to try a form of art that is not so popular. And this is the case with electroforming. Even though it is slowly starting to become more popular these days, there are still only a few people that do it. It’s a big advantage, for one simple reason: you have less competition when you’re trying to sell your jewelry.
If you were making beaded jewelry, you’d have so much competition that it would be barely impossible to make regular sales. With electroforming, if you know how to market your products, you can quickly make some money and your hobby becomes a wonderful side hustle.
The fact that electroforming isn’t a well-known form of art is a big advantage, and this is why I definitely recommend starting your electroformed jewelry business this year.
3. The possibilities are endless
I said it before, and I’ll say it again: you can electroform everything. For this reason, the possibilities are truly endless with electroforming.
You can electroform organics, glass, resin, metal, and even paper! This means you can be really creative and make unique jewelry. You can also combine other techniques with electroforming. For example, you can make something with resin and then electroform it. Or you can wire wrap a stone and then put it in the bath to give it some texture.
I love combining different techniques with electroforming, and I’m always looking for new ways to improve my jewelry. I think if you start electroforming, you’ll learn a lot about all kinds of crafting techniques. In the end, your jewelry will look more professional and you’ll be able to sell it to a higher price.
Below, you’ll find the 3 main disadvantages of electroforming:
4. You must be really patient
Electroforming an object takes forever. This is the biggest disadvantage in my opinion. I find it difficult to create more than 10 pieces of jewelry per week because the process itself is just very long. If you’re not a patient person, I definitely don’t recommend trying electroforming.
The fastest part is probably the designing part. Then, you’ll have to paint, seal stones and put your object in the bath for at least 12 hours (even better if you leave it 24 hours). This means you cannot create so many pieces of jewelry at once. And if you have a small bath, you can only plate 1 or 2 at a time.
Other crafting techniques usually only include a couple hours of work for one piece. With electroforming, it’s different. Even though you’re technically not working when your object is in the bath, you still have to check that everything is going well from time to time. Then, you have to polish, patina, and seal your item.
So, if you’re looking for a quick way to create jewelry, electroforming is definitely not for you.
See also: How to maintain your electroforming bath
5. It’s magically frustrating sometimes
Electroforming jewelry is not complicated, but there is still a learning curve. It took me months to figure out everything about this form of art. I had to troubleshoot so many times. And I have wanted to give up more than once.
When you will start electroforming, you will surely have some problems with your bath or your rectifier. You will have to be patient, learn from your mistakes, and even ask for help sometimes. It’s totally okay, but it can be really frustrating.
The first couple of months were the hardest for me, after that, I was able to troubleshoot all my problems. Once you know more about the science behind electroforming, it also gets easier!
6. It’s expensive
It’s no secret that electroforming is expensive. When you first start, you have to spend at least $200 in supplies, sometimes more. So, before you start I suggest you make a list of everything that you will need and establish a budget.
I think I spent around $600 when I started. I needed electroforming supplies, but I also needed jewelry supplies in copper, crystals, and other tools. On top of that, you’ll have to spend money every month to buy new supplies or renew the ones that you always use.
I spend around $150 per month in supplies – mostly because I love having a lot of crystals, to be honest. But this is definitely something you need to consider. If you only want to sell electroformed jewelry as a side hustle, then you will probably have to sell like 3-5 pieces of jewelry per month to cover your supplies costs. If you want to live from it, that’s another story!
Electroforming is an amazing form of art. Once you start, you just get hooked. Even though it is frustrating sometimes, I think it’s totally worth trying. If you’re really motivated, want to create unique jewelry, and sell your art, then I definitely recommend you start electroforming jewelry this year.
I hope this post helped you make your decision and convinced you to try! What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of electroforming? Let me know in the comments below.