Next up in our What Would You Do? series. There’s a temptation when we first start a new art or craft form to buy the most inexpensive materials possible so that we can practice without breaking the bank. In theory, I think this is an excellent idea. For example, if I wanted to practice doing a really tricky wire wrap technique, I might want to think about using inexpensive craft wire before shelling out for sterling silver.
But there is a real world problem with this: sterling silver doesn’t feel and work quite the same as inexpensive craft wire. There comes a point when you actually have to use the real thing…take a deep breath and start bending. My friend Cindy Lietz pointed this out in relation to polymer clay. Sometimes the inexpensive alternative can have quality issues that make it unsuitable even for practice (read Cindy’s comment following the post).
And as far as using inexpensive materials in our finished work…well, let me just say that I put way too much time into my pieces to trust them to inferior clasps, findings, unannealed glass beads, etc. What do you think? Are there times in your experience when you felt very strongly one way or the other about using inexpensive materials? Does inexpensive always mean inferior?
Sound off below! What would you do?