It's one of my "professional secrets" where I get lots of my metal working equipment and even jewelry supplies....but since I love you guys so much I thought I would share :)
Most of my equipment, metal supplies, studio furniture, and even my copper elements are second hand. One of my other pursuits is spending lots of time combing estate sales, garage sales, and thrift stores. Quite often, and MORE often than you think, I find boxes full of copper stampings, tools, equipment, and studio furniture for a fraction of what it would cost new! Not only the savings, but also the quality of many of the tools and copper I've picked up are superior to what is currently available. The copper is often of thicker gauges than are normally sold and the tools are sturdier and time-tested.
There are tons of hobbyists out there who decide they no longer need/want their equipment!
|snapshot of my dental drawers where I store many tools and beads|
|raw copper stampings in my dental drawers!|
The secret is attending the same estate sales and getting there early. Most estate sale companies have email lists where if you're a regular, you can be invited to the "preview". The preview is the sale that takes place before the sale opens to the general public. This is where you get the chance to scoop up the good stuff before everyone else. Many estate sale companies also advertise their sales on EstateSales.net and many posts will have pictures and a description of what will be in the sale....
A few of the things I have scored have been:
Dental cabinets (complete with compartmentalized trays excellent for holding beads and tiny things)
Boxes full of copper stampings, wire, sheet metal, even silver!
|entire box of copper I scored....|
Jewelry saws, files, pliers, etc. (usually tucked away in tool boxes)
Enamel (I once paid $1 for an entire box of various colors of enameling powders)
.....and lots more!
Another key is not to be shy about asking and or telling them what you are looking for. Estate sale people will even seek you out or give you hints or first dibs if they know what you're looking for and are willing to pay a fair price up front.
Not everyone will want to dedicate themselves to hunting down the sales, but if you're a frugal artist, like myself, give it a try! You never know what you'll find!