The difficult part has to do with pricing. There are some lampworkers...and to be honest, other types of beadmakers, jewelry designers, and artisans in every medium, who are WAY undervaluing their work.
Places like Etsy are a great venue. However, each seller is competing with thousands of sellers in their category. Some sell to support themselves as their sole income. Some sell for fun. Most people fall somewhere in between.
With so much competition, prices are dropping. With so many hobbyists trying to make a buck or two, prices are dropping. With people stressed out about not getting sales or views, prices are dropping. This hurts everyone. Especially those who aren't charging appropriately for their work.
Let's do some simple math using this Nightmare Insomnia focal
-Minimum torch time to create: 1 hour (often more)
-Amount of time to remove bead from mandrel and clean: at least 5 minutes
-Amount of time to photograph, edit photos, and list: 30 minutes (when everything goes exactly as planned)
So as you can see, I'm in it for a MINIMUM of 1 hour 35 minutes. At $35 for this focal, that comes out to about $23.33/hour salary.
However, the times I gave are minimums. It usually takes more than that. My "salary" does not include cost of materials:
-Fine silver (99.9% silver) foil AND mesh was used in this bead
-electricity to run the oxygen concentrator, kiln, ventilation, lights, heat/AC, dremel, computer
-the gas to create the flame used to melt the glass
-cost to list the bead
-cost to sell the bead (Etsy and Paypal each take their piece of the pie)
-free shipping if sent to the US or Canada
-business cards and inserts
-gas to drive to the Post Office if shipping out of United States
-wear and tear on expensive studio equipment
Listing all this here makes my $35 bead seem pretty darn inexpensive...
Even if someone is doing this for fun or to make a couple bucks here or there, the point is to make money. Not lose money. The fact is those who are selling their work at a negative value once time + cost of materials are taken into account, do not value their time, their money, or themselves enough to sell for an appropriate amount.
This same lampworking friend mentioned a male family member telling her once that "any profession dominated by women will always be underpaid because women have no sense of the value of their time."
That is just sad. If we don't value and protect our time and resources, no one else will either.
Now go forth and show the world you value your time and work by pricing your creations appropriately!