Inventory Management Feed

Is Artwork Ever Old? Stitch Care Mend Fold Muse Reach Stress Wear Break Torn Mad and ANGRY!

Is Artwork Ever Old?  An artwork from 20 years ago can still resonate today, perhaps even more so than ever!

Peninsula Museum of Art photographing work installed in the exhibition

I've never considered my earlier work as "old inventory." Spoken clearly with the artist's voice, work made in previous decades can gain more meaning in another time.  This is how I feel about my artwork in the current exhibition at the Peninsula Museum of Art in Burlingame, CA. The #metoo movement and the Kavanaugh Supreme Court controversy have given this group of artwork from 1996 to 2004 new meaning.

After listening to the entire day to the Judicial hearings I am stressed, worn, torn, mad and angry about the mishandling by the Senate Judiciary committee controlled by old white men exposing their ignorance, incoherence, and insensitivity.   

Philip Cohen photographer at the Peninsula Museum of Art
O.K. back to the artwork...

I knew that the photos of the wall quilt titled, "Stitch Care Mend Fold Muse Reach Stress Wear Break Torn" from 20 years ago were not good enough, so I asked my photographer, Philip Cohen, to take new photos.  I needed new images. The original photographs were taken at the cusp of the digital age and the pixels from early digital images dated the artwork, far more than its theme and content. The master image was even stored on a format that I can't access. Some kind of supergiant mega-disc brand state-of-the-art digital formatting of that time .... that has since vaporized from the face of the earth. 

Philip Cohen testing the lighting exposure
The piece is also difficult to shoot because of its size
 (6 feet x 6 feet), so while it is installed at the Peninsula Museum of Art, this is the perfect time to have new images taken.

Having images taken of older work is not about being stuck in the past. No, not at all. This is about how, with time and experience, my standards have continued to evolve. Even styles of documenting art and craft change over time. New photographs can give this work better documentation for a wider audience and fresh eyes.

Facebook-banner-quilt-full-Phil Cohen-color-test

Digital standards have changed, evolved, improved. This is not unlike the changing social and professional standards since Anita Hill in 1991.  The #metoo movement has changed the standard of what was previously tolerated and survived, to a time of visible controversy and action.

Close-up Quilt
This Sunday, Sept. 30, the Peninsula Museum of Art will host a discussion titled, 

"Truth and Consequences"


Artists Harriete Estel Berman, M. Louise Stanley, and John McNamara will discuss work in the exhibition in the context of our time.

The event is free.

Sunday at 2 PM – 4 PM

Peninsula Museum of Art
1777 California Dr,
Burlingame, California 94010


P.S. I will compare the old photos with the new photos in another post.

Big things are happening, stay tuned! 


Quil-before-after copy

Sharing Quality Images for Critical Writing and Discussion

Foundation WallArtists and Makers are the foundation of the arts and crafts community. Whether for personal benefit or for community support, the images of your work provide a crucial mode of communication.


Consuming Conversation © 2004
"Never Let Your Ideas Deceive You FromThe Real Truth"
Post-consumer recycled tin cans,
bronze handle,
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

From a range of perspectives, several speakers at SOFA Chicago (including Susan Cummins, Garth Clark, Bruce Metcalf, and Janet Koplos) emphasized that critical writing and dialogs are vital to raising the consciousness of craft media and that visual communication with quality photographic images is an essential component.

41OiZd-LhGL._SL160_ The importance of great photographic images for your art or craft along with adequate documentation was stressed by Bruce Metcalf and Janet Koplos, authors of the book Makers: A History of American Studio Craft. When starting the book they thought they would be overwhelmed by the number of images and the task of deciding which photos to use in their very important book Makers.

However, it turned out that the images in the book were often chosen from which images were available and acceptable, rather than from an excess of images.  How can it be that an artist's or maker's entire body of work, a lifetime of artistic exploration, is represented solely by which image can be found?  @%!#!!!!

During the same day of lectures, Garth Clark raised the problem of some artists not allowing images of their work to be used in print or lectures out of concern that such use might negatively affect their branding or identity as an artist. I recommend you read the previous two posts:

Pandora's Box or Toolbox - COPYRIGHT of Photographic Images

Photo Permission & Copyright Issues - Is this hampering a dialog?

OscarWILDE I believe that it should be a shared responsibility for artists and makers to support growth and "the free exchange of ideas in a visual culture"* by allowing images of our work to be used for critical writing and lectures (without requesting monetary compensation).  By far most critiques are net positives.  But if not, Oscar Wilde said it best, "The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about."

So always have great photos ready. The quality of photographic images of your work often reflects the quality of the work itself.

To obtain the maximum mutual benefits,  support the arts community by freely sharing your great images for inclusion in writing, dissertations, lectures, books, and magazines. Let's help make valuable contributions to the community with the very best photographic images of our work.


*quote from an email conversation with Bruce Metcalf, author of Makers: A History of American Studio Craft.

This post was updated on January 22, 2022.

Surviving an I.R.S. audit - Withdrawing Inventory Items for Personal Use? Very scary!


I have been audited twice by the I.R.S. During both of these audits, the I.R.S. agent asked how many "inventory items did I withdraw for personal use?"  This is a potential trap, so avoid this practice if you can!

TrapA letter from the I.R.S. Information Document required:
"Documentation and computation of the cost of inventory items withdrawn for personal use. Include gifts to family members and friends, items for personal consumption, etc. A logbook, written record, or any documentation you have that shows what you used for business and what was given as gifts to family, friends, or personal consumption. We need to see how you separated what was used for business and what was used for personal consumption."

This could lead to an eternal trial by fire!!! 
The best answer is that you do NOT give away or trade your work from business inventory.


Just to clarify here, I am not talking about taking an item from your inventory to display in your studio or wearing a pair of earrings to an opening for promotion.  These are two examples of a legitimate way to promote your work. You still own the item and you are actively offering them for sale. What should be a concern is the common practice of "trading work with other artists."

Recently I read an online art/craft business newsletter discussing how much fun it is to trade work!  Trading work is NOT a business-like behavior. Sorry if I sound like a fuss budget, but there are many facets of behaving "like a business." If you want to deduct your legitimate art or craft business expenses (whether you make money or not), you need to be able to prove that you are "acting like a business."

The whole point is that the I.R.S. wants to determine if you fit their definition of a "hobby" or a "business."  If you want the I.R.S. to perceive your entrepreneurial efforts as a business, then you must show them that you act like a business. 

A business needs to account for every item in its inventory.

The I.R.S. has rules regarding giving your work away or trading from business inventory. It is called "barter." If you want more information on barter, see the information below my signature (copied directly from the I.R.S. website).

On the other hand, if you are happy being deemed a "hobby" by the IRS, then no inventory management is required. You may give away or trade your work as an informal exchange anytime on a noncommercial basis.

What disturbs me is to see public discussion about bartering work on an art business website, at craft shows, or other requests to trade work with so little awareness of the consequences.  If you feel you must give gifts or barter, you could make such work on your own personal time not using your business inventory or materials or employees. That is what gifts are for.


BUBBLEbarter Topic 420 - Bartering Income (from the I.R.S. website)
Bartering occurs when you exchange goods or services without exchanging money. An example of bartering is a plumber doing repair GhostSCARY.GRwork for a dentist in exchange for dental services. The fair market value of goods and services received in exchange for goods or services you provide must be included in income in the year received.

Generally, you report this income on Form 1040, Schedule C (PDF), Profit or Loss from Business. If you failed to report this income, correct your return by filing a Form 1040X. Refer to Topic 308 for Amended Return information.

  The Internet has provided a medium for new growth in the bartering exchange industry. This growth prompts the following reminder: Barter exchanges are required to file Form 1099-B for all transactions unless certain exceptions are met. Refer to Barter Exchanges for additional information on this subject. If you are in a business or trade, you may be able to deduct certain costs you incurred to perform the work that was bartered. If you exchanged property or services through a barter exchange, you should receive a Form 1099-B (PDF), Proceeds From Broker, and Barter Exchange Transactions. The IRS also will receive the same information.

Please refer to the I.R.S. Bartering page for more information on bartering income and bartering exchanges.

Direct Barter Transactions (from the I.R.S. website.)
If you engage in the direct barter of products or services with an individual or a business you will generally not receive a Form 1099-B, but the transaction must be accounted for in your books and records just the same. Think of a barter transaction as just another sales transaction of your business goods or services you must include in your income at the time received. Accurate accounting and record-keeping can help you manage barter transactions.

For example, if a doctor agrees to give an accountant a personal medical exam in exchange for personal tax return preparation, the fair market value of the medical exam is taxable to the accountant, and the fair market value of the tax return preparation is taxable to the doctor.

For simplicity's sake, let’s assume the fair market value of both services is equal to say, $200. Note that all pieces of the transaction should be clearly marked as a bartering transaction in the books and records of both the doctor and the accountant. With the fair market value of both services being equal, both the doctor and the accountant must include $200 in their income as a result of the bartering transaction.


This post was updated on February 5, 2022.

Surviving an I.R.S. audit - Cost of Goods SOLD and Jail House Orange - A Fashion Accessory Nightmare

Jailhouse ORANGE outift If the I.R.S. asks you to bring your Cost of Goods Sold from two years ago. Are you ready?  An I.R.S. audit causes lots of anxiety. They earn their reputation. My vivid imagination, normally a fantastic creative asset, revved into the red zone as I imagined myself in jailhouse orange - a fashion accessory nightmare.  


Altoids earrings by Harriete Estel Berman
  Altoids Earrings © 2010
  Recycled tin cans, sterling silver wire,
  jump rings, and posts.
  Artist: Harriete Estel Berman

Double and triple checking my Cost of Goods Sold took hours of work and lots of help to get ready. Sure, I had good Inventory Records, but they were encrypted in "Harriete lingo"  (i.e. no shape to hand over to the I.R.S.).  While I could interpret what and where everything was, auditors prefer to see rows and columns in spreadsheets that clearly add up to the numbers on your tax return. 


Recycled Two Orange Bracelet from post consumer recycled plastic by Harriete Estel Berman
   RECYCLED Two Orange Bracelet
   © 2010 Harriete Estel Berman
   Post-consumer recycled plastic
   Photo Credit: emiko oye

And here is what I learned this year.  Your Finished Goods (discussed in the previous post) becomes the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) only after it is sold. Duhhhhhhhh......

Most artists just move an item from their Inventory to SOLD. Done. Calculating Inventory is magic or subject to their creative imagination.

The IRS only wants to see clear and accurate records and neat rows and columns of numbers.

The I.R.S. wants to see how you calculated your Cost of Goods Sold. 

The I.R.S. wants to see unmistakable evidence that you are acting in a business-like manner.

Cost of Goods scratches and scribbles Scribbles and arrows are NOT good enough. You need to know how much each item/artwork costs to make. Each finished piece adds to your Finished Goods Inventory. 

So, month after month, year after year, the cost of your Finished Goods for each finished piece keeps adding to your Inventory.  By keeping an ongoing Inventory Record for each artwork or piece, the rest of this accounting becomes a lot easier.

Finally, when you sell a finished piece/artwork, you know exactly how much it cost you, right? The Finished Goods number becomes the Cost of Goods Sold for that piece. You already wrote the amount down in your Inventory Record.

Repeat, the dollar amount for Finished Goods now becomes the "Cost of Goods Sold" for the piece.  You subtract the amount from Inventory and add it to the end-of-year total for Cost of Goods SOLD. Voila! you've calculated your Cost of Goods Sold for the year.

Cost of Goods Sold example Ideally, as the year progresses, your list of SOLD work gets longer and your inventory decreases.

This post was updated on January 21, 2022.

AOL yellow and orange tin can earrings by Harriete Estel Berman
AOL Earrings by Harriete Estel Berman 

Surviving an I.R.S. audit - What Is Included in the Cost of Finished Good besides your best guess?

In the previous post, we focused on using your inventory record to document your cost of Finished Goods for the IRS.  So what can be included in the cost of Finished Goods and what can't?

To keep this really simple, Finished Goods = cost of materials and employee labor that go DIRECTLY into the work.

If you use jump rings, a tube of paint, a roll of canvas, pounds of clay, or sheets of metal, anything that you use DIRECTLY in your work, is included in your Finished Goods. 

Harriete Estel BErman with a gigantic pencil working on her inventory recordTo figure out how much your raw materials cost, you can look at your receipts for purchases or write it on the materials themselves.  For example, when I buy metal, I write the total cost on the sheet of metal with a magic marker. Buy some clay? Write how much it cost per pound on the outside of the package. Canvas? Write down the price per yard.


   A sheet of sterling silver. I wrote the
   price of the sterling sheet metal when
   I bought it.


Write it down when you buy your materials so you won't have to look it up later.  If the jump rings cost you $3 for 20, then they cost you 15 cents each.

There are lots of ways to track your materials. Keep it simple and use the same method all the time. Write your cost of materials in your Inventory Record for each piece.


Employee labor is also part of your finished goods. Just keep an index card on your bench or in your studio for each work in progress. Write down the employee's labor and your labor separately. The index card on the left shows my labor ("HB") and 2 employees for a work in progress.

The IRS requires that the artist's labor (as a sole proprietor) does NOT go into Finished Goods, but I keep a record anyway.  I want to know how many hours I have invested in each piece. Don't you? How else can you plan new work or figure out if you are charging a reasonable retail price?

Your Inventory Record SHOULD INCLUDE the cost of materials and employee labor in each artwork. You need this information at the end of the year.  By the end of the year, the sum of Finished Goods for all finished work adds to your inventory.   

NOW IT IS TIME TO SELL! This will be the post for next time when we change FINISHED GOODS into Cost of Goods Sold (without magic).   

Stay tuned to ASK Harriete! Learn the standards you need to survive an I.R.S. audit.


  Campbell Soup Multi-Can Earrings by Harriete EStel Berman
     Campbell's Soup Multi-Can Earrings
© 2001 Harriete Estel Berman
     What are my materials costs?
     Materials: 2 sterling silver posts,
     2 sterling silver jump rings, sterling
     silver wire, recycled tin cans.


PS  If you don't have Inventory Records or if you don't consider your art or craft a business, then the IRS will not allow you to deduct your expenses.

If you intend to deduct expenses, then somehow, some way, you really need to track the cost of materials and employee labor in your FINISHED GOODS to meet the expectations of the I.R.S.

This information is essential every year when you file your taxes. 

This post was updated on January 21, 2022.


Surviving the I.R.S. - Cost of Goods Sold, Are you ready? Watch my head explode!

My appointment with the IRS required that I bring my Cost of Goods Sold and Inventory records. I.R.S.sign368

Visualize this written on I.R.S. stationary...

Cost of Goods Sold (and I quote directly from the Information Document Request)
"Physical inventory sheets for both beginning and ending inventory for the year. Copies of the Federal Income tax returns for the year before and the year after the return being examined (copy of your inventory list, logbook, invoices, or any documentation you have that records your inventory.)

Canceled checks, receipts, journal or summaries of goods purchased for resale and all other records for labor, materials and supplies, and any other cost incurred to raise or produce goods for sale."

Does that sound scary? There was more....but we will discuss this in another post... the point is:
Are your Inventory Records good enough for the I.R.S.?

IF the I.R.S. wants it, you've got to have it!

BobbleheadTo be honest, I am permanently confused about the Cost of Goods Sold and Finished Goods...I feel like one of those bobblehead dolls. Yeah, I understand this for about a minute, then get confused again.  But I do know how to keep records, simple records, but records of everything. The IRS requires records and that's what you need to survive an IRS audit.

THE QUESTION IS: "How do you figure your Cost of Goods Sold?"

First, you need your Inventory Record of everything you made. This has been discussed in many posts on ASK Harriete.

Use your Inventory Records to figure a value for FINISHED GOODS.
Artists and accountants live on different planets. FINISHED GOODS is accountant speak. (All accountants live on a different planet than artists.)

Finished Goods equals the cost of any materials that go directly into your completed work plus the cost of your employee's manufacturing labor (but not your own labor).

FINISHED GOODS is the dollar cost of the work that you finish and the amount that you add to your Inventory for each finished piece. 

As soon as you finish an artwork or item, add the costs to your Inventory Record.

FIGURE OUT YOUR MATERIALS COST (and employee labor). Write down every jump ring, bead, or sheet of paper. Estimate (as best you can) the cost for the clay, paint, or metal. It might be by the pound, by the ounce, by the inch, or by the yard.

Write down the cost of your materials and employee labor in your Inventory Record. This is the monetary value of Finished Goods for each piece.

AT THE END OF THE YEAR, the sum of all the Finished Goods is how much you have increased your Inventory during the year.

Finished Goods is not your retail price. Repeat this mantra.
Finished Goods is not your retail price. 
NOD YOUR HEAD, like a bobblehead doll.
Finished Goods is not your retail price. It is your materials cost (plus your employee labor.)

Finished Goods DOES NOT INCLUDE your overhead labor or overhead expenses.
Finished Goods
DOES NOT INCLUDE your profit.
Finished Goods
DOES NOT INCLUDE your labor.

This is my head exploding.  Ask Harriete

This post was updated on January 21, 2022.
Watch my head explode.



Surviving an I.R.S. audit - No change!

Last Thursday was my I.R.S. audit.  ARRGGGHHH!  We arrived at a location (which apparently is illegal to disclose). There were no signs on the building.  This felt more like a secret liaison than an appointment with my government.

Both Terry (Secretary), Emiko (Studio Assistant), and my husband (taking the picture) came with me. They had prepared the documentation for the audit and reviewed and scrutinized all the records for the year in question. NOTE the extra LARGE red bag full of our papers. We were PREPARED! We even practiced!

Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to share how to survive (at least how I survived) an I.R.S. audit and ultimately heard the sweetest words a civil servant could utter,  "NO CHANGE!"  -- the best outcome you can expect.

I am not a tax adviser, just a "maker" like most of the readers of ASK Harriete who like to make work far better than keep business records.  But if you want to be in the "business of art or craft" (instead of a hobby), then accurate and complete records are required to show that you are "taking care of business."  The I.R.S. requires that you act like a business and your records are the evidence.

The previous post talked about titles. Titles are your first step in accurate Inventory Records. Think about it, every sofa, sweater, or shoe in the store has a name. Do you know what else they have? An inventory number!

PAM Flower Pins from 2010 by Harriete Estel Berman
April Flower Pin © 2010
recycled tin cans, sterling silver,
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Inventory #
61.4L8.10/ 575

Every single item you make, whether it is one of a kind or multiple, needs an inventory number. My inventory numbers include a code that is a description, the date made, and the price.  The inventory number of this pin is:  Flower pin 61.4L8.10/ 575. This means it is the 61st Flower pin, 4 layers, recorded to inventory in August 2010, and the price is $575. Each group of work has different information in the Inventory Number. I have talked about Inventory Numbers before on ASK Harriete.


AOL earrings from 2008
AOL Earrings08  © 2010
recycled tin cans, sterling silver,
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman

INVENTORY RECORDS are an absolute must to survive your I.R.S. audit. Are you ready?

Every item needs:
- inventory number  (including date made)
date sold
materials list, cost of materials, and cost of labor to calculate your FG (Finished Goods) and COGS (Cost of Goods Sold).

An itemized COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) is one of the first items the I.R.S. agent asked for on Thursday.  Are you ready for an I.R.S. audit? Do you know your Cost of Goods Sold?

We will go over COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) in the next post.


This post was updated on January 21, 2022.

Inventory Records - "Untitled" is the worst title.

The title for your work is your first step in good record keeping.

All too often I see "untitled" for art and craft objects. I can't think of a worse title. This isn't merely a value judgment, it is an inventory records nightmare. How can accurate records be kept for "untitled" after more than a couple?  Should a potential buyer ask for Untitled or Untitled?  Too many with the same title.... or should I say "untitle".  

Take some words of wisdom from thirty years of making. . . titles help you keep track of all your work. Keep it practical and simple, if you prefer, but titles help you and your store, galleries, clients, and the I.R.S. identify and describe your work.

Today, while having my morning coffee at the local I.R.S. office, I will be thinking of you and your Inventory Records.  

This post was updated on January 21, 2022.


Coffee Φ: The Golden Ratio  
from The Imposter Series © 2004   Harriete Estel Berman
Coffeepot and cups constructed using recycled tin cans of IILLY coffee,
10k gold and aluminum rivets, stainless steel screws, plastic resin. Stacked espresso cups are permanently attached with a concealed brass rod going through the cups.

22” height   x   12” width at the handle and spout   x   6.25” depth 
Private Collection


Morning Heartburn with the I.R.S.


Dragon Fire Gum Flower Brooch by Harriete Estel Berman
Dragon Fire Flower Pin © 2010
Post-consumer recycled tin cans, 
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman

I am being audited by the I.R.S. again. O.M.G. (as in Oh My Government)  This is the 2nd time! Two days after writing a post about the first experience, I received a notice from the I.R.S. !!!!!!!

Coincidence or punishment?  I don't know, but here I go again with a mountain of paperwork. It has taken about 40 hours to get ready. I could be living dangerously by even telling you about this, but we are supposed to be protected by freedom of speech, right? And readers of ASK Harriete may learn something from this painfully anxious and toilsome experience. 


Dragon Fire Gum Flower Brooch by Harriete Estel Berman
Dragon Fire Flower Pin © 2010
Post-consumer recycled tin cans, 
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman

The only protection is accurate records.

Yes, I do have a receipt for every expense.

You have receipts for all your expenses too, right?




Williams Sonoma Chocolate Bracelet by Harriete Estel Berman
   Williams Sonoma Chocolate Bracelet
   © 2007 Harriete Estel Berman
   Inventory Number:   BR10.22.07
   Photo Credit: Philip Cohen


Here is another about your Inventory Records? The I.R.S. wants to see my Inventory Records!!!

Do your Inventory Records include every single item you made?

Do your Inventory Records include:

  • the completion date for every single item?
  • information about when you sold each item?
  • your COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) for every single item you make/sell?


Williams Sonoma Chocolate Bracelet by Harriete Estel Berman
    Williams Sonoma Chocolate Bracelet
    © 2007 Harriete Estel Berman
    Inventory Number:   BR10.22.07
    Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

Could you reconstruct these records for three years ago?

Thank goodness I had reasonably good Inventory Records.

All my major pieces use the Inventory Record Form from the Professional Guidelines.

Smaller items like pins and earrings are kept in an Inventory List on my computer.

In the next few posts, I will go over the minimum (in my opinion) for accurate Inventory Record Information including:

  • Title
  • Inventory Number (including date)
  • Dimensions
  • Cost of Goods Sold
  • Materials
  • Hours

Photo Credit
Exhibition Record

Hey, and after we cover Inventory Records, I will be recovered (hopefully) and able to tell you what happened at my I.R.S. audit.

Have you been audited by the I.R.S.? What worked for you?

Do you have an Inventory System? What are you doing? Please tell everyone in the comments.


This post was updated on January 21, 2022.


Bermaid, the California Collection              2007
Three-dimensional fruit crate label constructed from recycled tin cans on a wooded fruit crate.
Display for three bracelets including the Williams Sonoma Chocolate Bracelet in the above photos.
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen 

INVENTORY RECORDS - An Essential Ingredient for Your Business Success

EdwardsD_9aNew (1) EDWARDSgr(Rose
Two Felt Hats by Dawn Edwards. View more of her work on her website

Dear Harriete,
Is there an easy computer program
(for those of us who are not much of a "techie"), that you've found works well, and is designed for keeping accurate inventory?
Thanks so much,

Dawn Edwards

Dear Dawn,
I don’t use special computer software for inventory management. I am much more inclined to save my money and use my own system. No computer program is going to do the work for you and the most tedious and demanding aspect of inventory management is making sure you DO IT! 

Your inventory management needs to start with a complete description in a word document for each and every item (or series of items).  Include the title, date, brief description, dimensions, and photo credit. This can be used over and over for your online postings (on your website, retail marketing sites, exhibition labels, and on social networking sites).

For major one-of-a-kind work, I use the Inventory Record Form in the Professional Guidelines. Download the Inventory Record FORM


When the Inventory Record Form is printed, I handwrite the pertinent information and organize it in a binder. For more information about the Inventory Record Form in the Professional Guidelines CLICK HERE.

If you want to keep this information on your computer, then just make a similar outline on your computer (e.g. in an Excel or Word document). Create your own system based on this template form. Make sure that you are noting all your Cost of Good (COG) hours and materials on this form.


HardCandy72  AOLfree2web
For smaller items like earrings and bracelets, I just keep a list of Earring Inventory with the name of each item, short description and price. If I send the earrings to a gallery, I move it from studio inventory to a different list, in the same document under the Gallery Inventory.

INVENTORY FOR PIN with a description.
Same idea goes for bracelets or pins. Here are two pins currently in inventory.

Copycatscratch72 Collect72
Here is the description for these two pins in Pin Inventory:
Copycat Won’t Scratch
Ht 3 5/8"  W 3 3/8" pin.  $295
Collect Payment   Ht  2 3/4" height  W 2 15/16"   $195

Sometimes I have subcategories in the same Inventory file. For example in my Pin Inventory, I have lists of my Flower pins. Each pin has a title, date, description, and price.  

Here is the description copied directly from my inventory records.

April Flower  Pin 48. 3L. 6.11.10 Children toys with doll face center in soft green. Back: Soft Yellow Almanac Tin with seasonal gardening information. 3 6/16” Diameter $345


Red Campbell's Flower Brooch-
Recycled Tin Cans
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
© 2010

If an item sells, I move the record to my SOLD INVENTORY at the bottom of the same inventory document.

If you make multiples, you still need a document with your handy description. Then you could use an Excel program to keep track of total inventory, the number of items, materials, hours, etc.

THE MOST DIFFICULT ISSUE is taking time to keep careful records. You just can't send work to a gallery or store on consignment and think you will remember where it is. That does not work! If you are sending work to a gallery on consignment, you need to move the record from STUDIO INVENTORY to your list of GALLERY INVENTORY. If it comes back from a gallery, move the items back into STUDIO INVENTORY.

If you sell an item, record it to SOLD INVENTORY.  How else will you know if an item is available or how many you have in stock?

Oh yes! Back up your files on occasion. That is why for important work, I print the Inventory Record Form and keep it in a binder.

This post was updated on January 19, 2022, to provide current links.