Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Price that Pear

Last night I was working on my least favorite task. Pricing my work. I am torn between two poles when I am in the midst of pricing. On one side is the voice of my frugal mother. When we would go to a craft show together, her purchases would be work that in retrospect was probably underpriced. Of course, raising six kids will develop a strong sense of frugality in anyone! And if there was something that she had the skill to do herself, the mantra was, "I could make that". Never mind that the time to make that happen seldom existed.

On the other side is the price I "should" charge. Careful tracking and calculating my time spent, materials, overhead, profit. Crunching numbers. Neither side feels comfortable or entirely right to me. As a wise friend observed, art is somewhat like real estate. The price is in part determined by what someone is willing to pay for the piece. And there is the price for which I am willing to part with the piece. As I was taking pictures of the last piece I finished for the show it occurred to me.....I should use my blog as an opportunity to do some market research.

This is what I propose. Send me an email with your suggestion for a "fair" price for this piece. I have shown both sides of the pear. It stands about 6" high, and 4" wide and deep. The drawings of koi are done directly on the pear before it is layered with translucent clay and canework. The finish is sanded and buffed. There is no varnish, resin or other coating on the piece. It is all polymer clay other than a small piece of wire inside the stem, and a bit of glitter, embossing powder, metal leaf, and of course, the drawings.

Anyone who sends in a reasonable, thought out response will have their name entered into a drawing to win a polymer clay crane. Answers like "priceless" or $2. will not be eligible for the drawing. I will share the data with you at the end. Rather than cluttering up the comments, or having people too influenced by others suggestions in the comments, send your pricing suggestion to me in an email to judy AT I must recieve your answer by midnight, April 1st. Good luck, and thank you for taking some time to offer your thoughts.


illaya said...

What a great idea for stimulating the committed artist. This has been a subject that I have had many an agonising night about. I will be sending you an email with my thoughts.

You are truely an artist. Beautiful work. I will search your site for a sign up for your blog. Lots to learn from a true artist.


Judy said...

Thank you for so many generous compliments. I am very much on the learning curve about the business of being an artist. I hope through sharing my experiences, and what I learn, others can take a few shortcuts!