AWGB Woodturning Forum

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Les Symonds on April 11, 2015, 07:08:53 PM

Title: What price art?
Post by: Les Symonds on April 11, 2015, 07:08:53 PM
From the outset, let me say that the last thing that I want to do is to revisit the debate about how much we charge for our work. That subject has been covered already, many a time, but there is one aspect of that debate that I feel remains unanswered, and that is, how we value the artistic element of a piece of work.

I was paid the compliment, the other day, of having my work described as a piece of art. A very rewarding experience at the best of times, but this description was offered by an artist, and what she was saying was that she accepted that one of my bowls was selling at £90 because it had an artistic element - indeed, she liked it so much that she bought it. So this begs the question posed above.

I arrived at a figure of £90 by taking the cost of the materials (a particularly rough and wormy piece of alder burr) at £15, then adding a few quid for abrasives and finishing materials, so let's call that £20. Then I added £20 per hour for the one and a half hours that it took to make the bowl, so that brings it up to £50, and a few quid towards overheads. So the finished price of the bowl could have been under £60. Realising that it had a bit of a 'look' about it, I took a chance, added 50% on top and stuck it in the shop window. Eight days later it was sold.....which probably means that I could have got more.

Anyone out there have any theories on this?


Les
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: GBF on April 11, 2015, 07:35:08 PM
Hi Les.

You are opening a can of worms here the is it art argument.LOL
Rightly or wrongly I call myself an Artistic woodturner as everything I make is an ornament I don't make anything useful.
The value of the artistic content as you have just found out is whatever anybody will pay for it.

Regards George
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Les Symonds on April 11, 2015, 07:40:45 PM
.....The value of the artistic content as you have just found out is whatever anybody will pay for it.....

That's interesting, because my new venture is the first shop of its kind in quite a big region, so there isn't an established market for that sort of work. I hear lots of people talk about how much galleries charge for work in various capital cities, but these places have established markets, and therefore, an established pricing structure.

I am very mindful of the need to keep the intrinsic value of our work as high as possible by not undercharging for my work. However, I also believe that I have to be realistic in setting a price in the short-term, and then start slowly increasing that price when a market becomes established.

Les
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: steve w on April 11, 2015, 08:20:25 PM
a bit off subject but interesting - i have a Stainless and plastic fabrication business, many years ago my friend a metal worker contacted me as he had been asked to make a spiral shape frame with plastic forms on it - we spent the next week designing it and making it - it was delivered to a unit up town - several weeks later it was in the newspaper as the main attraction at Bilston art gallery with an Artist standing next to it getting all the credit. thing is we never made it as art but it became art when the artist said it was art.
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: dr4g0nfly on April 11, 2015, 08:21:46 PM
Les,

I'll also use George's comment,

The value of the artistic content as you have just found out is whatever anybody will pay for it.

Now I'll add,

I am very mindful of the need to keep the intrinsic value of our work as high as possible by not undercharging for my work. However, I also believe that I have to be realistic in setting a price in the short-term, and then start slowly increasing that price when a market becomes established.

And start by saying when I left the Forces I did several courses, one of which was about running your own business. One thing that was brought out was the very comment you raised above, I'll start at what sells and put it up as I go. We were told that was wrong, price it at the correct level to start with.

A quote from the Guy who started the Tommy Hilfiger company, when asked what he would do different if he was starting the company today? His answer, 'Double the price, Half the quality.'

Remembering that you'll sell 10 x £10 items before you sell 1 x £100 item, you must set your prices at the level the market will support, Your problem is you are striking out in a whole new sphere of sales. George sells through a couple of galleries that sell other types of work as well, many turners sell from Home based Galleries or general galleries similar to Georges, also on-line internet sales, through Craft sales of various levels (village Hall up to Major functions) and other sales opportunities (Hotels (you did) or shops that sell craft items).

You've opened a shop, set yourself up in the public eye, in a high street no less.  

Truthfully we are all cheering for you, we want to see you do well and set the pace, you are giving us hope that turning can finally be accepted as an art form as something the public accept as items they want to buy and do buy.

You're stomping new ground, you tell us how to set the prices, but the summer season (tourists to you) is approaching, so ask yourself, could you push them up, just a bit?
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: GBF on April 11, 2015, 08:44:29 PM
Les,



Now I'll add,



One thing that was brought out was the very comment you raised above, I'll start at what sells and put it up as I go. We were told that was wrong, price it at the correct level to start with.




Yes I think that is right is prospective customers see prices going up they will think you are being greedy and avoid you I know I would.

Regards George
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: TWiG on April 11, 2015, 09:05:52 PM
Les , this is quite an interesting question / subject with no definitive answer .  You seem to have calculated your manufacturing costs , yet what about the marketing costs ?   You are renting a premises , with rates , electricity , staff , insurances  , advertising ,display costs etc  etc  , It is these overheads that are the reason why galleries charge the commission they do !!  .  A piece of work with the right WOW factor to the right customer will often fetch over and above its "costs " and like wise a piece that perhaps a lot of time has been put in to carving , texturing , experimenting will never cover its costs , this is how it goes I guess , just getting more of the former is the secret !!   The "value " is decreed by the want of it ,  Good luck and keep it up !! Terry  ...
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: seventhdevil on April 11, 2015, 09:17:04 PM
a bit off subject but interesting - i have a Stainless and plastic fabrication business, many years ago my friend a metal worker contacted me as he had been asked to make a spiral shape frame with plastic forms on it - we spent the next week designing it and making it - it was delivered to a unit up town - several weeks later it was in the newspaper as the main attraction at Bilston art gallery with an Artist standing next to it getting all the credit. thing is we never made it as art but it became art when the artist said it was art.

that's plagiarism, you should name and shame that artist...


i have no idea how to price "art" as it were but there are only a few pieces that i make which i personally deem artistic. when i sell my work i try to sell it for what i think i can get for it. for commissions i will always have a set price as it's easy to go by and no one can argue. the bits i make of my own accord are different though and if i can't sell them at their original higher price i then try to flog them at lower prices to get some cash in and rotate the stock. i only do one fair a year and this year i'm turning loads of bowls to my usual decent standard but will not try to charge top dollar because it's as bryan says, you will sell 10x of your smaller £10 bowls before you sell your £100. in saying that i did sell one last year straight away for the £200 i was asking for it but it was a 20"x9" brown oak beauty. you could have called that one art as i had turned it wet and let it dry to a sort of boat shape which they loved.

my fair is at eton college so there are plenty of people going round with loads of cash in their pockets.
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: TWiG on April 11, 2015, 09:20:50 PM
In fact Les there is a superb example of this in Dragonfly's post on Yandles show today (http://www.awgb.co.uk/awgbforum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=3053.0;attach=6833;image)  The off centre Sycamore bowl with the piercing and carving was less than half the price of the darker ( sorry not sure of species as not English ) bowl to the lower right !
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: bodrighywood on April 11, 2015, 09:49:40 PM
One thing that may be wrong is that names sell. The pieces mentioned from the AWGB stand are made by two different 'artists' and the bowl, the expensive piece is by a better known turner. In your position Les I would think that you can set the levels yourself as you are in a way the figure head shop for wood art in your area. Thinking that something won't sell if I charge *** for it isn't a good reason for charging less. One thing I was told by an experienced sales person who was used to selling £150,000 kitchens was that if it has a high price on it people will assume it is top quality and worth it. Sell for a lower price and people will judge it to be of less value. Your main customers are unlikely to be fellow turners so much as Joe public and whilst you will always get the "I can get a bowl like that in Te**os for a tenner" comments at the end of the day selling it as an art form inevitably increases its attractiveness and its value. Whatever you do don't sell cheap and increase prices gradually or you will get the same attitude as George mentioned. I have found that people who really like something that is more expensive but can't afford it will often end up buying something that costs a bit less.

Pete
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: TWiG on April 11, 2015, 10:11:12 PM
Pete , ...yes the turner is better known .... amongst turners perhaps ,but would a potential customer know  (or care )  I chose them as an example as to how a piece with a great deal more work ( obvious to most  people ) should in theory  command a higher price , but in this case  and many others is not always so , but it is one thing asking a price but another actually selling it !!!    There are a few pieces in Yandles gallery  303 .. that have been in there for years , one for about 4-5 years I think  and I feel that situation is not acceptable neither to gallery or artist ..Terry  ..
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: The Bowler Hatted Turner on April 11, 2015, 10:19:52 PM
Looking at the two pieces above I know that the pierced plate was on sale for £185 and the bowl for £450. IMHO more work has gone into the pierced piece than the bowl although arguably more skill was used to make the bowl. So are the prices correct?
    Surely an artistic piece should be classified by it's usefulness so in that context no bowls can be included as art and the value of any piece is what the maker perceives it to be? Now whether it will sell at that price or not is a different argument altogether.
       I have a piece at home that goes to every show I do, it is priced at £285 and I will not drop the price (by much) as it is worth every penny of it. Eventually someone will like it enough to buy it at that price and it will be worth the wait and the investment by the customer. It will become a family treasured piece that will be passed down a family line for generations to come,so £285 is a small price to pay and the long wait is not important as I know the satisfaction I will feel when it eventually sells. This piece was priced purely on labour costs and finishing oil and then doubled just because it was/is a nice piece. Is it art? it can be called anything you want to call it..especially if you are the one paying!! ;) ;)
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Les Symonds on April 11, 2015, 10:20:48 PM
....Yes I think that is right is prospective customers see prices going up they will think you are being greedy and avoid you I know I would...

I'm very aware of that, George, but my bowls are very individual.....no tow are ever the same - or even very similar. I'm still experimenting and trying all sorts of designs, so it's going to be difficult for any customer, no matter how savvy, to compare one bowl with another. I display about 15 bowls and 10 sets of candlesticks ( plus a couple of hundred smaller items) and the bowls vary enormously in their size, timber and design, so replacing a bowl that sells with something, and adjusting the value if I feel that things sell too easily, shouldn't ring alarm bells.....hopefully!

Les
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Graham on April 12, 2015, 07:07:50 AM
I have said many times that I would not want to put 'cheap tat' on display in my home. If you sell 'art' cheap then it automatically becomes 'Tat'

The problem is that 'cheap' is different for each of us.
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: GBF on April 12, 2015, 08:39:10 AM
£450  00 For that bowl I would not give that for it if Jesus had made it.
Somebody is living in cloud Cookoo land if they think it will ever sell for that sort of money.
It is all very well holding out for top money but mostly you will hang on to it for ever better to sell more at a lesser price as long as you are making a reasonable margin.
The coloured Macrocarpa bowls that I make yesterday are going to Somerset Crafts after commission I will get £45  00 each The blanks cost me about £2  00 each and I can make one easily in an hour .That means I am earning approx £43  00 an hour not bad I think and in a couple of weeks they will be sold.I could hold out for £80  00 each convinced they are worth it because they are art and never sell them no profit in that.
I made 5 yesterday in about six hours that is approx £215  00 not bad for an old boy from Burnham on Sea  LOL

Regards George
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: dr4g0nfly on April 12, 2015, 09:45:58 AM
Can I pose a slightly different question.

We see on TV bronze sculptures, paintings, sketches and the like going for money we'd like to be worth. Furnature notwithstanding sometimes a simple wooden item does make money, an old dough rising bowl, or stool but never something we'd consider 'Turned Art'.

So are we slightly ahead of the game, let's face it what we do as art has only really grown up in the last 35 - 40 years or so. The 'Names' we acknowledge as the masters of turning art are little known outside of our own small circle of interest, even if they have become collectors items because of their names, as Pete noted.

Or should we consider our work transitional art, it has a value in our now but know that it will one day be consigned to a bin because, it did not really cost that much, it was a long time ago, it has dents and nicks and well its just not wanted anymore.

Would I like a Sotherbys auction catalogue from 100 years from now, to see how it all works out!
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: bodrighywood on April 12, 2015, 10:02:21 AM
I agree with George to a large extent in as much that something like a bowl is perhaps seen as something that is useful rather than art and to ask for what some see as a silly price is either unrealistic or just plain daft. What price to put on something is one of those perennial dilemmas. Whilst I have a problem when I see bowls selling virtually for the cost of the wood at craft fairs (part of the reason i don't do many) I also think that selling for Bond Street prices is also unrealistic. As soon as you get into 'artistic' work it becomes a different ball game. I have some pieces at Dansell gallery and the pieces I took down a month ago I gritted my teeth and upped the price a bit. Two sold already which for me says I did the right thing. Woodturning for many years was seen purely as a functional craft and as said it is only relatively recently that it has started to become seen as an art form in it's own right. Many galleries still won't accept it though they will have pottery, metal work and even fabric work. Maybe more work needed to promote our art / craft outside the select circle it is in at the moment?

Pete
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Les Symonds on April 12, 2015, 10:38:27 AM
£450  00 For that bowl I would not give that for it if Jesus had made it.
Somebody is living in cloud Cookoo land if they think it will ever sell for that sort of money.
It is all very well holding out for top money but mostly you will hang on to it for ever better to sell more at a lesser price as long as you are making a reasonable margin......
George....it is so refreshing to hear a sensible attitude like that, being expressed about the price of some artwork.

Let me throw something specific into the equation, as it's always easier to discuss specifics....

I have shown all of these in the gallery recently, and all have sold. Firstly, the winged alder bowl, about 11" diameter plus the wings. A cheap piece of timber, despite its size, because of all the worm in it. I got £90 for it.
(http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a238/lessymonds/Pren%20stock/DSCF4007%20Medium_zpsgpd4c8cu.jpg) (http://s12.photobucket.com/user/lessymonds/media/Pren%20stock/DSCF4007%20Medium_zpsgpd4c8cu.jpg.html)

The walnut gall. It's only 5" diameter, plus the wings, and I got £50 for it.
(http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a238/lessymonds/Pren%20stock/DSCF3980%20Small_zpsphrzjkr5.jpg) (http://s12.photobucket.com/user/lessymonds/media/Pren%20stock/DSCF3980%20Small_zpsphrzjkr5.jpg.html)

Reclaimed oak...I turn loads of these because they are quick (45 minutes), and easy. I give them 2 wipe-coats of Danish Oil and then buff them the next day. They vary slightly in shape, but are all cut from 6" square stock of reclaimed oak beams, and I get £45 - £50 for them.
7(http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a238/lessymonds/2014%2010/DSCF3837Medium_zpsd62e5c82.jpg) (http://s12.photobucket.com/user/lessymonds/media/2014%2010/DSCF3837Medium_zpsd62e5c82.jpg.html)

Anyone care to say what they think of what I'm charging....I'll be happy to be told, either way.
Les
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Mark Sanger on April 12, 2015, 11:36:40 AM
A long time ago in another life, in a distant galaxy,  :) I produced a simple free form sculpture around 9 inches high x 5 inches wide similar to the one shown below. It was in a local gallery for £180 and did not sell, lots of people liked it but alas a year later it was still gathering dust. I refused to lower the price as it was reflective of how long it had taken and it being a one off it would stay at this price.

I decided as with all my work to move it around galleries and took it to one I sell in 20 miles away. Liz my wife told me to double the price as she believed it was too cheap and the reason it was not selling, I laughed, so Liz laid down a challenge, double the price and when it sells I would give her half, so I put it up to £360 and took it to the gallery.

(http://i572.photobucket.com/albums/ss166/fullcircle1/Spalted%20Beech%20Sculpture%202005side%20view%20low%20res_zpsix2sbfyz.jpg)

It sold within a couple of weeks and was a bitter sweet lesson,  :) no I have not heard the last of it to this day, but working in the job Liz does she knows a lot more about selling interior items than I do so I decided that perhaps I should swallow my pride and listen  :) Best advice I took on board, sell cheap it is cheap.

For the same gallery h sculpture sold in I made a 32 inch dia x 4 inch high burr elm wide rim bowl the gallery owner put a retail price of £435 on it and placed it on a £2000 reclaimed Oak rectory table, 50% commission so I was up for £217.50 the wood was around £30 and it took me less than a day to turn even back in 2005.

(http://i572.photobucket.com/albums/ss166/fullcircle1/DCP03981_zpsxaiera7z.jpg)

The gallery owner was talking to a local chap who was less than impressed with the price  'who on earth is going to pay £435 for a bowl' to which the gallery owner replied was 'well if you can find another one like it in the world I will give you this one for free'.

Within a month a chap and his wife that liked my work came in and purchased the Elm bowl and another of my pieces at £160, totaling £595 on one sell.

This was way back in 2005 ish. No it doesn't happen every week, but if you don't aim high and strive to achieve and break the mind set then how can you expect to achieve what has not been achieved before.

It is often said how easy it is to make pieces but how hard it is to sell them. To a degree this is of course correct, unless you invest time in research to learn about marketing, product design who and how to sell your items to then it will always be true.

Producing something different helps, a bowl is a bowl is a bowl, or is it, ? trick is to make your bowls stand out, make people decide they just have to have them.

If you bowls are like other bowls, my small rice shaped bowls for instance then learn to turn them fast/efficiently so you can make dozens if not more in a day then you can sell them at a price many people can afford, sell lots and have a good bread and butter range that pays the bills.

Of course this is my perspective and just my thoughts.

One thing I can say however no one in turning is going to be a millionaire not unless you have two million to start with.  :) :)

Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: steve w on April 12, 2015, 01:28:12 PM
everything is art to to the person who created it - any value can be put on it, although when the item is to be sold for business reasons a value which will sell must be determined, however some of you guys are well known turners so a premium can be obtained by yourselves compared to what i turn even if both are identical, thats if the customer recognise this,

at the stainless polishers recently was a "work of art"  it looked like a 5 yr old had designed it - i was told it was worth £100.000 and going to a manchester shopping centre as a well known artist had commisioned it - commisioned meaning they hadnt even made it but contracted it to a fabricator. 
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Paul Hannaby on April 12, 2015, 03:51:45 PM
£450  00 For that bowl I would not give that for it if Jesus had made it.
Somebody is living in cloud Cookoo land if they think it will ever sell for that sort of money.
Regards George

I would imagine a piece of asian ebony that size would cost a fair bit and I also think the maker of the bowl knows their market very well so their price isn't unrealistic at all.
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: ALAN THOMAS RPT on April 12, 2015, 04:10:11 PM
Beauty and value are always going to be in the eye of the beholder and what people are prepared to spend on what they consider "art" never fails to amaze me. I sell through a couple of galleries and occasionaly send pieces to the U.S.( which believe me is a very different market) and when I first started to get into this market pricing was a real nightmare. Trying to balance what I considered to be a realistic return on my work/ ideas then adding in the Gallery commission used to bring me out in a cold sweat. Would anyone buy it at xxx amount? Would it sit gathering dust and finish up being returned to me by the Gallery owner? The price debate has been done to death and I have had my say on the matter previously so I am not going to start again.
If the gallery market is what you want to get into, take your work and talk to the owner. They know their local market and it is not in their interest to have product sitting on the shelf. They will tell you if the price is too high or too low and I have found that the advice they give can be a real eye-opener. I once took a piece of mine into a gallery just to try it out and the first thing the owner did was to add a "2" to the front of the price ticket, making it a 3 figure price instead of a 2 figure sum. We had a bet on how long it would take to sell and I was convinced that I would be seeing it in the window for a long time. Two days later it had gone. It is a completely unpredictable market and trying to work it out will only give you a headache :)     
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Mark Sanger on April 12, 2015, 04:28:52 PM
It is a completely unpredictable market and trying to work it out will only give you a headache :)     

totally with you on that, and it can change hugely as you know from location to location as little as 10 miles can make a huge difference. There is no answer, only an answer to our own individual scenarios.
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: TWiG on April 12, 2015, 06:43:59 PM
I think most of us could cite examples of selling occasional pieces at a great price ,  (why not sell ALL your work at that gallery then ? ) but it is simply not sustainable really is it .  A fair return for the time effort and materials is the only way to actually quantify a price ,( the asking price can vary of course !!) are there other turners selling at the same gallery ?  If you are sure that your own work is superior , original and genuinely more desirable than the others by all means put up the price and let the market decide . I sold quite a few of my large scorched / dyed  Ash bowls last year at a price I was happy with and they all sold quite quickly but I do not feel it is my goal or ultimate aim to get the highest price I possibly can just as a status symbol / badge of honour so to speak and sell maybe one  , the galleries like it this way as well , I would be dumber than I am to think turning is a good way to make plenty of money for very little effort but as long as I enjoy it and feel the rewards reflect the effort then I am happy which is what matters most to me , it pleases me also if the people who purchase my work feel what they paid for it is fair and honest , and I have had feedback suggesting this .... Terry..
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: The Bowler Hatted Turner on April 12, 2015, 07:46:38 PM
I am sure this debate will continue for years on and off, if not with us then with another group somewhere. But I still remember the buzz that I had from selling my very first piece, someone liked it enough to pay money for it!! Incredible. Now all these years later I still get a buzz from selling a piece, big or small it doesn't matter a sale is a sale to me.
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: woodndesign on April 12, 2015, 10:39:34 PM
In fact Les there is a superb example of this in Dragonfly's post on Yandles show today (http://www.awgb.co.uk/awgbforum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=3053.0;attach=6833;image)  The off centre Sycamore bowl with the piercing and carving was less than half the price of the darker ( sorry not sure of species as not English ) bowl to the lower right !

Telling it as it is... come on people that's £450 for a Ray Key's Bowl .. Could it be by name ..

Artistic piece and it's price !!!!, Seamus Cassidy.

(http://www.awgb.co.uk/awgbforum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=3053.0;attach=6837;image" alt="" id="thumb_6837" border="0"></a><br>)..

Les, It's your Business, price as you think best, you've fair prices there.



Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: GBF on April 13, 2015, 08:14:54 AM
Who is Ray Key?

Regards George
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: dr4g0nfly on April 13, 2015, 12:29:06 PM
Who is Ray Key?

Regards George

I hope that is meant to be Ironic!
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: TONY MALIN on April 13, 2015, 12:47:53 PM
You bet!!!!
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Les Symonds on April 13, 2015, 01:07:50 PM
Who is Ray Key?

Regards George
...he's that chap who keeps saying' "Who is George?"
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Mark Sanger on April 13, 2015, 01:29:50 PM
Who is Ray Key?

Regards George
...he's that chap who keeps saying' "Who is George?"

 :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: GBF on April 13, 2015, 03:08:28 PM
Who is Ray Key?

Regards George

I hope that is meant to be Ironic!

Why?

Regards George
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: GBF on April 13, 2015, 03:13:30 PM
You bet!!!!

???

Regards George
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Mark Sanger on April 13, 2015, 04:24:03 PM
While I was having a chuckle at Les's quick thinking and whit,  :) :) George does raise a valued question 'who is Ray Key'.

Now I know Ray Key as an exceptional turner who is one of the founders of woodturning in the UK, this is how we all know him and I do not think asking the question George has can not be a relevant take on this subject.

If the bowl in question which is beautifully made was made by an unknown turner do you think the price would be a fare one ?

If not what price would you put on it ?

Would your price be the same as someone looking at it in a Chelsea gallery would be willing to pay. ?

Directly related to this do people from differing backgrounds/markets view items the same. ?

For me this raises a lot of often unanswerable questions. One thing though I have learnt from experience is that if I put a price on a piece based on the time taken and material cost then I am greatly underselling my work and the people I am aiming at would not purchase it as it would be seen as cheap, something that has been touch on already in the thread. Surely the creativity, skill and design capabilities which are learn over many years add up to a lot more than just time and materials. ?

Les

Apologies if this is taking your thread in another direction, if you are not happy with this, just let me know and I will delete it but I thought it was valid to ask some of these questions.  

 
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: steve w on April 13, 2015, 05:01:28 PM
i have no idea who Ray Key is. he might be well known in the turning world but the people who you aim to sell items to will 99% be joe public so maybe its the artistic workmanship they will be looking at and discount names?
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: GBF on April 13, 2015, 05:05:29 PM
i have no idea who Ray Key is. he might be well known in the turning world but the people who you aim to sell items to will 99% be joe public so maybe its the artistic workmanship they will be looking at and discount names?

That is it in a nut shell

Regards George
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: The Bowler Hatted Turner on April 13, 2015, 08:19:38 PM
Ray is the President of the AWGB. He is also the founder of the Association, his membership number is #1 !! He was an influence on worldwide turning before most of those who turn now even thought of turning. The quality of his work is something that I used to aspire to and to a certain extent still do. The quality of his chisel work is second to none and the level of finish that he obtains would put most of us to shame. Personally I think £450 for one of Ray's pieces is a steal, if I had the money I would buy it as it will only increase in value.
        Those of you attending the seminar this year will have the opportunity to see Ray and some of his work, I promise you that you will be in for a treat.
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Les Symonds on April 13, 2015, 08:32:15 PM
Les

Apologies if this is taking your thread in another direction, if you are not happy with this, just let me know and I will delete it but I thought it was valid to ask some of these questions.  

 
...not at all, Mark...it's a broad subject and this is all relevant for me.

Les
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: TWiG on April 13, 2015, 08:36:55 PM
[ One thing though I have learnt from experience is that if I put a price on a piece based on the time taken and material cost then I am greatly underselling my work and the people I am aiming at would not purchase it as it would be seen as cheap, something that has been touch on already in the thread. Surely the creativity, skill and design capabilities which are learn over many years add up to a lot more than just time and materials. ?
Mark ...
 
I still calculate to some extent by time , the hourly rate just increases though !!  and as turners become more efficient / skilled they produce more in a given time as well ...Terry
 
[/quote]
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: GBF on April 13, 2015, 08:44:35 PM
Because I asked the Question who is Ray Key does not mean I do not know the answer of course I know the answer it is just my sense of humor.
I have the greatest respect for Ray and his work.
I find it very odd how people on Forums jump to other peoples defense and get offended on their behalf.
Lighten up folk and don't be so prickly .

I like Rays work so much I bought a piece as I am just a poor old pensioner maybe I should consider selling it but I hav found it to be very useful.
I expect all hell to come down on me now. ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)


Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: GBF on April 13, 2015, 08:45:33 PM
Before you all start sending me hate mail it is a joke.

Regards George
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: GBF on April 13, 2015, 09:27:55 PM
Because I have now found out this Ray key piece might be worth a few bob I not going to use it as a door stop anymore and have replaced it with another bit that has been hanging about for a few years.
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Les Symonds on April 13, 2015, 09:38:43 PM
....looks like a Mark Singer piece to me!  ;D
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: GBF on April 13, 2015, 09:47:52 PM
It does the job Les. ;) ;) ;) ;)

Regards George
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: bodrighywood on April 13, 2015, 10:24:41 PM
Oh George how could you. That is a terrible thing to do to a revered turners work. I am sure he will be devastated when he sees that.. I thought you were friends.



Hang on................got my tongue stuck in my cheek.

pete
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: GBF on April 13, 2015, 10:33:39 PM
I have only used that because I don't have one of yours Pete :) :) :) :)

Regards George
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Mark Sanger on April 14, 2015, 08:12:41 AM
Because I have now found out this Ray key piece might be worth a few bob I not going to use it as a door stop anymore and have replaced it with another bit that has been hanging about for a few years.

 :D :D :D :D very funny, and who said lidded forms have no use.  :D :D :D

The ones of yours I have George come in useful too, I show them to students as a guide to the pit falls of form.  ;D ;D ;D ;D

How about getting back on track  :) :)
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: GBF on April 14, 2015, 08:28:16 AM
 :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: edbanger on April 14, 2015, 09:15:09 AM
Loving the door stops George :) :) :) :)

Now I've been giving this what price of art some thought having been in sales and marketing for the best part of 40 years I think that the answers are pretty simple.

You charge as much as your market will support, this way you do not under value your work, but in the same time your reputation as a wood turning artist will give you your ceiling.

If say I made a Stuart Mortimer twisted spiral hollow form and could get the exact same finish, I would not get the same price for my work as Stuart would for his. Why because who's Ed Oliver.

People who in the top galleries know who's who even in woodturning, if I were to take my work to a gallery on Chelsea they would not probably look at it as I have not built a high profile reputation as a woodturner. But if Stuart or many other woodturners that have a profile with in our field were to go to the same gallery there work would be looked at and probably displayed, they would even not be held to the same commission charges.

So to command a high selling price you need to create your market.

Reputation and location will take a 100.00 piece up to 4 or 5 times that.

Ed  

    
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Graham on April 14, 2015, 10:23:27 AM
Very true Ed, but how do you do that ?
Creating a good reputation amongst other turners is probably quite easy ( given the skill is there ) but other turners will not be part of your market. How do you 'brand' for the man in the street ?
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Les Symonds on April 14, 2015, 05:42:56 PM
So to command a high selling price you need to create your market.

Reputation and location will take a 100.00 piece up to 4 or 5 times that.....
....and that is precisely my problem.

There is not an established venue in my region for what I'm doing, thus there is not an established market or clientele. At the moment I'm taking the £100 piece and getting £100 for it. I am building the foundations of a reputation, just as I am desperately trying to establish my shop/gallery as a 'location', but this is not going to be a speedy process. Early signs are good. We are getting professional, discerning people coming to see us and spending money with us. I am very much aware of what George mentioned earlier in this thread about upsetting clients by hiking prices, but I am having so much fun playing with all manner of styles and types of woodturning, that my new stock is almost impossible to compare with what has sold before it....thus my clients will not be able to make direct comparisons of artifact/price.


Les

p.s. .... I don't know about anyone else, but I'm also enjoying the Foweraker/Sanger variety extravaganza; keep it coming guys!

Les
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: andersonec on April 14, 2015, 06:47:35 PM
Any professional or advanced amateur who can turn out top notch stuff has done just that, he has improved his skill to a high degree where he is making good quality beautiful items, to call it 'art' I think is being a tad pretentious, when does a top hand made kitchen become art? or any other such items? Let's face it, most wood turners would, with enough practice be able to make beautiful good quality items but calling it art? I don't know. Were Grinling Gibbons or Chippendale classed as artist's?

This is what I would class as 'art' with wood.
http://www.viralnova.com/wood-chip-sculptures/


Andy
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Andy Coates on April 14, 2015, 07:08:25 PM
Despite not aiming or wishing to, this is always going to end up and an "art Vs craft" debate. It has to, because in order to answer the question you first need to ascertain what "art" is, and are there wood turned items that qualify for the title. IMHO there are some. Not many. But some.

In the view of those that make the distinction where it matters - the actual galleries, Tate Etc., the answer is clearly and resoundingly, "no". How do we know? Because they don't buy/display it. Why? Probably because the retail galleries from which they derive leads on trends are not yet stocking wood turned objects. "Galleries" is often a misleading name for a vendor of what I'll call "created work". The name immediately seems to suggest that everything sold within is "art". Well we know that's not true. Have you seen some of those water colours!

There are wood turned objects in those other great British instituations: the museum. But there's a problem with museums. In the main they are viewed as repositories of artefacts, ephemera, posh objet d'art. The V&A actually has a small but representative (of mainly US turners it has to be said, although Ray Key is there) collection of wood turning. It's never on show. It's archived. And when it was on display it was curated in the context of "hand-crafted" rather than "art".

Of course anybody can ascribe the distinction "art" to anything. Nobody can stop you. But if what you (we) want is for (some) wood turned work to be classified as art then you need to represent it as such and hope that somebody bites.

I have believed for a long time that the primary drive amongst the woodturning world (and for that matter the pottery world - as opposed to "ceramics"...it's much vaunted and valued older sibling) to have the product of our labours classified as "art" is because there's a certain cache to "art", an otherness that would set it apart, and with that comes a bigger price tag. I can see the allure but question the motive.

Far greater men and women than me have argued about the definition of art, and largely failed. The OED makes it clear in what many "art experts" call a "simplistic and unrealistic" fashion. So you can make your own mind up if you want to. But sadly, the final arbiters, the "real" galleries, and by default the people who visit them and allow their personal buying habits to be influenced by what they exhibit remain steadfastly absent of wood turned objects.

If what you actually want is for the true value of your work to be; a) recognised, b) acknowledged, and c) paid for, then that's a different question and in no way dependent upon an "art" tag being attached. All you need for that is to do what you well, do it in a fashion that makes it truly yours and nobody else's, and to find your market. And once found, test the water and charge whatever you can get away with.

If what you actually want beyond all else is for your work to be viewed as "art" then good luck. You'll need it. And a strong back. And a strong constitution. And you probably won't have the time to come on here and navel gaze about it. You'll be too busy rushing around like the proverbial blue arsed fly trying to get the world to notice you.

So in answer to your question, as far as it can be answered: charge what folk will pay. And if, as Mark has already said, you can learn to turn twenty objects in the same time and to the same standard it used to take you all day to achieve for one, you might even earn a small living at it.
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: bodrighywood on April 14, 2015, 07:56:13 PM
Whilst I would agree with pretty much everything you say Andy, I do also believe that woodturning, like any 'craft' can be art. Modern woodturning has progressed to a point where it is often beyond the utilitarian and decorative role it had in our predecessors time. Art, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder to a large extent and trying to define anything as art is always going to be a contentious issue. Is a Ming vase simply an exquisite piece of craft work or an art form. is a Damien Hurst work an art or an attempt simply to evoke emotion (distaste and disgust usually for me). My own personal ambition, yet to be achieved to my satisfaction, is to have someone wanting to pick up something I have made, feel it (the tactile aspect of wood is a huge part of all this) and want to have it in their life. To have someone buy something simply because it was made by Bodrighy Wood is not something I either strive for or ever expect to happen. As far as I am concerned, whether woodturning is defined as an art or a craft is irrelevant. The things that I make will hopefully be things that people want, need, or at best desire. I will never be rich from it and doubt if I will ever be well known but for me I am doing something I love, get a feeling of fulfilling by creating and a bubble that hopefully will never go away whenever someone says they love something I have made and want it as part of their life. My aim is not to impress people in how clever I am, no chance of that, nor be rich, too much responsibility, but to simply enjoy what I do, hopefully pass on the little skills I have and, as I put it to one stoopid persons query as to what a particular piece was for, ' enhance some peoples living environment.' Wood turning ...Art or Craft? Who cares, it's fun, beautiful and enjoyable.

pete
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: The Bowler Hatted Turner on April 14, 2015, 08:34:23 PM
In an echo of the two previous posts I offer a poem that I learnt off by heart as a boy which sums me up a treat......

               A humble woodman I, a plain, hardworking peasant, a simple soul who,on the whole, finds life extremely pleasant.
               
                I envy none today, no lofty rank or station,it's enough for me to have a free and healthy occupation. :D
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: bodrighywood on April 14, 2015, 08:53:33 PM
In an echo of the two previous posts I offer a poem that I learnt off by heart as a boy which sums me up a treat......

               A humble woodman I, a plain, hardworking peasant, a simple soul who,on the whole, finds life extremely pleasant.
               
                I envy none today, no lofty rank or station,it's enough for me to have a free and healthy occupation. :D

(http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-forum/nothingtoadd.gif) (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Les Symonds on April 14, 2015, 09:03:58 PM
Andy raises many points about what art is, and about who has tried to determine that. However, the OED is explicit in its definition....

The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

In the window of my shop I have a large alder bowl. It has two natural holes in it, each big enough for an apple to fall through. It has areas of bark inclusions that would render it impractical in use for food. It has several cracks, the largest two of which have been stitched closed with leather thong. Now lets' consider it in the light of what the OED says about art.

Quite frankly, I don't care what the V&A think about it, nor am I bothered that it might never make it into a Chelsea or Bond Street Gallery. Why? Because a few days ago, two quite elderly citizens of Bala were stood at my window musing about it, and I overheard one say to the other (and I paraphrase, here) 'Isn't it great to see a lovely piece of wood made into something, just because it looks nice'. Now I would never have expected that response from that person, and I must admit that I was delighted, moved, proud and really pleased that my work had provoked that response.

I'm not aiming to make a living producing turned wooden items purely as art - I'm not naive enough to believe that at my time of life I could ever achieve that. I will simply get one hell of a buzz if just one in ten of my pieces is viewed as art by people who matter to me, people who come to my gallery/shop and enthuse over something that I have made. That's not just 'Good enough' for me, that's bloody wonderful. As for the other nine out of ten pieces that I make....they can be functional (they won't be mundane) and that's also OK.

Les
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: GBF on April 14, 2015, 09:27:57 PM
Today I have driven over two hundred miles topping up galleries and I still have three more to do.
Just thought you would like to know. ;D ;D ;D

Regards George
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Graham on April 15, 2015, 08:57:44 AM
It is quite simple really ( just like me )
Later this year, on the 14th of August to be precise, turned wooden objects will come into fashion and stay in fashion for the next 100 years. Prices will automatically triple.

Do you still care what it is called ?
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: TONY MALIN on April 15, 2015, 09:57:24 AM
No
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Richard Findley on April 15, 2015, 10:57:43 AM
George

Did you take into account the day out of the workshop (£250?) and the 200 miles (@45p per mile thats £90) to deliver into your pricing? I think you need to find a decent carrier mate!

Les

I think you are approaching this with the right attitude, which is important in any business. It is a learning curve and it will get easier - although the small voice of doubt that says 'Is it too expensive?' and 'Is it too cheap?' never really leaves you. The driving force of having to put food on the table will always be a factor in pricing I think!

All the best

Richard

Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: TONY MALIN on April 15, 2015, 11:45:50 AM
Richard
What made you think George does'nt know that? He's an old hand after all. It often shows!!
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Richard Findley on April 15, 2015, 12:07:24 PM
George can handle a little gentle ribbing, I'm sure. My point is though, that everything needs taking into account when pricing, not just how long it takes you to make each piece.

Richard
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: GBF on April 15, 2015, 12:34:43 PM
Hi Tony I not as old as you LOL

Hi Richard

This is not something I do very often because I keep my Galleries well stocked and I don't really trust carriers.
My furthest delivery yesterday was to the Dansel gallery and as an example she now has 41 pieces of mine.
I take on board what you are saying and agree 100% but I also make it a day out for myself and my wife .
I also had to call in to Mark Sanger's to give him his birthday present he is 50 tomorrow.

Regards George



Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: dr4g0nfly on April 15, 2015, 12:58:37 PM
but I also make it a day out for myself and my wife .
I also had to call in to Mark Sanger's to give him his birthday present he is 50 tomorrow.


Do Sue & Mark realise that are Tax deductable?
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: TONY MALIN on April 15, 2015, 02:06:19 PM
and I forgot to mention he makes personal contact. A vital part of marketing.

George
You're not alone about being younger than me. I'm the oldest member of our club, and the guy who collects the money is a year younger. Apart from that we are four short on the committee.
I clocked up my 25th anniversary of my retirement a couple of weeks ago.

I just can't  understand all the election talk about drawing benefits at 55. There must be something artful going on. There again perhaps ART is the wrong word!!
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Mark Sanger on April 15, 2015, 02:35:48 PM
Today I have driven over two hundred miles topping up galleries and I still have three more to do.
Just thought you would like to know. ;D ;D ;D

Regards George

I didn't know the Pound Shop had started opening galleries.  :D :D :D :D :D
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: GBF on April 15, 2015, 03:17:06 PM
Very funny. :'( :'( :'( :'(
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Mark Sanger on April 15, 2015, 03:25:20 PM
Very funny. :'( :'( :'( :'(

thought it was open season seeing you were taking the micky out of how old I was :) :) :) Your work is very good and you know it so don't expect me to blow smoke up your trouser leg. :)
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: GBF on April 15, 2015, 03:52:05 PM
I would rather you did not go anywhere near my trouser leg my friendship only goes so far

Regards George
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Steve Jones on April 18, 2015, 12:22:11 PM
I find it very hard to answer this question as I am not in the market that requires art turning but for me I love looking at some of the artistic turning and I am amazed at the skills required.
Yes it is worth what someone will pay and if you can get a high price do so, but surely that skill must be rewarded with a fair price at least and should not be sold for less than an amount that covers all costs and a small profit at worst.
I agree a well known name does fetch a higher price but is that not just a reward for the turners skill but also a reward for continously producing quality work and a skill in marketing oneself.
You don't become well know by just producing high quality peices and these turners become well know because of hard work and abilities in other areas that produce financial rewards.
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Dancie on April 21, 2015, 05:29:52 PM
Hello everyone,

I'm new to Wiltshire, about 14 months, new to woodturning , about 18 months and this is my first time on the forum.

In a previous life I was a creative advertising photographer, my work was published all over the world by various advertising agencies – so why aren't I still doing it? The biggest problem is that there is always someone out there to do it cheaper and most of Jo public don’t understand the finer qualities of what makes something of merit.

When I quoted on advertising shoots I would always aim to be the highest and it felt great to get the job, see my images published in magazines and posters and after a short period time get paid.

Never under sell yourself its irrelevant if its art or not when I was employed as a Photographer they were paying for 25 years or more experience.

My two pennath as a newbie . . . . . . . but what do I know.
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: John D Smith on April 21, 2015, 07:57:19 PM
Hi Dancie,
              Welcome to the forum can we look forward to some great pictures of your turnings when you get going.

                                                          Regards John
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Dancie on April 22, 2015, 08:22:46 AM
Hello John,

Nice idea . . . . . .
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: The Bowler Hatted Turner on April 22, 2015, 04:15:58 PM
Hello Dancie,
                   welcome to the forum, you did,'t sat where in Wiltshire you are (if you don't want to make it public you could PM me if you wish, but are you aware that there is a club in Trowbridge and one near Swindon?
Title: Re: What price art?
Post by: Dancie on April 23, 2015, 04:07:32 PM
Hello John,

Its Paul Dance aka Dancie - I keep trying to attend your club but work keeps getting in the blooming way  :)