Author Topic: What price art?  (Read 21713 times)

Offline dr4g0nfly

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Re: What price art?
« Reply #15 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!
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Offline bodrighywood

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Re: What price art?
« Reply #16 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?

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Offline Les Symonds

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Re: What price art?
« Reply #17 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.


The walnut gall. It's only 5" diameter, plus the wings, and I got £50 for it.


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

Anyone care to say what they think of what I'm charging....I'll be happy to be told, either way.
Les
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Offline Mark Sanger

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Re: What price art?
« Reply #18 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.



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.



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.  :) :)


Offline steve w

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Re: What price art?
« Reply #19 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. 
why do i feel the need to turn a block of wood into shavings?

Offline Paul Hannaby

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Re: What price art?
« Reply #20 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.

Offline ALAN THOMAS RPT

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Re: What price art?
« Reply #21 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 :)     
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Offline Mark Sanger

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Re: What price art?
« Reply #22 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.

Offline TWiG

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Re: What price art?
« Reply #23 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..

Offline The Bowler Hatted Turner

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Re: What price art?
« Reply #24 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.

Offline woodndesign

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Re: What price art?
« Reply #25 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  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.

..

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



« Last Edit: April 12, 2015, 10:46:26 PM by woodndesign »
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Offline GBF

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Re: What price art?
« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2015, 08:14:54 AM »
Who is Ray Key?

Regards George
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Offline dr4g0nfly

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Re: What price art?
« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2015, 12:29:06 PM »
Who is Ray Key?

Regards George

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Offline TONY MALIN

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Re: What price art?
« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2015, 12:47:53 PM »
You bet!!!!

Offline Les Symonds

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Re: What price art?
« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2015, 01:07:50 PM »
Who is Ray Key?

Regards George
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