Judith Browning wrote:I had some wandering thoughts in this area...
Marketing is always the most difficult part of craft production especially in the fiber arts. When I was weaving full time it was not the area that I wanted to spend much time but was so necessary.
Steve used to put the number of hours he spent on a coopered bucket tag rather than the price...it made for some interesting conversations and gave folks another way to look at his work.
i knew one sculptor who did this with all of her work. it helped probably that she made gigantic sculptures, maybe...but she never priced her work. only kept track of her exact materials cost and hours, and then asked her buyer to pay her the same wage they received for that amount of hours.
thats an interesting way to go but a bit too complicated for me...to keep track like that.
marketing and pricing art and crafts is extremely difficult. i used to under price my work a lot, its like i was so happy just to sell anything...but this obviously was a mistake. in person when i sell at fairs i still do a kind of sliding scale...sometimes.
what i have found though is that art is very personal, crafts are very personal, if something speaks to someone and they want it, they will pay any price you ask as long as they have it. so i remind myself of that to to try to get the most i think i can in a given context.
people who haggle or criticize or take issue with the price, well best just to tune all that out. for one they likely have no idea of the huge time investment, the difficulty of marketing yourself as an artist, and would bitch about it no matter what the price. they arent your customers, they probably wouldnt buy it even if it was ridiculously low, so it doesnt matter what they think. some people are just weird like that.
the people who want something because it speaks to them, because they have that connection to it, they will generally pay any price you say...so its best to hold out for that person, especially with more elaborate pieces with a big time investment. and its good to have things like that around to just show off. have some things that are cheap, and a few more expensive pieces to show off. it's almost good to take your time to sell those higher pieces...so you have them around to help sell the less expensive pieces.
but yeah trying to price art and crafts is crazy hard.