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updated tue 1 sep 09


ranmcc@MSN.COM on sat 29 aug 09

I have made some extruded sculptures. Now I am wondering how to price them=
Any suggestions.


bill lee on sat 29 aug 09

Randy, I once had a figurative sculpture on display with my regular pottery=
items. A lady came into my booth at a craft fair who commented that the sc=
ulpture needed=3DA0 to be displayed with more confidence, rather than being=
n a shelf.=3DA0 How and where you display sculpture is very much part of th=
e =3D
selling equation. Is it one of a kind or part of a series?=3DA0 Compared to=
he rest of your pottery, is it on the same scale or larger? Look around at =
other clay sculpture in your market, how is it priced and displayed?=3DA0 T=
re is no set formula, but I think these are some of the factors to consider=

Bill Lee, Clay Artist=3D20
111 Lynnview Dr
Knoxville, TN 37918
(865) 566 available

I have made some extruded sculptures.=3DA0 Now I am wondering how to price =
Any suggestions.


Snail Scott on sun 30 aug 09

On Aug 29, 2009, at 3:06 PM, ranmcc@MSN.COM wrote:

> I have made some extruded sculptures. Now I am wondering how to price
> them?
> Any suggestions...

For any artwork, regardless of method or material,
there is only one good way to choose prices: compare
your work with similar work. Find work with similar
materials, size, workmanship, in similar sales venues,
with a similar level of name-recognition for the artist
that made it. Your work should be priced comparably.

If you find similar work by a more famous artist, yours
should be priced less. If you find similar work with
poorer workmanship, you can probably charge more.
And so on.

The only determinant of the price of your work is
what people are wiling to may for it. Period. The
criteria listed above are some of the points of
comparison you can use, though not the only

The criterion of 'is it better art?' is an important one
but difficult to judge. That's why you fall back on
easier-to-compare standards, and on the prices
people have paid for similar work in the past. 'Better
art' is just too squishy a standard to evaluate. I f
yours is better, people will buy it faster than you
can make it, and then you can raise your prices.

(Yes, for the purposes of this discussion, 'better'
is what sells better. Other standards have their
own place, but it's not here.)

One criterion which is absolutely irrelevant is the
amount of effort or time invested in the piece.
Another useless criterion is what it cost you to
make. Such calculations may tell you whether
you can afford to keep making such work, but they
can't determine a fair market price. If you have to
ask a lot more to cover expenses or your own cost
of labor, then figure out a way to make it more
efficiently, or make something else.

Conversely, if you have a windfall - free materials,
a zero-commission gallery show, or some such -
don't lower your prices just because you can.
The work is still worth what it's worth, so don't
undersell your fair price, especially if the windfall
is temporary.

If you are unsure of an appropriate starting point,
start low. You will gain a following of collectors
with an interest in your career who will tell their
friends what a bargain your work is. You will also
gain a history of past sales - valuable when looking
for new galleries, and reassuring to new buyers.
Remember, you can always raise your prices
later if things sell well, and your early collectors
will feel terribly smug to have 'discovered' you.

If you start too high, you may sell a few things, but
you may look arrogant or unrealistic to buyers and
potential galleries both. If you have to drop your
prices later, you are betraying the trust of those few
early buyers, making them feel foolish or even
cheated when they see other people buying later
for less.

Your early collectors are your best supporters;
treat them with respect.


A Buck on mon 31 aug 09


Here is a formula that will get you close.

1. Count the time it took you to make the piece form the time you opened t=
he bag of clay to the time the piece was fully assembled or all the pieces =
were made. Do not count any of the time drying, handling or firing after t=
he piece is made.

2. Multiply the time making the piece by 10.

3. Decide what your time is worth and multiply the total so far by that am=
ount. if you are going to sell the piece at a local event, that is the pri=
ce to put on it.

4. If you are going to have someone else sell it for you, mark it up by wh=
at their commission would be. If you plan to sell some items your self and =
some through a gallery, sell all the items at the gallery price.

5. Always add shipping AND handling to the cost of the item if it needs to=
be shipped to a gallery by a third party. The gallery should be charging =
the customer any fees for delivery from the gallery.


It takes you 6 hours to take a bag of clay and make it into a sculpture rea=
dy for drying. Multiplied by 10 equals 60 hours. Multiply that by what yo=
ur time is worth to you per hour, say $10.00 per hour. Ask $600.00 for the=
piece at your local outlet. If you have your items in a local gallery, an=
d they take 60 percent of the sale, put a price of $1500.00 on the item and=
you will still get $600.00 for the piece.

If your sculptures are highly decorated rather than just glazed, you will h=
ave to add that time in at your hourly rate.

Simple. Maybe too simple, but it will get you into the ball park.

Andy Buck
Raincreek Pottery
Port Orchard, Washington

--- On Sat, 8/29/09, ranmcc@MSN.COM wrote:

> From: ranmcc@MSN.COM
> Subject: Sculptures?
> Date: Saturday, August 29, 2009, 1:06 PM
> I have made some extruded
> sculptures.=3DA0 Now I am wondering how to price them?
> Any suggestions.
> Randy
> =3D0A=3D0A=3D0A