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Pricing / Product / Marketing Q? What Do You Do/Think?

The forum for discussion on business aspects of working with glass.

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Strega

Postby Strega » Tue Jun 03, 2003 4:14 pm

Dani wrote:Go for more than just honest criticism.... go for *good* and knowledgeable critique. You'll learn more. My mother is honest when she goes gaga over a piece.... she doesn't know diddly about art. :wink:

Yeah, the reason I am going to sell is because people come into my house and ask where I got these pieces and are amazed when I tell them I made them; friends have told me I could sell these, and keep emailing me when they find things in shops or online, saying "This looks like what you do...can you do this?" And I pester them for more complements, asking what they like, what they would buy, what they think would sell. And they tell me--.."you should make more of these candleholders and offering dishes... but I love your bowls"...and I bask.... :oops:
One friend who just graduated from Art school has been giving me help with marketting. She said my stuff is as good as some students thesis projects...
I just feel like I've finally found my medium--something I love to do. Even the parts I thought I would hate, cutting, grinding, waiting, the heat rising from the kiln, I love.

rodney
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well, what can you say

Postby rodney » Tue Jun 03, 2003 5:26 pm

when a company makes and sells toasters, they figure the cost of materials and labor and profit,,,,,, for me, this is fine for toasters


if, and this is a big IF, a person can get a good dealer, a dealer that has a long track record with representing glass, this is the way to go

many, if not most people who view art, feel inadaquate. those people that wish to have a work of art, will go to a place with a fine reputation and ask for guidance. if the dealer is truly a good one, the person who buys from them will be spared any humilation when desplaying their newly acquired masterpiece, something that would surely happen if they were to think that their taste was good enough, and they ended up serving the frog legs on those things from ebay

Ron Bell
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Postby Ron Bell » Tue Jun 03, 2003 10:25 pm

Thank you Barbara for an excellent and thoughtful post. And Sara, I agree with you. Why should this woman's conscience bother her if Sally Schmuck in Bumluck, Iowa buys her Ebay offerings? And how will that effect my sales of the things I make? It is art folks! Not trigonometery where things are absolute, right or wrong, black or white. Everyone has their own idea of what is good and what is bad. Ask ten folks on the street what they think of Jackson Pollock's Blue Polls! Not everybody sees art the same. Here are comments from two knowledgeable folks in this thread. It seems like this proves the point

1 - I find the work interesting from a design perspective. I like organic lines and I like that the edges are not crisp and hard edge. Her aesthetic appeals to me.

2 - Clunky overpriced shit. We've had beginner students display greater design sense (I hope Brock was talking about me!)

Do I like the BuyArtisan stuff? No! How do I judge her skills? I don't know, maybe she wanted that kindergarden look! Is it overpriced. If it ain't selling, it's overpriced! Bottom line is simply, it is worth what someone will pay for it. The secret is getting it in front of that special someone who shares your artistic values, and that is marketing folks.
Ron Bell
Black Creek Glass

Amy on Salt Spring
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Postby Amy on Salt Spring » Wed Jun 04, 2003 12:47 am

I just want to clear up that although I was using the ebay pieces as an example I was really just interested in what people felt were the parameters for any art and not trying to focus on just one person's work. Having often encountered an "anything goes in the art world" attitude, I am curious to have that idea fleshed out by those who espouse it. I appreciate the responses so far and will keep reading the posts to hear what you all have to say. Cynthia I like that your pieces have a design that goes beyond the rim--its cool and its well executed. As far as pricing, I have no clue, I have a hard enough time figuring out pricing for my stuff and the market for it. I hope others respond to the pricing question--I can always use more info.!
Amy

Linda Reed
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Postby Linda Reed » Wed Jun 04, 2003 2:10 am

What I want to know from those of you like Linda, Bert, Sara, Monica etc. is, do you feel then that there are absolutely no parameters or standards by which a work of art can be assessed beyond personal taste? Is all work somewhere in the range of good to great? Doesn't it make a difference how someone is putting it out there? I mean if you say, I'm just getting going and here is what I have done isn't there a completely different standard than someone who says they are putting out fine art?


Absolutely. There are very definite parameters. That's why I said that it is approprate for my work to be priced so much less than some other people's work (for now). And yours to be priced higher. I was trying to take the discussion away from Colleen and her work, because I know Colleen, but not her work, and I did not want to make it a discussion about one particular person's work. My comments stand - if the market will bear it, MAYBE it's worth it. If the maket won't, then the artist will adjust.

I'm not sure that you can classify work from "good to great", but I think you can classify from 'beginner to advanced', from 'rustic to sophisticated,' from 'crap to sublime.' You just have to remember the basic bell curve and that for each designation, the mean will be agreed upon by the majority and there will be fringes on either side who see things differently. (Is that the diffenece between a Business major and an Art major???)

Juried shows screen for the bell curve of the jury. A different jury will select a different body of work. But a dozen juries, will not be that different, because, in general, WE, the general public are not that different. Although occasionally we delude ourselves that we are. As in most aspects of life. a great majority of us will agree on a great majority of criteria... But being on the fringe does not make us wrong, it only makes us different. And for anyone looking to make a living from art/craft, the fringe may not be the place we are aiming. (Unless we know a certain wealthy fringe :).)

My point is not a point, but a series of considerations. Yes. Her work is certainly overpriced. That is told by the multiple offerings without bid. Is her work bad?? That is a different argument. I think it is probably uncritiqued. I know that being a participant on the Board exposed me to a level of work I would not have seen otherwise, exposes me to a community of artists, has gotten me off to classes I could not have taken here in my own area.

Is Cynthia's work good? I like it. What is it worth? I don't know, That depends on seeing it in person. The minimum price can be acheived by following one of those cost plus fomulas, but Cynthia has certain awards and acknowledgements from the community - that, to me, makes her glass worth more. How much more, I don't have the knowledge to say. A dealer or crictic could say. I'll just hoard my magless for the future :twisted: . But her work is worth more because it has won awards and been acknowledged... Just saying it's so only works for an unsophisticated audience.

If someone can sell for a price the 'sophicicated buyer/seller' feels is overpriced, then more power to them. Maybe someday the buyer will feel 'taken', maybe not. That's marketing. I feel that the market is getting more sophisticated as periodicals and museums, etc. pick up kiln worked glass, and that soon, educated buyers will know what they like and what is considered 'good'. Wealthy people who don't care about 'art' will continue to buy what they like, just as they always have. People who overprice their work will find out that is doesn't fly, or it will 'fly' because of marketing, and the rest of their cohorts will bitch and snipe (think Chihuly and the artistic community response as opposed to the media or art collector response...)

Sure, there's bad glass. Some of it is over-marketed and overpriced. Yes, there's good glass, some of it is practically given away and grossly underpriced. In this case, I don't know anything about the original artist's situation - whether she was an owner, affliate or supplier to Buyartisans or whether she had any input into the pricing or how much she stood to get if the piece sold.

Personally. I think that this kind of discussion is what we all need to better improve our work. Cynthia, I think your work is great. I like work that 'escapes' boundaries, and is thick and clean and has color balance. I have a college education, but only the minimum I could manage at the time in artistic appreciation. I don't know the 'right' or 'educated' answers. I know what I like. Poor work will get weeded by the market. My opinion is a middle market opinion. There is lots of 'artistic' stuff that I 'don't get'. There is lots of cutsey stuff that I 'don't get'.

I like things that are 'colored out of boundaries' I recently sent an e-mail to Sandpiper saying how much I liked her wave [url](http://www.mwweb.com/sandpiper/)[/url] BECAUSE it broke the round/square boundary limits. I hope that things like this Board will keep discussion going about technique and what the artist's are thinking is good and bad and what other people think about our work. Without criticism and feedback, we won't grow.

Thanks for the evening thought pieces. Just think, I could be sleeping instead of thinking about what makes 'art'. It would make my mornings easier, but my pysche poorer :roll:

Linda
"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. ...The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours." ~ Ayn Rand

rodney
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Re: regional differences

Postby rodney » Wed Jun 04, 2003 10:30 am

Strega wrote:I am planning to put some pieces in a friend's gift shop, and worry that the simple little pieces I make will get critized by some artist passing thru the shop....


hey there,,,,,you straighen up, and walk with your head high,,,,if you let a bunch of whinny so called artists get you down because they 'DONT THINK YOUR WORK IS UP TO PAR' then you might as well hang it up now, because people, especially the so called artist is quick to criticize,,,after all, the only way some can be BIG, IS TO MAKE SOMEONE ELSE SMALL,,rodney

Bill J.
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Postby Bill J. » Wed Jun 04, 2003 11:21 am

Okay, jumping in with both feet.

I have been a kilnworker for 12 years now, doing the craft show circuit. I compete not against other kiln workers but against the blown glass artists and the price varience and percieved value between the two.

Several years ago I attended the Pilchuck auction. I saw alot more kiln formed glass than ever before. Prices were beginning to reflect the amount of time required to make a piece and our limited production ability. The work was beginning to show complexity of concept, design and technical expertise. I began to relax. I am tired of seeing one firing pieces without concept or technique pretending to be art. Yes anything can be art as we have seen by duchamps urinal, but it is nice to be able to see good fused work in galleries or at the art festivals and to see artists value their work.

This is about ego as well as bottom line. We have to value kiln formed work and promote it the way our friends in the hot glass community value themselves.

It takes me one week to make one piece of fused work, including 3-4 separate firings, sand carving, frit applications with hand pounded irid frits and cold working. It is hard to compete price wise with someone who throws things in the kiln and has a day job to boot, or who is able to blow 10 pieces in a blow slot.

It has taken me this long to get to ask 625.00 - 1,800.00 for a piece of work. It is good to see others valuing their work aswell.

In addition I can't afford to wholesale the fused work, I talk to other exhibitors at the shows I participate in (Pacific Northwest - California) and I don't know how they survive on what they sell.

More questions than answers as always

Bill
Bill Jamieson
Vitreous Designs, Mayne Is, B.C.

Bill J.
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Postby Bill J. » Wed Jun 04, 2003 11:33 am

Can someone please tell me how you capture someones previous message so you can reply to it ?

I think it was Strega who was concerned about criticism. The trick is to enjoy waht you do, every one of us is embarrassed by our beginnings, and it is a small person who tears people apart. Critique, on the other hand is very helpful. I work in a studio with a porcelain artist and another glass artist. we critique each other all the time. It's what I miss most being away from school. Don't take the criticism personally, try to hear waht people are saying and evaluate.

Good luck,

Bill

Thanks
Bill Jamieson

Vitreous Designs, Mayne Is, B.C.

Brad Walker
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Quote the raven.....

Postby Brad Walker » Wed Jun 04, 2003 11:43 am

Bill J. wrote:Can someone please tell me how you capture someones previous message so you can reply to it ?


At the top of every post is a box with the word "Quote" in it. If you click on that box, it will copy the text from the post and place it in a "Post a reply" form for you. Just write your message beneath the quoted part.

You can also edit the quote (say, to remove parts that aren't relevant), by deleting the unwanted parts, but make sure you leave the quote tags at the beginning and end of the quote intact.

Amy on Salt Spring
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Postby Amy on Salt Spring » Wed Jun 04, 2003 11:54 am

Bill J. wrote:Can someone please tell me how you capture someones previous message so you can reply to it ?


Hi neighbor--I saw your article in the paper several weeks ago. Hope you are doing well despite being off the beaten track a bit! To quote someone's work you click the "quote" button on the top right hand side of their message. If you don't want to quote everything they said just delete what you don't want but make sure the quote html is still before and after the message. You will see what I mean when you try it.

To everyone: I really was just interested in an open discussion about art, standards, pricing, the New Glass Review and how all of you feel about different artists' approach to their work and the market. I believe that these types of discussions benefit anyone serious about doing this for a living. I thought the ebay pieces were a good jumping off point but I may have been wrong...
Amy

Amy on Salt Spring
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Postby Amy on Salt Spring » Wed Jun 04, 2003 11:55 am

Brad you are too fast for me! I should have just left it to you to answer anyway... :D

Dani
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Postby Dani » Wed Jun 04, 2003 12:30 pm

I take everyone's critique seriously even though it may be dead wrong.... it's worth the time to peruse. That's hard to do if your ego is attached to your work.... if you want to do this for a living, you listen to your "audience" and take them as seriously as your own voice. Even the harshest comments might be honest and help make you a better artist. I'm not condoning mean-ness as a good learning tool, mind you, but it can still be used if your goal is to improve. There is a compromise that will work for you. Be aware that your own ego and its propensity for hurt feelings can be your worst enemy. On the other hand, if you just like the process and want to make whatever and don't care what everyone else thinks, just blow off their opinions and don't bother with them.

Deb Libby
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Postby Deb Libby » Wed Jun 04, 2003 7:16 pm

Dani wrote:I take everyone's critique seriously even though it may be dead wrong.... it's worth the time to peruse. That's hard to do if your ego is attached to your work.... if you want to do this for a living, you listen to your "audience" and take them as seriously as your own voice. Be aware that your own ego and its propensity for hurt feelings can be your worst enemy.


Dani .... you said it all, girlfriend! Remembering back to my attempt to wholesale with the big fishies at BMAC last year, I remember how humbling it can be when you allow your ego to get involved. I had two critiques done by "experts" and one "critique" left me sobbing afterwards, and the other was a kinder-gentler version ... saying a few of the same things but in a much different way. With the first critique, I was angry and hurt by how/what was said, so I tended to get defensive and shut down; with the second person's style of critique, I was actively listening and participating in the critique. Perhaps, I was just softened up a bit by the blows of the first guy but I learned alot from that person .... lol!

I think everyone needs to listen to those outside their comfort zone (family, friends) if they really want to make their living in glass .... and if you're ever asked to critique someone else's work, be honest but don't crush someone's feelings in the process either. And as Dani so eloquently put it ... also, keep in mind that sometimes the other opinion can be "dead wrong"!

JT Schmuck
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Postby JT Schmuck » Thu Feb 12, 2004 1:53 pm

[quote="Ron Bell"]Thank you Barbara for an excellent and thoughtful post. And Sara, I agree with you. Why should this woman's conscience bother her if Sally Schmuck in Bumluck, Iowa buys her Ebay offerings?

I think Ron is talking about Sally Shmuck. There's a big difference....

-Johnathon

Dennis Brady
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Postby Dennis Brady » Thu Feb 12, 2004 6:34 pm

I believe the reason kiln formed work is perceived as being of little value is because much of it is of little value. It seems like every wannbee takes a beginner slumping/fusing class then runs off to buy a kiln expecting to make a fortune selling "glass art".

The problem is precisely that elementary fusing & slumping IS idiot easy - requiring very little skill. I'd compare it to painting watercolours. It's easy enough to paint a picture, but takes skill and talent to paint a good one. The problem glass artisans face is that buyers have seen a huge volume of crap grade work and tend to judge most kiln work by those low standards. Just because you've slopped paint onto paper doesn't make your work worth buying. Just because you've fused some glass scraps together or bent a piece of glass into a mold, also doesn't make it worth buying.

It takes a while to establish sales contacts, but if the work is good it usually sells. If if doesn't sell, it's usually because it's not very good.
DeBrady Glass Ltd http://www.debrady.com
Victorian Art Glass http://www.vicartglass.com
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Jackie Beckman
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Postby Jackie Beckman » Fri Feb 13, 2004 11:33 am

jtschmuck wrote:
Ron Bell wrote:Thank you Barbara for an excellent and thoughtful post. And Sara, I agree with you. Why should this woman's conscience bother her if Sally Schmuck in Bumluck, Iowa buys her Ebay offerings?

I think Ron is talking about Sally Shmuck. There's a big difference....

-Johnathon


Oh dear Johnathon - you must have a wife, sister, mother (?) named Sally. That's funny. We all know without a doubt that no relation of yours would be buying bad glass off e-bay!! By the way, recently saw some exquisit work of yours at Materia. I keep going back to visit one particular black and white bowl that is calling my name.

Jackie

slats
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ebay item

Postby slats » Sat Feb 14, 2004 2:39 am

Interesting reading everyone's comments. Now would love to see the work ...How do I find it?


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