We have salt water crocs in this part of the world but either way I do not want to be up close and personal with these critters unless they are about 30 cm long. I try not to thinkabout them when I go sailing in Toppers!
I love the 3D effect of this one which is located at the Woodland Park Zoo in the USA.
Maybe this should be subtitled “Why you should not complain about high prices for handmade artworks”.
I’ve never tried to sell one of my mosaics yet but I have been following a discussion about such things on a mosaic mailing list because one of the big problems that people have is trying to price their product.
Now there is no easy answer because it is a real dilemma. Trying to the keep the price low enough so it will actually sell versus trying to value the work correctly for the effort put in, and especially for those who make a living out of mosaics, making enough so that they can eat! Commission work can be especially challenging when you are trying to provide a quote in advance.
There is a lot involved in making a mosaic:
And don’t forget the trips to suppliers to buy more grout or tiles etc. Your petrol costs and wear and tear on the car need to be taken into account!
Time needs to be part of the equation. Mosaics is a time heavy pasttime. Most pieces take hours. It can take ages just to find a source for the perfect tile. And don’t forget the thinking when you are trying to get around a problem or even just trying to work out the colour of grout to use!
Some people have worked out an hourly rate for themselves.
Some charge for the supplies and then have a set rate per square foot or inch to take into account the labour.
Others charge 2.5-3x the cost of supplies.
What makes it hard as well as that there are heaps of foreign imports around. The ones from Bali or the Middle East which may be of very decent quality.
We’ve all seen those cute little lamps or votive holders from Bali going at $15 in the shops. The ones with glass on glass. Remember the retailer will probably be marking the price up by the usual 33% so it probably cost them about $10 to buy from some middle man. And they will take a cut too. Someone had to cut each piece of glass [or at least supervise a machine] and someone definitely had to stick each piece down by hand. And I bet they used a rather smelly adhesive exposing workers to toxic fumes usually in under-ventilated workshops. The original worker is being paid peanuts. Now the cost of living in Bali is low but should we buy those products? If we had to make the same thing in our own countries I suspect the price would rise from $15 to about $100.
There are lots of issues and no easy answers. But there are lots of people out there who do underprice their work and who basically sell their stuff at or just above cost and fail to take their time and creativity into account.
Here are some articles that attempt to get to the bottom of it all:
[Thanks to everyone on the Yahoo Mosaic Addicts mailing list for the benefit of their experience.]