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Commissions How much do I charge?

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  • #31
    Re: Commissions How much do I charge?

    I too have done some pieces not at a loss,,but not at as great a profit with the intent of having something out there to show what I can do.
    Sort of advertising if you will.
    I have no problem reaching for high standards. Having high standards is wonderful but I can't eat them or pay bills if I'm giving them away constantly at a loss.For some reason not too many businesses stay around very long under these conditions of loosing money. Even if the standards are high.
    Personally I don't want to see the day where I can say I USED to run my carving business to high standards but lost money on every piece. If I'm carving to high standards I expect to get paid for it as well as any business owner should.


    • #32
      Re: Commissions How much do I charge?

      It is interesting as well how history is littered with artists who die penniless and unknown, whose work is only appreciated after their life is over.


      • #33
        Re: Commissions How much do I charge?

        yes, asking him what he would pay was not the smartest idea... i did so, since on another occasion, someone wanted buy my stonehedgehog, and i told him price, and, even though he looked like he could easily afford it, he just walked away...well, i need learn about this business thing, unfortunuately, so far i was never much interested in it, too boring ...
        oh, i dont mind carving for free for friends, when an emotional part is involved. it has not the flair of work, but is different. this time spend, i not feel like a commision, i would however want get paid properly (even if i would carve something i always wanted carve anyway), or would not do it


        • #34
          Re: Commissions How much do I charge?

          I personally don't think there is any difference in charging a friend, family member or total stranger (in fact, I charge family members double my list price, no joke). The tough thing here seems to be figuring out how long it will take. I saw your portfolio, and your work is excellent, you have experience in large carvings like this Neil Young, the dolphins, the pelicans, those are probably more intricate in detail and design than the Indian. If you have a picture or sketch you're working from you probably already have an idea of how long it will take based on your prior works. For me, 'time to complete' and material costs are what I think about when pricing.

          If its possible, post your picture or your sketch you will be working from, and ask everybody here what they would charge for a 6' version of it. I bet you'll find a range of responses equall to the prices you were originally asking about(ie. 500- 10,000 bucks). Do you actively sell your work already? Places or people who do large carvings like that are very few and far between...go for it...your customer can always say NO, if they want to.

          But I think we would ALL learn a lot here if you posted the pic and then asked what everyone here would charge!

          Your work is beautiful!



          • #35
            Re: Commissions How much do I charge?

            Well I might as well jump in here with my opinion. Selling has been a way of life for me, since, well a long time ago. There is a market price for sure, but what someone else gets for a carving or painting has very little to do with your asking price. What its worth, is something else that has very little to do with your asking price. Put a price on your work, good or bad, and stick with it, the demand for your work will increase or decrease your asking price, and that is the factor that will determine your price. There are a lot of different things that determine prices. Be Fair, honest and firm dealing with customers, and it will pay dividends in the end. Quality and honesty will bring you customers, and pay you fair prices for your efforts.


            • #36
              Re: Commissions How much do I charge?

              Jim - It would be interesting to compare what everyone would charge, and also what everyone would pay for the completed work (assuming no financial constraint).


              • #37
                Re: Commissions How much do I charge?

                A comparison would I'm sure be all over the charts.As I tried to point out there are so many variables involved in this particular situation. Everything from the skill and execution of the piece,,family,,the clients situation,,what the expectations are on both sides,,besides many other things.
                How I would handle the carving and what the results would be may very well be entirely different from what someone else might be able to do. As I said I don't use tree trunks or add things on,,that makes a huge difference in the final piece.My design,level of details and finishing again may or may not be what someone else is able to do,,,or that the client is even interested in.
                As far as what we might buy,,,well seeing some of the links I've seen pieces I wouldn't consider purchasing,no matter what the price,,even free. Now ,,being the "customer" my expectations are similar to what I would try to carve. From the carvers point of view,,I need to know what the customers demands are. One is not the same as the other. If someone ecpects a Rolls Royce,,a Yugo salesman isn't gonna cut it,,,or vice versa.
                From each of our perspectives the ranges will be 10.00 an hour and we'll know the price when it's done,, to $100 a foot ($600.00) ,,,upwards of $3,000.00 a foot.
                The only other alternative might be to have a finished model and THEN ask what a variety of people might charge to carve something to that particular end. Otherwise ,,not knowing each persons ideas about what they would do is all over the place. A chain saw carver will price from his clientele ,skill and ideas,,maybe located in the middle of nowhere as I would have to price according to what my ideas ,skill and clientele would be willing to pay in the north east. We'll both end up with Indians,,,but vastly different in so many ways.


                • #38
                  First of all, I carve for fun... all the carvings and wood-turning project that I do I try to sell; All the money I donate to animals... Toronto Humane Society. helping an animal makes more sense to me than helping a human being... call me weird, this is who I am.
                  How much i charge... $15-$20 /per hour spent on the project, no matter the task if is actual carving, finishing or painting. On top I add the price of wood... this is the final price. Its simple and it worked for me so far. There are a lot of people who charge a lot less... its how much you value your time.


                  • #39
                    Very nice idea and a great cause and a nice gesture, Toronto Carver.

                    BTW back to the topic thread, if people see work as a type of art, no idea what they would pay. I've been amazed at some of my sales.
                    Living among knives and fire.



                    • #40
                      I charge what I would pay and since I am kind of a skin flint - I add a wee bit more. Im happy - customer is happy. Could I charge more? yep. but do I want to be that guy? nope. I charge what I'm happy with and that's that. In all my years of carving and selling never has anyone said I was too expensive. I would hate that. There is an over pretentiousness that comes with art and artists and it saddens and disgusts me. So do a little recon work for carvings "like" what you are doing and see what you think of their prices then adjust yours how you like


                      • #41
                        Hi there im just getting in to using a dremel to carve wood I just did one on a 6foot piece of maple wood it has sharkes,dolphins,whales,seahorses,
                        shrimp,sea shells,jellyfish and a few other things on it i am also burning it then staining it I would like to know how much I could get for something like this thank you for any input


                        • #42
                          Really well done and the subjects are as you say, pick a number. $200.00/ft at the low end.

                          I have the same puzzle with a pair of 64" story poles on my carving bench. I have no idea what to ask. One of those on-again, off-again carvings that lasts for years. So it's been fairly painless to putz around with as the years fly by. The knife work has turned out to be very tedious.

                          In a long ago past life, I did a lot of watercolor painting of waterfronts, landscapes and flowers. I confess that some days, I painted for the money. Sold some right off the boards. You like this?
                          We measure it. I'm asking $50.00/square foot. Nobody ever blinked. I picked a number.

                          Here in the PacNW, First Nations do totem and story poles for $2,000/foot and up. In this day and time, really carving-good western red cedar logs are primo and even harder to find.

                          So prices are all over the place. What can you find on the 'net for decorative carvings for sale?
                          Brian T


                          • #43
                            I know a lot of fish carvers have a set price up to a length they decided. say 10 inch fish Costs 200 dollars. Then 10 dollars an inch for anything bigger. Just remember. just because your having fun carving dont mean your time and skills are for free.


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Donny47 View Post
                              Hi there im just getting in to using a dremel to carve wood I just did one on a 6foot piece of maple wood it has sharkes,dolphins,whales,seahorses,
                              shrimp,sea shells,jellyfish and a few other things on it i am also burning it then staining it I would like to know how much I could get for something like this thank you for any input

                              Hi, Donny. Here's a previous discussion on this subject: https://forum.woodcarvingillustrated...1-i-don-t-know My response is p0st #5.

                              Last edited by Claude; 03-05-2022, 03:37 PM.
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