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View Full Version : Is there a "wrong" in creativity?



EmmaC
07-07-2014, 08:37 PM
I'm interested in people's opinions on this. So many times I've seen quotes along the lines of: "there's no wrong in creativity" to which I've always felt yes there is, there's bad design and bad workmanship, and that's used as an excuse for both sometimes.
I've always felt one of the ironies of good design is no one notices it, whereas with bad design it does often feel inherently wrong somehow.
However it's recently come to my attention I may be no judge over what I perceive to be wrong in my own work. I sent some pieces off for sale, and apparently two people were fighting over a jewellery box I'd painted with pansies on, which I'll be honest I nearly didn't send because I wasn't happy with the design or finish on it. In fact I hated the thing. Now I have a request for another one! Exactly the same with the jewellery, things I wasn't so keen on have sold in preference to what I considered better items. My niece had two pendants from my scrap box that didn't even hang straight, off the back of that I had orders for two more of those!

So I'm interested in whether this happens to anyone else regarding people loving things you're not happy with or consider bad, and is there a wrong when you're making, or does anything go now?

Dennis
07-07-2014, 08:57 PM
Well I think you also have to allow for matters of taste. Taste is difficult to agree on, because it is influenced by your experiences, both positive and negative.

Some things are in such bad taste that they are dismissed as kitsch, which could be translated as utter rubbish. But even that can attract a cult following. Dennis.

ps_bond
07-07-2014, 09:03 PM
It's very difficult to ever be completely satisfied with a piece - and you'll invariably only see the flaws, whereas someone who hasn't sweated blood over it has a more immediate appreciation for the work that's gone into it.

As for no wrong in creativity, that has echoes of a t shirt I saw the other day claiming "imagination beats knowledge". Sophistry - either without the other is hollow.

Sandra
07-07-2014, 09:11 PM
Not that I'm an expert but I think if it's functionally made correctly, meaning everything soldered in place and functioning clasps, stones set properly, etc. that there is no right or wrong in design. Just like an artist doing oil paintings, what's considered crap by one is considered a fantastic work of art by another. Just walk through the Tate Modern Art gallery for good examples ;)

CJ57
07-07-2014, 11:56 PM
Sometimes I've produced pieces that I've not been completely happy with and was making up stock which have sold immediately. Taste is a funny thing.
I had an acquaintance on FB that slated a photo of a piece of jewellery that she hadn't clicked was mine, she went through it fault by fault in her eyes and then it dawned. it had been years sold so someone loved it but she went on to justify herself by saying that nothing left her workshop unless she was completely happy with it. Well lucky her!
As Peter says we are never happy with anything and sometimes if I'm doing a big body of work I hate most of it by the time it goes and if I happen to have it for a while I often end up refining or remaking.
I knew the torque had a couple of design flaws but it's all a learning curve. If you are also trying to cover a wide market you are bound to have to at some time make work you wouldn't wear yourself.
My 'friend' would appear to have unfriended me since her critique, my work must be an assault on her senses:)

caroleallen
08-07-2014, 09:08 AM
People are so funny with their jewellery. Having started out only wanting to make "unusual arty" pieces, I've ended up only making "safe" pieces. The unusual pieces are only appreciated by a few "arty" people, whereas the safe pieces have a much wider appeal. I couldn't make a living only selling the odd more expensive "arty" piece. Shame really, cos I'm not particularly proud of most of my work these days but it sells well.

MMM Jewellery
08-07-2014, 01:26 PM
I think there is a lot of failure in creativity, which is different to wrongness. Through a process of failure and redesign/rethinking you come up with new and creative solutions. Wrongness is probably viewed as the starting point of creativity- the "urgh it looks bad" response or "that was not what I wanted" or "pool of molten metal". You then go back and try again a different way and learn a bit along the way. Likewise, all pieces have imperfections-even the masters; they just hide them better :)
Taste is a whole different story- there's no accounting for it!!

ShinyLauren
08-07-2014, 06:05 PM
I think I probably approach it from the wrong angle from a business point of view. I design things that randomly pop into my head as a good idea and make them because I love them, and just hope that other people might like them too!

I've been working on a couple of more 'design led' and cohesive collections, mainly in my head and on paper, for a while now, but it's just finding the time to get them made in between my proper job.

medusa
08-07-2014, 06:23 PM
I think that by definition creativity is built on failure. It is a process of rejecting what doesn't work that we end up with a pleasing design. And I don't think creativity and craftsmanship should be confused. You could make something perfectly, but if it is a displeasing design, it will leave people cold. Likewise some kind of avant garde creation will look awful unless it is reasonably well executed (I have a box-full as testament!).

caroleallen
08-07-2014, 07:21 PM
That's the phrase I was looking for - "avant garde".

EmmaC
09-07-2014, 11:35 AM
Having thought about this for the past couple of days I'm convinced a lot of my perception of wrong in my own work comes from school, I was punished quite heavily for thinking outside the box, particularly in art. Luckily tenacity in the face of failure is one of my better personal traits! Maybe I need to think twice about chucking stuff, I'm going to trademark the wonky pendant concept as it seems to be a hit with teenagers! ;)

CJ57
09-07-2014, 01:37 PM
Having thought about this for the past couple of days I'm convinced a lot of my perception of wrong in my own work comes from school, I was punished quite heavily for thinking outside the box, particularly in art. Luckily tenacity in the face of failure is one of my better personal traits! Maybe I need to think twice about chucking stuff, I'm going to trademark the wonky pendant concept as it seems to be a hit with teenagers! ;)

Emma we all have boxes of stuff that didn't go quite the way we wanted or off cuts from past pieces. I recently used an off cut from a brooch I made for my degree show in 1979 on a pendant I was making and it sold right away. Just shows never throw things out!

Edhelien
16-07-2014, 11:05 PM
I have exactly the same experience.
Recently I've made mini series of three pieces and the one which I almost threw away was the most succesfull one.
I try to mix stuff which sells well with stuff I like in some reasonable ratio. But it is quite frustrating when something I really love has no appreciation and something really usual and not interesting at all makes my bestsellers.

Anna Wales
20-07-2014, 04:57 PM
I agree with Sandra about the piece being made well but then anything goes. I try to work with a mixture of good selling cast patterns that I've made over the years and I know sell well but also enjoy making more individual pieces too. Sometimes they don't come out as I thought they would but they still find an owner.I have to say I usually like what I make even if I wouldn't wear it, I think it would be hard to make something that you actually disliked. I think we always see the faults as Peter says.

Dennis
20-07-2014, 05:10 PM
Remember Gerald Ratner? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Ratner.

Dennis.

Anna Wales
20-07-2014, 06:53 PM
I remember it very well Dennis.It was so hard to believe that a businessman would say such a thing about his own firm and be recorded doing so.

Aurarius
20-07-2014, 08:01 PM
Remember Gerald Ratner? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Ratner.

Dennis.
Yes, I remember him too. He gave a valuable lesson to the jewelry-buying public, but was not rewarded for his honesty.

EmmaC
24-07-2014, 11:38 AM
I also remember Gerald Ratner. I can't help feeling a bit sad that we are losing true artisan skills like hand engraving as a lot of people prefer to buy something such as was on offer in Ratners, because it's so cheap it's practically disposable. It all seems such a waste of talent and natural resources somehow. That said, I also can't understand the craze for the bracelets beginning with P, they aren't cheap but seem something of nothing design wise, more paying for the brand and posh packaging. It's a bizarre world sometimes! :)

CJ57
24-07-2014, 11:56 AM
I also remember Gerald Ratner. I can't help feeling a bit sad that we are losing true artisan skills like hand engraving as a lot of people prefer to buy something such as was on offer in Ratners, because it's so cheap it's practically disposable. It all seems such a waste of talent and natural resources somehow. That said, I also can't understand the craze for the bracelets beginning with P, they aren't cheap but seem something of nothing design wise, more paying for the brand and posh packaging. It's a bizarre world sometimes! :)
I came across a P website recently and was aghast at the prices for all their jewellery and that was even on a discounted site. It's so much more expensive than any bespoke pieces I make but it sells like hotcakes. Explain that!

EmmaC
24-07-2014, 12:19 PM
I know, it is madness because I'd much rather have a special bespoke piece that I could cherish than something everyone else has. I was astonished to find a P shop in King's Lynn when I went to the dentist, anyone who knows around here it's very rural and the last place you'd expect to sell stuff of that kind of value regularly enough to maintain a high street shop.

I don't think people appreciate something special as much now though. Hot cross buns are available 365 days a year, Thorntons chocolates used to be special but now you can buy them in Tescos. Things aren't the same as they were when individual was more appreciated I suppose, it's all trends, follow the crowd, get a celeb photographed in your stuff then everyone will want it. Interestingly my teenage nieces both had P bracelets but got bored and sold them on quite quickly.

Aurarius
24-07-2014, 12:47 PM
I came across a P website recently and was aghast at the prices for all their jewellery and that was even on a discounted site. It's so much more expensive than any bespoke pieces I make but it sells like hotcakes. Explain that!

It's entirely to do with marketing - with selling an image and selling it on a big scale. If there's a niche for the product (there's always a niche for affordable jewelry) and it enters the public consciousness as a fashionable and therefore desirable item, soon everyone will want one. P undoubtedly spend sizeable sums of money on maintaining their image and making sure it gets exposure. The calibre of their jewelry is a relatively unimportant part of their business model.

CJ57
24-07-2014, 02:10 PM
It's entirely to do with marketing - with selling an image and selling it on a big scale. If there's a niche for the product (there's always a niche for affordable jewelry) and it enters the public consciousness as a fashionable and therefore desirable item, soon everyone will want one. P undoubtedly spend sizeable sums of money on maintaining their image and making sure it gets exposure. The calibre of their jewelry is a relatively unimportant part of their business model.
I'm afraid that's true about the calibre and sadly people are like sheep when it comes to fashion. It amazes me that a bead or charm for their bracelets start around 80 up to hundreds when they could have something individual.

My explain that was more an exclamation of exasperation than a need for an answer but thanks anyway Aurarius :)

Keia
24-07-2014, 05:53 PM
The P bracelets & beads make me want to cry.

CJ57
24-07-2014, 06:32 PM
The P bracelets & beads make me want to cry.
Not in a good way I take it Sian :)

medusa
25-07-2014, 03:13 PM
is Pandora a bit like Voldemort?

I'm always staggered at the popularity of pandora beads. I actually had a close look at some (on the pretext of buying) and was pretty shocked at how little you get in terms of weight, design and finish. I suspect that their popularity is down to the fact that if you have someone you love but are too lazy or unimaginative (or the recipient is awkward) then a 'luxe' gift that can be returned to twice a year is the gift that keeps on giving (for the giver, anyway).

CJ57
25-07-2014, 03:23 PM
is Pandora a bit like Voldemort?

I'm always staggered at the popularity of pandora beads. I actually had a close look at some (on the pretext of buying) and was pretty shocked at how little you get in terms of weight, design and finish. I suspect that their popularity is down to the fact that if you have someone you love but are too lazy or unimaginative (or the recipient is awkward) then a 'luxe' gift that can be returned to twice a year is the gift that keeps on giving (for the giver, anyway).
He he! I was just following suit, thought we maybe weren't allowed to advertise. Although it has to be said to anyone with artistic skill they are the demons child.
They are stocked around here at farm restaurants but I've never asked to take them out of the case for a feel. As you say Liz it's an easy present for someone to give, a bit like candles! I was shocked at how many fancy candles I have in a massive basket which I can't use incase the cat sets her tail on fire. Maybe I should give them as presents :)

Gemsetterchris
25-07-2014, 03:31 PM
It's all potluck unless you have 's backing & even then It's a gamble.
There are millions of home jewellers
With talent that will never see light of day unfortunately..just is like that.

EmmaC
25-07-2014, 04:31 PM
is Pandora a bit like Voldemort?

I'm always staggered at the popularity of pandora beads. I actually had a close look at some (on the pretext of buying) and was pretty shocked at how little you get in terms of weight, design and finish. I suspect that their popularity is down to the fact that if you have someone you love but are too lazy or unimaginative (or the recipient is awkward) then a 'luxe' gift that can be returned to twice a year is the gift that keeps on giving (for the giver, anyway).

I didn't want to say the name as I wasn't saying anything particularly nice about them and I wasn't sure about advertising* and what not on here :)
Husband and I did glance in the aforementioned shop today, I told him I'm more than happy to have the equivalent of the 314 bracelet in the window in tools........he went strangely silent and passed onto the next shop!


*(other expensive beads are available)

Gemsetterchris
25-07-2014, 04:42 PM
I don't think It's a good idea to slag off any brand names or anyone even if you are straight thinking (I'm like that).
Especially if they are doing way better than you could dream of.

EmmaC
25-07-2014, 05:04 PM
I don't think It's a good idea to slag off any brand names or anyone even if you are straight thinking (I'm like that).
Especially if they are doing way better than you could dream of.

It's a bit of a can of worms isn't it? I'd agree about not saying things out of sour grapes, however I do think there should always be debate, opinion and critique, because it's good for growth. There's a tendency now to not critique anything, especially handmade stuff, and it doesn't really do people any favours sometimes. The thing of no critique is that nothing is special anymore because everything is :)

CJ57
25-07-2014, 05:16 PM
I don't think we are particularly slagging off the brand just that it's is really expensive for want it is, a mass produced fairly lightweight bit of work that people are willing to pay for because it has a name.
We all probably have the skills to make it and no doubt someone has been asked to copy a bead but why would we want to!
Maybe the women are also looking at it from a different perspective, husbands seem to think we might like a bit of bling, having said that mine now has good taste and he learnt that really quickly. He has now stopped buying me jewellery from our favourite designer shop because I know what their mark up is and I know exactly what the jeweller gets and so does he which is a shame

Gemsetterchris
25-07-2014, 05:53 PM
. He has now stopped buying me jewellery from our favourite designer shop because I know what their mark up is and I know exactly what the jeweller gets and so does he which is a shame

So you f*ed that bit up :)

Keia
25-07-2014, 07:58 PM
Haha, no not in a good way Caroline ;) I have been asked to make one to fit the P bracelet before though, but not a copy =)

CJ57
25-07-2014, 08:28 PM
So you f*ed that bit up :)
I did kinda :) but they were also seriously overpriced so saved him some money

Gemsetterchris
25-07-2014, 09:17 PM
Same for most things in shops, that's why they end up closing down..it'll be be all online sooner or later.
Some do take the biscuit abit, rather they added 25% or whatever rather than automatically
50+ serves em right.

CJ57
25-07-2014, 10:38 PM
This one has been going a long time now and I know their mark up was around 120 % but I don't know what the more recent owners do. She is a jobbing jeweller and they have good stuff from all over so think they will continue to survive

Gemsetterchris
25-07-2014, 10:52 PM
120% :D. Good for them Lol.

Dennis
25-07-2014, 11:24 PM
I think the villains of the piece are the landlords actually. They do very little except charge 'market rents', which can rise steeply if the area suddenly becomes fashionable.

Gemsetterchris
25-07-2014, 11:52 PM
That's the phrase I was looking for - "avant garde".

Is that French for crap?

Patstone
26-07-2014, 06:57 AM
I am a landlady with several properties, and a huge mortgage on each, if the tenant doesnt pay, we cant pay the mortgage. Properties were my "pension" as if anything happens to hubby I only get a small proportion of his army pension, even though he did 22 years and is now 50% disabled because of injuries in the first gulf war. We dont make much profit on them, as it all goes back in repairs etc,.


I think the villains of the piece are the landlords actually. They do very little except charge 'market rents', which can rise steeply if the area suddenly becomes fashionable.

metalsmith
26-07-2014, 07:02 AM
He has now stopped buying me jewellery from our favourite designer shop because I know what their mark up is and I know exactly what the jeweller gets and so does he which is a shame

So can you not track down the jeweller and approach them directly?

ps_bond
26-07-2014, 07:10 AM
Hopefully, they'd recognise what a bad idea it would be to give a lower price. The shop or gallery being undercut is unlikely to keep selling your work if you do that.

CJ57
26-07-2014, 01:40 PM
Hopefully, they'd recognise what a bad idea it would be to give a lower price. The shop or gallery being undercut is unlikely to keep selling your work if you do that.
Galleries and shops are pretty clear if they accept your work that you can in no way undercut them. You just feel in that case with a mark up of 120 to 200% that makers can hardly be covering their costs

Gemsetterchris
26-07-2014, 02:05 PM
My local jeweller was happy to buy from me but added 124% automatically, with that they said their average sale had to be within a certain range..which didn't leave much more than a blank 3mm casting :D
Needless to say I haven't bothered, but they could have made a small regular amount which would have added up by now.

medusa
26-07-2014, 02:13 PM
He he! I was just following suit, thought we maybe weren't allowed to advertise. Although it has to be said to anyone with artistic skill they are the demons child.
They are stocked around here at farm restaurants but I've never asked to take them out of the case for a feel. As you say Liz it's an easy present for someone to give, a bit like candles! I was shocked at how many fancy candles I have in a massive basket which I can't use incase the cat sets her tail on fire. Maybe I should give them as presents :)

Once it was noted that I took my monthly bath by candle light, I have since been inundated. I now have enough to last a lifetime. I don't think discussing Pandora beads counts as advertising.


I didn't want to say the name as I wasn't saying anything particularly nice about them and I wasn't sure about advertising* and what not on here :)
Husband and I did glance in the aforementioned shop today, I told him I'm more than happy to have the equivalent of the 314 bracelet in the window in tools........he went strangely silent and passed onto the next shop!


*(other expensive beads are available)
My other half knows better than to get jewellery for me now. As a bit of a tool freak he encourages tool buying


I don't think It's a good idea to slag off any brand names or anyone even if you are straight thinking (I'm like that).
Especially if they are doing way better than you could dream of.
I see it as more like the local cafe critiquing McDonalds. Pandora are mass produced in a third world country (though at least their factory conditions are reportedly not too bad, albeit un-unionised) and the value is in the brand name and marketing and not the quality. Plus they copied the idea from Troll Beads which in the hand anyway seem better made. I don't feel bad about slagging them off :)

Gemsetterchris
26-07-2014, 02:35 PM
My other half knows better than to get jewellery for me now. As a bit of a tool freak he encourages tool buying .

Plus they copied the idea from Troll Beads which in the hand anyway seem better made. I don't feel bad about slagging them off :)

Firstly, that tool freak thing is a very good thing, use it ;)

Secondly, I forgot about trollbeads, so yes, I guess its quite ok to slag em off.

Aurarius
26-07-2014, 02:51 PM
When "mark-up" is mentioned, together with figures of 100% plus, presumably we're talking about shops and galleries buying your merchandise from you outright and then advertising it for sale with these sorts of big mark-ups?

If I've sold my handiwork outright to someone, I consider it the buyer's privilege to advertise it for sale at whatever price he wants, whether it is 10% higher or 1000% higher than what he paid me for it. The only stipulation from my direction would have come at the time the buyer bought my merchandise from me: he would have paid me a price I was happy with or he wouldn't have got the goods. If I found that a shop or gallery was consistently managing to sell my stuff at a 100% mark-up or more over what it had paid me, I wouldn't feel aggrieved at it; I'd simply know that there was some leeway for increasing the price I charged shops and galleries when I sold my goods to them in the first place, and the price I would settle for when I sold my stuff to them would go up accordingly.

Am I misunderstanding what's going on here?

ps_bond
26-07-2014, 03:01 PM
I would say yes.

As I've banged on about to the despair of many I don't doubt, the wholesale price is what you need to sell it at to another business to make money. The retail price is what the shop, gallery or whatever needs to sell it at to make money - and out of the difference between the two prices comes staff wages, premises rent and all the other associated costs in achieving the retail sale.

If a customer goes to you directly, then you still have costs associated with the sale; they're probably lower, but if you're selling to them then you aren't making jewellery at the same time. So that time has to be billed for.

If you have a gallery holding work, but people know that if they approach you directly they'll only get charged the wholesale price, then that gallery will not have much interest in holding your work any more. Similarly, competing galleries will be unimpressed by different pricing structures.

Then there's the galleries who want the full markup AND presence of the jeweller... It's important for both parties to recognise that it's a symbiotic relationship, neither side is doing the other a favour.

Aurarius
26-07-2014, 03:37 PM
I would say yes.

As I've banged on about to the despair of many I don't doubt, the wholesale price is what you need to sell it at to another business to make money. The retail price is what the shop, gallery or whatever needs to sell it at to make money - and out of the difference between the two prices comes staff wages, premises rent and all the other associated costs in achieving the retail sale.

If a customer goes to you directly, then you still have costs associated with the sale; they're probably lower, but if you're selling to them then you aren't making jewellery at the same time. So that time has to be billed for.

If you have a gallery holding work, but people know that if they approach you directly they'll only get charged the wholesale price, then that gallery will not have much interest in holding your work any more. Similarly, competing galleries will be unimpressed by different pricing structures.

Then there's the galleries who want the full markup AND presence of the jeweller... It's important for both parties to recognise that it's a symbiotic relationship, neither side is doing the other a favour.
I'm not sure what I said that suggested I was unaware of the points you rightly make, except perhaps my arbitrary choice of 100% as a retail mark-up level that suggests there is leeway for me to increase my wholesale price. For the relationship to be sustainable it does, as you say, have to be a symbiotic rather than a parasitic one. The thing is, in the dim and distant past wholesale to retail mark-ups of around one third used to be the order of the day and I'd imagine no-one found it difficult to see the strict economic necessity of such an arrangement. Maybe strict economic necessity is solely responsible for the mark-ups of 125% seen today, though it's difficult to see how costs for retailers can have increased so sharply whilst costs for manufacturers have remained more steady.
Mark.

medusa
26-07-2014, 04:57 PM
Firstly, that tool freak thing is a very good thing, use it ;)

Secondly, I forgot about trollbeads, so yes, I guess its quite ok to slag em off.

Oh yes :) He is awesome especially his perspective on cheap tools. He ought to have 'buy cheap, buy twice' as a tattoo he incants it so often.

re. mark-ups, I suppose there is a difference between buying at wholesale and sale or return. Galleries round here take 40-50% commission on artworks they sell and I assume they do the same for jewellery, but then there is no risk to the gallery. If they take a punt and actually buy stuff off you, then 100% isn't bad. I used to work in a local upmarket hippy/ethnic retail store, and the mark up on stuff they bought was well over 400%. I'm not sure if that was standard practice or they were just greedy.

Aurarius
26-07-2014, 05:57 PM
I used to work in a local upmarket hippy/ethnic retail store, and the mark up on stuff they bought was well over 400%. I'm not sure if that was standard practice or they were just greedy.

Ultimately, once the mark-up has reached the figure a shop or gallery needs to sell your things at to make money, any more on top of that comes down to how much profit they want to make. There's no law against making very big profits, as long as no fraud or other criminal activity is involved.

Gemsetterchris
26-07-2014, 07:10 PM
Jewelley isn't marked up as much as a lot of thing in shops, but it is relatively expensive to begin with.
If your paid upfront, then that's it.
If not then sometimes you'll have to wait a long time for a sale if they want add a lot, whereas they could make a little less more often ( I would think ).

CJ57
27-07-2014, 12:38 AM
When "mark-up" is mentioned, together with figures of 100% plus, presumably we're talking about shops and galleries buying your merchandise from you outright and then advertising it for sale with these sorts of big mark-ups?

If I've sold my handiwork outright to someone, I consider it the buyer's privilege to advertise it for sale at whatever price he wants, whether it is 10% higher or 1000% higher than what he paid me for it. The only stipulation from my direction would have come at the time the buyer bought my merchandise from me: he would have paid me a price I was happy with or he wouldn't have got the goods. If I found that a shop or gallery was consistently managing to sell my stuff at a 100% mark-up or more over what it had paid me, I wouldn't feel aggrieved at it; I'd simply know that there was some leeway for increasing the price I charged shops and galleries when I sold my goods to them in the first place, and the price I would settle for when I sold my stuff to them would go up accordingly.

Am I misunderstanding what's going on here?
From the figures I was giving those mark ups are on SOR, if they were buying outright then they can price as high as they like but if they are likely to give it back if it doesn't sell then you aren't in the best postion

metalsmith
27-07-2014, 06:53 AM
I wasn't suggesting the jeweller should undercut the point of sale, necessarily; part of the consideration of the perceived expense was just how much the artisan was getting as a fraction of the value. Where I have seen artisans selling directly as well as through galleries, the prices have usually been very much directly comparable.

CJ57
27-07-2014, 11:12 AM
I wasn't suggesting the jeweller should undercut the point of sale, necessarily; part of the consideration of the perceived expense was just how much the artisan was getting as a fraction of the value. Where I have seen artisans selling directly as well as through galleries, the prices have usually been very much directly comparable.
Yes I have to agree, that is what I have found up here. It is no longer considered acceptable to get work any cheaper from the artist, customers are just keener to give you the higher profit. I was having to send some visitors to a local gallery that was also stocking my work during the OS and I was getting the nudge from a couple that they would come back and buy it from me!

EmmaC
27-07-2014, 12:46 PM
If you're selling work directly and in galleries (or elsewhere for that matter) it's considered professional and good etiquette to have only one price on the work no matter where it is purchased. Really good galleries are notoriously difficult to get in, often it's on recommendation from another artist in their "stable", and it soon gets around if you're a bit difficult or undercutting anyone.

I only have experience of galleries via my pictures, not jewellery, and have always been more than happy with 40-50% commission, because the benefits of being there, for me, far outweigh the costs. I'm happy to not have to do any selling myself at all if I can get away with it! One thing I won't do now is put work anywhere that wants money from me upfront to do so, rather than commission only. I've done that, and the shop involved had no incentive to sell anything, every time I visited I got a list of excuses why my work wasn't selling, and I never saw a customer in there, just more people wanting to rent space based on the daily Facebook posts about how the place was "buzzing".