I got a question today- How do you price your work? After thinking about it, here is what I wrote back-

I think about it in several ways.
one- how much would I be willing to take for something and I won’t feel like I’ve been insulted, won’t feel sick, and/or wish I’d kept it.
two- I have a fantasy that I should earn $100 for a full day of work (ie 8 hours ). If I think something took 8 hours, I should get $100 for it. Of course this is very rarely straight forward. I don’t include my design time and mistake time. I am always second guessing myself. Could I have done it in 8 hours if I’d worked harder? kept a more accurate tally of time spent? been more organized? And it doesn’t include materials. so I know it isn’t really sensible, but it is still a model I pretend to use.
three- there is the fantasy of what people will pay. I am always guessing at that. I don’t try to sell my dolls in a gallery because they take 50%. I can’t believe that I could double the prices and still sell them. Maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know. Besides most galleries seem to be afraid of anything that looks like a doll… not art enough? The gallery sales thing worked for me when I was doing pottery so I have had experience selling that way.

I wonder how this compares with other people? I think fiber arts work not something anyone get into to get rich- you just can’t get back the time you put in.

It was so beautiful this morning. It was misty and everything was wet from yesterdays rain. The color was amazing. Everything seemed to glow! I took a bunch of photos and posted them at Flickr.


0 thoughts on “pricing

  1. Hi Mimi!

    I priced some fiber art at $100.00 because YOU showed me that it is possible to sell at that price. Also, I become too attached to some of my works to sell for any less than that….and 1 did sell 5 pieces this weekend at a show at $100.00 each. Good luck with your show! And if nothing sells, it does not reflect on your work…it just means this was not the right venue.

    I also think that some galleries would like your work very much and you would sell your artwork for at least $200, perhaps more.

  2. Thanks so much for this post. I think it’s so hard to price handwork, especially when they are unique and one of a kind pieces. Pricing has always been difficult for me and part of the reason why I rarely sell things. I like to do a lot by hand instead of machine because I find I like the results better, so should this time be reflected in the price?

    And I definitely think your work would be welcome in any gallery.

  3. I think beautiful hand sewing should make something more expensive. I guess you have to figure out if it adds to the value… in the photos of your work that I’ve seen, I would say it does. One of those things where you have to find the people who appreciate it.

  4. thanks for the post. I think your work is worth every cent and then some. It is such a sticky subject. I am about to open my shop with some resin jewelry that takes me HOURS to make and my prices are going to reflect that. I am sure some people will think it is overpriced but those people don’t value to work. Same as the wrong venue comment. I love your work and plan to own some someday!

  5. This is such a fascinating subject. It is of course a political subject as well as a personal one.
    As painful as it is, I do work out a proper price for everything I make. By proper, I mean that I include overheads, materials, labour and profit in the price. Yes, in craft this means the price will not make any sense compared to a mass-production market. If I think the price is too high, I don’t offer the work for sale. I think of it as a promotional piece and consider teaching and writing my income, not making. I have never sold anything for less than I know it is worth because this would not only be devaluing myself but creating a market where the prices of other craftswork don’t make sense.
    However, I do think it is important that the work of any artist doesn’t just accumulate in their studios. After a while, one is left with a sense of pointlessness. Not good for an artist.
    I don’t yet know what a solution is?
    Does anyone know how much Akira Blount’s dolls sell for? Clearly it has taken a long time for her to get where she is now. I’m sure she has paid her dues.
    I think $100 sounds extremely reasonable for your dolls. But we live in different economies and London is ridiculously expensive.
    Thank you for your post.

  6. How could anyone not see your work, such as the fembot, as art? Love your art. Julie in Alaksa

  7. I love all your dolls, especially the ones from 2004 and mid 2005. The They are so special,and of a different style than the art you make now, which I also love. I’d already gone crazy if I could have a gallery here in Norway just exhibiting your art :)

    I agree that art is priceless, that’s why I got such a headache when I tried to price my dolls. It’s even harder for me, I guess, because I am not a professional artist and I don’t have that confidence in every piece of my work, but I don’t want to sell them cheap either. I choose to sell the work only when I have confidence in them.

    Thank you for sharing this. Have a happy day at the fair.

  8. your 100 dollars a day price seems about right to me…i sew professionally, bridal stuff, and i get about that. but then, they take into consideration the materials as well. so don’t forget your other costs, in addition to your labor of love!

  9. what an interesting post…and i love the comments…especially what juju says about the artist not letting the work accumulate on the work table…it’s so hard to put a price on your time and creativity. i think you should be able to get twice what you charge for your dolls…your workmanship and attention to detail are like none i’ve seen before…interestng post…thanks for sharing.