Saturday, December 31, 2016

Pricing Your Work

What Would You Charge?

Paintings and rugs I've created are usually gifts for family or friends or kept for my own pleasure.  I've done some consignment items for friends: wedding programs, pen and ink drawings, cards...  Recently I was approached by someone who wanted to buy a rug I'm hooking.  I thanked her for her interest and the compliment, but politely refused.   However, this did cause me to think about what I would charge for a rug should I sell one, or what I would charge for a painting or any handmade item. So I started searching for ideas.  I found several suggestions online and one in Rug Hooking Magazine.
Online Ashley Martineau wrote "Tips for Pricing Your Handmade Goods" on her blog.  Ashley sells handspun yarns and fibers.  She lists three items to keep in mind when determining a price. 
First, she suggests you do online research to find out what artisans are charging for similar pieces.  She suggests, if you are new to sales, you should charge just below the average cost of similar items you find online (unless there is something very special about your work). 
Second, she says to include the cost of your supplies in your pricing.  Ashley says you should always try to pay wholesale prices for your materials or buy them on sale.
The third item is your hourly rate.  In her examples she suggests $10 an hour.  She has a few formulas using hourly rate and materials to determine the sales price: cost of your supplies + time invested; cost of your supplies x 3; or an average of these two determined prices.  She suggests that you compare your final prices to the work of others.  You don't want to price your pieces too high as they won't sell, or too low because you won't be supporting other artisans in your craft. Other things to consider are the quality of the work completed and how quickly or slowly you work.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Fraktur by Ruthanne Hartung

Ruthanne Hartung is a Fraktur artist who has written a book on Pennsylvania Frakturs.....with a modern touch.  She includes instructions, design ideas, techniques for coloring and lettering, and a variety of patterns.  I completed a house blessing which is one of the projects she presents in the book.

House Blessing; Ink, Coffee, and Watercolor on Watercolor Paper
2016, 8" x 10"

Frakturs are folk art celebrating family events.  They are artistic, hand lettered documents including birth, baptismal, and marriage certificates; house blessings; family trees; and such.  Most Frakturs were created by the Pennsylvania Germans during the 1700s and 1800s.  The name "Fraktur" comes from the distinctive, angular lettering...... "fractured" pen strokes.

Susan L. Feller is a teacher who adapted Fraktur designs for use in hooked rugs.  She taught members of my local guild how to develop a Fraktur rug design with a personal story.  She, also, offers a box of patterns (Design in a Box, Frakturs) for people who might be intimidated by the drawing process.