Koa, a six year old guest at the Lodge from Duncan, got it. He thought if one hat was cool, 7 hats were cooler. And then as many bowls as he could balance…how cool was that?
Soon my hats and bowls will be available in Joni’s shop, Salish Fusion, which will open in a few months in Brentwood Bay. Joni will be highlighting and selling handwork and other forms of art from local people.
I’ve avoided selling my work, mostly because I don’t know how to put a price on what I make.
Some artists price their products based on how many hours it took for them to make the thing. This raises complicated issues. First the better an artist is and the more experience an artist has likely means it will take that person much less time to make something than someone less skilled and less experienced. Thus the hourly wage approach would often mean the better the product the less it would cost. There are so many other factors to think about…the quality of the materials, the precision of the final product, its uniqueness and its wow appeal.
Of course the most important factor in pricing something is people’s willingness to pay. You don’t want to sell too cheap. You want to push the buyer to pay more than they might otherwise have. You want the price of handwork to honour the skill, creativity and love of its creators. You also want the price of handwork to respect people’s ability to pay and these days, for many, that ability is diminishing. Which, of course, raises the question “Is handwork only for the rich?”
These are questions for Joni, when she opens Salish Fusion. For now I love Koa’s enthusiasm and appreciation. That is more than enough for me to keep creating.