About pricing and payment…
Of all the difficult things I’ve had to do with regards to working with glass, pricing my pieces has got to be one of the hardest. There are a lot of variables that need to be considered. The biggies are how intricate the design is, the size of the piece, the number of pieces of glass in the work, what kind of techniques are involved (leading, foiling, applying overlay, solder sculpting…), and what kind of glass is used. I’ve done a lot of research involving other glass artists and studios across North America and have figured out a way of pricing work fairly. A really general rule of thumb is that custom designed stained glass from this studio costs somewhere in the neighbourhood of $150 per square foot, depending on all those variables.
Custom lamps, sculpture, multi-media or multi-layered “plated” pieces are usually more labour intensive so pricing may be more intensive than that of custom panels too.
It sounds like a lot of money, but remember this is a piece of artwork we’re discussing. The materials are responsible for a good chunk of the price. To construct a piece, it usually takes one hour of work for every 3 to 4 pieces of glass in the project, excluding many, many hours spent on designing and acquiring and choosing the right materials. Prices of Sageleaf Whimsy pieces are reasonable by industry standards. I always keep track of the time spent on a project, and if I ever find that I’ve spent way less time on a project than I expected, I will adjust the price accordingly. This “spending way less time than I expected” has, however, yet to occur!
Before the design phase begins, I always ask clients to let me know the ball park amount they have budgeted for their project so I can be sure to stay within the budget parameters as I work on design. A panel of a maple branch with 50 pieces of glass is going to cost less than the same sized but more intricately designed panel of a maple branch with 250 pieces of glass. If I know the budget parameters, I can gauge the design to fit all the variables including budget.
As far as payment goes for custom work, I ask for it in three parts:
The first installment is a $50 down payment due when a client orders a piece to be constructed. (This is not an extra charge but is the first part of your deposit. It’s a good faith payment – a commitment that lets me know that I should get to work designing your piece.) When we agree on a design, I give you a firm price for your completed piece, and then ask for a deposit of 50% of the final price (less the $50 you already paid) before I purchase materials. The final 50% is due before the artwork leaves the studio.
Should a client need to have a piece shipped we will happily arrange it. The client assumes the cost of shipping and any unusual packaging requirements.
To get a more personal feel about how artwork is priced, please go to Sage Thoughts on the nav bar and read the story entitled: The Price Is Right.