|Pricing Stained Glass|
So how do we value glass work? There used to be more information in this article, but I became convinced that what I was discussing was a trade secret and when two different people who would be competing directly with us asked me about pricing, I decided that I needed to let them discover it on their own.
A word about the philosophy of pricing. We aren't solely motivated by money. We could choose many, many different businesses to go into which would pay us handsomely for our labor. If money is your goal, you really ought to consider a different endeavor because even the most successful of stained glass artists only achieve a modest bank account.
That said, there are a couple of reasons that you need to charge enough. First and foremost, if you don't make a profit, you can't buy more glass. I have to admit, a new pallet of glass really motivates me to work hard and complete a project. It sometimes seems that every extra dime we make goes toward expanding our palette and supply of glass.
Second, if you sell too cheap, you cheapen the industry. Cheap sun catchers sprinkled around home improvement centers get people in the mindset that stained glass is a cheap commodity, not a piece of art. Contrast that to the impact that a well priced, prominent work of art in a civic center adds to the perception and value of stained glass art as a whole. When we as a community cheapen the art, we lose. When we as a community of artists add value to the art, all stained glass art becomes more valuable.
It's one of the reasons that we try to stay away from sun catchers and gifty, throwaway items and we concentrate on pieces that become part of the homes and business they go into, becoming treasured heirlooms that enhance the value of their setting.
We never, ever compete on price with another artist. In fact, if we have a client who wants to get competitive bids from several artists, I usually don't bother giving them a bid, even though our studio prices tend to be 25% lower than other studios. You may wonder why I have this attitude. I just don't like to be thrown into a competitive arena. We do good work. We provide exceptional value. And there is enough work out there (even in hard times) that there is enough to go around. So I would rather spend my time creating beautiful works rather than bidding on lowest cost projects. The few times we've gotten into competition on a project, even though we got the job, the victory was hollow. We didn't get paid the right price, the work wasn't satisfying and the joy just wasn't there. Besides that, there are many times when those bidding wars result in no one getting the job. They often decide that window glass would be cheaper!
There is a tendency in the art world to get a
twinge of jealousy going when we see others work. We compare our work to
theirs, think how we would have done it better and wish that we had gotten
a chance to do that project. But if we get outside ourselves and feel joy
for the success of the artist who did the work and realize that they are
contributing to the community consciousness of art glass, then we'll feel
the right way towards the art of others. We may even make some new
|David Gomm started building stained glass windows professionally back in 1983 and has become an expert at many aspects of stained glass building, design and repair. He writes a monthly newsletter at www.betterstainedglass.com|
|These articles may be distributed freely on your website and in your ezines, as long as the entire article, copyright notice, links and this resource box are unchanged, or if using a portion of the article, it points back to one of our pages where the entire article resides. Copyright © David Gomm All Rights Reserved.|
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