Recently I’ve been working on projects big and small. It has me thinking about how this affects the pricing of a finished piece I create. Although the amount of clay that goes into each one is a material factor and obviously proportional to their finished size, creative time and artistic effort are important to the end price calculation too. Here’s where it gets tricky. I may spend just as much or more time creating something that measures just a few inches as a large piece that stands over a foot.
“How long did it take you to make that?” is a recurring question I get asked. Time is one more factor that helps calculate the end value of a piece of art. But it can be deceiving too. As an artist’s skills grow (another valuable attribute), the time it takes to complete a project may decrease. The original prototype of a particular clay shape takes me the longest to create. Once I’m satisfied and have made a template of the shape, I can recreate the original more efficiently.
Back to my opening question, “how does size factor into the creation process”? Furthermore, does/should the size influence the price of an item? I know clay artists that charge a set price based on the finished weight of their pieces. They have calculated a per ounce or per pound number and are comfortable going with that method. The larger the piece is, the pricier the item.
I haven’t been able to reconcile the weight method for my clay art. When I price each piece I create, I do think about its size, the time it took to create, my creative effort, packaging, and finally factor in its perceived value. Size does make a difference, but it is not the only one of the factors of the end calculation.