Saturday, July 19, 2008


I'm just home from the local art fair, and I'm more annoyed than anything. There were some lovely things in the booths, and a lot of treats for the eyes. There were even several booths with beadweaving, which is always fun. But I know how long and arduous a process beadweaving is. Even if you count me as slow (and I do) and double my output, there was more than one beader there making under ten cents an hour by my calculations! Not counting beads! Not counting findings! Or booth set-up! It's crazy-making on more at least two levels. First, the artist should value their time/art/work more, in my opinion. Second, how can I compete if I get a booth next year? I can just hear potential customers now: "Ned down the block sells peyote-stitched earrings much larger than this for $5 a pair, how can you ask $50 for something smaller?" What do you say to that? "Ned undervalues himself" sounds mean-spirited.


I did have random people stop me on the street to admire my freeform necklace, though. And I handed out a couple of cards.


GrandmaMarilyns said...

I know what you mean. I feel that I don't sell my beadwork for enough but really haven't kept track of the time right for them. Good that you got to hand out cards though.

Smadar's Treasure said...

It is, indeed, hard to compete with under priced work, but you can tell people about how much time was invested in a piece; talk about the designing process etc., so they get to have an idea of how much is involved with beadweaving. It's not always working, but sometimes people start to value your work differently and understand the pricing thing..
But don't get angry, it's not good for your health (and muse..) :)


thebeadedlily said...

I don't think 'Ned undervalues himself' is meanspirited. Most of us undervalue ourselves one way or another, at one time or another.

But yeah-- it's hard to compete. On the other hand your work is so unique you may not have the same customer base as Ned.

ClinkscalesArts said...

I would tell them that you get what you pay for. You want $5 earrings? Go buy them from Ned. If you'd like to have a gorgeous pair of $50 earrings, I can show you several pair. :D

MyFairLadyVT4 said...

Yes, I know what you mean.

Amber Leilani said...

i even encounter the same attitude in the JEWELRY GALLERY where i work. our buyer insists on buying from an artist from california - it's a big company and her pieces are very inexpensive. almost on the level of what you would see at TARGET- but our own buyer won't buy from me - i WORK THERE!!
I HAVE TO PUT MY WORK ON CONSIGNMENT - pluse,she basically drove me to remove my gemstone line b/c i couldn't compete with this other girl, whose work, by the way, I constantly have to repair b/c it's crap.