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Thread: Dying to Sell Some Pieces

  1. #1
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    Dying to Sell Some Pieces

    I've been building up my stock of smaller pieces for a show this weekend, so I've been in potpourri bowl mode for a few days. I'm using up bigger blanks of ash that have cracked and become smaller blanks of ash. I've already got a number of natural ash-colored pieces, so I broke out the dyes and the airbrush and played around a bit. I used Transtint liquid dyes in denatured alcohol for some of them, and Transfast powder in water for the others. All are finished with several coats of rattle-can lacquer. Not buffed or waxed yet, but I'll be getting around to that in a couple days. I was too lazy to set up the photo tent so I tried a few outdoor shots.

    Blue fading to Purple, 4 1/4" wide and 3 1/4" high...

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    Pink fading towards Black, with a bit of white pearl acrylic paint mixed in for grins, 5 1/4" wide and 2 3/4" high...

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    Turquoise fading towards Black, 4 1/2" wide and 3 1/4" high...

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    Honey Amber fading to Orange, Dark Maple, and Brown Mahogany, 5 3/4" wide and 2 3/4" high...

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    And a group shot showing the fade on the bottoms a bit better...

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    Looks like LOML already put her dibs in on the pink pearl one. Hopefully the others will sell as quickly.

    Comments, critiques, finger-pointing, and laughing are all welcome...
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  2. #2
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    Very cool Vaughn. Good luck with the sales I see no reason that they will not get scooped up fast. The colors and shapes are stunning. Now I have to get back on the lathe and start making stuff for the christmas season.
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  3. #3
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    I bet the ladies will love those.

    One comment I got on my pens from the ladies was that the wood ones were nice and such, but the colored wood ones, or the acrylic ones, those were the ones the ladies REALLY liked. Most of the guys liked the natural wood ones, anecdotal I know, but that is what I saw
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
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    I bet the ladys scope them up fast, or at least i hope so. I can see why your wife likes that pink one as it just says ladies here i am.Even has the top that my wife likes the best.
    Good luck this weekend and i hope you sell out, and don't have a thing to bring home..
    Steve

  5. #5
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    Pretty cool Vaughn
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  6. #6
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    they all look great vaughn but i think you should be making more than just one of these,, little things sell easier than big ones.. and you know your clients better than us but i like the lok of the amber one the best becasue it says wood more than the colored ones but ladies look at colors more ,,so you should take your wifes hint and make some more pink ones quick, just leave them boxed and replace it when it sells..that way you wont look like they came from china..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  7. #7
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    Very pretty but there is something about that more natural finish that shouts out to me.

    So I asked the wife. She likes the shape of the last three but not the first one. Her favorite based on the pictures would be the turquoise one followed by the more natural though the pink is real nice she says. Her reason for not liking the first shape is she suspects she would end up dumping it. Nothing to do with attractiveness, just her impression of function.

    Wonder if her ideas line up with any of the potential buyers..

    Good Sales!
    Garry
    Last edited by Garry Foster; 08-26-2010 at 05:00 PM.

  8. #8
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    Great looking set Vaughn. I'm sure they will sell quick. Good luck this weekend.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  9. #9
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    +1 on the colors, not for me, but for the market. Its a reality we live in a color world. How about more color variety. Say redish brown like a rosewoodish color, and green.

    I think you got a winner here. But it does speak to your point about making a living from turning this way. Suppose that is another reality.

    Best of luck with the sales. One consideration you might find is that the % margin on items like this should turn out to be greater than the big ones if a skilled guy like you factors in how quick i would imagine you can turn them out.

    I really like your stamp/logo on the bottom. That w looks real pro and gives it good branding.

    When you get the funds, think of having a light gauge cardboard box printed with it on. You will ad a degree of percieved value in something like that when it leaves your hand.

    Its like the hand painted Xmas ornaments you get that are in a fancy box of crispy tissue paper or "manufactured straw" . All adds to the pleasure when the opening takes place.

    To me these are small elements that kick it up a notch in the gift area.
    They do add costs and time but should be adding disproportionate value too.

    Something like this takes a hand made gift from flea market hand made to professional artists gift on the low end of the artists price scale. There is a subtle difference in the perception of the two gifts and it will affect who buys them for who and how many.

    I give you an example, we had an artist that made "The big 5" wild life animals in SA in solid glass. Same style across all animals so they were in fact a set but you could purchase them 1 at a time. All came very professionally packaged. So we used it as a corporate gift for select special customers. The price was not cheap and it gave us something we could give the customers for a number of years until they each had the collection. Its was small, not tacky and very collectable. Elegant and sophisticated. Never came across "hand made" but rather was a gift of a piece of art.

    Hope i got my point across in that long rambling. I think you have the makings of the same sort of thing here. I would hope you never see your work as anything but art. Keep that art element in mind. Is a huge differentiator to the "craft" stalls and in my mind those with $$ will be looking for that element as part of their need.

    Best of luck, except i dont believe in luck, i do believe you have made it possible through your efforts to be lucky though.

    Oh Vaughn, you got new business cards ?? with the new website and association on it. What about a small sign indicating your association with the other group of artists? Guess you can see where i am coming from.
    cheers

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the comments, guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    ...One comment I got on my pens from the ladies was that the wood ones were nice and such, but the colored wood ones, or the acrylic ones, those were the ones the ladies REALLY liked. Most of the guys liked the natural wood ones, anecdotal I know, but that is what I saw
    That's been my experience, too. The acrylics sell at least as well as the wood ones (especially to the ladies), and they're faster to make.

    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    they all look great vaughn but i think you should be making more than just one of these,, little things sell easier than big ones.. and you know your clients better than us but i like the lok of the amber one the best becasue it says wood more than the colored ones but ladies look at colors more ,,so you should take your wifes hint and make some more pink ones quick, just leave them boxed and replace it when it sells..that way you wont look like they came from china..
    Good advice about little things selling faster Larry, but there are a few reasons why I don't do many of them. First, I don't get much enjoyment out of making the same thing repeatedly. At least in my experience, I make more profit selling a few big pieces than I do selling a lot of little ones. (Keep in mind most of my big pieces cost me next to nothing in materials, but pens and bottle stoppers and potpourri bowls cost me $6 to $20 each just for the parts.) Also, I'm trying to build a reputation for higher-end unique pieces, and having a lot of small stuff seems to drive away the higher-end customers. It seems customers looking for "art" don't want to buy from someone selling "crafts". I'm hoping that by having boldly-colored small pieces, my display will seem "artsy" enough to avoid running off the "art" customers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Foster View Post
    Very pretty but there is something about that more natural finish that shouts out to me...
    In most cases I prefer natural wood colors too, especially figured woods. but I've got a lot of natural pieces (especially lighter colors like ash) in my display, so I'm hoping some color will change things up a bit and catch people's attention. The ash I used for all of these pieces was pretty plain, but you can still see the grain through the dye and the insides are still natural color. I've also got one or two natural wood potpourri bowls already in stock for people who don't like the colors.

    Your wife's insights on the functionality are good. I make so much non-functional stuff, it's something I forget to think about on pieces like these.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

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