|Forum topic by JuniorJoiner||posted 03-29-2010 02:17 AM||2093 views||2 times favorited||37 replies|
03-29-2010 02:17 AM
I’m going on a bit of a rant here,
Why is it that masterful woodwork is so undervalued? Who can even make a living doing custom furniture without cutting corners? why is it like this?
As I near the end of my year of schooling in fine furniture, there has been much debate amongst classmates and alumni about making a living at the craft. The basic advice I see from everyone is to find a niche and exploit it.
This , of course, goes against everything we have learned in school, which is to slow down, work precisely, and add lots of fine detail. As a matter of record, that is what attracted most of us to the craft and to the school.
But then we see things like, Brian Newell perhaps the best artisan at the craft, had a show of his work at putnam and eames a few years ago. and everything sold. I am talking about some fantastic stuff too.
comparatively, new paint on canvas, routinely sells for more than that. heck, I have seen driftwood screwed together with drywall screws and called a table sell for prices that people blush at when looking at actual fine work. why is it that something that has a function, is beautiful and one of a kind, and well made. has no value?
What is the cause of this? are consumers uninformed? is it because retired men tend to create woodwork for family for free? or is it because our craft is fun and cool, and painting isn’t?
It is discouraging when you are looking at the setup costs for a new shop, working out what you have to sell things for , then realizing you still have to eat and live.
One of my classmates, Diasuke Tanaka( http://mockitupjp.blogspot.com/ ) is a third year student, makes amazing stuff, and puts his all into it.( there are dozens of photos of him sleeping at his bench).
I wonder what it would take for pieces to sell for a price which accurately reflects the time and skill put into making them, while still doing the best work you know how?
If anyone has any insights on this, I would love to read them. Or secrets of getting home designers stamp of approval to make pieces valuable. I would particularly love to hear success stories of people making a living at furniture without writing books or teaching.
-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.