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another thought on gallery sales

updated wed 26 sep 01


Wooditis@AOL.COM on tue 25 sep 01

Can anyone take one more opinion about the ongoing gallery commission
discussion? This is just my two cents....

To preface my comments, let me tell you first that I am not a potter, but
rather, a woodworker. (I have been making tiles for my furniture for the last
10 years.) Maybe because of the difference in mediums, I disagree with those
who have the opinion that any sale (resulting from a gallery referral)
demands payment of a full (40 or 50%) commission.

I've sold in galleries for over 20 years, and have often had to persuade
galleries to show some of my larger pieces. My furniture often takes more
floor space than most ceramic pieces. If one of my typical dining tables
occupies over 15-20 square feet, then most places are hesitant to show it.

Remember: space = inventory = customer interest = sales = $$$.

A display case or shelving unit taking up that same amount of floor space can
often hold much more inventory, and therefore, will often result in more
gallery profits. I don't fault them; I understand that the scale of my work
often creates space limitations.

These limitations often limit my sales. If only a small portion of my body of
work is displayed, it only makes sense that I sell some of my work directly
out of my studio. I would imagine that a good number of studio sales are
brought about by the fact that the customer likes the artist's style, and
wants to see other work, work that isn't shown at a gallery.

Therefore, in advance, I try to discuss/negotiate this with potential
galleries. While it's not fair to cut them out completely, I will pay a
reduced (usually 20%) commission. I agree with everyone on this board that
without the gallery, the customer wouldn't even know the artists name or how
to contact them. But in my medium, it's unfeasible to expect a gallery to be
willing (or even capable) to exhibit all that I make.

Jamie in Ohio
(Am I this board's only woodworker?)

Philip Poburka on tue 25 sep 01

Dear Jamie,

I too am a 'Wood-Worker', tho' I have never been represented bye a Gallery.
Could be fun though...if I were to be...

I am presently on the home-stretch of a much delayed and several times
derailed Cabinet project which incorporates delicate ceramic 'mouldings',
which either I or me customer shall extrude and glaze in the old 'encaustic'
way...being intended to be, a sort of 'Sage-Green' of sorts...

I make certain sorts of 'Tools'...Foundry Patterns, rebuild old
stuff...Furniture...Machines...make odd 'Parts' for things...make delicate
Old style Display Cases and and build a BIG
Maple table about to get going...for a a Work-Bench, in
effect...for food preps...allways somethin'...I build Big 'Doors' in the old wedged Tennons...on and on...Big stuff...Little stuff...

Made my own Crucibles for a smelting furnace I built...threw them on a
Wheel...that Clay was none too plastic, but I coaxed them up, and they held
up nice in use...forged out the lifting tongs to grab 'em with...made the
Furnace frame bye buttoning 'Strap' and Angle-Iron sections with Ductile
Iron Rivets...that and Soft Brick...nice as pie...strong like a
'Bridge'...lite...more or of these days...I want to build a Kiln
like that...I hate 'welds' for things like 'Kilns'...and for a lot else
too...along with all the contempt for materials and structure and 'process'
they represent.

Complacencies are the seductive (?) embrace...of contempt....are they not?

''Rivets''...I like...they delight the eye...or mine anyway...they are
'happy'...but, I ramble...

Lotta things...sometimes...some of 'em 'pay'...or maybe they don't...or they
do as they 'do'...or they do whatever it is they do...AS they do...or for
whom they do it...they 'do'.

Like that...

Las Vegas...

> Jamie in Ohio
> (Am I this board's only woodworker?)
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