While making the Red Sea Urchin I was happy with the shape, but found the Maple too bland in color. I began to carve sloping lines and applied pyrography texture at the top. Then I started to build the rich red color with layers of stains. Now I am very happy with the organic look of this piece. The size is 6.5 diameter by 3 inches tall.
This Red Sea Urchin is turned on the Lathe. Once I am happy with the form and it is the proper thickness for carving I draw in the lines for the flutes. Then I create the valleys for the flutes. The next step is the tedious process of filing down rough spots and sanding each flute to accept stain. If you like this piece, take a look at my favorite piece in my studio
How Long Did It Take You?
I am certain that you have asked an artist, “How long did it take to make this?” There are a number of ways to answer this question. If I had a timer running during the entire process I would know how long I work on a piece. It is not important to me how many hours a piece takes. I enjoy the process. If I was doing production then it would be important to keep a time. OK, so I didn’t answer your question. I probably have 20 hours in this piece.
There is also another way for an artist to answer the question, “How long did it take?” A Maker has spent untold years developing his or her craft. This includes the cost of lessons, wasted materials, mistakes, tools, etc. Does this have value to be part of the price?
There is a story that a restaurant patron asked Picasso for his signature. Picasso quickly drew a small image and signed it. When the patron reached for it, Picasso pulled back and said, “It will cost $500.“ The patron responded it took you 2 minutes, to which Picasso replied, “It took me 30 years”.
How should an artist establish a price for a piece? If artists charged for the actual hours it takes to make a piece and their lifetime investment, art would be too expensive to purchase. Therefore, most artists do not earn money for their time or worth. It is clear to me that most of us do not create for money. We create because we have to.
Should you be looking for a special gift and do not see Something in my web store take a look at my Etsy Shop.
All my items are made in my New Jersey, USA studio.