i know this is an uncomfortable subject. i hate mixing art and money. well, except when i buy art. but lately i've been obsessing about pricing because i have to put a number on my humble little piece i'm sending up to the Big City. and i have no clue what to base this on. i've done a ton of "market research" if that includes browsing embroidery on etsy and artist's websites, but there is no consistency.
certainly, the intricacy of a piece seems to be a big factor. but there are still many very detailed, lovely pieces on etsy for less than it costs to go out to lunch (a cheap lunch). then there are really very simple pieces with larger price tags to go with the big (artist's) names. should there really be this division between art and craft, production work and gallery work? of course not, but still, work has to find its way within some existing channels, and these channels seem to dictate the price.
so price is really dictated by what the market(s) will bear. on etsy, it doesn't bear much. and in galleries, how many buyers are out there for contemporary needlework? are there at least enough to buy all the great needlework, or are we in the process of creating this market?
i have no delusions that the market will bear what seems fair to me. how do i price my labor, my ideas, my sore fingers? by hours? size? dazzling technique? or perceived awesomeness? it would be nice to sell something some day, i guess, but i have no desire to give my shit away just so i can kill myself stitching faster for less than minimum wage. that's not cool. although i really do understand the temptation to price a piece affordably (and low enough that it might actually sell on etsy). surely all this is related to the feminist themes circling around in needlework debates, but i'm not awake enough to get into all that right now.
some good things: i just finished a freaking awesome new piece. i love it. it's *tiny* and it took *forever*. AND, we gathered up vintage letters for our "STUDIOS" sign from various etsy sellers. we're going to hang them below the existing old and cool "Hotel Hadley" sign. here are their pics (i know i should credit each seller - maybe i'll edit it to add them later).