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  #1  
Old 03-22-2012, 03:00 PM
Mikko Mikko is offline
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Location: Westerville, Ohio USA
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Pricing your bronze pieces

I have sold a lot of ceramic, resin, plaster and Ultracal 30 sculptures, and a limited number of bronze pieces. I am now at a point that I need to decide what I want out of my labors for bronze. Maybe you can help. What I do is decide on the size of the edition, divide the cost of the rubber mold (labor and materials) by the edition number (or half that number if I think the edition will take forever to run its course), add that cost to the foundry costs and double this number. This is what I make on each bronze. As artists become more established I believe it is common practice to triple or even quadruple their foundry costs. I have been doing sculpture for 22 years, almost two years full time since retiring from teaching middle school art. Locally, I am pretty well known and have had a few large bronzes in public spaces. Most of my work is now through gallery sales, and bronzes are what I want to concentrate more on. At what point should I decide to raise what my profit will be? Is there a formula for number of pieces sold that justifies me raising my profit? Are any of you established enough to triple or quadruple your costs? Will the market bear any of this? Thanks!!!
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:45 PM
Andrew Werby Andrew Werby is offline
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Re: Pricing your bronze pieces

It's really not possible to say what you can charge, without seeing your work and analyzing your market. But if you're basically doubling your costs, that just gets you to the wholesale price. The gallery is likely doubling that to get to retail. I'd say stick with that formula for this next show, to see how it works. If you sell out this show, then yes, you should raise your prices next time.

Andrew Werby
Juxtamorph.com
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  #3  
Old 03-26-2012, 09:33 AM
KatyL KatyL is offline
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Re: Pricing your bronze pieces

I am new to small scale gallery bronze but have something of a resume. I tried to go X2 the first time out, and did not get a bite. Got a lot of complements, but no money exchange. Next time out I will go with the formula you are citing. I just do not think that a bronze of the size and quality of mine should go for so little, but I guess the lucky "collectors" get on the ground floor when things are cheap.

I have learned my lesson.

Don't forget to put things like the cost of the base if you have it, and potentially things like printing costs. It is a small amount over the course of the edition, I know, but needs to be paid for. Also don't forget things like welding, wax loss, chasing, patina, and shipping.
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  #4  
Old 03-26-2012, 08:27 PM
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Mack Mack is offline
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Re: Pricing your bronze pieces

I'd have to see what your work looks like before suggesting a price range.
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  #5  
Old 03-27-2012, 05:21 PM
Mikko Mikko is offline
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Re: Pricing your bronze pieces

I appreciate the responses. A few have asked to see my work. Here is my website: www.tizzanosculpture.com

I have kind of fallen into a trap of creating a lot of ceramic pieces (some from molds that I have become quite adept at making!) to meet the gallery market. I told them that I am slowly moving out of this market to go exclusively with bronze. We'll see how I survive! Thanks!!
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:05 PM
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Mack Mack is offline
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Re: Pricing your bronze pieces

Yes I'd say double your costs of creating the finished bronze and make that your wholesale. Double that and make that the retail price of the piece:the price that the gallery will sell the piece for. Your arrangement with the gallery will be 50/50 or 60/40 (60 to you, 40 to the gallery) of the retail price. What the piece costs you to produce is your business, the only price the gallery should know is what you say the retail should be. If the work sells well, raise the retail as you see fit (you can always go up but it can get sticky should you decide to come down). And as was suggested include ALL your costs in producing the finished piece... gallery retail will be 4X that.
Best of luck.

Last edited by Mack : 03-28-2012 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:42 AM
Mikko Mikko is offline
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Re: Pricing your bronze pieces

Mack- Thanks so much for your reply. This sounds like good advice, I'll try it! Best of luck with your endeavors as well!
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  #8  
Old 03-31-2012, 04:10 AM
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Chris_Johns Chris_Johns is offline
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Re: Pricing your bronze pieces

An alternative way to look at pricing is to consider what you do in a year.

Firstly look at your fixed costs, bills you have to pay to keep your business running, things like studio rent, bills for heating, lighting electricity, phone, internet etc, also consider things like marketing costs and time you need to spend on things that you don't charge directly for eg doing your accounts, research and training etc.

If you spend a lot on equipment you will need to consider that as a fixed cost as well. It's normal practice to divide this up over several years, so if you say spend $3000 on a kiln you might call that cost $1000 per year over 3 years (essentially you look at it as borrowing money from yourself to buy things).

This will give you a figure that you need to make over the course of a year to break even.

Clearly every piece you make costs you something to make ~(variable costs), a combination of your labour, materials, foundry fees etc. The differnce between that and the price you sell it for is the gross margin.

Say for example you decide to sell all your work for twice what it costs you to make it this is a gross margin of 50%. If your fixed costs are say $5000 per year then you need to sell $10000 worth of work per year to break even.

Whatever you sell over and above the break even point is profit.

Clearly you don't really want to be right on the edge of the break even point every year so you might want to aim to break even after say month 10 of an average year.

The conclusion from this approach is that the individual mark-up on what you sell needs to be considered in the context of the value of sales you make over a whole year.

When you're self employed you also need to consider how you pay yourself, of which there are really three different approaches.

1) Pay yourself a fixed salary per year (fixed cost)

2) Pay yourself an hourly or daily rate for the work you actually do (variable cost)

3) Take a dividend from the profits at the end of the year.

or a mixture of all three. In practice which you do doesn't matter that much since you still have to sell work to make money but you may find that looking at it this way makes it easier to price work.
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