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  #1  
Old 08-09-2008, 01:10 PM
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tannercoleman.c tannercoleman.c is offline
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Thumbs up Price Estimations for Monumental Sculpture?

Here is the biggy. Does anyone want to part with their formula for pricing public sculpture? I am trying oh so hard to think of all the aspects involved to price. Main unknowns are costs of:
Engineer
Moving (Two large parts about 20'x10'x4' plus large castings around 3'
diameter. Weight to be determined but not to exceed a ton per piece.)
Installation
Here is the real question. I want to know about design fees, hourly rates, and percentages people are using out there. I can and will figure out costs of materials. For any info on any one aspect of this thread I appreciate your time. I want the job but do not want to go in the hole for it. A great sculpture opportunity is priceless but I would like to make SOME money. Forgive the broad topic.
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:52 PM
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tannercoleman.c tannercoleman.c is offline
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Re: Price Estimations for Monumental Sculpture?

So no one cares to comment on this one huh? I dought that you guys are this reluctant to get into this one. I am in between the "Take what it cost to make it and charge three times what it cost. Or the cost to make three." and something like "Costs+Time= y + 20%". The real kicker is design fees and how much my time is worth. Sometimes to get the job you get to bid low and cut it close. Is it worth the recognition to make a piece that you nearly break even on? Of course because you do it for love not money!!! But it would be nice to come out of one that did me right for once. Ha.Ha. I am young and still toying(seriously) with what my "career" in art is. Someone that reads this should reply. If not, I'll keep talking to myself. Yeah that's right... YOu know you do it to.
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  #3  
Old 08-12-2008, 05:11 PM
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Ries Ries is offline
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Re: Price Estimations for Monumental Sculpture?

Well, this is one BIG topic.
I have a pretty good handle on prices for MY work, based on doing it for 30 years.
But a lot of those things would not directly transfer to you.
For instance, I have an engineer I have been working with for 20 years or so. I can estimate sizes, materials, and spans myself, based on experience, send a sketch to him, and it saves him a lot of time in engineering, as my seat of the pants guesses are usually pretty close.

Moving- I have, again, a crane operator I have been working with for at least ten years. I know what he can do, about what he costs, and so I can figure that in. I also have been working with a freight broker for a long time, who gets my pieces delivered cross country. Freight rates are up, as they are based on fuel costs, but I know he will get me a good deal, and I have a sorta idea of what it costs.

Install- well, this is so specific- for instance, I am flying to Minnesota to do an install next month- my costs include airfare, car rental, motel, hiring an assistant, argon for the tig welder, meals, and misc. Probably cost me about $2500 to $3000 all told.

How any of this applies to YOUR specific job, though, is anybody's guess.

I certainly try not to give my time away- but sure, I have made less money on some jobs and more on others.

The trick with a public art job is not overdesigning. I find that the actual "cost" to make a piece is only part of the cost of actually producing and installing a public piece. I try to keep materials, for instance, to maybe 20% of the budget, tops. You must pay yourself, both for your actual work time, and a "design fee", which can cover a multitude of sins- it pays for your design time, but its also the only profit you will make, most times. It ought to run between 10% and 20% of the budget.

Public art is not for everyone- many very good artists cannot, or will not, do all the boring stuff required to get, and finish, these jobs.

If it was easy, everybody would be doing it.
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Old 08-12-2008, 06:51 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Re: Price Estimations for Monumental Sculpture?

Tanner - We've been over this probably a dozen times in the last 1 1/2 years. That's why I skipped at first and probably why you didn't get other early replies. If you haven't checked the FAQ section at the top, you should find much on this topic there. Ries' post just illustrated much of the difficulty in answering.
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Old 08-12-2008, 08:51 PM
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GlennT GlennT is offline
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Re: Price Estimations for Monumental Sculpture?

Another thing that makes it tough to answer is the consideration of what you are offering them. Are you offering a known commodity of professionalism in all phases of the project, or is the client taking a risk in the hopes that you will deliver, without there being much of a track record of actual projects completed to back up that hope?

One should expect there to be a difference in estimating between the beginner and the seasoned professional. I earned 50 cents per hour (figured after the fact) on my first commissioned sculpture (first of any type, actually), a life-size statue of Justice. It was a life-changing experience. Sure, I could have used more money. Having been the client's architect and construction manager, I knew the budget was tight and if I wanted him to commission this it had to be affordable. And, I had no clue about prices for sculpture. Under the same circumstances, I would do it again, for what i gained was priceless.

Now that I am a seasoned professional, I still have a hard time not under-bidding my work. So, you probably don't want to know how I estimate a job!
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Old 08-13-2008, 01:50 PM
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Re: Price Estimations for Monumental Sculpture?

Cool guys. I am learning through the process more and more. I guess there is more than one way to skin a cat. I met with an engineer yesterday and he was so cool and collected about it that it kind of scared me. Here I am trying to get my first monumental sculpture off the ground which carries a lot of significance for my future. And here he is, saying ,"This is a neat little project you got here." Oh well. When you are designing large buildings or bridges or whatever may happen in the exciting life of an engineer, some things just don't seem so "monumental" after all. But for me... This thing is huge!!! Excited I am. Fearful I am not. Thanks for the comments.
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Old 08-16-2008, 03:28 PM
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Question Re: Price Estimations for Monumental Sculpture?

So about the FAQ option. I have typed in words for search and gotten no results on all. What is the deal with that. I've tried "sculpture", "pricing", and "costs" just to name a few. Thanks.
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  #8  
Old 08-16-2008, 05:06 PM
grommet grommet is offline
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Re: Price Estimations for Monumental Sculpture?

try those words in the search function, not FAQ.
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Old 09-23-2008, 10:30 AM
Rebecca B Rebecca B is offline
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Re: Price Estimations for Monumental Sculpture?

Don't think about your 'Future' and the impact this will have on your career - this IS your career !! Go day by day .
I price my time same as a skilled builder,estimate how many days I'll work (all aspects ; design/labour/meetings/consultation /being nice to people !)by drawing up a list with colums for time /materials/costs ,and do the maths . My medium (brick clay) is very labour intensive, so there are a LOT of days to be payed for . Most Clients can only raise so much money - so I need to fit in thier real world budgets.If that day- rate adds up over the year to pay my bills (which I keep low) I'm exstatic !!
I worked out my priority a long time ago ;To have my hands dirty for as much of the year as Possible !
Good luck
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