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Old 03-16-2007, 07:21 AM
allenring's Avatar
allenring allenring is offline
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Location: McLean, VA
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Cost of materials

I just bought a bunch of stainless steel. The price of the stuff was shocking. My vendor says he will not honor prices for more than two weeks because the price goes up so quickly. My brother started selling buckets of old pistol and rifle brass casings. They used to just lay around but are now worth hauling to the scrap yard because the price of brass is so high. I also know that copper gutters, wire and flashing have gone up the same way.

What are some members experience with the price of bronze?
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Old 03-16-2007, 07:44 AM
Aaron Schroeder's Avatar
Aaron Schroeder Aaron Schroeder is offline
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Location: Shelby, Ohio
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Re: Cost of materials

The irony is that despite being " Cheap ", cold caste bronze probably would be the more archival choice for making a bronze sculpture. Around here the thieves are reaching new hieghts of efficiency and daring. They'll steal the aluminum off your house while you're at work. As some one who makes a living making things out of metal, I've watched the esculation of metal prices with invested interest. Ten years ago metal seemed like such a value.....not any more. Of course I've used this trend to raise my own prices but I get the sense from my clients that they feel they're getting gouged. I spend way to much time talking about supply and demand and asian markets and not enough about art. It's only going to get worse.
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Old 03-16-2007, 04:49 PM
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evaldart evaldart is offline
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Location: easthampton, massachusetts
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Re: Cost of materials

I like the suprises that arrive by working from materials acquired by chance(scrap-yards, dumpsters, demolition sites, roadside discard, etc). I like it better when the ideas occur AFTER the materials are there. I want my work to be like Frankenstein monsters, pulled together out of misfortuned matter.
This is much more difficult now as steel is not just lying around anymore. People used to pay me to take away heavy steel, now I pay to take it. It changes the whole creative process - I'm being too picky; having to pay for it and all. I pay 60 apound for brand new steel and 30 for the scrap (and keeps going up). Its just wrong. It has caused my process to become regretfully calculated. If I don't watch out I'll end up making something attractive that someone might want to own. If I'm gonna spend money I might as well just go stainless and aluminum - make it pretty, friendly and expensive, become somebody new. Maybe its for the better.
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Old 03-16-2007, 05:56 PM
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Tired Iron Tired Iron is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: St.Lawrence River Valley
Posts: 535
Re: Cost of materials

Two things I) Metal prices usually rise during wartime

2) I saw a special on the growth of China and their
desire to own/drive cars the other night

That explains some of it I believe ,any other input?
Semper ubi, sub ubi!
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Old 03-19-2007, 07:01 AM
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allenring allenring is offline
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Location: McLean, VA
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Re: Cost of materials

The consensus seems to be that China is the source of rising metal prices, big market. No doubt the war has some effect but I wonder if it is not similar to the true reason for such high gas prices. Has everyone noticed that their is no shortage of gas, no gas lines, no outages, anywhere? The prices have been driven up by the futures market, by speculators. Refineries can make more money by producing inventory and storing it for 90 days than if they just sell the stuff as it is made. This trend has taken hold across all aspects of the market.

Add to this the current markets ability to charge as much as the customer can bear. How do you think that Exxon was able to give their last CEO that $400 million retirement package.

The same thing may be happening in metals, an artificial over heated market; one driven by the specter of shortage rather than the reality. That puts us nice artsy types in a tough spot. I was so shocked at the price of the stainless that I felt too guilty to charge a materials mark up to the customer, just passed my cost along. Yeah, I know bad business.

Hay EVALDART I love your description of your creative process, "Frankenstein monsters, pulled together out of misfortuned matter", now that sounds like real art. I would think you still have lots of raw material potential, we do have a throw away society. A dumpster on any commercial site should be a grave yard where you can send Egor out to get parts. Public dumps are great resources. Ill admit to dumpster diving many times. I recently carried some treasures I found in the dump around in my van for about a month until I finally gave up and recycled them back to the dump from which they came.
Allen Ring
Engineered Aesthetics
Continuing to win the struggle against enlightenment, wisdom, and a socially acceptable legacy.
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Old 03-19-2007, 08:30 AM
PTsideshow PTsideshow is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Southeast Michigan
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Re: Cost of materials

The cost of materials has gone up because the sucking sound of the raw material drain from the industrial countries to the emerging industrial counties. In the Detroit area it has been going on and started a lot earlier than most people know. In the late 60's the job shops started closing and the guys owning them started to look around. For other things to do. Ford started to send die and tooling work to South American countries. Where the die makers were getting .75 hour US compared to the $15.00 USD here. When they got a better deal they moved the work to the Pacific rim. Now it is moving to smaller and more obscure counties. Look at the labels on appearel.
When you combine the changes made in the mining industry, with the more eco freindly chemicals and processes of the ore removal and seperation. Not really as good at geting the material out as the old ways. But way better for the planet.
The mines in South Afirca are getting close to the max depth point that humans can stand. In Michigan they are fighting to reopen a mine that was closed years ago. Because of the high prices being paid. The locals don't trust the mines owners and promises. And who can blame them, "one OPPS!my bad" and its to late.
They are mining a old mine that had its tunnels filled with garabe in the 1950's some place in ILL or IND. for the metals due to the scrap prices.
The Chinese are buying not only metals, but rock and minerals.
at our club show this fall, a dealer was complaining about the lack of good quailty rhodochrosite as the Chinese had people at the mine heads in South America buying as it came out of the mine or buying the whole output of the mine for a year!
Till the world tells Madison Ave to stick it. the prices will continue to climb. Do we need 70 brands/cola, beer,bread, soap, or tooth paste.
been there done that !
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