Tuesday, December 16, 2008

All Dressed Up

...and ready to go. Here are the placemats from the blue/grey warp tagged, ready to be priced, inventoried and delivered to the local consignment shop.

What many people don't realize is how much time 'finishing' a product takes. They don't understand that when you cut the web from the loom, it isn't yet ready to be sold or gifted.

It must be inspected and repaired (called burling in industry), wet finished and given a final trim if there is a fringe. After that, it must be tagged with care instructions (required by law in Canada and the US) and of course one's own label so that people can identify the maker.

My logo is a butterfly, and this incarnation was designed by local artist (painter and felt maker) Ruth Hansen.

No contact info is on my label due to shops not wanting customers to by-pass their shop and deal directly with the artist (and expecting to get wholesale level pricing by so doing!) My studio is not set up for retail customers, and in fact I discourage people coming here. My studio is a working studio and generally in a state of extreme chaos. Not something I really want people to see and judge me on.

In Canada, the manufacturer must provide contact info, so I signed up for a CA number which is on my label. The vast majority of people have no idea what the CA number is for, or that they can contact me that way, so I rarely get contacted because of the CA number. Since the rise of the internet, I have been contacted that way because people simply Google me. :D

The bottom line, however, is that if you don't include the time involved and the cost of the tags in your retail/wholesale price, you wind up working for free when you do this very necessary job. It is one area that most new wanna be craftspeople most often forget to factor into their prices.


Sharon said...

Amen to that! I just finished weaving some shawls for Christmas gifts and the finishing took longer than the weaving. I'm kind of a slow finisher, I guess.

I was sewing some loungewear this week as well and noticed the same thing - getting the items together was quick as can be. Getting them ready to wear was quite another thing.

Do you suppose painters and other artists/craftspeople have the same kind of finishing dilemmas?

Laura said...

Hi Sharon,

I expect they do. Potters have to trim, bisque fire, glaze and glaze fire, then sand bottoms. Woodworkers have to spend hours on sanding and applying their finish. I think most traditional crafts have elements where the maker would rather be doing something else, but it isn't finished until....