Saturday, October 18, 2003

Why is this bowl so expensive?

That question was asked of me today about a very nice bowl that I took to the craftshow. One of the biggest hurdles many craftspeople face in their marketing is educating the public about the value of their work.

I must say straight away that this piece was turned from a very unique piece of wood, in that the branch had made a complete U-turn as it grew. This has resulted in some interesting figure and a bark inclusion right into the center of the bowl. This was one of those pieces of wood that are difficult to mount on the lathe, and not without risk once it starts spinning due the 'defects' hidden within.

The natural edge around the rim of the bowl not only adds to the interest of the piece, but also requires considerable skill to turn. As the wood spins on the lathe, the handheld tool is alternately cutting wood then air, making it want to bounce around. Much skill is needed to overcome this and ensure that the tool doesn't jam in the wood. This is most definitely workmanship of risk, and a moments inattention can lead to the work being totally ruined, or worse.

Then there was the skill that went into identifying the unique features of the piece of wood, designing a form to suit these features and then working skillfully to overcome the challenges that woods of character often present. This bowl is most definitely a one-of-a-kind piece of art that took a lot of skill to make. In my opinion it is worth every penny I am asking for it. Until the day that a customer agrees with my opinion, I am quite happy to keep this piece in my studio to admire myself and as a talking point for visitors. It certainly drew many admiring comments today.


The MauBow Turner said...

Well said!!

Anonymous said...

i agree fully,some of my unique bowls have taken many hours. bass river woodturner