The challenge of pricing

Hand Carving large mahogany bowls is time-consuming and challenges the notion of putting a price to your time. Sometimes people under-estimate the time it takes to complete an item; and sometime people have an idea of the most they will pay for an item.

There is sometimes a conflict between commercial mass production and hand made.

When they have doubts about the price, the question you usually get is- How long does it take to finish this?

I have made the decision long time ago, that If I cannot get the calculated price, I will not make it- The price must be based on -cost of raw materials, wear and tear on tools, time it took to carve at a reasonable hourly rate, overhead cost.; and whether the item can be marketed whole sale.

Sometime the question of urgent need comes into play; do I need money for food or a bill urgently, which means making the price attractive enough for a quick sale. This is a challenge for lots of artists/craftsmen.

Retail and Wholesale

The plain truth is that sometimes an item cannot be sold wholesale.

Tools are very important, there are tools that can make your job easier and faster; usually those tolls are also more dangerous,- the angle grinder, the chain saw, the die grinder and other electric tools, some of which I have re-design their used to meet my needs.

One bright spot is the creation of a piece that have artistic value, that is when you can make up for your losses on mass-produced pieces; but the same artistic piece might take a year or more to find a buyer.

To charge less than $325.00 for this bowl is cheating yourself. The most challenging decision for an Artist/Craftsman is a whole sale price to encourage sales. Most galleries will require a minimum of 50% markup, and sometimes 100%.

In conclusion the artist must be a businessman, or be a starving artist most of your life.

There is some joy and compensation in having your work as your passion, A roof over your head, a decent standard of living, and if you are lucky, You might be able to retire on your personally built retirement plan, or just pray that you are blessed with good health in order to continue working as an artist until your time is up.


An artist should make preparations from early in his career for retirement.

The best and most affordable insurance policy by a long-standing company; I was unfortunate to pay insurance premiums for 25 years before the scoundrel CEO lost his reinvestment in offshore real estate, and was allowed to withdraw monies from the bank that the appropriate governments should have stopped.

One can only hope and pray that their safety net plans do not fall apart. A bank can also declare bankruptcy.

What do you think is a reasonable price for this hand carved bowl? 15″ x 9″ x 5″ deep

What is the maximum you will pay for the bowl?

May God Bless us Artist/Craftsmen and our patrons.