The death of craftsmanship in America

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by jpdesign, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. WEEGEE

    WEEGEE Practically Family

    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    Albany , New York
    I agree Burma Shave

    I agree with all your points regarding JP's post.

    I have been an employed photojournalist for more then 20-years.

    When people ask about this and that (cost related or tricks of the trade)

    I give information freely...why not...my competition is againts myself.

    Quality speaks for its self. As Tom Waits would say"I'll tell you all my secrets but lie about my past...send me off to be for evermore"
     
  2. Burma Shave

    Burma Shave One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Columbia SC
    WeeGee!

    Warning: :eek:fftopic:

    Whodathunk there'd be so many Waits fans here?
     
  3. Section10

    Section10 One of the Regulars

    I'm going to comment here at the risk of getting a little out of my league, but if I'm too far wrong, I'm sure someone will find it in their heart to correct me.
    I won't say that this is how it really is, but just how it appears to me:

    I've got the feeling that 75 years ago, if a manufacturer intended to make something for sale, he would say: "I'm going to make this. It will have this and this and this and it will do this and this and this and it's going to look like so. Now, how much can I charge for this thing and still make a decent profit?"

    Today, a manufacturer says: "I'm going to make this. I'm going to charge $XXX. Now, how cheaply can I make this thing and still get people to buy it at my intended price?"

    I probably should amend this right away and say that there are some makers out there that this does not apply to. I guess I'm referring to the mass produced products that we spend most of our money on.
     
  4. Grimstar

    Grimstar Familiar Face

    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    North Carolina
    At last! Someone said it!

    I am in total agreement with jp. I don't know how many times I've had someone come to me and ask how much it would be for me to make a suit/coat/shirt ...and then when I quote them a price, the inevitable next question is "What if I get the fabric for you?" They , for some unfathomable reason, think bringing me $50 or $100 dollars worth of fabric somehow means that I will knock $250 dollars off the price of a suit. I can understand trying to save a buck. But I also understand that one gets what one pays for. I've tried to explain it to people before, that if they think they can get the fabric cheaper, then sure, I'll knock the cost of the fabric off the price. But they are probably going to spend as much or more than I do for it, and the point is, they're still SPENDING THE MONEY....and they just don't get it. Why, oh why do people expect artists and craftsmen to work for $1.50 an hour? They certainly don't expect their doctor or their plumber or their mechanic to work for such a pittance.
     
  5. Grimstar

    Grimstar Familiar Face

    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I forgot to mention...I will tell someone how much materials cost that go into something, that doesn't matter to me. I will also tell them how many hours of work go into it...and they can do the math themselves. If they think my hourly rate is too high, I've even been known to suggest a compromise. I'll charge them, per hour, exactly the same amount that they make, per hour. After all, why is my time worth less than theirs? Funny, but no one ever seems to want to go for that offer. (And before I'm deluged with takers, offer only good if you have a job!! lol )
     
  6. jpdesign

    jpdesign Vendor

    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Glen Rose, TX
    Burma shave,
    If you charge 300 for a print, are you not charging for your photographic ability? A print of a picture doesn't cost a whole lot to make. Mornal manufacturing would charge 3 times what it actually cost to make it for the wholesale price. Normal mark up from wholesale to retail is approx 100%. From my photographic experience that is somewhere between 10 and 20 dollars. At 300 you have got about 285 in excess. Is that not the cost of your ability to take pictures? Does that not include repayment for a small bit of the time you spent developing that ability?

    Jimmy
     
  7. Burma Shave

    Burma Shave One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Columbia SC
    JP:

    In answer to your questions/statements:

    "If you charge 300 for a print, are you not charging for your photographic ability?"

    Yes, I am.

    "Is that not the cost of your ability to take pictures? Does that not include repayment for a small bit of the time you spent developing that ability?"

    Yes, it does. You're right on that. However, what I have an issue with is your apparent assumption that you "deserve" to make money on making a hat. The only way any of us deserve to make money for anything is if people are willing to pay for it.

    We don't deserve anything just for putting time and energy into something -- and what you said was that craftspeople "deserve" to be paid according to the time, work, etc. that goes into a work of art. If you can get someone to pay for it, yes, you deserve it. If you can't get someone to pay you for it (as most of the time I can't) either find something to do that people DO want to pay you enough for, or simply do what you do for the love of the art itself.
     
  8. On rereading this thread, i'm glad to see that Ned Ludd is alive and well.

    Truly ...

    bk
     
  9. WEEGEE

    WEEGEE Practically Family

    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    Albany , New York
    TOM SAID...

    And the girl behind the counter has a tattooed tear
    "One for every year he's away", she said
    Such a crumbling beauty, ah
    There's nothing wrong with her that a hundred dollars won't fix
    She has that razor sadness that only gets worse
     
  10. jpdesign

    jpdesign Vendor

    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Glen Rose, TX
    ok, so deserve may be the wrong word.

    If some one wants the benefits of my talents, in buying one of my hats, they will have to pay something for them.
     
  11. Burma Shave

    Burma Shave One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Columbia SC
    JPDesign said, "ok, so deserve may be the wrong word. If some one wants the benefits of my talents, in buying one of my hats, they will have to pay something for them."

    That's eminently reasonable. I'd drink to it -- if I had a drink handy.
     
  12. Tin Pan Sally

    Tin Pan Sally Registered User

    Messages:
    325
    Location:
    Ahwatukee, Arizona, USA
    I'm at an advantage as a seamstress having a talent that many people attempt on their own before calling a professional. In fact, one of my best customers had been a fellow student who didn't have what it takes.
    Not as many people try to make a hat. Not when there are huge discount stores around.
    How can a generation appreciate quality if they have never seen it on their budget? Federal minimum wage is $5.15 per hour.
    The present economy leads us to try to be self-sufficient and make do. I can't buy all the custom things I want at the expertise level I'd like. Not if I'd still like my son to get into and graduate from a decent college. Contributing to his fund comes first, top priority.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.