psacustomcreations

Members
  • Content Count

    24
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About psacustomcreations

  • Rank
    Member

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    www.psacustomcreations.com

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
  • Interests
    Metal art, sculptures, found objects, re-purpose or recycling items

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. psacustomcreations

    Show me things that move

    Here are a few of my larger bells plus a planet like sculpture that rotates and has a light and a dark side. I made these out of wood but I think a good smith (not me) could makes something like this out of copper or steel.
  2. psacustomcreations

    Craft vs. Art

    Das, I do about 15 shows a year within about a 125 mile radius of where I live. I kind of draw the line at a 2 hour drive. I have a trailer I keep loaded with my items. Since it is all metal art, I have weighed it before and know that at a small show, I am moving about 1000-1200 pounds in and out of the trailer. At a larger show, it may be closer to 2000 pounds. My bigger bells will frequently weigh 175 to 225 pounds. I offer free delivery on items like that if they are within a short drive of the venue. I normally only do outside shows. This puts me at the mercy of the weather, but I can usually drive my truck and trailer pretty close to my spot. I also arrive very early so I don't have to deal with traffic in the venue or middle of the road. Once you start attending shows, talk to other vendors. I have created a list of all the shows I have attended and make notes of how I did, whether I will keep coming back or whether I will not return. I email that list to other vendors and we share information on a regular basis. Some I share with are selling completely different product lines so if they do well, it does not mean I will do well. You will still hear about shows you may never have heard of before. Booth photos and item photos will make or break whether you are allowed to attend. Try to have a cohesive and clean booth photo for submission. This area has been my downfall before since I make a variety of items like you. It can be hard to squeeze everything in for a show. For the submission photo, remove some of the excess and have neat display. Clean photos of your items showing details and the level of craftsmanship are also important. Do not be afraid to enter juried events. They usually want higher quality items and may have higher entrance fees but you have the chance to win awards. I have won Best in Show a couple of times because my items are unique like yours. If you are using re-purposed or recycled material, highlight that to the judge and on your entrance form. If you are using re-purposed items, don't be surprised if people offer to give you material. I have received hundreds of pounds of material for free just from attendees. I have also offered a slight discount if they offer me material. People seem willing to give away their items or scrap if they know it will be used again. Engage your customers and try to bring them into the booth or talk about the item. If they appear interested in a particular item, talk to them about how it may look in that spot in their home. One vendor I know makes items out of wine barrels, He makes really nice items and has won awards but just sits next to his cash box. If a customer comes in the booth, he sits there until they say they want to but something . Pat
  3. psacustomcreations

    Craft vs. Art

    A story I heard, may or may not be true, goes along the lines of this. Picasso was sitting a cafe doodling on a napkin. When he got up to leave he crumbled up the napkin and was going to throw it away. Another customer asked if she could have the napkin. Picasso replied, "Sure, for $5,000." The customer gasped and said, "But it only took you 5 minutes and you were going to throw it away." Picasso told her, "It took me 40 years to learn how to do this in 5 minutes, plus I am Picasso." The point is that if you only charge for the time you invested, you may be short changing yourself for the years it took to learn how to do that plus the cost of the tools and equipment to do the job. If your current shop rate takes all that into account and you are comfortable charging shop rate continue to do so.
  4. psacustomcreations

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Square to octagon to round
  5. psacustomcreations

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Todays goal was round tapers using the rounding hammer. I finally weighed this hammer and with the handle it is right at 4 pounds. Here is how the face looks after this session. Advice or thoughts on how I am using it? I know I need to clean up the face, but I also need a new handle on it.
  6. psacustomcreations

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Das, Since you asked about what I make, here are a few examples. 90 percent of my work is with scrap metal.
  7. psacustomcreations

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Neil, I started with short tapers then lengthed them the next session. The flexing and flopping around is exactly what happened to me. Thanks for the idea of leaving a lump for later. Pat
  8. psacustomcreations

    What did you do in the shop today?

    No reason for you to apologize and I apologize as well if I came across wrong. I am new here and people don't know what I do nor why I took up the trade. My metal work is similar to what you make. Thanks for the help.
  9. psacustomcreations

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Good idea, thanks
  10. psacustomcreations

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Das, I am one of those strange people that don't watch TV and have never seen an episode of Forged in Fire. Not that I have anything against those who are making knives. I just took up this skill for art and sculpture purposes. Some of the knives and swords I have seen here and other places are pieces of art and the makers are true artists of the trade.
  11. psacustomcreations

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Ok. Do you think it is from being too cold or poor hammer technique?
  12. psacustomcreations

    What did you do in the shop today?

    I should have posted this and asked yesterday. As I was making my tapers, the last half inch of one end split. I assume it was from working it too cold. I continued to heat and beat and it seems to have closed up but not fused/welded. With my limited skill/tools I also assume the best option is to cut off and start over. Is is possible to forge weld this back together and if so, how? I am thinking if this happened early in a project, cut and start over. But if the piece was cut to length and you were somewhat near completion, how do you save it?
  13. psacustomcreations

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Thanks. I need lots of practice but in time hope to be decent.
  14. psacustomcreations

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Today was a continuation of yesterday's taper practice. Based on the advice I received yesterday, I put a piece of 1/4" plywood on the anvil and hit that a few times to see how the hammer was actually hitting. Shown is the face of the hammer I am using. I measured yesterday's taper to see how long it became. Then I marked it again and continued the taper process. I taught myself MIG and TIG and know padding beads can be boring but it teaches the motion and consistency. I am trying to use the same thought for this craft.
  15. psacustomcreations

    Craft vs. Art

    While I am new at smithing, I have been selling my metal art online, at craft shows, and art shows for about 6 years. Each of the three venues are different and can command completely different prices for the same item. I will frequently change my prices based on the type of show I am at. I consider myself to be in the middle stages of shifting from crafts to art. The post above by Marc1 has many points I was going to address, so I will also add a few more thoughts and some of my experiences. What is your time worth and how to price items are difficult to answer questions for many artists. I try to make one off items art items but will also have a few lower priced craft items, where I may have multiples of that same item, as well in my booth. The cheapest item is about $20, the average price for other items is $150 or so and I also had items in the booth for $2,500. I have a good friend that also does metal art and he has plenty of items that are $20, an average of $100, and his most expensive item rarely goes over $300. At the end of each day we tell each other how much we made. It is common for us to have a similar total amount of sales, say $800, but where I sold 8 items, he sold 20. Who is more successful? I would say the one that spent less time in total. If I make a scrap metal sculpture that took 2 hours to make, cost $10 in materials and paint, but sold it for $150 while he sold 4 items that took 3 hours to make, cost $20 in materials and paint, and a total of $160 in sales, I like to think I came out ahead. I have a spreadsheet where I keep track of all my expenses and sales. I know how many of each type of item I have sold and the average selling price for each. If you are going to treat this as a hobby, you may think you don't need this, if you are serious about this as a business, you are crazy not to know this. Back to the art versus crafts. This year I attended a fine art show. The first thing I did was raise the price of the items in my booth. I had another metal artist who was a true craftsman and artists, tell me I had some high quality items, but my prices are still too low. I had raised the price of one of my larger pieces from $2,000 to $2,500. Two older couples walked by and looked at it and told me how much they liked it. A few hours later, one husband showed up and said that piece was killing him and he thought about it the whole time they were eating lunch.This goes back to Marc point about art creating a reaction. The husband purchased that piece without even asking about a discount or discussing the price. When I dropped it off, the new owner showed me his house that was fill of fine art. I was honored to have one of my pieces mixed in with that group. Attendees at art shows want to feel as if they own an exclusive piece. If they see that there are multiples of the same piece, no matter how good it looks, it comes across as mass produced and lost its uniqueness. I have made several items that are very similar, but each will have a bit of a twist. I will then only bring one of those items to a show and once that sells, grab the next one for another show. When you are trying to sell at shows, do you offer discounts? I have a 10% premium built into my prices so that if I have to offer that to make a sale, I will. It is common for people not to ask for the discount. In regards to art personalities versus "normal", that is also sometimes the experience the customer desires.