Would this be one of those situations where the term, "If you have to ask,
you can't afford it" applies?
Works by any world renowned master generally are. Looking at the link you
included, he sure builds some beautiful items!
This makes the point of choosing a good craftsman or contractor. Maybe he
screwed up the first 10 or 12 and is adding in the material cost for them
Seriously though, the guys that seem to think 3X material is the way to go
are often missing opportunities.
The arithmetic is interesting. Assume that the Pritam and Eames gets 40
to 50% of the selling price. Krenov retains roughly $5500. If he works
two to three weeks (I don't really have a clue how many hours go into
one of his pieces but for the sake of discussion, let's assume I'm
close), then he has roughly 100 hours, give or take, in a cabinet.
Subtract a few hundred for materials, a few hundred for shop costs, and
Krenov maybe gets the equivalent of $50 per hour. My plumber gets $50
per hour. The electrician gets more. Both are good at what they do, but
hardly artists - and certainly haven't influenced several generations of
aspiring woodworkers. If $11,000 is really the number, I think it's a
bargain. My opinion is not based on what I can afford - I can't - only
commenting on perceived value and relative value. Krenov's work, as an
expression of his vision of the world, as a reflection of who he is as a
craftsperson, is valuable. IMO, worth every penny of the $50 per hour -
and frankly, quite a lot more.
Why would someone as famous as James Krenov feel the need to sell his
cabinets at Pritam and Eames? With the success of the books he has written
I can't imaging he would need a gallery to sell his work. I would think he
has more commissions than he could handle.
I did write him a letter about 3 or 4 years ago while he was still working
at College of Redwoods to commission a piece for me and didn't even get a
reply back. Not that I could have afforded $11,000
Good question. Today your statement is correct and I'm sure he could sell
whatever he can make. But what about years ago?
Many artists are very talented and skilled in certain areas, but have no
clue how to promote and market themselves or their products. Thus, the
gallery earns their 40% or so by getting you more than you could on your own
and getting your name recognized.
Of course I have no idea of the specifics of this deal, but without P & E,
would Krenov be selling his cabinets at craft shows? Look at the numbers
Rick came up with. They may be correct. Take P & E out of the picture and
what would that same cabinet sell for? I know that if he came to the art
and crafts show that we just had in our town, those cabinets would have
brought in as much as $400 or so. (Krenov? Never heard of him) Take them
to another town (New Hope, PA for one) and maybe $1500. Take them to P & E
and well, you see what they bring.
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