I've just collected this piece from the local gallery who have been trying to sell it for about 9 months. It's been an interesting experience raising all sorts of questions about the cost of framing a textile piece, in fact framing ANY piece of art, and gallery commission.
I made the felt as a sample for a larger wallhanging with more leaves in it, that I sent in for an Open Exhibition last summer:
(not a great photo but it gives some idea). The gallery co-owner bought the larger one for herself and then she is going to frame it, well her partner at the gallery is, so it will just cost her the materials. Now I can't exactly remember how large it came out, I think it would have been about 50-60cm square-ish, but to have a piece that large framed for ordinary people would surely cost a lot of money.
Anyway, the gallery ladies said they would like to frame the smaller piece and see if they could sell it. I personally like the idea of textile wall art just being hung as it is, like you would hang a quilt, so that you can see all the textures really properly, but everyone has their own opinions, and of course it's easier to dust if it's behind glass.
I think they have framed it really well, the frame compliments the piece and doesn't detract from it at all, I was really pleased, and I think it probably changed my mind about framing felt! The framed piece is about 40cm square - the cost came out at £45. So to re-coup the cost of framing, plus the gallery commission of 35% which is at the low end of what commission can be, they ended up putting the picture up for sale at £95, fully expecting it to sell. Now I'm not saying that galleries are unfair in taking commission, of course they have to, and you are paying for their running costs and customers and display and reputation, it's only right.
Now I was in the shop while my picture was displayed in the window (a very proud moment for me, probably never to be repeated!) and I could hear customers saying how expensive it was, which it is for a small picture, I quite agree!
So framed it's really expensive for someone to buy, and yet if it had sold for £95, I would have got slightly less than £17 for my several hours of designing and making, once the commission and framing cost had been taken off.
Isn't it all complicated?
Anyway, I decided I'd take it back and possibly try and sell it direct at a craft fair, which would mean that I wouldn't have to build the commission into the price.
But now we've put it up in the kitchen we like it so much where it is that we're just going to keep it!
So there we are, the dilemma of framing and costing and galleries.
Now to end on a different note, in the spirit of complete honesty about what my house really looks like, I'm showing you my magic curtain, which I made on Monday evening.
Here is my horrid utility room:
It's a bit like Monica's secret cupboard in Friends if you've ever seen that episode, it's really terrible. Note the sacks of wool and mess and broken cupboard doors (also you might be able to see that our kitchen bin is held together with duck tape). And that's only one half of the room, the other half is worse and has a computer and years of paperwork stuffed sideways into shelves (the papers that is, the computer is upright).
So here is my magic curtain:
Mess....what mess? All gone away. Surely now it no longer exists at all?
What is it about cats and ironing boards?