Monday, June 25, 2012

Why does handmade cost so much? Part One

I LOVE the Dollar bin at Target.  I love going to Dollar Tree, but I also love Etsy.  I will open my Marenski account next month.
Handmade items are expensive for multiple reasons. Today I will explain one of them: TIME!
I made this little collage to illustrate making one angel that would fit on a 5x7 card with a decent border of white all around.  I took the time stamp from the drawing to the finished piece and it was 18 minutes.  I guesstimated that taking pictures and the re cutting of the wing took three minutes, hence the 15 minute angel.

1. The sketch.  Everything I have made on this blog has a sketch in a manila folder, held in a plastic sleeve in an ever expanding binder.
2. Using my lightbox "Hal," I make pattern pieces on manila folders. (I now support that industry single handed)
3. I grab paper for each section.  Since this was a small card I grabbed from my scrap drawers. More on them later.
4. Cut! Or punch.  If God meant for me to cut perfect 1/8" circles he wouldn't have invented the mini hole punch.  I only cut the final pieces... the pattern pieces were done for a previous project. (Christmas 2010)
5. Finished angel.  Not finished product, just the figure.  And it took 15 minutes.  I counted.
6. As I work I use the sketch to assemble the odd shaped puzzle pieces.

So if I was getting paid $10 an hour. (Just making math easy for me.) And it took me 15 minutes.  Just that piece is $2.50 of my time.  So when mounted and calculating supplies I would charge $3.50. Just for a card.
When you pay less for art, you are telling the artist they are worth less per hour than the kid at In&Out Burger who is getting paid at least that per hour.

Getting off my soap box.


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