Sunday, January 18, 2009
Before Christmas I was approached by a woman who wanted me to weave her a blanket. "I've looked for a purple blanket that I liked for years and haven't found one. Would you be interested in making me one?"
Commissions and I have a shady past. I haven't done a lot but with the exception of one dyeing commission, I have always had a problem with something going wrong. Sometimes my fault, but not always. Stupid calculation error when I estimated and then took the estimation as "fact". My fault indeed.
So I was hesitant to agree. But a commission is a guaranteed sale and so thinking "Guaranteed sale" I worked out a quote and presented it. She agreed and so I went ahead.
The way that I normally work out my prices is to take the total time to make the warp, dye the warp (if necessary), and warp the loom and divide the total hours by the number of projects on the loom. So if it takes me two hours to make the warp, three hours to dye the warp, and three hours to warp the loom and there are four scarves in the warp, then I average it out to 2 hours per scarf before weaving, finishing, and washing.
In this case I did the same thing. I decided that I would put on two blankets and weave the weft differently. Only that I never would have been putting on a blanket in the first place if not for the commission. There was NO possibility of selling a second blanket. I also didn't take into account the hour and a half that it took me to make the skeins into balls so that I could use the yarn. So I should have priced the blanket as a "one off". Alas, I did not.
And my lesson learned. So I think that from now on commission work will have a premium price that will take into account any glitches that may arise.
All was not lost though. I had decided early on that the second blanket would make a wonderful Christmas gift for my brother and his partner.
And I was right.