Its interestsing to receive commissions from people, either for handmade items to your design or to a design they have in mind. As a tutor, meeting the learners needs also demands flexibility and the need to adapt lessons or even devise them to suit the customer's needs.
Over the past few months I've had a few commissions for items as diverse as caravan cushions - reupholstery - which I've learned on the hoof!! to hand crocheted bags. Some customers give me a pattern and I simply get on with the job, others have a pattern that requires luxury yarns way beyond their means - so as well as finding a substitute yarn, lots of reworking needs to be done to ensure the tension is right. Others give me a pattern and yarn and say I love this but I want less colours. Others give me a size and come and rifle through my stash for their choice of colours. I then start playing with ideas and see how the design evolves.
Its also a learning curve for me about pricing commissions, I've used this series of work to calculate the time it takes me to produce an item or a piece of teaching. And I've realised I drastically undercharge most of the time. Its also making me query my pricings in my shop. I really need to sit down with an "expert" in the field and get them right. I think I'm beginning to realise that if I under value my work or my time, it leads people to wonder if my work is of a suitable quality and skill level. Quite how I'm going to "up my game" price wise I'm not entirely certain but I know I need to do something. I do have a bit of a "mates rates" policy and will also barter - you can see below the outcome of bartering in a very yummy way. But when I start to charge the wider public I can't quite get my head around asking them for what I'm worth! From reading forum posts on Folksy and Creative Connections, I know I'm not unique in this.... but as I want to make a living from crafting and teaching crafts I need to make sure I put my business head on when going forth into the world.
Here are the commissions:
The bolero is knitted in one piece from the bottom of the back to the bottom of the fronts. It was surprisingly easy to put together at the end too!
Mobile Phone Case
Bartering for Cake
And the cake!!!!!!
|Can you believe the cute baby on the left is the teen on the right! Its not been an easy journey for either of us at times but I'm proud of my beautiful 18 year old daughter!|
The Folksy "Commissionaires"
As well as "blowing my own trumpet", I've decided to give some fellow makers over at Folksy an opportunity to let the world know that they too take commissions:
Unique Beaded Gems
As well as offering a beautiful selection of handcrafted jewellery featuring beautiful gem stones, owner Jo Walters is always ready to take commissions. This beautiful Blue John Sterling Silver Ring is just one example of her beautiful work:
"witchy woo hats" pictured left. Natalie also polishes and mounts fossils and gemstones into fabulous keyrings and trinkets. Her shop is well worth a visit and she is always happy to take commissions.
Kawaii Boutique UK
The Pink and Blue Rainclouds especially appeal to me, I think they're really cute!
vintage style made to order items in her Folksy shop.
The Press Gang
handbound journal is created by owner Leanne and her collection of presses. Leanne loves to take commissions for bookbinding and you can see from the quality of this journal, that it would be worth the outlay for a treasured item like a wedding album or special journal.
Baggie Aggie Too