Next Meeting - December 14th

The topic of the December meeting's will be the upcoming Woodturning Competition to be held once again at Lee Valley.

The Competition Sub-Committee will be discussing this and will try to answer any questions and/or concernsregarding the competition.

We will also have John MacNab, this years winner of the Lieutenant Governor's Master Arts Award, speaking on this matter. He will also try to respond to various questions and concerns.

Venue: Rona, Bayers Lake

November Meeting

November’s meeting on pricing and marketing was held in the saw shop at Rona and was attended by almost 40 members. After some brief business items – a financial update, an update on the website and a thank you to Rona for allowing us to hold our meetings there this year, we got down to the main topic of the meeting.

The speakers were members, Don Moore and Stephen Zwerling, both of whom gave valuable ideas and information for those of us who wish to sell our woodturned items.

A great deal of information was covered in this evening's meeting, so what follows is necessarily a brief summary.

Don Moore – Marketing

Don Moore

Don offered up the two main choices available. Either you sell your work yourself or have someone sell it for you. He talked about ways of selling, including craft shows, galleries, auctions, agents, and cooperatives. With each of these options he included an overview of the things to take into account when deciding what is right for you as a seller.

For example, when checking out a craft show look at : the floor layout, the displays, your competition, talk to the vendors and even the customers. Then ask yourself, “Is the floor layout conducive to maximum sales?”, “Are the displays of the quality and/or type that you are seeking?”, “Is there a lot of competition?”, Is there no competition?”, “Are the vendors happy with the results?”, “Are the customers enjoying the shopping experience?” “Do you want your products displayed here?”

Depending on the venue, your work may have to be juried before it can be allowed in. As a member of the Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council, Don avoids these problems. Don listed a number of other sales opportunities including corporate collections, gifts and presentation pieces. Craft co-operatives, direct sales and association presentations also provide opportunities.

If someone else does the selling for you, they control the display, the promotion etc. and for this they charge a fee. Since you are handing over so much in commission, you should carefully study their location, advertising, web site, customer traffic and duration. If it’s on consignment, you hold all the costs too. Hiring an agent is also expensive. Exhibitions and art galleries usually provide exposure but no direct sales.

On the other hand, if you sell your own product you have much more control over the final outcome.

Don also touched on the need for professionalism in presentation and display, including having business cards available.

He concluded his presentation with a short question and answer period, fielding several questions from the members on the subject of marketing.

One final piece of advice from Don. If you want to sell your work: “Just don’t become your own collector, get the stock moving out!”

Stephen Zwerling – Pricing

Stephen Zwerling

Stephen followed with a Powerpoint presentation which looked at the issues involved in pricing your work for sale – and once again this is only a brief summary.

He discussed such topics as recognizing true market value, price point position and logistics. He also briefly looked at various pricing methods including cost of production analysis, market forces and ‘ego pricing’.

He stressed the need to determine a realistic price for your work in your chosen marketplace. Some things to consider:

  • What is the purpose of the piece? Is it giftware, utilitarian or fine craft?
  • Consider the retail setting. Craft fairs, galleries or wholesale?
  • Does anybody want it at all?!

Pricing has to include time spent on all aspects of production, sales, marketing, maintenance, research, administration, purchasing, etc. Also factor in time lost to illness, fatigue, procrastination, production losses, and waiting for others.

We were next treated to an example of price determination of 100 ornaments. With laptop and projector, Stephen used a spreadsheet to determine the costs of producing a hundred ornaments and the variables involved in setting a price.

Stephen was at a disadvantage with the move to the cutting room in both an inadequate projecting surface and insufficient time to do his presentation justice. I hope that he will consider and be considered to do this again.

A very informative evening presented by a couple veterans who have “Been there, Done that”

Show and Tell

Because of times constraints, there was not time for members to talk about the work they brought in, but Alan Hunt, Dale Rayner and Bill Starnes brought in the very nice pieces below.

Alan Hunt

Alan's with his spruce burl bowl

Bill Starnes

Bill with his natural edged maple burl turning

Dale Rayner

Dale with his maple(?) bowl

Award For John MacNab

Congratulations to lifetime Guild Member John MacNab, who beat four other finalists to win the $25,000 Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award, for his piece entitled CSDC 3-8 (Compound Spiral Double Cone No. 3, 8 sided), a 7.6-metre-long, double-spiral sculpture turned from red spruce.

The award, which celebrates outstanding contemporary art, was presented at the Creative Nova Scotia Conference in Yarmouth on October 24th.

Guild Woodturning Competition 2010

The three documents for the 2010 competition are now available to download on the documents section of the website.

The awards will be presented at Lee Valley on Saturday March 6th.