One of the most rewarding processes I do is to create custom pieces. Custom work is a collaboration between me, the artist and you, the customer. The custom order process ranges from simply telling me you want a quantity of a particular design to an interactive multi-step process.
How Custom Work Begins
Custom work begins with a conversation. Here are a few conversation starters that I’ve experienced:
- “I am having a new back splash put in, can you do some tiles to go with my commercial ones?”
- “I would love a large sunflower to give to my neighbor.”
- “I really love this piece but would like it in a different color, can you do that?”
- “We are traveling to China and need some smaller gifts that can fit easily into our suitcases.”
- “I love your sun catchers; will you make some in a winter theme with pine trees for me?”
- “I am having my kitchen remodeled and I want handles and pulls to go with it.”
- “My mother loves her cat, can you create a sun catcher that looks like her cat?”
- “I would like a snow man ornament that has one snow man for each grandchild for my mom.”
- “We love your art work so much but don’t have much space since we’ve downsized for retirement. Could you make pulls and handles for our bedroom furniture?”
- “I found this photo on Pinterest, can you use it as inspiration for a piece for my house?”
- “I have this giant space in our new patio area that I don’t know what to do with, can you help?”
These are all questions that have led to works of art that are well loved by those who have purchased them. Some items have been gifted and some have been installed in homes and gardens. What you start with is a question for me.
For small items such as sun catchers or flowers in a particular color, I just take your order and payment and deliver your product by the time stated at purchase.
Larger scope projects are a little different. A larger installation such as tiles, art for a space, particular floral sculptures, etc. get what I call an art interview. It’s where I spend time getting an idea of what it is you are looking for specifically. I need to visit the space or see photos of the space in order to get started thinking about your piece. I ask questions about your vision. If you are like some of my customers, you might not have a vision and so I ask questions about what you like to spend time doing, what pieces of my artwork you are drawn to, how do you spend your down time and maybe other questions I think of in the moment. I like to see the space and visit it if at all possible to get an idea of what your style and color choices are. I want your art to fit into your home and work with your “vibe”. If I am not able to travel to you (i.e. you don’t live within reasonable driving distance of West Lafayette, IN) I can meet with you virtually using internet technology.
For large scale projects I create concept sketches. This is not refined artwork but will give you a sense of the direction I am planning to go. In the case where you might be uncertain of particular design, I might work up several small sketches. When those sketches are complete we meet again so I can get a sense from you whether I am on the right track or totally off base. At this meeting we will likely settle on a design for me to then create for you. Occasionally I might not have asked enough questions and/or the client may be uncertain about the direction they want to go and a second set of drawings are required. Concept drawing and consultation fee starts at $50 and is dependent on the scope of the project. I will let you know at the first consultation how much your drawings will be and this amount will be due at the drawing reveal meeting. If second drawings are required, an additional fee may be incurred.
Cost is very dependent on the product. At the time I create drawings I also create a cost estimate. This estimate is very much like any artisan’s estimate and includes labor per estimated hour (which includes artistic design and execution), materials, kiln time and installation (if I, as the artist am installing). If, for some reason, the estimate is going to be unreasonable for me to execute within my tolerances I will contact you right away. This usually comes into play when glass prices or availability change unexpectedly.
Small projects like sun catchers, household items or knobs and handles are typically in the 7-10 business days until shipping. If, for some reason, my production flow does not allow that window I will let you know at the time of purchase.
Large project delivery will be discussed at the time of cost estimate. The scope of the artwork desired plays an important role in how long it will take for me to create your piece. I have particular production flow seasons and I will do my very best to create your piece or pieces in a timely manner.