beginner bowls

All things bowl turning, hooks, lathes etc..

Moderators: jrccaim, Bob_Fleet, gavin, Robin Fawcett, HughSpencer

beginner bowls

Postby dervishcarving » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:17 pm

The 4 bowls i have managed to make so far, i would value opinions on them.
There are a couple of 'rough' areas on some of them but mainly they are ok. I need to learn more fine-control over the tools, especially the inside-bevel tool. I only have 3 tools, all made by Ben Orford as i have no blacksmiths skills at all.
I am still at the stage where i think it is nice and smooth, i begin burnishing and 10 minutes later discover i have a couple of uneaven places. I guess this will improve with experience.
Attachments
bowls1.jpg
bowls1.jpg (106.35 KiB) Viewed 8682 times
dervishcarving
Regular
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:57 am

Re: beginner bowls

Postby gavin » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:10 am

Why burnish?
What is wrong with a tooled finish?
Gavin Phillips


- teacher, demonstrator & supporter of greenwoodworking & human-powered turning
- Supplier of Fun & Confidence

info@shed-therapy.com
http://www.shed-therapy.com
User avatar
gavin
Regular
 
Posts: 1595
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 4:17 pm
Location: Dalbeattie, near Dumfries, Scotland

Re: beginner bowls

Postby dervishcarving » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:06 pm

Nothign wrong with a tooled finish but on this Elm i like the smooth shiny burnished look
dervishcarving
Regular
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:57 am

Re: beginner bowls

Postby gavin » Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:06 am

dervishcarving wrote:Nothign wrong with a tooled finish but on this Elm i like the smooth shiny burnished look

Do you sell these? If so, do your customers have a preference?
Gavin Phillips


- teacher, demonstrator & supporter of greenwoodworking & human-powered turning
- Supplier of Fun & Confidence

info@shed-therapy.com
http://www.shed-therapy.com
User avatar
gavin
Regular
 
Posts: 1595
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 4:17 pm
Location: Dalbeattie, near Dumfries, Scotland

Re: beginner bowls

Postby dervishcarving » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:50 am

I have tried to make 7 sensible-sized bowls so far and one out-sized one :) the big-one is barely started and will sit on the shelf for a while i suspect, 5 of the sensible sized ones came out well (4 in the picture plus 1 i made yesterday), one i made at the weekend i managed to crack it whilst trying to tidy up the rim and it got Frisbee'd into the woods :) the other was the first one i made and it didnt come out well. So that's not many bowls yet. I have had a couple of people ask if i will make one for them and so there is obviously interest in them and they seem to prefer the burnished finish. I plan to make up a fair pile of them and see if anyone wants to buy them in a couple of months when i know they are properly dry.
It does bring up a question tho, price :) A dog-walker stopped to see what we were doing last week as i was finishing off a small (4 inch diameter) bowl and asked for one. i said iw ould make one when i got a chance and told her it would cost a tenner, up to 20 for a bigger (8 inch) one...Is that a fair price i wonder? Im just doing this as a hobby so its not like i am trying to make a living off it. I think it takes me roughly 1.5 hours to knock up a bowl now and the wood isnt costing me anything.
dervishcarving
Regular
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:57 am

Re: beginner bowls

Postby woodness sake » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:51 pm

In the guild days, when all the questions had been answered and you could turn out a dozen "good" bowls, then you could consider selling what ever you made from that point on. Or so I've heard.
User avatar
woodness sake
Regular
 
Posts: 194
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 9:59 pm
Location: hartly, Delaware USA

Re: beginner bowls

Postby gavin » Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:36 pm

dervishcarving wrote:I have tried to make 7 sensible-sized bowls so far and one out-sized one :) the big-one is barely started and will sit on the shelf for a while i suspect, 5 of the sensible sized ones came out well (4 in the picture plus 1 i made yesterday), one i made at the weekend i managed to crack it whilst trying to tidy up the rim and it got Frisbee'd into the woods :) the other was the first one i made and it didnt come out well. So that's not many bowls yet. I have had a couple of people ask if i will make one for them and so there is obviously interest in them and they seem to prefer the burnished finish. I plan to make up a fair pile of them and see if anyone wants to buy them in a couple of months when i know they are properly dry.
It does bring up a question tho, price :) A dog-walker stopped to see what we were doing last week as i was finishing off a small (4 inch diameter) bowl and asked for one. i said iw ould make one when i got a chance and told her it would cost a tenner, up to 20 for a bigger (8 inch) one...Is that a fair price i wonder? Im just doing this as a hobby so its not like i am trying to make a living off it. I think it takes me roughly 1.5 hours to knock up a bowl now and the wood isnt costing me anything.

Please : Do not sell you ware cheaply. You may not be getting a living from this, but any under-pricing really does beggar things up for others who may rely on turning for a significant part of their income. Under-pricing lowers the perceived value of all such ware. As a rule of thumb, go to a department store supplying quality ware e.g. John Lewis and base your prices on theirs for bowls of similar sizes. I'd say your prices above should go up about 50% . Look at Robin Wood website http://www.robinwood.co.uk and see what he charges. I suggest you try his prices out. At least you won't be doing any damage to his customer base if you charge his prices. To respond with " I am not as good as he, I should charge less " could mean you damage Robin's livelihood, because your customer may simply compare size and price. Anyway: You'll be surprised what folk will pay.

Richard Raffan writes very persuasively on this topic - refer his Turned Bowl Design where he writes pp 4-5:
    Unless you desperately need the money, don't under-price. I offer this partly as a plea on behalf of professionals everywhere, who have suffered greatly from amateurs interested only in "covering costs". If you want to cover the cost of your timber, why not do it by selling one bowl ?
and later:
    It is easy to find bowls at local craft markets selling for less than the cost of the timber...[which] creates the impression that all other similar bowls are expensive.

He also addresses wood value:
    The fact that you may have come by it [wood] for nothing is irrelevant - you must consider what it will cost to replace.
To which I would add: you must consider the value of your time to fell, extract and process it and the cost of saws and transport used to do this.
Gavin Phillips


- teacher, demonstrator & supporter of greenwoodworking & human-powered turning
- Supplier of Fun & Confidence

info@shed-therapy.com
http://www.shed-therapy.com
User avatar
gavin
Regular
 
Posts: 1595
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 4:17 pm
Location: Dalbeattie, near Dumfries, Scotland

Re: beginner bowls

Postby dervishcarving » Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:01 pm

Interesting points there Gavin and i can see where you are coming from. I have no desire to affect the market or impact on the livelihood of those who do this professionally. All your points are valid although there is a lot to be said about quality and cost. High quality products will always cost more and people (mainly) accept this. I will take your opinions on board
dervishcarving
Regular
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:57 am

Re: beginner bowls

Postby ToneWood » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:36 am

Interesting perspective Gavin. It is something has dawned on me recently when it was pointed out to me by several people the price these things typically sell for. I'm an amateur and largely make things for my own amusement and the family. I've got a few things that I'd like to sell now - but how to price them? We already covered pricing on another thread. But the issue of not underselling/undercutting the professionals is an interesting & potentially important one which didn't come up, at least not explicitly.

As a novice, it is easy to either undervalue your work and/or undervalue the time you put into it - and the amount of time will likely be much higher than for an experienced professional. As an amateur, it might be tempting to sell cheaply ("at a loss") just to get sales/appreciation, which can be gratifying, and some cash, albeit not commensurate with the work involved. I guess setting prices somewhere around where the pros do, or would have to, "levels the playing field". It might seem like you'll make more money too :) but you'll need to factor in reduced sales volume at higher prices :(. I daren't tell you how cheaply I sold my first big bowl - it was a mistake, even as a rough beginner bowl it was worth many times more.

Is there a typical customer profile for this kind of thing?

BTW Nice bowls Derish, I've seen a very big one that looks v. similar to one of yours in the greenhouse at the local Manor House, so you're probably on the right track ;).
Last edited by ToneWood on Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ToneWood
Regular
 
Posts: 1846
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:21 pm

Re: beginner bowls

Postby gavin » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:14 am

ToneWood wrote:I
As an amateur, it might be tempting to sell cheaply ("at a loss") just to get sales/appreciation, which can be gratifying, and some cash, albeit not commensurate with the work involved.

Neatly put. The worst amateur takes enough money for one and a half a pints, feels good they are being valued because they have been paid something BUT depresses the perception of the value of this kind of work.

We will see a lot more handcraft for sale in future. We live in a de-industrialising world and one where the value of carbon dioxide saved is not as explicitly clear as the cost of a barrel of oil, but is known to have a value. Joe or Jane Amateur's underpricing undermines the public perception of value. If your ware is crap quality, don't sell it. Give it. If you won't do that, burn it and make another so you can be the best you can be.
ToneWood wrote: I guess setting prices somewhere around where the pros do, or would have to, "levels the playing field". It might seem like you'll make more money too :) but you'll need to factor in reduced sales volume at higher prices :(.

Exactly. If you work won't sell at pro prices, then you have a clear message: your work is not as good as it could be. Since the amateur maker is not interested in money but in the love of his/ her craft ( and that is the meaning of amateur - i.e. for the love of it ) then they should love their craft enough to get good enough so their work sells at the professional going rate. Failing that, just give it away - for love and good karma.
Gavin Phillips


- teacher, demonstrator & supporter of greenwoodworking & human-powered turning
- Supplier of Fun & Confidence

info@shed-therapy.com
http://www.shed-therapy.com
User avatar
gavin
Regular
 
Posts: 1595
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 4:17 pm
Location: Dalbeattie, near Dumfries, Scotland


Return to Bowl turning

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron