Friday, January 11, 2013

Finding the Reserve and the Resolve to complete the Project

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Misty Hollow Carvingwas launched in October 2008
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Finding the Reserve and the Resolve to complete the Project
Another Wood Carver made this statement that has caused me to think… hmmm?
Quote… "You can achieve 90 percent of the effect with 50 percent of the effort.  But the truth is, unless you do the final 10 percent, which takes another 50 percent of effort, you'll never achieve that fineness"

Well said.

I am a wood carver and know what this statement is all about.  I can easily do the first 90% of a carving.  At that stage it is looking pretty good.  The shape has come along, the detail is showing up and it would likely sell to someone that wants it – now.

But when I pause and look at it closely and then really see where my proportions, my thickness, my detail – simply stinks… I then muster the resolve to start the rest of the carving that is needed to complete the work.

The great difficulty is finding the reserve of creativity and the resolve to stick with this until the carving is complete.  Reserve and Resolve – two very important qualities that have been built up in my carving ability.

BUT and it is a BIG BUT… the sale of your carving or the piece that you are working on will possibly be quashed by the fact that price will go sky high for most people.  Only people with the wealth that astounds will be able to afford what I can do.  Ordinary people will either be totally shocked or completely disgusted.

In one setting not long ago I had carved a very intricate piece. It was done on a small piece of wood that was ½” X ½” by 12 inches long. It took me nearly 4 hours to complete the carving.

I put a price of $85 on that carving.

Needless to say many people picked up the carving to look at it and many were interested in the price.  And finally one person bought it and came back later to buy a second one.  The price was not problem for that final person.

But in the marketing process of that carving one woman picked it up and looked at it… turning it this way and that.  Then after studying it closely she turned to me and asked how much the piece was.  I told her $85 and her reaction was immediate and without any reserve – “$85 – you have got to be kidding!  For an old piece of wood!! That is nuts!”  She dropped the carving on the table and walked away shaking her head.

I didn’t quite know what to say to her.  She obviously wanted something for $5.00… and she was likely the $5.00 kind of person – that if it was $5.00 she would want a discount on that because she was kind enough to look at my carvings.

But “attitude” of others cannot stop me from doing my best. It cannot make me withhold the last 50% that is needed to complete my last 10%. I must make it the best ever.

This year for Christmas I carved my very first Rose.  It is carved from one block of wood – not with pieces added to the Rose.  And it was carved specially for my wife… and painted in brilliant gold. It was my attempt this year to tell her how much she means to me and what a treasure she is.

It took me way more than 5 hours to do this. And many times I nearly slammed the carving to the floor… as my hands shook… my eyes hurt… and my feet were very cold. I was carving in my workshop where the floor becomes very cold in the winter months.

This Rose nearly died an early death… and almost didn’t make it to the completed stage.  The last 10% required more than 50%. I was working closer to 100% all over again.  It was at this stage that the petals on the Rose had to be thinned down to the actual thickness of a real Rose Petal.

But later when she opened the gift and she looked at me in amazement… jumped up and came to give me a bug hug… well I knew that the 200% I gave into this carving was well worth it all.

My granddaughter was watching us and then asked me, “Grandpa if you were to sell this Rose how much would it be?”

I looked at her and grinned, then answered, “I think it would be between $300 to $450…”

She said, “I thought so!”

There is no way that this carving will be offered to the $5.00 lady. I couldn’t afford letting her pick it up and then drop it!!  It is far less wood than the 12 inch piece that she had handled earlier.

This principle works in almost every Art form and Craft form. If it is good, the artist has put way more of themselves into the product that the customer is likely willing to pay.  But that is what makes it priceless.

~ Murray Lincoln ~
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My Carved Gold Rose

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, Murray!! What a Wonderful Gift for Alida!