It's that time of year, again.
Here is my offering for Halloween. "Farmer Jack" is needle felted over a wire armature. I like doing these characters, but they are so time consuming. I know I say that, a lot, but it can't be expressed, enough, in my opinion.
I've read where some people think needle felting is easy...and it can be, depending on what you want to achieve. The hardest part, to me, is making hands and feet...the same size. You have to get a feel for how much wool will needle down into the size you want. This character had entirely different hands, before I ripped them off, because I had used too much wool and just couldn't get them down to the size I wanted. That was a three hour lesson. Now, I know that less is better, to start with, as you can always add more, but taking away is extremely difficult.
I know I am getting a little faster, at this, all the time, but it takes the time that it takes and rushing only causes...well...three hour lessons. Also, I like my work to be firmly felted. This takes hours of additional time. Add to that my obsession with details ( I really had to reign that in, with Jack, as I wanted him to be more accessible, price wise) and you can get work that must be compensated by hundreds of dollars, if one needed to make a living from their art, as I do.
I guess what I'm hoping, here, is that anyone reading this will understand the monetary value of time. If "Farmer Jack" sells for the minimum amount I listed him for, I will have made around two dollars an hour for labor and then there are all the listing fees, final value fees and other overhead. If I didn't love doing it, this could be very discouraging.
Well...fortunately...I do love doing it, so I'm not complaining...just educating, a little, I hope. At any rate, in the future you may see work that is priced according to the amount of time and love I put in. I always like to have pieces that are accessible to everyone who wants to invite my work into their homes...which I consider an honor, by the way, but some of it may be out or reach for some. I can't let that stop me from putting all I am into my work.
I'd love some comments on this. Should artists expect, at least, minimum wage for the time they put into their work?