By contrast, there were thoughtful customers designing name boards for summer homes, boat owners looking for the unique and the nonconventional. One of the nonconventional customers was a woman with a gorgeous canoe. For her, I carved a pair of thin cherry bow boards that complemented the canoe’s style.
If you’ve listened to my story, but still want to engage in the traditional work of carving quarter boards, transom banners, and the like, here is my advice. Get a subscription to one of the graphics magazines that cater to signmakers ( Google is your friend). Many of these produce annual guides to production costs. Unless things have changed, pricing guidelines for hand-carved work is included.
There is a parable in the boat building Trades, it also applies to maritime carving: Want to know how to make a small fortune in the trade? Start with a large one—best of luck.
5 Replies to “Sign Work”
Carving is not new to my region. But, it dates way too back. 7th century and further. I think you might have come across Hampi’s famous sculptures. It is always a treat to see the centuries old art-work. I should still visit the Ellora Caves. These professional fields are getting confined deeper and deeper only into the houses of the original artists.
I get what you are saying. It’s why I don’t do commission work. I wouldn’t want to make the same quilt over and over though I might get a better outcome with practice. For me the challenge is the part I enjoy most. Most would rather buy the cheap knockoffs from China than pay for quality work. Love your sign though. It’s definitely not a knockoff. 😉 Have a great Memorial day weekend.
Lots of knockoffs these days. They even look “handmade”. There is a law of economics – Gresham’s Law. It states that debased currency (clipped, fake, etc) drives good money off the market. It seems to work with craft items as well. But with the additional kick that eventually most people can’t recognize good work because they’ve never seen it.
You are absolutely correct, Lou. Well said and makes perfect sense.
The canoe boards sound exquisite.
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