Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Why do my reverse painted glass lamp shades cost what they...well, cost?

Side view of a commissioned chandelier, a 38" diameter reverse painted glass chandelier that includes irons, electrical, chain and canopy. Jenny Floravita's Hand Painted Chandeliers can be purchased through Jenny Floravita's website http://www.floravitalights.com

Last weekend I had an interesting experience though sad to say not an unusual experience for an artist. I was offered 45% of my asking price for one of my chandeliers and the potential collectors, who are from a very wealthy area in the San Francisco Bay Area, were extremely firm on that being their highest price. Of course I couldn't accept...because of my standards and also because that would have almost been the price of what it really costs me to make and sell my beautiful reverse hand painted glass lamp shades and chandeliers.

In this particular case mentioned above I think that the wife really wanted the chandelier but the husband felt overloaded on the expense of their house renovation. And let's face it, high-end lighting is not for everyone. My work has value and you will receive a superior product that is also very unique. An art form like this must be a priority in a home re-model as opposed to a last thought because of the expense and yet my chandeliers are offered at a very good price for all that goes into them.

So let me humbly offer some education on high-quality custom lighting.

Custom Lighting 101: when lighting is made here in the US by lighting artists there is a difference in quality. The glass for my reverse hand painted chandeliers is superior to "glass" that you receive with store bought products that come from overseas. My glass is a special architectural grade glass that is hand cut and kiln bent and the resulting bowl is actually 1/4" thick. A kiln is a giant oven that you put the cut glass into to bend it into a particular shape, in my case my glass bowls or sconces, whatever shape I need to create.

The bowls are then hand frosted and prepared for the painting process. My special painting technique is a collaboration of my 30 years as an artist. Ok, I've been painting seriously since I was 15...but my artistic training started at age 4 and by the time I was 11 I was studying with a private instructor. The painting technique that I use on my reverse hand painted glass lamp shades appears to be 3-dimensional because of my brush strokes. I've worked for many years to develop my artistry and I've been selling my fine art professionally since the mid-90s. A lot of time, thought and artistry goes into my painting technique and sometimes I paint very slowly and this is especially true of commissions. Commissions in general take a lot more time.

And an artist can only create so many works of art each year. I am not a factory and I do not employ others to paint my chandeliers and yet I can still handle large projects when given adequate time because of my excellent time management skills and professionalism.

My work is not common. Everyone who sees my work does know this.

Then there is my iron fixture. These are not cheap home depot or department store fixtures. I hate to say it but those often stylish fixtures are made with cheap materials and are often behind in code. My fixtures are made from steel that is cut, bent, forged and welded by hand. These are custom hand made fixtures and they are very lovely. The chandelier is then wired up with the best quality electrical materials. My husband is a professional licensed electrician and my work is to top standards.

With my current prices, I cannot sell through many galleries and be profitable. In most cases I literally cannot sell through galleries and not lose money if a chandelier requires shipping to the gallery. This is because my prices cannot absorb the cut and any extra costs at that point. My point here is that I do not have a huge mark-up on my real costs in creating each and every hand painted glass chandelier and lamp.

It is important to know what kind of work goes into my chandeliers and this helps to show collectors why the chandeliers are more expensive than store bought fixtures and yet my chandeliers are at such a good price for the fine art form that they are. And you also consider that the artistry in my work is exquisite. I am overall a very humble artist but there are times where I feel that I really need to point out why my work is worth my asking price and more. My talent for this art form will make me a very well known artist in a number of years and I already have a strong national following. Right now I am saying to the world that I am worth my asking prices for my chandeliers...and more.

My style is unique. Very unique. I am known for my exotic flowers and my special color palates and blends...for all of the thousands of brush strokes and small touches that go into each reverse painted glass lamp chandelier shade and I have worked to distinguish myself in this forgotten art form.

In summary, when you buy artisan made lamps by reputable artisans in the USA, you receive more and the quality is superior.
Thank you for allowing me to share a bit more of the complete process in the making of my custom illuminated works of art. It is much appreciated!

To see more reverse painted glass chandeliers and art by Jenny Floravita, please visit my websites: www.floravitalights.com and www.floravita.com