Saturday, March 12, 2016

Herb Sampler, Selling Your Work, and More

Lovage - My favorite herb in the kit so far!
So as I mentioned in my first Herb Sampler post, I've finally gotten down to doing serious work on this project I've been meaning to get done for more than two decades.  It's a pretty good kit, this Herb Sampler, similar to the Berry Sampler in many ways.  But there are a few differences that make the Berry Sampler superior, I think. 

First of all, the berries are more three dimensional.  The leaves and such in the berry kit are more tilted, giving the whole piece more of a living feeling.  And the second issue is that this is the first time I have run out of green paper in a kit!  I'm very surprised.  I've never had this happen before, and certainly not with the old Quill Art kits.  Fortunately I had one of those old kits around to raid, and found enough similar paper to continue.  It isn't perfect.  The color is just a smidge off, and the width isn't quite as narrow by half a millimeter, but given one thing and another, I think it will suffice.  I'm pretty picky.  I think all quillers are detail oriented by nature, so good enough is probably, well, good enough.

Kit is coming along - just three more to go - assuming
I now have enough paper ...
I was about half way through the herb kit when a friend visited and saw my completed berry sampler up on the wall in the kitchen.  She liked it, but it was when I showed her my still-in-progress herb sampler that her eyes really lit up.  She asked me to make her one, and said she'd pay for it.  I was (an am) a bit baffled as how to handle it.  I'm more than happy to make her one, although it may be a while before I manage to get through another entire sampler after 23 years of waiting :)  But more, it is the idea of selling this kind of work.  It is impossible to actually get the work value out of quilling, assuming you pay yourself an hourly rate that reflects your expertise at the craft.  Even say $20 an hour, which seems very low for such work, means I'd be charging hundreds of dollars for this piece.  I'm not going to ask a friend to pay that.  So what is the answer?  Ask for less?  Ask for nothing and give it away?  That last is certainly how I've dealt with this issue in the past.  It has always seemed strange to get paid for quilling.  How do you deal with this issue?

Form with filled quills for petals.
So I've placed a picture of the "Lovage" herb front and center on this post.  The Lovage is my favorite so far.  I really love the way the flowers look, with the graceful curls all the same size.  I did not use a mold or form to make these.  I simply eyeball the size, and get very consistent results.  I rarely use the forms and molds, since I find them sort of distracting.  Still, I did use them recently to create my "Pantone" flower, ensuring all the petals would have the same size, in spite of the different weights of the paper.  How about you, do you use forms, and when?

Image Credits:  My pictures of my own stuff, and my own work.  Herb Sampler kit is 1993 Malinda Johnston.