We've had some questions about pricing and the factors used in determining the price of a piece that we sell from our shop. A bigger piece, more material, bigger cost, right?
Eh, it depends.
There are several different determinants that dictate pricing for stained glass pieces. Color, number of pieces and style of glass are taken into account.
In the stained glass arena, not all colors are alike. Reds are especially pricey, followed by oranges, peaches and yellows. These particular hues actually require certain levels of gold to get that rich, deep hue. Some reds when cut will actually show a gold fleck in the cut line.
Number of pieces
Yes, the more pieces that are placed in a panel, the more labor is required to prep these pieces on the fitting board, in the foil process, intricacy of cuts and also in sheer volume of solder used to fuse them together. Time spent on a piece, no matter what the size, must be factored into the cost of creating the piece. A smallish sized panel with 50 or so pieces might well cost more to create than a larger piece that only has 25 pieces in it. The caveat with that, though is trying to figure that cost. The rule of thumb with glassers is usually around $3.50 to $4.00 a piece, but the jury is still out on that one. Others may figure around $40.00 a square foot, but with smaller, intricate pieces, that pricing isn't really fair, either. It's a hotly contested debate in most glass circles, and I'm sure it will always be as such. Also, bigger pieces with less lines to cut don't require as much labor to grind, foil and solder.
Types of glass
Glass medium is created using various methods. Machine mold, machine rolled, punch patterned, hand rolled, hand blown, etc. And these glasses are also priced accordingly.
The bigger picture though, is the economical factor. Stained glass is just ALOT of work. It requires a certain level of artistry, the patience of Job, an eye for color and pattern and a passion for producing a real piece of beauty, BY HAND. It's very tempting, however, in light of tough economic times, to try to cut prices in a effort to try to compete with a market that's heavily flooded with cheaply made imports that are factory produced and have absolutely no soul. We love what we do, and are very proud of our skills. The ability to color match, work with texture, varying opacities and thickness of glass, to integrate minute details into our work, that truly requires passion and soul. And it reflects in the gorgeous pieces that we produce. When we undercut and try to compete with knockoff pieces from China, we do nothing but cut our own throats. We believe that there are people that truly appreciate the love and devotion that we place in our work.
It's more than just a hobby, it's truly a part of us. And it's our gift to the world. And we'd like to maintain that integrity for generations to come.