View Full Version : A New Gallery In Town Wants My Work, Any Advice?

Andrew Joiner
05-12-2012, 1:56 PM
I haven't sold anything for years. My friend is opening a new gallery in an upscale tourist area. I made some chairs he likes and he wants to display one. The commission would be low to nothing. I don't need the income. Basically I've built everything we need for our house and I'd like to stay busy.

Anything to watch out for?

Joe Pelonio
05-12-2012, 4:26 PM
You seem to have solved the worst problem. last time I did a gallery they got 45% unless you worked there one day a month, then it was 40%. The other problem is making sure you get paid when they sell, and making sure that you can get your stuff should they go out of business suddenly. In your case, again, I wouldn't expect that to be a problem.

Bruce Volden
05-12-2012, 4:28 PM
What if your chairs are a hit??? Then you'll be staying too / very busy!! Say good bye to SMC time;)

On the other hand-nothing ventured nothing gained.


curtis rosche
05-12-2012, 4:29 PM
keep a list of things you give them to sell and a list of whats sold. i have a number of things in a gallery and sometimes it gets a little hard keeping track of what sold and what i got paid for. i get %50 of what sells

Paul Cohen
05-12-2012, 5:47 PM
My wife owns a Gallery in Beaverton and I wish we could find a good wood artist. Some things to look out for, make sure your contract states that you retain ownership of the art until you are paid. This prevents someone taking position of it in a bankrupcy sale. Second the 45% rate is very reasonable if you don't work in the gallery, 50% is typical assuming they handle all marketing and sales expenses. Make sure the contract states when you will be paid, typically it is the month after the sales by the 15th. When you drop off the art you want a signed copy of what they received, and what they plan to sell the work at. Any lost or damage should be the galleries responsibility. Oregon has the strictist artist protections I have ever seen and all these things are enforced by state law.

Larry Edgerton
05-13-2012, 9:03 AM
You're situation is different because it is a friend, but myself I have had really bad experiances with galleries.

Damaged product, going out of business and my stuff just gone, and supposedly selling at a lower price than agreed with no call to OK. Galleries do not add to the value of your work, they just suck all of the profit out of it. Have had pieces chipped and a pie crust table used as a plant stand for a plant that was overwatered. Never again.

How good a friend is this? If he is a good friend is it worth losing a friend over? Never do business with friends or relitives is an old saying I have found to ring true.

On the other hand if it is not how you make a living and you feel confident that your buddy respects what you do test the waters. The idea is nice, but I myself have not had good luck with the reality. I found that all of the galleries that I dealt with actually had no respect for what a craftsman does.

I have often thought of opening a co-op sort of gallery for woodworkers but just know I would be left carrying the ball, and am not sure how all of the egos would interact.

I guess my suggestion would be to start small and see how it goes with a product that would not be the end of the world if you lost it. Kind of along the lines of never lend money to a friend that you would not give it to.

By the way, I love your last name. The name of my company is Crooked Tree Joinery. I am amazed however how many people do not know what joinery means, was maybe not the best choice.


Roy Harding
05-13-2012, 7:57 PM
I'm in an artist's co-op. We give the gallery 10% of sales, as well as $10.00/month "dues" but each have to work at least 16 hours a month in the gallery.

It works well enough - as we're all in the same boat, we respect each others "stuff". The gallery is not limited to woodworking, we have an assortment of pottery, fabric art (tapestries, and the like), photographs, jewellery, paintings, as well as turnings, scroll work, and hand crafted wood items.

It's OK. I don't sell a lot of items through it - but my participation generates a lot of calls for custom items - I view the $10.00 dues and 16 hours labour as an advertising expense.

Andrew Joiner
05-14-2012, 11:35 AM
I went and looked at the gallery. Had a talk with the owner. I'm just not real inspired, at least for my high end chairs. I may come up with a low cost product just for fun. Thanks for the feedback.

Steve Peterson
05-16-2012, 12:44 PM
Some things to look out for, make sure your contract states that you retain ownership of the art until you are paid. This prevents someone taking position of it in a bankrupcy sale.

I agree with this statement. My dad had some non-woodworking items in a consignment store that went bankrupt. All he could do was wait for all inventory to be sold at auction and get a portion of the proceeds after the primary creditors are paid. The best case is probably 10 cents on the dollar. The most likely case is to get nothing.