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Would you be interested in commissioning a design
yes
65%
 65%  [ 15 ]
no
34%
 34%  [ 8 ]
Total Votes : 23

Author Message
Ben Potter
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Location: Altadena, CA
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PostPosted: Thu 03 Sep, 2009 10:26 am    Post subject: blade designs commissions         Reply with quote

I have decided to start offering to design pieces on commission. The customer would give the specifications they want (historical accuracy, dimensions, etc.) and I would then do a detailed sketch, and/or full size drawings that they could then keep as artwork or take to a craftsman at a later date. The price would start at $25 USD for a rough sketch, $50 for a finished design, and go up from there for scale drawings, full size renderings or extensive research.

The attachment is a design for an Irish brazil nut sword with engraving and inlay patterns from a ancient chalice.

Let me know what you think.



 Attachment: 33.38 KB
irishbrazilnut.jpg


Ben Potter Bladesmith

It's not that I would trade my lot
For any other man's,
Nor that I will be ashamed
Of my work torn hands-

For I have chosen the path I tread
Knowing it would be steep,
And I will take the joys thereof
And the consequences reap.
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Allen Foster




PostPosted: Thu 03 Sep, 2009 11:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ben,

I think this is a valuable service.

I have a couple of questions:

1) Once we have paid for the design, do we then own it?

2) Do you keep copies or are the originals sent to the buyer?

Thanks,

Allen Foster
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Ben Potter
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Location: Altadena, CA
Joined: 29 Sep 2008

Posts: 342

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PostPosted: Thu 03 Sep, 2009 3:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Once the customer pays for the design it belongs to them.

I will keep a copy (for records and such, and in case the customer needs a copy) but the original will be signed and sent to the customer.

Thanks

-Ben

Ben Potter Bladesmith

It's not that I would trade my lot
For any other man's,
Nor that I will be ashamed
Of my work torn hands-

For I have chosen the path I tread
Knowing it would be steep,
And I will take the joys thereof
And the consequences reap.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Bryce Felperin




Location: San Jose, CA
Joined: 16 Feb 2006

Posts: 552

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PostPosted: Thu 03 Sep, 2009 5:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sounds like you're the guy to go to now for a sword "blue printing" service. ;-)

It also sounds like a good second source of income too. I think it's a good idea.
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Thu 03 Sep, 2009 10:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ben Potter wrote:
Once the customer pays for the design it belongs to them.

I will keep a copy (for records and such, and in case the customer needs a copy) but the original will be signed and sent to the customer.

Thanks

-Ben


Sounds like a good idea but personally I would charge more if the design is to belong exclusively to the customer as it sort of removes a possible design from what you could make eventually.

Oh, I have gone the exact opposite route in the past where I have given full rights and permission to use a design I have made myself if someone else wanted to have it made: The idea being that having more than one out there and others enjoying one of my designs is much more satisfying than my being able to say that I have the only one ! But this is a personal choice that I might change on a case by case basis.

Also, when I have designed something it has often been the case that the price I paid for it was low because the maker underestimated the challenges or time in making it and letting him make more is a chance for the maker to recoup his costs: After the first prototype the maker has a better idea about how much to charge and with the experience of making the first can make others more easily and in less time.

Just giving you a different take on it. Wink Big Grin

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Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
Joined: 24 Oct 2007

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PostPosted: Fri 04 Sep, 2009 9:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting idea. Personally, I consider myself both a good enough artist and sufficiently knowledgeable about swords to produce my own designs, but I hope this endeavor works out for you, Ben.
The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Fri 04 Sep, 2009 10:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anders Backlund wrote:
Interesting idea. Personally, I consider myself both a good enough artist and sufficiently knowledgeable about swords to produce my own designs, but I hope this endeavor works out for you, Ben.


Basically the same here although if I commissioned something not my own design I think I would only give a general indication about what I specifically wanted but would leave most of the creativity to the maker.

What is nice about buying a design from a talented maker ( And mostly I mean the actual object for me ) is that no matter how good one's own design might be it's really hard to surprise oneself. Wink

The point being that when I look at other people's work that I want to buy it's usually because they have a unique style that wouldn't be there if I micromanaged my own design.

So there are 3 approaches to buying custom work:

A) One's own design(s) with very specific requirements because one has an idea and one wants to find someone to make it. ( The style of the maker having some influence on the final look but it is very much the customer's design ).

B) Maybe starting with a specific idea letting the maker free to propose most of the details and definitely " In the style of the Maker " . ( In this case the less micromanagement the better after the design is settled on although there might be a lot of back and forth discussions to finalize the design.

C) Buying what the maker decides to make. ( The easiest thing being to buy a finished product that one has fallen in love with or getting onto the maker's production cue, maybe just specifying in the broadest terms what one wants at the time that one's cue comes up i.e. just reserve the spot, the ballpark price, and defer what will be made then ).

But what you propose might be a fourth option of having a top maker/designer design for you and then either have them or someone else make it: I can see both options being credible and being paid for this design work a great idea.

Not sure if I skidded into being too much OFF-TOPIC here

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
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PostPosted: Sun 06 Sep, 2009 5:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Basically the same here although if I commissioned something not my own design I think I would only give a general indication about what I specifically wanted but would leave most of the creativity to the maker.

What is nice about buying a design from a talented maker ( And mostly I mean the actual object for me ) is that no matter how good one's own design might be it's really hard to surprise oneself. Wink

The point being that when I look at other people's work that I want to buy it's usually because they have a unique style that wouldn't be there if I micromanaged my own design.


Depends on your approach to custom work, I suppose. Me, I'm kind of a perfectionist in that I very rarely see a sword I like to 100%. So if I ever order a custom, I expect micromanaging the details would be the whole point.

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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Justin H. Nez




Location: Hyde Park, UT
Joined: 24 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Thu 10 Sep, 2009 11:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It sounds like a great idea, especially when one does not have the time to put into something like that.
Best of luck!!

"Nothing in fencing is really difficult, it just takes work." - Aldo Nadi
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