Recently I had cause to remember the old saying "don't get too big for your britches". I had a thought, not a wise one, this year to start off with expanding my vision by experimenting with other foundries so that if one closed or retired or whatever I would have another to fall back on....well so much for my trying to be wise and wonderful.
During the process of my sculpting I have lost mold makers, patina people and other entities that I rely on heavily in the route of creating my sculpture. Therefore I had the idea that I would have a plan B which would allow me to use many entities not just a few where I would not have to worry.
To make a long story short I have found not all people have the quality I have in mind when they are doing their job. I give 100% when I am creating my work, I try to do the best I can in catching a glimpse and also the correct anatomy of an animal and capturing them for my patrons in bronze.
I have sadly found that not all employees pride themselves in the quality of their work on your piece, they play "lets see if you catch it and if not I know that you don't care so I won't care".
I have gone to check wax at foundries (since I used to do all my own waxes this is a sore spot with me) and had to point out bubbles or holes etc. to the wax workers to correct, I have gone to check metal and found numerous areas that were either not worked or over worked with the grinder. Sure it is easy to repair welding parts together, or repairing flashing but to a small sculptor (I do desk top pieces so most of my work is 8 to 10 inches tall) little bumps and flaws in eyes and noses matter, as do the bubbles you may find in the texture of an animals hair.
Most recently I had to walk away from a foundry after finding that in failing to ask for a bid up front it was almost three times the cost of having that same edition done at my old foundry. I got lazy in my attitude of "well it has been costing me $$$, so it should be really around that somewhere else".
Most patrons think that sculptors are egotistical in the pricing of pieces, they fail to realize that most artist are just getting by with paying for a piece to go through all the different entities and have anything left over for actual seed money.
I remember someone on FaceBook or whatever saying "if you have to think about the money then maybe you shouldn't be in the business"....that has to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard. If you are not aware of the bottom line constantly then you will fail to thrive. (Also you will be shocked when the blade falls across your neck.)
I am not saying what I was trying to do in expanding my productivity was wrong but I am saying that expanding it and not doing it correctly was wrong....do what I say not what I do. Thanks for dropping in on my thoughts...Happy Trails.