Friday, September 14, 2007

How to Commission a Custom Sculpture

This article is the first of many articles to make it easier to understand the process of buying and enjoying art, sculpture and painting, and the process that spawned it.

A. Before Seeing the Sculptor:

• Find a primary location and one or two backup locations that need sculpture. One location might not be just right and it is good to have another location that would serve just as well.

• Take pictures of where the sculpture is to go: both the primary and backup locations. What is the sculpture to do?
1. Evoke an emotion, mood, or feeling?

2. Symbolize a significant moment for you?
3. Be in the same style as other sculptures that you have seen?

• Check several different sculptors websites or art galleries to see the kind of work they do.
1. After surveying several sculpture websites:
a. Make sure that the sculptor you choose has done several sculptures in the material that you are interested in - stone, welded steel, cast bronze, etc.
b. Regardless if you are interested in a sculpture based on a human or an abstract, make sure they have done more than one or two sculptures in a style that you like.
c. Pick out several sculptures off the sculptors' website that you are particularly drawn to so that you can have a visual way to communicate with the artist. Bring along copies of these sculptures, to the sculptor/client meeting - see below, so that you can point to the sculptures that particularly speaks to you.

• Based on the artist's price of other sculpture, determine the budget you want to spend on the sculpture.

B. Sculptor/Client Meeting

• Show sculptor pictures of possible locations for sculpture, discuss total budget, optimal delivery time for you, and show sculptor examples of sculpture or mention which of his pieces that appeals to you. This can be done in-person or by email.

C. After initial Sculptor/Client Meeting

• If required, Sculptor makes basic scale models and/or computer mockups of proposed sculpture(s) and estimates costs/charges and sends them to you.

D. Client Approval & Agreement

• After your approval, sculptor and client will sign an agreement stating goals, budget, payment schedule and delivery time.

• Sculptor receives deposit.

• If required by agreement and included in price, Sculptor makes a full-sized model in foam for placement at your location for approval.

E. After Contract Approval

• Order Stone and begin sculpture. Send periodic photos if necessary to show progress and keep client involved.

• Half-way preview (if appropriate/provided for in agreement)

• Completion

• Final Payment

• Delivery

This may sound a little involved but it is not truely that complex. In real life a lot of steps are combined and/or eliminated depending on the client/sculptor working relationship.
copyright 2007 Carl Wright of WSG Gallery

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