The Commission Process
The creation of an original piece of metalwork is an intimate and interactive process. I feel it is equally important for you to understand the process and for me to understand what you are looking for. Though there is a process, there are no hard and fast rules. The free flow of ideas, facts and feelings is essential to the evolution of a commission.
Initial Contact: This is where we first get to know each other. One of the best ways to get to know my work and me is through our website. Take some time to look at my portfolio and get an idea of my style. Although what you see here represents what I’ve done, it is not the extent of my work since each commission is unique and will add a new page to the portfolio. If my work is something you are interested in, contact me and we can discuss the details and I can give you an idea of my current work schedule.
Consultation: The nature of the consultation will depend on your location. If possible, I like to visit your home to see where the work will be and get an idea of your personal tastes. We can also do this from a distance via phone, fax and mail. The point here is for me develop the rapport I need to design a piece of metalwork that is right for you. I will be making a piece of art that you and your family will live and interact with for generations. I want this to be more than something you simply walk through or look at. I want it to enrich the lives of those who experience it.
Design: Our ideas now begin to take shape on paper and in iron. There is bit of mystery involved in the creative process and it does not always lend itself to hard schedules. There are times that the ideas coalesce while returning from the client’s home, while other times I will rough out the design on a napkin weeks later. I often spend time at the forge working out some of the design ideas in iron. This not only helps me explore the possibilities but also give you a better feel for the qualities of the finished work. I will keep in touch to let you know how we are progressing.
Design Fee: I request a non-refundable design fee of 10 percent of the estimated cost before moving into the design stage. When the project is completed this is deducted from the total cost.
Budgets: This also can be an evolving aspect of the commission. If you have clearly defined parameters, please let me know. The evolution of the piece will affect the costs – not always upward. Simpler is sometimes better. I will be able to give you an idea of costs early on but this cannot be finalized until the design is complete.
Review and Approval: At this point, we will look over the design and tweak it here and there if necessary. Upon approval, I require a 20 percent down-payment and we will proceed to finish the commission per the schedule discussed earlier. I will provide you with regular progress reports.
Visits to the Forge: We welcome our clients at the forge. Forging is an exciting process. Seeing hot metal come to life can give more appreciation for the piece of work you are anticipating. Please call or e-mail for an appointment. If you can't visit in person, remember you can make a virtual visit to our YouTube Channel.