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  #1  
Old 09-16-2010, 12:40 AM
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desertrock desertrock is offline
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Would you pay to be trained in stone????

I've trained 2 students this year and get many questions at the art festivals I do regarding whether or not I train people to carve stone.

Question:

If you were a stone carver hobbiest or wannabe, would you pay to go through a 3 to 5 day private training program that taught you all the basics of stone sculpture using power tools?

In a nutshell, The program would involve the creation of a single sculpture, which you keep, while receiving instruction in the use of various power tools and carving techniques, finishing work (sanding, mounting etc.) and the benefit of a list of tools to get started along with a list of tool and stone suppliers.

How much would you be willing to pay per day, and what would you expect to gain beyond what I've described?

Last but not least, the egotistical question

Would you take lessons from me?

Thanks for your input!

Mark
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  #2  
Old 09-16-2010, 06:50 AM
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tonofelephant tonofelephant is offline
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Re: Would you pay to be trained in stone????

Hi Mark

Quote:
If you were a stone carver hobbiest or wannabe, would you pay to go through a 3 to 5 day private training program that taught you all the basics of stone sculpture using power tools?
I have paid for training but in a group of 7 - 8 people, each course was a week long. Did that twice. Once to see if I really would like it, the next to get more familiar with power tools and their use. Think that would work for most students - a beginners & an advanced class. First class was hand tools only. The second class was hand & pneumatic tools.

Both classes involved travel - one 500 miles away the other 1,000+ miles.

First class finished two pieces, the second one piece. Lot of students struggled to get one piece 1/2 way finished in first class.

Beginners class gave away all the necessary info: suppliers, technique, mounting, etc. Second class was more free form. Had from beginners through people who just wanted to use tools/air to finish projects. A much more driven lot of people. First class was everyone getting along (Kumba -yah) second was very competitive.

First class was held at Arrowmont in Tennessee. Nice nourishng environment for most people. Beautiful campus in Smokey Mountains. Even had a library to get images to stoke brain with. People came from Ohio, NY State, and as far away as California. Meals & lodging on campus.

Second class was held at Montoya Stone in FL. Classmates were more driven. Came from as far away as NY state. Airfare, car rental, lodging, meals were all extra.

Quote:
How much would you be willing to pay per day, and what would you expect to gain beyond what I've described?
Knowing that, unless I was local would not be paying much with all the extras loaded on with food, lodging, transportation, etc. Also, Phoenix is supposed to be a rather depressed place with the recession according to the Wall Street Journal and other papers. So would not expect a lot of flush local students.

As to pricing, the Arrowmont course, for one week, was equivalent to a 2 semester hour course at a public college at the time. Nice way to pick up some college credit.

With Arrowmont, their purpose/mission was to educate you & hope you would take other courses from them. With Montoya, it was to inculcate you to return to buy supplies from Montoya. What is your purpose - honestly?

Once you teach these people, they will always be coming back to your studio, wanting tips for free - taking up your sculpting time. You just want to teach them, take their money & say goodbye - I am assuming.

Mark, would suggest contacting the various schools & seeing if you could teach at their facility for a week. Would save you the prep time of your shop & would be a clean solution (no clean up at your place, no students making too much noise for your neighbors, no returning students). Also would show you if you would like to continue doing this.

Most other sculptors, not businesses like Arrowmont of Montoya, that I looked at 10 years ago ran 4 - 5 classes a year. Was never sure of the quality of their instruction or commitment. Went with Arrowmont & Montoya because they wanted you to come back & use their services in the future. They could not afford for a student to have a bad experience. The private sculptor could palm you off to an assistant to teach the class, if they had a scheduling conflict.

Finally, as to the real interest of the students. Most people who ask if you teach classes want your lifestyle, not the hard work that goes with it. They see the beautiful things that you display, but not the dirty clothes, studio that always needs cleaning, sore muscles, rejection from all the places you apply to, taxes you pay, etc. Not sure they have genuine interest, just a wistful daydream kind of interest.

Have reread the note above and apologize for the tone. It is an honest assesment but not exactly what you want to hear. Your better bet would be to teach a class at an established place to see if you can tolerate teaching other people.

Teaching is a great calling but not for everyone. Think you are called to be a sculptor since you enjoy the hands-on work, working by yourself, are passionate about your work, & like when other people praise & buy your work.

Carl
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  #3  
Old 09-16-2010, 09:05 AM
rika rika is offline
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Re: Would you pay to be trained in stone????

Carl, very informative and knowledgeable answer-as always.
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  #4  
Old 09-16-2010, 09:42 AM
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desertrock desertrock is offline
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Re: Would you pay to be trained in stone????

A mouthful Carl. Thanks for your TIME and information.
It's motivated by money and after reading your post would be geared toward intermediate carvers and the location would be my industrial space/shop. The two private instructions I've done were $500/day for three days and a completed sculpture (to take home). I would up that amount if I pursued it semi-fulltime.
Mark
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:49 AM
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tonofelephant tonofelephant is offline
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Re: Would you pay to be trained in stone????

Mark,

One more thought, on a more positive note. When I was in college, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, the art department had extra funds for guest lecturers. Most guest lecturers were given $500 for a 2-3 day visit.

Might want to try the colleges around you to see if you could be a guest lecturer at the colleges. Then, that might give you a start on teaching more advanced skills in your studio for a fair amount of money. Or take on a paid intern - where the college intern pays you might be another alternative.

Another way to see if you like the teaching gig.

On that note, I will quiet down, go back to work & be a good little artist.

Carl
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  #6  
Old 09-16-2010, 10:32 AM
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desertrock desertrock is offline
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Re: Would you pay to be trained in stone????

Thanks Carl.
I actually enjoyed the direct training while carving model I was using with the 2 students. I discovered that I have a lot of experiential knowledge on carving techniques and use of tools that can be verbalized throughout the training. A great deal of the information was associated with trial and error mistakes and successes.
Off to work.

Mark
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  #7  
Old 09-16-2010, 01:58 PM
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bluedogshuz bluedogshuz is offline
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Re: Would you pay to be trained in stone????

Mark,
Stone carvers become obsessed from my experience and will quickly learn the process and then some.

I made a few bucks teaching gifted kids to carve, it was fun.
I taught an adult ed class and sold the students materials and tools at up charge with the school paying me most of the tuition, beyond that it is my opinion that a lot of people would like to learn sculpture/carving.. you need to find them and appreciate teaching because like being a sculptor for most the money ain't there.
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  #8  
Old 09-16-2010, 06:33 PM
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craigktx craigktx is offline
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Re: Would you pay to be trained in stone????

Quote:
Originally Posted by desertrock View Post

Would you take lessons from me?

Mark
Thats simple, YES.

Can I use a log?
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  #9  
Old 09-16-2010, 08:42 PM
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cheesepaws cheesepaws is offline
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Re: Would you pay to be trained in stone????

Great idea, but considering the potential for accidents and the resulting litigation, you might consider offering your workshop at a local community arts center rather than your private studio.

That said, I'd take your class. I've never done much with stone.
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Old 09-17-2010, 08:50 AM
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Re: Would you pay to be trained in stone????

Cheese, NO college or community center will have the facilities that Mark has developed over the years for his specific approach to stone. So that is not an option. I have occasionally held tutorials in my studio and am fully insured through the same small-business/contractors insurance that covers all my work. If you paranoid yourself in this overly litigious society you'll never do a damned thing.

Do it Mark, I'd definitely take the class - and I know that from you I would gain alot; not just tech and tools but form and philosophy as well.
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  #11  
Old 09-18-2010, 11:22 AM
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desertrock desertrock is offline
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Re: Would you pay to be trained in stone????

Thanks for the responses. Craig, I could carve a piece of stone to look like a big log then let you loose on it with the diamond chainsaw.

Next question:

How much would you be willing to pay per day?
$500 ?
$800 ?
$1,000 ?

Average training would be 3 days

You get to leave with a completed alabaster sculpture from 14" to 24" tall depending on the complexity of the piece.

Mark
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  #12  
Old 09-19-2010, 10:15 AM
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Julianna Julianna is offline
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Re: Would you pay to be trained in stone????

Mark, I would definitely pay to be trained by you!

I think "how much would you pay" is more like "how much you can afford". In terms of actual skill, I would obviously prefer to pay what you are worth... what I (and I suspect most others) can actually afford is a whole other story!

You should figure out what your time is worth, plus the cost of materials etc and price accordingly. A breakdown of these costs will probably also help people understand exactly where the money is going.

I find pricing instruction is just as difficult of pricing art. For example, Chris Landreth is teaching a digital animation course through a college in Toronto. The entire course is $800 over the course of several evenings--- an absolute steal, if you consider the caliber of his work and expertise. But even at that, the class isn't filling up very quickly.

You may also want to consider different levels of classes. I would definitley pay several hundred a day to get post-beginners training by you, but I've noticed that inexpensive beginners classes also do really well. I've actually been asked by many people at open houses whether I teach classes, but I know they are interested in small-scale activities for themselves or their kids, not skills-based instruction.
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  #13  
Old 09-25-2010, 11:13 AM
merelees merelees is offline
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Re: Would you pay to be trained in stone????

Have you taken a look at similiar classes? I know Myles does one in Kansas, and somewhere I have a flyer from another guy that does it. I do the marble sculpting symposium in Marble, CO, and people come from all over...there is a Japanese girl that stays for all three weeks for three years now.

It is $900 for a week including 3 cubic ft of marble, you can camp on site for no extra cost, and you can get a meal package that includes all three meals and snacks for another $150- and the food is fabulous. There are about 10 staff members that are carvers to help you get to where you want to go with your carving. They have mega air compressors and all the tools you need, and workshops every day- they post what the workshops that day are and you decide if you want to attend or keep carving.

So, your competition is a week of carving including the stone, food, lodging, and instruction for $1000. You have the one-on-one thing goin for ya, but I don't know how many people would travel very far for a day or two of instruction.

I'm sure you could tweak it so it works for you...
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  #14  
Old 09-26-2010, 10:51 PM
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desertrock desertrock is offline
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Re: Would you pay to be trained in stone????

Good input. Thanks. I'm still working out a program strategy and price table etc.

Mark
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