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Selling my art

April 1, 2012

Close-up of shawl from the Fields Collection

It’s really interesting going through the creative process and then pricing it. I’ve been weaving for about 9 months now and have a great mentor, Beryl Warnes. She’s teaching me how to combine all different kinds of yarn into unique shawls and other kinds of one-of-a-king wearable art.

A week ago, I sold the first shawl to my friend, Kyle, at a dinner party (he thought his wife, Jean, would look beautiful in it), and my confidence soared. Not only did he literally buy the shawl off my back, but he didn’t hesitate at the price, even saying “you’re not charging enough.”

Setting the price of a piece of art is so subjective, but after his comment I reevaluated my pricing strategy. I know that creative people rarely charge what their work is worth. I was no exception. My original price for the first three shawls I made didn’t even cover the cost of the yarns I used. I told myself these were my “learning shawls.” But they aren’t. They are works of art, each one of them.

Autumn Sunrise shawl

The yarn I’m using is high quality… hand-painted kid mohair, baby alpaca, merino, pima cotton, wool blends, acrylic blends, and sparkly, fancy yarns, too. None of these yarns could ever go through an automated loom. You’ll never find one of these shawls in a department store or manufactured overseas. The slubs or bumps in the thick and thin yarn and mohair get sticky and have to be hand combed every time I advance the loom. These are yarns I was going to knit with, but they create such beautiful woven pieces of wearable art, I’m turning my “stash” into the shawls.

The “learning” part of the price is in my time. Right now, my labor is about 50-cents an hour for the time it takes me to wind the warp (1-2 hours to pick the yarn and wind), dress the loom for each collection (2-6 hours), weave each shawl (2-4 hours), tie the fringe and fix the “floats” (1-2 hours per shawl).

Peggy's Earth "Kezzy Metal" shawl

It’s all done by hand. And that’s why it’s art. And that’s why it costs a little more than what you’ll find in a department store.

Three separate collections of one-of-a-kind shawls are available on ( The Autumn collection is primarily oranges, with pinks, teals, blues and tan depending on which shawl you pick (Autumn Sunrise,   Autumn Sunset, Autumn Midnight). The Fields collection is primarily greens and blues. The Peggy’s Earth collection is primarily browns. There are moebius and “kezzy metal” (or Quechquemitl) shawls as well as straight shawls that would also make beautiful wall hangings or table runners. Fifty percent of the proceeds from sales of Peggy’s Earth collection shawls will be donated to Kaiser Permanente Hospice Agency in honor of Peggy Hughs. She and her husband, Jerry, gave me the loom when she was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, and I was weaving these shawls when she passed away about a month ago.And in case you’re wondering, Jean does look beautiful in the shawl.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Janice Heather permalink
    April 2, 2012 9:18 am

    Holly- I agree; each shawl you make is unique and a piece of art. And the way you’re using it to support your friend’s memory and hospice is awesome. I can’t wait to select my own shawl to treasure and wear in the years to come!

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