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Craft Commission Contract Information

Until several years ago I thought the Commission Contracts commonly available through published books were adequate. That was until I went to use them myself for a commission of this Seder plate (below).


Right from the start, I realized there were issues not included in the contract that needed to be discussed such as the payment schedule, photography, and taxes (which amounted to a considerable sum.)

PursuitCornerCurl72With this is mind I want to share a resource for readers of ASK Harriete.

Commission information from the SNAG Professional Development Seminar from 2007 (scroll down)

Millennium of Pursuit Seder Plate from recycled tin cans.

SNAG PDS about  Commissions.
In 2007 the SNAG Professional Development Seminar sponsored a program about Commissions. The Speakers included John Medeweff, public sculpture; Cynthia Eid, silver commissions; and Todd Reed, jewelry.  The program was organized by Don Friedlich, Andy Cooperman, and myself, Harriete Estel Berman.

There is a very informative Commission handout which everyone may download for free.  I highly recommend reading this document with hard earned words of advice.

John Medeweff handout is titled "The Do’s & Don’ts of Public Art & Private Commissions". Here is a brief list of his 11 points

  1. Respond only to Call to Artists/RFQ (Request for Qualifications.)
  2. Follow the directions!
  3. Do not take rejections personally.
  4. Most selection committees will choose 3 finalists.
  5. Winning the commission is great but it also means that you will assume a huge responsibility.
  6. Not all public art agencies are created equal.
  7. Never start work on the project until ...
  8. Stand behind your work.
  9. Who is the Patron?
  10. Charge for design work!
  11. Installation.

Cynthia Eid offered practical information about commissions including topics:

  • Getting Commissions
  • Designing Commissions
  • Working with the Client
  • Working with a Committee
  • Pricing
  • Tactics for Making Large Sculpture in a Jewelry Studio
  • Preparing for Installation
  • Documentation and Photography

All of this information is available...but most people aren't aware of this untapped resource. Check it out!  You are welcome to share this information with a link to proper  attribution to the original source.

Millennium of Pursuit        2010 was commissioned by Temple Emanu-El, San Francisco, CA. This seder plate was inspired by the elaborate designs and patterns from the ceiling, walls, and window design of the early 20th century synogogue. View more contemporary Judaica.


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