Thursday, July 19, 2012

Steel Easels

My garden trellis easels did well at the "Art in the Garden" show but what really perked people's interest was the steel easels that were really meant to be used for artists to hold their canvas.  Funny, how I could be so wrong (like it has never happened before!).  I didn't even bring my very best easel to the show, just thought it was the wrong environment.  We talked a lot about easels and plein air painting and the flimsy aluminum easels that blow over in a small puff of air and can't hold a canvas steady.  So in the back of my brain I am thinking all of the time about this.  My goal is to eventually build that thousand dollar, perfect and detailed custom easel but maybe along the way there is some room for a really nice strong and portable easel?
   So I made one!  It comes in three pieces for easy shipping but is assembled with only two bolts.  I think it might weigh about 30 pounds but the mast is a separate piece so each section is about 15 pounds and there is no assembly to install this mast.  It just fits!  I think it could survive a sixty mile wind and probably 20 miles with a decent sized canvas.  It is adjustable and can hold a canvas as large as 56 inches tall and most any width.  It has a nice brass medallion to lock in a canvas to the mast.
   This won't be a get rich quick scheme but I can sell these for $200 as long as they remain fun to build.

Shipping should be around $30 so that is doable also.  It is not an item that could ever be retailed, too many fingers in a retail pot for that to happen.  Did you know that, on average, for every $100 you spend at retail the product costs $15 to manufacture?  Everything else is "value added" because of wholesaling, shipping and handling, profiteering all along the way.
   I will make five of these and take them to the next show and see what happens.  I think this is an idea for someone younger with more ambition but I know there is a market for these.  I enjoy making the prototypes.
I like the research and development part, then I will leave the manufacturing part to others.
   This one does not lay flat, Sherry, I need the bench model as a counterweight for that to happen.


Kay said...

this is so beautiful!!! I would like one for my soon as I get enough dollars put aside...I will order one!!!!

SooZeQue said...

I love the easels - looks like a lot of thought went into it. I'm sure they will do well at the show. I've learned that I NEVER know what's gonna sale. I'm always surprised as to what the "item" of the day is.

CrimsonLeaves said...

I too think this beautiful, Jer. Love that gold medallion you have added, a nice artistic touch. If I had $200, I too would order one. 'Course, I do like the one that lies flat since I tend to work in w/c most of the time. Still, this one would have a place. Soon as I can save up some money, maybe after first of the year so I can get Christmas out of the way (already fretting that since we are supposed to close on this house in December too and need closing costs).