How to Make Money With Your Wood Turning Skills
As woodturning continues from beginner to more advanced levels for the enthusiast the
question sometimes arises as to how to make money with these wood turning skills.
For many hobbyists the dream is to make the enjoyment a money maker, perhaps to
the point of it becoming a full time occupation. Here are few things to keep in mind.
First there is the reality of knowing the difference between making money and making
a living. Woodturning is a very competitive business and most woodturners who are able to
do so for a living have either a long experience at the trade with a great reputation, do a lot
of teaching, or have a spouse with a great paying job. It is very difficult to turn full time
and have a reasonable income.
On the other hand there are some great avenues for making money as a hobby turner.
It is important to be faithful to the art and craft of woodturning and to realize that if you
are going to sell what you make, you should price according to the value placed by full
time competitors. They are trying to make a living and underselling them is not fair.
Besides, if your work is not good enough to compete, it is not fair either to the art and
craft to sell inferior work. If you are able to sell at a fair price, chances are the hobby
will at least pay for itself and these days that is not bad at all.
Decide what products you are going to sell and ask yourself if you are willing to make them.
If your enthusiasm is to turn one of a kind artistic items you will find it to be a high end
market that competes with ceramics, painting, photographs and a host of other artistic work.
Most woodturners who are able to make money at the craft do so by turning multiples of
small items such as pens or kitchenware. Salad bowls by the carload may earn enough
money to allow the turning of a few artistic items to keep the interest up.
Craft shows now abound and are a good place to sell woodturnings. If work is displayed
professionally and you enjoy working with the public you can have a great time at a show
and sell well. Make sure your turnings fit the show and decide to enjoy the experience.
Teaching is another way to expand the income from turning. It is one of the fastest growing
area of woodworking today and people are looking for instruction. For a bit of experience
show a friend or two something about your way to turn wood and determine if teaching is for you.
While some people do sell work on the internet it will probably be small items turned in
multiples once again. Most artistic items will sell only if they are held and fondled first.
Wood is a very tactile item in its turned form and folks want to touch before buying.
As in most cases, selling woodturnings is a case of the right price at the right time in the
right place. However people have been selling turnings for a long time and it may be the
right time for you to start.
Darrell Feltmate is a juried wood turner whose web site,
Around the Woods contains detailed
information about wood turning for the novice or experienced turner as well as a collection
of turnings for your viewing pleasure. You too can learn to turn wood, here is the place to
tart. There are several wood turning projects fully explained on the web site. In particular,
a selection of beginner's projects
may be found on the Beginner's Projects page complete with explanation and step by step photos.