Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hi-End Custom Metalwork on a Budget

If you have an appreciation for hi-end custom metalwork and lighting, but are on a budget, don't get discouraged... good things can happen to those who are willing to sit down and discuss things with their designer.  I have been designing custom metalwork and lighting for over seven years, which makes me kind of an expert on what to do in order to end up with a pretty piece of metalwork at a lower price.  In our business, it all comes down to the time it takes to custom forge a piece.  It doesn't really matter how large it is, or how small... sometimes the smallest and simplest looking piece takes far longer to make then something which is larger and more elaborate looking.  The key thing in designing on a budget is flexibility.  Just by changing a type of scroll end on a stair railing, or using a different material for a lantern body, or simply by doing a different finish, money can be saved.  So next time you've got the perfect piece in mind, which turns out to be out of your budget, have a talk with your designer, tell them what your budget actually is and give them the opportunity to figure out if your goal is attainable after all.

This wrought iron pendant is a perfect example of custom design on a budget.  You could have brought me an idea for a round fixture with side panels rised to arches and this fixture would have cost twice as much as it did.  Custom round glass is expensive to start with, and shaping it costs even more, not to mention that we would have to put even more work into rounding the metalwork which the glass would be set into.  This 28" tall and 15" wide pendant ended up costing $2150, and included solid brass leaves and finials and a lovely German Antique glass.  It's a fixture which will look great for generations to come, just like all of the fixtures we have been building for almost a 100 years; nice, heavy, well built pieces, designed and forged to your specifications.  There's a real difference in the way our pieces look and feel when compared with other metalwork on the market.  As Benjamin Franklin pointed out, "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten."  There are lots of nightmare stories we hear from time to time, so I'd like to also point out that we actually stand behind our products and won't drop the ball on you.

So lets get creative... Hope to see you soon!

Your personal custom ornamental metalwork and and lighting designer at Potter Art Metal Studios in Dallas, Tx.