[Scriptoris] The price of fame

Elaine Crittenden letebts at earthlink.net
Sun Sep 14 16:12:06 PDT 2003

As a (mundane) professional calligrapher, I figure what I want to make an 
hour for a piece and charge accordingly. I found out that wedding envelopes
must be priced at $2.00/envelope for me to make my standard salary.

In my classes and a book in my "The Calligraphy Advisor" series,
I tell students wondering about pricing to get a clock, two stacks of
envelopes (from the grocery store box--just for practice and time estimation
purposes), their pens and stuff, and a phone book.

Pretend the phone book is a list of the names given. A city and state will
have to be made up, as well as a ZIP. That way the names/addresses will be
unfamilar and will take longer than one's own address book.

Scribe an "outside" and an "inside envelope" for 15 minutes (1/4 of an
hour). Multiply how many envelope pairs were done in the fifteen minutes by
4. That will be the number of "sprint speed" envelopes that could be done if
the scribe could hold up to that. Usually, it's best to deduct a few from
the hour's total, just to allow for rubbing out cramps, doing some relaxing
exercises, letting the dog out and the cat in, etc. ;-)

The student is to divide the amount desired per hour by how many were done.
the answer will tell how much to charge per pair of inner and exterior
envelopes. Of course the affluence of the area influences the price, too. A
student can get more in a neighborhood where everyone drives at least a
Lexus than could be gotten in one where everyone drives a 20-year old

Charge what the market will bear and think pricing is fair. Just don't
undercharge because of lack of conficence, and ruin it for a fellow scribe
next time.

I know one mundane scribe who would tell a prospective client that she would
call back with an estimate. She then did the piece and priced it by how much
time it took her. If the prospective client didn't want to pay the quote,
the calligrapher just saved the piece for her portfolio?

And that's how some of the mundane calligraphers work and price things. The
SCA is a "whole 'nother world." In Period, scribe/artist and patron set the
price in writing down to the last detail before a pen touched vellum. Did
you know at one point patrons could specify a  "2 florin," "4 florin" or "8
florin" blue to be used?  ;-)

Just trying to be helpful

"Money is only a way of keeping track of talent and time spent or
bought."--Elaine Crittenden
>From: Mahee <mahee_of_acre at yahoo.com>
>To: "Scribes within Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <scriptoris at ansteorra.org>
>Subject: Re: [Scriptoris] Dealing with the backlog (was: commissions??)
>Date: Wed Sep 10,2003,5:58 AM

> 3. People have no idea how to repay a scribe for their work. And since they
> have to ask for this scroll, there is now that feeling of having to pay for
> the scroll. I know in some kingdom, pay is exactly what they do. I would
> also have no idea of how to "charge" someone for an award they received for
> volenteering their services selflessly for years...catcch the problem in that.

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