Wednesday, 9 November 2011

A disapointing Gallery experiance

About ten months ago I was approached by a Gallery in Glastonbury with a view to stocking my work.
I was asked to supply them with about  twenty pieces  ten to display and ten so that they would be able to change the pieces displayed to keep it fresh.
I vited the Gallery and was impressed with the way they had their paintings displayed and all looked good.
I supplied them with a mixture of coloured ,plain bowls,and hollow forms.
About four months ago I visited the gallery as they had not told me they had sold anything.
When I supplied them we agreed a rate for the works that I was happy with and a price that I thought was fair and a price they would sell at.
The first thing I noticed on my visit was that everything was priced much higher than agreed.
When I pointed this out to the owner he said it does not matter as you will still get your share .I said that is fine but if everything is too expensive to sell there will not be any shares.

A couple of days ago I received an Email from the gallery asking me to pick up my stock.
I rang and spoke to the woman who is responsible for pricing and displays in the Gallery.
When asked why wanted the want the stock removed she said because it is not selling and it has been sat in their office for several months,
I arranged to pick everything up the next day as I have two more Galleries pressing me to supply them.
When I was shown into the office to pick up my pieces they were all stacked in two boxes with no protection between the pieces,
I politely pointed out that this was not they way to treat my works and that they should have been wrapped in bubble wrap or similar for protection.
She said that if I go away she would wrap them and i could collect another day as I had made a special jurney I declined her offer and said I wold wrap them myself.
When I wrapped them I found that two bowls had been damaged and two hollow forms were damaged.I can repair all of them without too much trouble but that is not the point,Why is it that they treat paintings with the utmost respect but dump my works in boxes with no protection and leave them on the office floor.
I was talking to a woodturner mate yesterday and told him about it his first reaction was that they should be charged for the repairs.The chances are that they would deny they had caused any damage and I would just be embroiled in an argument.The best thing seems to be to put it down to experience and move on.

This is the first Email from them claiming they could not contact me on my mobile.My mobile is never switched off and is always with me.They managed to contact me by Email so they could have done that at any time if they wanted to make contact.

Hi George,
We have some of your stock here at B---------.
The number i have for you doesn't seem connected anymore! (079709-----)
Please can you reply and let me know when you are able to collect your work as it is sat in the office doing nothing.. unproductively.

My reply.

Further to my visit today to pick up my stock I was very disappointed to see it all just dumped in two boxes and placed on the floor without any protection between the pieces.
I take great care to make sure that all the pieces I deliver to Galleries are perfect and I don't think it is acceptable to see them treated with such disrespect.
Two of the bowls heve chips on the edge of the rims and two Hollow forms are scratched.
I can repair these but that is not really the point.
If pieces are not selling then obviously they need changing or removing but I think the way my works have been treated is unacceptable.
My mobile number that you have has been given has been working with no problems and is always with me therefor I am surprised you could not contact me earlier.

Regards George

Their reply
Hi George,
I am sorry that you feel so disappointed and can only apologise on behalf of B--------.
I did say today when i saw you that i would package them up for you in bubble wrap before they were put in transit to protect them, if you wanted to come back at a later date, however you refused. I am sorry to hear that two of the bowls have been damaged.
I will forward your concerns to A--- & P-----.

My last reply.
I appreciate that you offered to wrap my stock for me but unfortunately the damage will have already been done.Two bowls and two hollow forms are damaged but as I say they can be repaired.
I am sure you would not treat paintings in this cavalier fashion so I am surprised you would treat woodturnings like it.I am sure you have not done this on purpose but I consider my works to be every bit as important as paintings.

Regards George

I am sure I will get a reply from the owners who I must say are really nice people.
I just for the life of me cannot understand why my works were treated so badly.
I am absolutely sure they would not have done it on purpose and can only assume that it is because as one gallery owner in Birmingham told me when I asked why he had ceramics,stone and artworks in his gallery but no woodturnings he said.
His words not mine: The trouble is with woodturning it is associated with Fred in the shed,boot sales and is not appreciated.


  1. Philip Greenwood9 November 2011 at 06:09

    You are not alone, most in the woodturning world have had a bad experience with Gallery's.

  2. I sympathise with you, George. I've had similar experiences of work being damaged, put over heaters, put in full sunshine, put in damp corners etc Galleries have no idea how to look after stuff properly. I've also had experience of galleries selling work and then not telling me it's been sold until I make enquiries perhaps a couple of months later. How can that be good business sense? Surely if it sell, then shouldn't they be asking for more? It strikes me that if you lack the skill to make anything yourself you start up a gallery to cash in on those who can. Nowadays you can only buy my work directly from me.

  3. Sorry to hear this George - all the effort and care you put into your pieces merits them being treated with respect.
    As for the "Fred in a shed and boot sales......there are a lot of ignorant beige anoraks out there!
    I am sure you will find there are plenty more galleries out there who will truly appreciate your work.
    Hope you and Mark hve a good time in Pembroke.

  4. Hi Sue.
    We had a great time I am waiting for pics.