Pricing, One Perspective

by Barbara Burns on May 15, 2017

Priscilla May Alden talks about her technique for pricing tapestry.

Barbara Burns

I spoke with Cilla in her Maine studio, which is nestled in the woods outside of Boothbay Harbor. She spoke at length, about her experience as a member of a cooperative gallery ,which will be in another video, coming soon.

In this short video, Cilla shares how she prices her tapestries.  I think many will relate to Cilla’s system for pricing.



  1. It is great to hear Cilla talk about her pricing. I think many of us would agree with her thoughts. “Don’t give your work away” is good advice. I agree that people don’t ask enough–it devalues it for sure. And it puts the work of the rest of the medium and other artists in question. If you sell your 40 inch square piece that took you 5 months to weave for $1000, then the next time someone sees a tapestry of that size in a gallery, they’re going to wonder why it is $12,000. It is confusing to patrons. As Cilla said, they know that it takes a long time to produce a tapestry, so price accordingly, not just for yourself but for the industry as a whole.

    I do think that a pricing strategy that is consistent is necessary. Your work has to be priced consistently across all venues. You have to sell similar sized pieces for similar amounts and the prices you quote people on your website or in your studio have to match what they see in a gallery. Yes we know that the gallery gets 50% of the selling price, so that means that all of your work has to be doubled in price. If you sell it from your studio, you just made 50% more than you would at the gallery. It can’t be the other way around. I do price by the square foot but I will admit to a little fudge-factor if I have special feelings for a piece. And commissions are priced differently because the amount of work is different. But that is a private contract with someone and the price is not publicly known.

  2. I feel exactly as Cilla does. I love my work and, no, that’s not ego about thinking I’m hot stuff…it’s because my art is from my soul, I am telling you how I felt about a particular situation, place, image, etc. (If I didn’t feel this way, I would have long since trashed it!) It’s nice to hear how she felt. I love her work…love the variations in fibers, textures. Thank you…

  3. despina papa says:

    I would like to exhibit and sell my tapestries. Is there anyone willing to support my plan? Willing to pay a commission on sales, following an agreement

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