So, to answer all those questions, I decided
- to time myself in making 5 pieces in order to figure how long it will take and what an hourly wage would be for that
- weigh how much clay each piece took
- project clay costs including driving to get it
- estimate about a 20 percent failure rate (I think it is less than this, so I may end up with pieces I can use in my inventory for future sales)
- weigh a fired, finished piece
- figure how many pieces per bisque and glaze firing
- figure how much packing material I would need for the order
- refigure the cost of firing my kilns
- estimate the cost of glazes and mixing them
- allow costs for help in packing/shipping
- estimate the raw cost of shipping, not including materials and time
Now I at least have the info I need to put together a proposal that is informed and would assure me that I wasn't about to work my rear off only to recoup my costs.
The other issue, of course, is how to accept that your proposal may not work for the other party. It is Business, after all. So I realized I had to suck up my personal feelings and just put the figures on the table. If they agree, then we will both have gained. If they pass on it because it doesn't work for them, that says nothing about the quality and value of my work.
Even though it did send my stomach into a spin trying to figure all this, it reaffirmed that the prices I have placed on those pieces are grounded in some sort of reality, not just a figure picked from the sky. That gives me a lot more confidence when putting that sticker on a piece.