Questions about Song and Branch's business practices, habits etc. The subject and thrust of questions have been changed to protect the innocent. Do note that not all of these questions were asked on etsy, as it appears that the Fremont Market is a hotbed of curious people.
Q. Why is the cute adorable standing fawn more expensive than the cute adorable sleeping fawn? They look just as detailed.
A. As cute adorable fawns go, the sleeping ones have less potential energy than the standing ones, that is, I can make 4 sleeping fawns and know I will have 4 when I unload the kiln, and make 4 standing ones and end up with 3. Porcelain droops and causes legs to warp, also just the weight of clear glaze when I dip a standing piece is capable of breaking off a leg if I hold it too tightly. I love the standing figures though, so it is worth a little bloodshed in the glaze firing to bring them to you and for $2 - 4 more I think that's a bargain!
Q. Why can't I have my bowl in a week?
A. Because my big kiln holds about 200-300 pieces and is most efficient when full, this means to finish your piece I must make, fire to bisque, glaze, fire to completion all 200 pieces along with your own piece. If all goes well, a cycle takes me about 2 weeks, but more often it is 3 weeks.
Q. I wanted some miniature birds and I saw some on your site for $10 a pair. I want a pair of rose breasted grosbeaks and you quoted me $20. WHY?
A. I make fast-selling birds like bluebirds and cardinals in lots of 20, which means I can more or less economize the speed. Unfortunately, I will probably have to make 4-5 of them to get two that you will like, thus, a commission costs a bit more.
Q. Can you make me a Hello Kitty?
A. No. I do not make copyrighted characters.
Q. Can you paint a dog wearing a Star Trek uniform in a pinchpot for me?
A. Yes, I am fine with humor or parody that is not a direct rip off of a copyrighted item, since artists are allowed to do that without being sued in most cases (though I would be very leery of any Disney character - their legal team is something else).
Q. Will you giftwrap my item and add a note for my loved one?
A. If you are fine with tissue paper and ribbon in pastel colors, I can do that free of charge. I don't do sharp corners though, or pretty paper or anything since I am a bit of a slob and it's frankly embarrassing. The note to your loved one will be on the back of a hand-drawn ACEO card with appropriate subject matter.
Q. Can I have that rock in your photograph?
A. No. I love that rock or I would not photograph it so much. It is Jurassic limestone from the south of England containing hundreds of tiny ammonite fossils. I absolutely love it. My sister found it on the beach at the town of Beer (yes it is a real town) and gave it to me - so in addition to being sedimentary it is sentimental.
Q. Will you, for the love of god sign your pieces?
A. In the excitement of creating my work, I often forget to sign my work. I am always happy to sign or initial my sculptures with sharpie. Sorry about that, I still haven't made a chop that I like and I have been through about a dozen...