What happens when you buy that artwork? - 2nd Jun 2023

What happens when you buy that artwork?

When selecting a special piece of art for your home, you have the choice to visit galleries, artist studios and even undertake a commission directly with an artist.

With a visit to a gallery, you can see many artworks from a variety of artists, and you can expect the gallerist to be knowledgeable about all of them. You can ask a load of questions about a range of works.

A visit to an artist's studio is a great experience where you can dive deeper into learning about how their art practice. Most artist's love sharing what they do (remember they spend a lot of time working alone!)

Having a piece of art made to order (commissioned) is also an option available from most artists, and it can be a fun way to be more involved in the process yourself.

In these next notes, I'd like to share how each of these models work for you and the artist.

How the gallery / artist relationship works
1. Artworks are placed in a gallery on consignment and displayed until the artwork is sold.  
2. Once the artwork is sold, the gallery pays the artist. Depending on the terms this can be within a few days, or most commonly, the 20th of the following month.
3. The gallery takes a commission of usually 40-50% of the artwork sale price. (I won't get into GST here but that is also a factor)

If you didn't know about this commission, you are probably thinking WHAAAAAT that is a lot!  It may seem like a lot, but please read on, as here is what a good gallery does;
pay high rents, operate 6-7 days, pay staff, have quality lighting and display settings in a prominent location, promote the work in person and online, focus full-time on customer service, be professional at all times, have full payment options, answer the phone and other messages, follow all enquiries, pay insurance, stay relevant to all their artists and put on regular exhibitions.
As you can see, this is an exhaustive list.

Visiting and buying artwork from the artist's studio
A visit to an artist's studio is unique. Most obviously, you get the special experience of seeing where and how your artwork is made. When selling art direct, most artists (including me) will have the same prices as the retail gallery as we cannot under-cut our biggest supporters (the galleries) who showcase our artwork so well. Most artists use internet banking as their preferred payment method.

What about commissions?
Artists (including me) can get a lot of energy from working directly with people who buy and choose to live with their artworks. The certainty of knowing the work has been ordered before making it, helps with running a studio. Orders can come through galleries or directly to the artist. In my case, I will talk with you, gaining an understanding of what you want, then give you a timeframe and pricing. I will often make 2 pieces for you to choose your favourite. A deposit is usually paid upfront and the balance once the artwork has been completed.

Summing up, here are some final notes.
  • By purchasing art from a gallery, you will support two small NZ businesses.
  • The art you purchase from a gallery, has been made (and paid for) by the artist, long before they receive any returns.
  • Good galleries work hard for their commission on artworks.
  • If you choose to buy art direct from the artist's studio, it should be for the retail price, though you'll receive the 'studio experience' including time with the artist.
  • Commissions give the artist certainty before making the art.
I hope you now understand all the options available to you for buying that next special piece of art.

If you would like more informative articles like this from the artist's voice, please register to receive news by scrolling to the bottom of the website page.

Through a Glass Lens - an epic bikepacking trip - 31st May 2023

Through a Glass Lens - an epic bikepacking trip Work is underway for my next exhibition! 

This summer I embarked on my first solo bike adventure, setting myself a challenge to complete the 1040km Kopiko Aotearoa Brevet.

With my trusty bike 'Betty' in bike packing mode, I set off equipped with all my immediate needs from East Cape at sunrise on the 22nd of January with 40 other riders heading west at their own pace. Some choose to ride fast (7 days / 150km per day!) and others slower. I took 13 days to ride to Cape Egmont following the very wiggly, hilly and challenging route staying at various camping sites and accommodation along the way. The weather was kind with virtually no wind (thank you!) and although we did have Cyclone Hale in the middle, it rained less than 10% of my time on the bike. I met so many awesome adventurous people but ultimately I was riding solo - riding my own ride.

It comes as no surprise to me that I like bike packing - there are so many similarities to casting glass...

  1. Planning is paramount
  2. Good tools are a must
  3. Training pays off 
  4. It's often a problem solving game 
  5. At times it can be a very solo pursuit but it's also great to share with others

Back in the studio, the ideas from the trip mulled over, and over....the making has begun.  The exhibition will comprise of 13 'Glass Lenses' to represent 13 days riding, referencing my memories of geographical features, milestones and emotional marker points along the way. Working in a completely new way, I will be bringing new forms and with it a new appreciation for looking into glass.

Dates of the exhibition are yet to be confirmed but likely to be end of July 2023.
Exhibition to be held at
Di Tocker Glass Studio & Gallery
33 Jarrett Terrace

If you would like an invite, please add your details to the mailing list below


Richard T Nelson Awards for Sculpture - Wellington - 30th May 2023

I am thrilled to have 2 glass artworks selected for the prestigous RT Neslon Awards for Sculpture again in 2023.

The R.T Nelson Awards for Sculpture selection panel has selected 54 artworks as finalists, representing a diverse range of styles and materials, including pounamu, stone, wood, glass, bronze, stainless steel, urethane, silver, gold, clay, copper, concrete, feathers, taxidermy, resin, and harakeke. The awards, founded by Wellington businessman, philanthropist, and art collector Richard T Nelson, champion small-scale sculpture, with a total prize pool of $20,000, including a Premier prize of $15,000 and five highly commended prizes of $1,000 each.

Richard T Nelson Awards for Sculpture 2023 - Wellington
TSB Arena, Queens Wharf, Wellington
Awards announced at VIP preview Thursday 2 June 9am
Exhibition open Friday 3 May and Saturday 4 May

Last year I was thrilled to receive a highly commended prize for Submerge - Ice Melt and Submerge - Purple Fall.

Perpetual Guardian Small Sculpture Prize 2023 - 29th May 2023

Kazu Nakagawa and his works Artificial Landscapes #39, #39 - Timber / Totara and charr.

Presented by Perpetual Guardian in association with Te Motu Vineyard and the Waiheke Community Art Gallery, the Small Sculpture Prize is a national award for an original free standing or wall sculpture up to 800mm in any direction. The Premiere prize is $5000, and a Gallery Patrons Merit prize of $2000.

The Selector and Judge this year is Kate Darrow, Curator and Collection Manager.

The Winner of this year's Premier Prize is Kazu Nakagawa for his Artificial Landscapes #39, #39 - Timber / Totara and charr. 

The Gallery Benefactor Merit Award was awarded to Annie Smits Sandano for her work Portrait In Clay 3 - Glazed Stoneware.

I would like to congratulate the Award recipients and all the finalists.
Many thanks to Perpetual Guardian, Te Motu Vineyard, Kate Darrow and Waiheke Community Art Gallery for continuing to host this fabulous celebration of small sculpture. 

Waiheke Art Gallery Finalist - My True North - 12th May 2023

Waiheke Art Gallery Finalist - My True North I am very pleaseed to have 2 artworks selected for the Perpetual Guardian Small Sculpture Prize 2023.

Presented by Perpetual Guardian in association with Te Motu Vineyard and the Waiheke Community Art Gallery, the Small Sculpture Prize is a national award for an original free standing or wall sculpture up to 800mm in any direction. The Premiere prize is $5000, and a Gallery Patrons Merit prize of $2000.

'My True North -Turquoise' and 'My True North - Gold Pink' have been selected by this years judge Kate Darrow, Curator and Collection Manager.  This year 99 entries were received with 40 artworks selected for viewing in the fabulous space at Waiheke Community Art Gallery.

2023 Perpetual Guardian Small Sculpture Prize - Waiheke Island
Waiheke Community Art Gallery, 2 Korora Rd, Waiheke Island
Exhibition continues 26 May - 25 June

Unique Cast Glass find in Op Shop - 13th Feb 2023

Di Tocker recently purchased a piece of her own artwork last week while making a delivery to her local hospice shop in Cambridge, Waikato.

Di was alerted to the Abstract Figure, which had been kindly put aside in the office. A staff member recognised the one-off artwork to be one of Di's pieces, had a look on her website and saw that Di no longer makes this series of objects. The next step was to get in touch with her, but Di Tocker paid a visit to the store first.

The Abstract Figure artwork was instantly identifiable as Di signs and codes each of her artworks. This bright gold figure on a plinth has the signature dicastglass '08 / 022.  Di says "dicastglass is my old signature. I now sign with just dicast and I also have letters before the numbers to identify the series. In this case it would be AF022, however this particular piece was created in 2008 (my first year working at producing glass full-time) and was before I started my computer inventory system"

Each artwork in Di Tocker's Abstract Figure series was a unique one-off piece. She started work on this series in her final year at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts mojor Glass in 2002.  The last piece made in the Abstract Figurative series is a bright green small figure signed AF143, created in 2015.

Di says she didn't think too hard before offering Hospice a good price for the bright gold artwork, so it could be retained for her personal collection. "I guess one day there might be a retrospective exhibtion of my glass artworks and this would be a worthy contributer to that show. I hope this piece was enjoyed by the purchaser for many years before it made its way to the opportunity shop - the reason for it being at the shop is unknown".


Group visits to Glass Studio, Cambridge, New Zealand - 22nd Jul 2022

Do you have a small group that likes to do interesting new things?

Di Tocker Glass Studio & Gallery is open to group visits by appointment. 1 - 1.5 hours is a good amount of time to spend at Di's Cambridge Studio where Di will share her passion for glass, giving an engaging talk about the processes and inspiration behind her glass practice. You can enjoy further time looking at completed glass artworks in the gallery space and take in the her delightful garden too.

Within walking distance is the newly opened Circus Eatery, so why not make a great day out for your group?

Signing off with Glass Shelf People - 14th Jul 2022

Di has announced a call for 'last orders' of her Shelfie series. With new ideas bubbling she needs to make way for more series, and the making of Shelfies will end in the next couple of months.

Di says "Repetition is important part of a glass caster's repertoire, It helps to improve skills and efficiencies but its a double edged sword as repetition can become boring as well as de-valuing the work. Value of the artwork is always on my mind. I want owners of my glass artworks to know the piece they have is unique. If there are too many out there, they will not hold value and remain unique"

Di goses on to say "Each one of my artworks is coded - I know when it was made, which kiln it was fired in and  what other works I made at a similar time. Those codes are markers along my creative path and individual to each artwork" 

When asked if Di stops at a certain number, she says "It isn't like that, I know when I need to move on and make way for other pieces. If I don't make 'space' in my thinking new ideas can not be realised".

To avoid disappointment, you must place orders for Shelfies by midnight Sunday 31 July 2022.
Take a look at Shelfie options here.
Email Di with your colour choice - Couple or Pair, and display method - Bench seat or Wall Box.

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