I love doing commissions, I’ve done quite a few. I remember the first one clearly, during the process I swore I would never take on another, it was immensely stressful and when the client came to collect it I was terrified she would hate it, but the look on her face as she unwrapped it made all of the stress worthwhile, and I couldn’t wait for the next one. Commissions are special because they are personal and are almost always linked to a significant person or event.
I don’t get stressed nowadays, but I do still experience the anxiety and fear when a commission is handed over to the new owner.
I think my confidence has grown to a point where if I do take on a commission, I know I can deliver what the client wants.
Historically I have taken on commissions that I wasn’t sure if I had the skills and knowledge to make what was being asked of me, and for these I never charged a fee. I explained to the client that it would be an experiment, mostly they were happy to let me have a go. Usually these worked out, I learned from the experience, gained new sills and knowledge, and the client get their piece for nothing, it was a win-win situation.
My most recent commission was for my old GP, the lady doctor who found my tumour and probably saved my life. It was a real privilege to be asked to make a piece for her.
This commission truly was a labour of love. As I created it I poured all of my appreciation and gratitude for her into each fragment of glass, each petal and each leaf. My work was particularly careful and slow because I wanted to get every single detail right. 30 hours and 3 kiln firings later I think all the hard work and care showed in the finished piece and I was sure she would love it as much as I did.
Initially this was to be a picture for the doctors daughter, but when I sent photographs for her approval she decided to give it to her mother for Mother’s day.I thought that was a great compliment.
I was right, she did love it, it was wonderful to hand it over, although I’d have happily kept it, I had fallen in love with it myself. A few days after Mother’s Day I received a lovely email from the doctors mother, thanking me for making the picture I quote
“I am writing to thank you. What an extremely talented and highly gifted lady you are! It was so beautiful that I cried when I opened it!”
What a lovely compliment, it made something that was very special even more so and I can’t wait to get my next commission.