Turning Archive 2007

Re: Good Heavens... YES!
Response To:
Re: Good Heavens... ()

JKJ in East TN
>>I'm amazed at the number of adults - Potter fans or no - who adopt >wands. In fact, only 2 of mine have gone to persons under the age of >17 (the age of adulthood in the wizarding world).

Yes, most of the buyers were adults, but I love interacting with the children the most. I ask them if they have any magic, then tell them that the REAL magic comes from making good choices in life - people who make bad choices have no magic in their lives.

As much as I'd like to give them all away, I save that for close friends (and disadvantaged children). I think people appreciate and value something more that they have to pay or sacrifice for.

BTW, all the wands I made while the person waited were "custom", in that I let them describe what they wanted. I had made up a set of sample handles as suggestions. Also, as I turned down the handle, I stopped the lathe and let them grasp the handle and see if it fit their hand or needed to be thinner or shaped a little different. While turning, I talked about the wood and a bit about the kind of tree and where that particular piece came from (if I knew). I also encouraged people to try their hand at woodturning and handed out info on beginner courses at the local Woodcraft store.

And Barbara, you would not believe the people who wanted wands, for themselves, their children, for their mothers. Of course the event was basically a Harry Potter activity party and many came dressed in costumes so there was a bit of feeding frenzy going on, but there were old men and young adults and big tough guys and teenaged girls and small boys. One 2-year old who wanted one like her big 4-year old brother and she was very specific about what it should look like. (Both those were short, sturdy wands with blunt tips.) Families wanted one for everyone, some bought wands to send to relatives out of state. Several couples bought his-&-her wands. A number of people buying one of my "fancy" wands were already carrying wands they had bought from the internet - they were very simple (basically dowel rod handles and shafts). Some were carrying sticks from the back yard, some decorated with wire, leather, feathers, stones. One person seemed to be collecting wands. Some wanted them for presents. I couldn't make them fast enough so some people are going to bring the family out to the farm for custom wands - good clean fun!

Some were dissapointed that the "cheap" wands ($15) were gone by the time they got there but bought $30-$40 wands anyway. I'm sure I could have sold 100 or more at $10-$15 each, even if they were very simple. The problem I had when making wands was I had a hard time making quick, simple wands. Every time I went to make a batch like that I ended up spending a lot of time "perfecting" one or two instead of making a dozen simple wands. I probably averaged a hour of time on the fancier wands, perhaps three hours on some with carved handles. (And like any good turning, I signed and dated the better wands - with tiny little letters!)

I do this primarily for fun, but there's a big money-making opportunity for anyone who wants to help support their lathe addiction: make up a BUNCH of quick and simple wands and sell them outside the movie theaters for $10 each - that's impulse pocket money for most people these days. Or better, make a deal with the theater to set up inside. I'll bet you could easily clear $1000 a night in the early days of the next movie releases.


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