(picture credit: https://www.mosaicslab.com/blog/ravenna-the-city-of-mosaics/)
For twenty years at DOUGLAS JONES mosaics one of the things I found most challenging was to eliminate the perceived idea that mosaic pricing should be compared with the pricing comparisons of standard wall and floor tiles.
The truth of the argument is that comparing mosaics with tiles is similar to comparing tennis with squash or trying to justify why a 2 door Ferrari is 5 times the price of a 4 door Ferrari…well actually…any other vehicle for that matter!
The mosaics that DJ stock are not quite works of art, but one thing is for sure, they are certainly trending decorative features that involve a lot of time and labour to get right. While the top tile factories can produce hundreds of thousands of m2 of wall and floor tiles monthly, I remember working with a Malaysian factory in the early 2000s that were only able to produce 100m2 per week of a handmade mosaic. The process for these handmade mosaics is lengthy and involved, from acquiring the perfect porcelain dust to the exquisite dyes and pigments, all the way to the age-old press and kiln they used. Let’s not forgot all the hours of labour required to present you with something noteworthy and memorable.
That said, in the modern era of eastern mass production, it is possible to provide products similar, quicker and at a dramatically reduced price. However, this is still nothing compared to the ease with which standard (even if it is graphically printed or triple glazed) tiles are churned out. So why do we still have to justify the expense per m2 of a mosaic?
Quite simply put, for many years I trained staff to avoid any discussion of a price of any DOUGLAS JONES material, other than, per sheet or if they insisted, to put a value on the area they were beautifying. In other words, for a kitchen mosaic 50cm above the counter tops and including the splashback will be quoted as (as an example) R 8 000 for the entire area instead of R 2000/m2 for the 4m2 required.
Sure this can be seen as only a psychological sales pitch, but when this is compared with the cost of the prep bowl, mixers and light fittings (at least R 12 000) or the granite kitchen counters that will cost around R18 000 total, suddenly the expense for the aesthetic beauty and sanitary practicality of the mosaics, is more than justified.
Can you really imagine Picasso or Dali having charged for a timeless piece of art per m2?
I would think the Mona Lisa by da Vinci would have been so affordable that it would have changed hands thousands of times and eventually become a lost treasure instead of sitting behind a bullet proof (in fact bomb proof ) glass cabinet in the Louvre in Paris.
At ORIGIN8 we only offer and encourage the application of modern day pieces of art for you to show off without a 24 hour security detail linked to CCTV access over your phone.
Let’s change our mind-set, adapt our perspectives and view these items as A MASTERPIECE CREATED BY YOU, FOR YOU to truly appreciate and value – perhaps even pass on as a legacy to your kids and grandkids.
Thanks again for reading and my kindest regards