Policies and Procedures
When it comes to creating artistic metalwork there are many decisions to make. I've outlined the process here so you know what to expect. My goal is to make the process fun and pricing clear and simple.
I consider you a partner in this journey and value your artistic input. I welcome any questions or concerns you may have. I look forward to serving you.
Artistic Metalwork (not your neighbor's railing)
Clay and Steel specializes in completely custom made functional metal artwork. Every bit, leaves and brackets, latches and hooks, are made in the East Bay. Clay and Steel is Artist/Owner/Blacksmith Celeste Flores, and her staff of highly talented brutes. You can read more about the process here: About Clay and Steel
Clay and Steel deliver functional artwork that you're not going to find in stores or in the yellow pages. Using actual ancient techniques and tooling as well as modern machinery (hello 21st century), you can be the owner of a bespoke centerpiece or a bannister that blends into your home like a chameleon.
If this is the kind of work you are looking for, wonderful! It sounds like we are a good fit. If you'd rather have more standardized metalwork, I'm happy to recommend other businesses that better fit your needs. There are a lot of competent fabricators that can knock out a rail in a weekend but not us.
Design Process (the fun part)
Want some art? We want to talk to you!
Call us during business hours and let us know you want to start something new. You may also email or text me with project details.
Any inspirational images can be very useful in determining your needs. I've had clients show me Pinterest boards, slideshow photos snapped on vacation, or even sketch their own ideas. Don't feel you have to have anything at all prepared, no pressure just imagination. No imagination is fine too. We can do simple. Even simple designs are guaranteed to be well executed. Sometimes simple is faster to make and easier on the budget!
With this information and approximate dimensions I can come up with some small sketches and give you a ballpark estimate for free. You can back out here no problem. If you choose to go ahead we need to come meet you. Our staff are safety trained and competent for visits.
For the next part and a more accurate estimate, a site visit will be required. This is only required after the initial free consult and concept sketches. This is where you will likely enter a contract as well.
We can arrange a good time for you, and arrive with quite a few tools and goals in mind. Accurate measurements, installation requirements, safety considerations, and conceptual conversations are . After the visit, more detailed drawing(s) and estimate(s) are delivered for consideration. Now is the time to make any adjustments and set details in stone. A travel/design/estimate fee of $250 is due should further business be declined, however if we are hired the visit is free!
Pricing (it's pricey)
Every custom piece is unique. That means pricing can vary depending on the available price of metals used, the size and complexity of the location, and of course the design. Keep in mind that everything is *HAND MADE* forged metal by locals using our own sweat and (hand made) hammers. We are firmly fair, and will charge what is required for creation plus appropriate overhead in every circumstance. We are proud of our honesty and craftsmanship and so pay our employees a fair wage.
Estimates for standard gates and railings are usually priced per foot. The per foot price includes materials, design/drafting, construction/forging, and associated costs. Generally estimates are relatively accurate for 90% of clients. Estimates for grand, complex, "centerpiece/grand sculptural," or "artist's choice" gates and railings are handled individually and may fluctuate wildly. Yeah we can do a masterpiece if you want it.
Delivery is included, installation is not. There are code requirements and safety guidelines that installation requires. Generally, we are able to install for a small fee, however large projects need large crews sometimes. Often it is easiest for us to work with your contactor. There are contractors that we often use as well. We fully comply with all local laws and safety guidelines.
Timing (It's hard work)
Unique artistic metalwork takes time! Our functional artwork is created through hard physical labor, mixed with some complex tooling, and unforgiving accuracy requirements. There are some processes that are not possible to rush, and there are not many shops that work metal like we can. We are busy and in demand so we had to create a waitlist, though it's not a long one just yet. The usual client waitlist, plus the design time, build, fitment, and finish add up to take a few months before delivery, generally.
We are working hard in the shop and office to deliver as quickly as possible, while still maintaining the highest quality artwork. If you have any hard deadlines please let me know in advance and we can work out alternate pricing.
Payment (25% down)
A site visit fee of $250 is required for any architectural project. The cost of the site fee is waived for any project should you choose to work with me.
To begin a project a down payment of 25% is required to hold your place in the client queue. We take checks, card, cash, Venmo, Cash App basically any way to take money from you. Once your project begins an additional payment of 25% will become due. The final payment of 50% will be due upon the completion of the project. For projects over $20k the billing process may vary.
Overdue invoices will incur a late fee of 1.2% per month.
Celeste is the owner, lead design, and head blacksmith and your main line of communication. I highly value being able to speak with every client and to personally work to meet their needs. I maintain office hours every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am - 12pm for communicating with clients.
Phone calls and emails are welcome outside of office hours but it's possible I will not respond immediately.
I am in constant communication with clients during the creation process.
Delivery and Installation
Pick up from the shop is always free.
Most work is usually priced to include the cost of delivery. However for jobs 25 miles or further from my shop in Richmond CA, there is an additional fee of $1.50 per mile.
The cost of installation varies from project to project. My specialty is metalworking. It is not masonry or construction or woodworking. Specialized skills are often required for installation. I often work with the home owners contractors for installs. I sometimes hire contractors of my own when needed to ensure the best professional installations.