If you are in the market for a fire pit, but do not want to pay full price for a pit, consider paying a vocational school student to make one for you. If you find a talented student to make your pit for you, you will end up with a pit that is both beautiful and affordable. Here are a few things you should keep in mind if you are considering hiring a student from a technical school to create a fire pit for you.
First, you need to figure out how much fire pits normally cost. Although a student might be able to give you a small break on the cost, particularly if they can work on the pit during class, you should not expect anyone to make you a pit for free. A quality metal or stone piece requires a lot of work. Students charge less than artists, because they need experience. Expect to pay just a little less than you would for a store bought pit. Go to the store or browse online to determine the average price.
Secondly, you should contact vocational schools in your area to find interested students. Ask the administration at the school how you could find a student willing to take on this project. Ask for the contact information for metal working and pottery instructors. Let them know how much you are willing to pay. They could announce to the class that someone needs a fire pit, and then give the students your contact information. If you are worried that you might accidentally hire a student who does not know what they are doing, contact an instructor of an upper-level class. You can also ask that any student who contacts you sends you a picture of their previous work.
Thirdly, you need to clearly communicate what kind of fire pit you want. When you are looking at units in the store, you should take note of what units you like. Take pictures of the fire pits that you like so that you can share the photos with the student you hire. You might want to let the student have some artistic license. This will ensure that you end up with a truly unique piece.
Finally, you need to pay the student. As long as the student has built the fire pit to your specifications, pay them the full amount that you agreed to pay them.