Thursday, November 27, 2008


I have just been thinking about the issue of how to price pottery (or any other art / craft for that matter.
It has come to my attention that recently; a plate of mine was entered into a fund raising auction where it fetched 3 times what the original purchaser paid for it. I have also put items into these types of fund raising auctions where they generate between 3 and 6 times what I feel is a fair retail price.
My belief is that this jump in what people are paying is due to the fact that they are supporting a good cause, and are getting something as a “bonus” for donating money. I have been told that if people are buying these items for a greater amount than what I am charging, then I should increase my prices to reflect this. That would be nice, in theory…however, I think they are priced accordingly, and in all honesty, I could not ask someone to pay over $100 for a small 13” plate. I think people should be able to afford this art form, and to price it out of the “every day person’s” budget is, in my mind, a little greedy. Now, I don’t have a problem charging a higher price for something that is extra special that came out of the kiln with just a bit more pizzazz that was expected, or that I spent 20 hours working on as opposed to 1 or 2 hours. For instance, I charge between $15 and $20 for a cereal bowl, but $20-25 for a coffee mug. It takes longer to make the cup, even though it may be the same size or smaller than the cereal bowl.

Delinquent Blogger

Ok, so I have been a bit tardy. It has been a while since my last post, and a few things have happened.
We had our Fairview Studios Pottery sale, and even with the “recession” our sales were still quite robust. Not a record breaker, but not the worst either. We made $8302 in 3 hours, not bad for a Saturday mornings work. I managed to sleep in, and arrived at the venue with 10 minutes to spare. Everyone helped me set up, but as I did not have very much this year, it went quite smoothly. I usually pack my tables to the gills, and then only sell half. This year, I sold almost everything, but then again, I probably had half of what I normally do.
Another recent event, Fairview Studios is going to be moving. The lease was not renewed, as the owners want to expand their business into the studio’s bay. The good news is that they helped Dave find a new space, are going to pay the expenses of the move etc. The only glitch was that they had to increase the gas pressure in the new space to accommodate the large gas kiln we use. The new space is a Quonset, well lit, very well insulated (so we wont freeze our fingers off in the winter, and will stay cool in the summer). It has a gated yard and is located in a purely industrial location so we can do all kinds of alternative firings year round (unless a fire ban is on in the summer), so we can do mid winter raku etc…maybe I can perfect my naked raku process.

A few weeks ago, I fired the kiln solo. Dave was going to Kansas, and in order for one more glaze to get fired before the sale, I volunteered to learn how to fire it and then fire it on my own the Sunday before the sale. It went well, it is a bit tricky during the reduction, as you have to keep the back pressure up just enough, but not too much so you don’t fill the studio with stinky fumes, and then again, during the rest of the firing, you want to keep the back pressure up just enough so that the flame is just licking out the peep hole, but have the air intakes open all the way, and the dampers slightly closed. That night, I had nightmares of under fired ware, ware that had stuck to the UNDERSIDE of all the kiln shelves, over fired ware, etc…but it all worked out fine. No disasters, and it all looked good.