Tuesday, June 16, 2009

in and out then back in the studio

I've been hauling my pots around for the past month or so and finally, I'm done. At least for an entire month. I think I need the time to organize my studio, and figure out the rest of the year. This recession is quite tricky to navigate, especially when I'm still a bit new at the selling end of my biz. So, I've been trying out shows and deciding what works, I've also been trying out web ads to help market my site and I've been making small steps on etsy. Everything seems to be working a little at a time. This week is going to be quiet, I'm finishing up a pile of orders. Starting on new orders from the past week and my web ads won't start again until next week. I know, how is that quiet? I guess because I'm not going to focus on selling this week. I just need to be in the studio to get things done, take stock, and make a nice to-do list. I've been reading around on the internets about business and the blogs I came upon that were the most interesting were fellow potter's talking about making a living in clay. It's not easy, but we all love it. I think you get used to the lack of ease. That's not to say that making life easier shouldn't be a goal. For me it is. I don't want to work endless hours for the rest of my life just to make a decent living. I want to make beautiful things for people to love and hopefully are kept then passed on to future generations. I think that is a nice service to provide to the public. I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say "they just don't make things like they used to" well, maybe you're not looking in the right places. For me, I do understand when people need to buy dishes at ikea, it fits their budget, ok maybe you're not my customer yet. But when those dishes start chipping, then breaking or you just get tired of them - you have no connection so you just replace them. But with handmade items that sure you paid an appropriate price for, you put some thought into that purchase. These dishes are prized possessions, they are made well and fit your style. When you hold them, you feel the handmade quality, the love, oh yes, the love that went into making them. Each one is a little unique and as you use them you find your favorites, as does your family. When your kids grow up, they want the special dishes they grew up with for themselves and now you've planted the seed of buying handmade thoughtful items in your children. Maybe you buy them one at a time, build a set like you would an art collection. All of this while supporting a person, not a huge corporation that might be under paying their workers, not supporting mass produced disposable dishes. But an artist, part of your culture, buying handmade means so many things. So don't scoff at the price. Consider what you are looking at, and what truly went into making it, then buy it quickly because that $27 wheel thrown, hand etched, intricately glazed cup is more of a bargain then you could ever imagine.

9 comments:

lisa {milkshake} said...

Such a great post, Linda.

Linogirl said...

well said!

Here is to making beautiful objects to last a life time.

Though there are people that will always buy that made in China mass produced item. It's those that seek out or stumble onto quality handmade objects that get s much enjoyment out of them that keeps you going.

I have had many people come up to me at my stall at the artist market in Melbourne Australia saying that a friend bought them one of my wearable designs and the amount of compliments that the have received... They now get it!

jimgottuso said...

you got that right... a wheel thrown, hand etched, intricately glazed cup is a steal at 27 dollars.

Patricia Griffin said...

You said it all!

dahlhaus said...

Wow... Timely post! I'm just in the process of raising my prices again- am in a similar boat and am finding that it's just too hard to make a living working so hard at making pots for a 'reasonable' amount of $. It's really frustrating to do shows where people ooh and ahh at your work and then they turn over a piece (ie look at the price), put it back on the shelf and walk away. You just need to know that selling it for too much of a bargain is going to put you out of business fast! All the best and take care of yourself this week! heather

Little Flower Designs said...

Thanks so much for all of the support! I love reading your takes on the market place. I try so hard to price to suit both my needs and remain marketable - the cups I mentioned are priced right as long as I don't sell them wholesale they are my bread and butter. I think to raise my prices would be hard but I am eyeing up higher end and larger pieces so look out for some fancy pots in the future.
xoxo,
Linda

Lori said...

Oh I just LOVE your work. I found you on etsy- I am going to put a link to your blog on mine so that I remember to check it a lot! Your work is truly wonderful- can't wait to buy some :)

pinkkiss said...

Right on!!! And I am guilty of having those cheap plates in my own cabinets but am on my way to a full on handmade collection (and not just my own "seconds" plates!)I get sick of the cheap ones but never of the handmade ones. They make food taste better....really.

Little Flower Designs said...

Thanks Lori : )

Shauna, I totally agree, we still have a few old bowls that my husband grew up eating out of - all chipped and just terrible but he sais they are the right shape! funny! I'll have to make him some new ones.