Karl David Knudson on thu 10 apr 97
Does the value of a piece of ceramic art increase as its function
By function I am refering to utility and purpose, not a piece that can
function as a door stop or an eyesore for instance.
The other Karl in Eugene.
Dannon Rhudy on fri 11 apr 97
.......Does the value of a piece of ceramic art increase as its
No, the VALUE does not increase or decrease dependant upon
function. However, the PRICE may be related to function/utility.
And sometimes function/utility may be related to the price. For
instance, Lucie Rie's bowls, cups, etc. no doubt function very
well as containers for food and any number of other things. But
many people who own them use them in such a way that their
function has become visual, only. Up to the owner, no?
D. Rush Tucker on fri 11 apr 97
in an ideal world i would think that utility and purpose would b 2
points on a long list of things that would increase the intrinsic value of a
ceramic piece.....that list would also include
ability 2 sustain interest
price is unduely influenced by
the name on the bottom...or wherever
who the name knows
every1 feel free to add or delete from these lists 4 me......value and
price is a complicated matter that we all should be very interested in..
sky in dallas
dan wilson on fri 11 apr 97
>Does the value of a piece of ceramic art increase as its function decreases?
Ceramic art and other art objects as well, function within the context of
socio/cultural paradigms. Its value increases as its clarity or its
functionality within various socio/cultural contexts increases. So, a
functionless ceramic object can be highly valued in contexts where the
paradigm includes unfunctional objects. You may have guessed by now that
even the unfunctional object, once it finds its correct context, becomes
functional and therefore increases in value. Think of it as a social
contract between the artist and society. The artist creates an object which
when placed in the correct socio/cultural context fulfills the contract. A
certain amount of value is placed on how well that contract has been
fulfilled. Once this value is established it cannot be diminished. Even
when placed in other contexts. So. What about the highly prized
functionless object? Can there be such a thing? Especially one that is
produced by the Ceramist? The object, its physical characteristics, its
name and its socio/cultural context must be denied in order to be truely
un-functional. It follows from this that for the un-functional object of
art; to be most highly valued in a culture that values non-functionality ,
must be un-created by a non-artist. Here we must cross the frontier between
art and life. Can the artist, in the name of art, become not an artist? And
what is the value of the broken bowl in a China Shop?
Patrick & Lynn Hilferty on sat 12 apr 97
At 4:14 AM -0700 4/10/97, Karl David Knudson wrote:
>Does the value of a piece of ceramic art increase as its function
"The monetary value of a ceramic object increases in porportion to its
cachet?" No, wait, that's not it. Maybe the proper way to phrase this is,
"The monetary value of a ceramic object increases in porportion to its
perceived cachet." By the way, just because something is perceived doesn't
mean it's not real.
Because that's the way people work. Artist's fortunes can be as arbitrary
as the times they live in.
>By function I am refering to utility and purpose, not a piece that can
>function as a door stop or an eyesore for instance.
You're not trying to put down doorstops and eyesores, are you? I would
certainly hope not. Utility and purpose be ascribed to to anything based on
the artist's intention. But then, we've been down this road before. One can
suspect one's own intentions: for example. I once had the suspicion that
the sole purpose of my old work was to explode into pieces whenever they
were shipped by UPS, but that's a different story...
>The other Karl in Eugene.
Belmont, CA 94002
Web Page: http://home.earthlink.net/~philferty/
Karl David Knudson on tue 15 apr 97
Sorry I havn't had time to keep up with my own thread.
On Fri, 11 Apr 1997, Dannon Rhudy wrote:
> No, the VALUE does not increase or decrease dependant upon
> function. However, the PRICE may be related to function/utility.
> And sometimes function/utility may be related to the price.
Is there a difference in our society? Doesn't PRICE reflect that VALUE,
or is the price as Dave Hickey said, a bet as to what the value of the
piece might be?
Does VALUE have any intrinsic worth beyond the individual?
The other Karl
Sherry mcDonald Stewart on wed 16 apr 97
Fickle fickle people, that seems to be what it boils down to. I had my
work in a cooperative gallery, and I watched a lovely porcelain bowl
being picked up by almost everyone who came in to the gallery. I changed
my price on it, to see how price affected a persons decision about it. I
think if a person is confident about what they think is quality, they
will pay the price, and the others, are just learning, and are fickle,
needing something else to inform them. I had work on the walls of this
gallery selling for 35.00 that never sold, but has been in 6 National
shows! And published! It was on the wall first! Lack of vision, thats
all! You, as an artist decide what to charge, and you need to go with
your instincts, and make some mistakes, too!
Hiro Matsusaki on fri 18 apr 97
Just my two bits worth. My experiece mirrors the comments by Sherry mcDonald
Stewart who wrote on 97-04-16 08:58:58 EDT: to be what it boils down to. I had my work in a cooperative gallery, and I
watched a lovely porcelain pot... ... I had work on the walls of this gallery
selling for $35.00 that never sold...You, as an artist ... ...make some
My jewel pottery pieces used to be like $3.50 and not $35, the teapot maybe
$40 at most. So my remarks are skewed to the lower end. Logically, the entire
comments by Sherry make eminent sense, if we assume or suppose that the
market is perfect, or near so and self-regulating. Unfortunately, this belief
is a widespread myth, which haunts us all. In this way of thinking, the
quality of the pot is rewarded, proportionally, by the price it can command
in the market. It ain't always so. But, somehow we tacitly agree to this
notion. And I have used the idea with pride. I was so happy when a pot sold
at a higher price than I expected. But it ain't so, and I knew it. I dispute
this sacrosanct notion of the free market. Why?
Look at all the crappy pots that sell at inflated prices. Haven't we seen
enough? The consumer does not have the perfect knowledge, let alone the good
taste. That's why. You may call the consumer fickle, and you are darn right.
But there are more fundamental reasons why the market economy does not
function the way it should. But that is beyond the scope of this post. The
market is not free.
Just think about the price/quality split. No logical order, or hierarchical
structure in the market. Even the classy hotels supposedly ranked by so many
stars vary in quality/service and price. The pots? So numerous in number?
Forget it. That's the reality we must face. I told you so about the teabowls.
Didn't I? A long time ago? Several hundred thousand bucks for a lousy one
with no function to us at all?
The art and $$$ do not mix well. Pricing our pots by production costs, or the
perceived competition, is a folly. It pleases the consumer, or the reseller,
if you are a good potter. That is about all I can say. The corollary to this
notion? Nothing wrong to sell above or below the said "market price", if you
can get away with it, or can still survive. The market is inherently chaotic.
Clayphil on mon 21 apr 97
In article <email@example.com>, Hiro Matsusaki
>Stewart who wrote on 97-04-16 08:58:58 EDT: seems
>to be what it boils down to. I had my work in a cooperative gallery, and
>watched a lovely porcelain pot... ... I had work on the walls of this
>selling for $35.00 that never sold...You, as an artist ... ...make some
I'm throwing in my .02 worth. I have struggled with this whole $$$ verses
Art thing for a long time and continue to struggle prior to every show or
order i send out. But to be honest what I fear most is underpricing my
pottery. And, indeed, my work tends toward the pricey not the cheap side.
I guess this price range is based on a few observations I have made while
I don't think the public is fickle. But it isn't very well informed about
what art/craft is, either. In fact, it is an even more complex issue. A
segment of "the Public" doesn't value artwork at all. A segment wants it
at the cheapest price. A segment is purely impulse( I like it, I want
it!). A segment goes by a percieved value phenomenon (If it's cheap, it
must not be very good. If it's pricey, it must be good). AND a segment
of the public really does appreciate art/craft and is willing to pay for
it. I think the willingness to pay a fair and substantial price is a way
of paying tribute to the work. So, what segment of the population am I
making art for??? If I underprice it, does that undervalue my own work,
your work, all work? I think it does! Whenever I have "haggled" with
someone and lowered my price I have felt guilty that I have depreciated
myself, my work, and offended the art Gods. Do I have a responsibility to
educate at least some people in "the public" about the value of art in
our society? Yes, I do. And I have a responsibility and desire, to myself
and my family to make a living and to , if you will, the art God, to
continue to make art. And there are those folks out there that truely
appreciate fine quality artwork but simply can't afford it (I count myself
in that number!). It is to those people , in particular, that cause me so
much angst! Were it not for them and afew other "gray" areas in our
society, it would be easy to pick a segement of the population to target
your work for and develop an appropriate price list.
So I worry about underpricing my work as much as making the best effort I
can to develop my work. I try to strike a balance between art and
business, because of my practical side. I also know that outrageously
overpriced work DOES NOT sell at all. I have recognized that not every
store, gallery, or fair is the correct venue for my work. I have worked
at finding the right market for my work. Lastly, I have to say that
pricing my work based on what I see as the merit of the piece verses
production costs has served me pretty well. Hope this stokes the fire a
bit. Phil in Chicago
Sherry mcDonald Stewart on wed 23 apr 97
My point was that people are fickle, because they are uninformed! They
don't know what they like, because they lack real experience, because
they do not participate, they only become spectators, and therefore have
no real way of judging what quality is. therefore, you cannot price your
ware or art based on what they understand, but what you know to be true
of your work, and yes, you have to be a tough self critic, and learn to
be objective. That was my point, for what it is worth. Sherry
Eleanora Eden on fri 25 apr 97
My stuff is also pricy but I have GREAT seconds and odds-and-ends sales so
that neighbors and repeat customers can come if they wish to and get stuff
at reasonable or terrific prices. And if somebody comes into my booth and
opines at the prices I just whip out a studio sale leaflet and either they
are delighted or at least silenced.
Eleanora Eden 802 869-2003
Bellows Falls, VT 05101 firstname.lastname@example.org
[the address email@example.com is temporary. My mailbox at
firstname.lastname@example.org still works -- do not change address books]
Sherry mcDonald Stewart on wed 30 apr 97
You know, I was just reading back over some messages, and it occurred to
me that an experiment (my way of learning all things) to find out what
works would be worth, might be an auction. Of course the minimum bidding
would be set. A small co-op gallery could try it out, or maybe a better
test would be an auction at NCECA, where the people bidding would be
peers who have the best knowledge of worth, I'd think. It might be a
great educational experience for all. The piece could have a price on
the bottom that the person would have asked. In this way, people could
determine if they were over or under pricing, or if they got a fair
price. It could be a sort of open discussion afterwards about what
worked and what didn't. There is so much controversey about this
subject( "inquiring minds want to know!") Maybe that is a way to find
out. Clayart could sponsor it, and some proceeds could go to pay for a
party, which is also being considered! Two birds with one stone? Sher