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making a living--music and pottery

updated tue 30 sep 97


Brad Sondahl on sun 7 sep 97

When I was in college I fell in love with music, and wanted to be a
professional musician. My chemist brother-in-law convinced me that
music is too tough to earn a living from. A few superstars make all the
money, and the rest lead a lousy life playing bars and travelling all
the time in beat up vans. So I became a potter instead, travelling all
the time in beat up vws (never could afford a van). I've never seen a
pottery superstar...
I suppose in theory music is easier to make a living from than pottery.
Nearly everyone in America spends some money on live concerts, cd
collections, etc, whereas with pottery I have yet to go to a bar
featuring live pottery... However the summer festivals bring it all
together--giving away free music while we sell our pots. And mosquitoes
bite the potter and musician in a highly egalitarian manner.
I think music and pottery have a lot in common. When people ask if
doing pottery is hard, I sometimes say, as hard as playing the guitar.
Both disciplines can be fairly easily approached by beginners, but to
make the gifted pot or the soaring song requires a lot of practice and a
miraculous creative impulse.
Brad Sondahl
PO Box 96, Nezperce ID 83543
"NPR is a potter's best friend..."