Terrance Lazaroff on sat 21 dec 96
This is not an english paper.
This is not a spelling bee.
This is the way I see it.
It may not be the way you do.
So be it.
I feel that it is now time to really discuss pricing stratagies for potters
and ceramic artists. First let it be know that I consider myself a student
of ceramic art and such, have very little experience when it comes to
pricing, marketing and selling ceramic art. I do know however, that there is
a cost of doing business and that losing money because of selling something
below the production costs will only invite financial disaster. Whenever I
discuss pricing strategy with fellow artists, I encounter walls of
resistance. Most ceramists have formed their own methods to determine the
cost to make a piece of work. Much of their methodology consists of pricing
in the same range as their peers. Some potters establish formulas that
appear simple such as multiplying the weight of the pot by a magic figure.
Some of the formulas do keep the business going but changes in the material
costs often cause panic and anxiety. Many potters don`t really know if they
are breaking even or loosing thir shirt until it is too late to do something
about it. Other potters have established formulas that were derived over
years of trial and error. Some formulas make for interesting reading.
Never-the-less, the question, "How much should I charge for my work?", is
one of the greatest delemmas facing ceramic artists today. It is a personal
question that each of us agonises over before every salon, show or visit to
boutiques and galleries. Many of us have absolutely no understanding about
marketing and pricing techniques, required to keep the craftsperson viable
financially. It is a major reason why many of us quit the field. Most of us
don`t really know how to analyse their endeavours adequately to cover costs
of overhead, materials, equipment and to pay ourselves a fair wage. I have
personally given the pricing question a lot of thought during the past two
years. I have come to realise that the real question that we should be
asking, is, "How much should I not charge for my work?".
If you want to hear more let me know. Otherwise I will end this discussion
here and now.
Terrance F. Lazaroff
St Hubert, Quebec, Canada !!!!