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pricing pots by firing

updated mon 8 sep 08


mel jacobson on sun 7 sep 08

for any one that has a basic customer base it
would be foolish to change your prices based on the
kiln you use.

i charge by size. small to big.
i think at this point in my life i have established a standard.

if i tried to pan off wood fired pieces as being
`special` to my customers they would laugh.

if you have a gallery, an agent that will sell
your work `up`...then you may have a point.
if you have a base that is looking for show pots...go
for it. i hope tony sells a thousand of them at a thousand
a piece

david hendley only fires a wood fired kiln.
that is his choice. his prices are standard for
most of his work. he sells it all.

i fire gas for about 90 percent...but i throw
in those salt and wood fired pieces from my farm.
just set them on the shelf.
they go out the door like any other pot. in fact, they
are just any other pot.

i have always been a middle of the road guy.
you know that sort of 30 to 60 dollar pot.
and, i do not make huge show pieces, so
most of what i make is very sellable to my average
customer. this has been a good selling month.
they just drop in. most buy 3-5 pots. give me a
check for 100 or more.
that is the blessing of the 30 dollar pot...they
buy three. you know..about the size of a nice
soup items. makes me happy.
i can throw about 60 in a good morning/early
afternoon. trim them all up the next day.
two days of throwing...5 hours+ i have my 90
pots for a firing.

i don't put out chawan tea bowls. those are for
special folks...`that understand`...most of those are
for gifts. had a famous collector in two weeks ago,
he had lunch with me...i gave him a boxed chawan.
he was thrilled. he is chinese, lives in hong kong, and
buys a great deal in kyoto. that gift pot was worth
more to me and him than money. he will talk about it. he will show
it, and admire it. worth a great deal to me.
a great collector always knows when you pimp them. one
must be cautious/prudent. he will be back i am sure, with
an order.

most of the `iron saga pots` left from our selection
process went to friends and
customers...i had a special show..about 200 invites.
they each picked a saga pot...10 bucks each.
it was a gift for their years of support. the pr on
that show was worth thousands. people were really
pleased and thankful.

i talk to tom turnquist every month. he
has thousands of pots. we talk about the craft...i send
him a pot now and then...just a gift from a special firing.
why not? what he does for ceramics will never be
appreciated by the average person. he has put a number
of potters on the map. he loves potters. we must honor
those types. david armstrong at god, what
he has done for ceramics in this cannot count
the ways. i am thrilled that many of you will meet him at
nceca this the clayart room. he cannot be pimped.
he has heard it all.

and, i always say...`do whatever you want, charge whatever
you want, each finds a way....if it does not work, change it`.
but, at some point you have to do the books...look at yourself
and answer the big i make any money? and, if you
do not care about selling...`god love you`...just make pots.
it is up to one else's business.

from minnetonka:
clayart site:

Lee Love on sun 7 sep 08

On Sun, Sep 7, 2008 at 7:39 PM, mel jacobson wrote:
> for any one that has a basic customer base it
> would be foolish to change your prices based on the
> kiln you use.
> i charge by size. small to big.

How about by weight? ;^) That might be a way to charge for firing
fees. Beginner's pots, that require slower firing, would cost more.

I charge by how much time it takes to make work. Sometimes,
smaller things take more time. For example, a good guinomi is harder
to make than a yunomi. You have all aspects of a matacha jawan in
the small guinomi.

But also, teapots and other assembled things take more time than
simpler larger pots.

Lee Love in Minneapolis

"Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground." --Rumi