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pricing/seconds/customer decides...

updated sat 13 dec 97


Jenny Lewis on fri 12 dec 97

Thank you Clayart for all the useful, as ever, advice and comments -
all the latest hot topics combined for me yesterday - I released the
JL pots onto an unsuspecting world.... well, not completely
unsuspecting actually. Where I do the day job we have a sort-of
annual craft fair (didn't do it last year) and yesterday was the big
day, my main selling outlet. OK, I'll be honest - my only selling
outlet. My colleagues are all very kind and make nice comments, and
very patiently listen to me boring for Britain about pottery... and
even better, they buy the little monsters. Good fun was had by all,
and I shifted most of them, still got a few sitting around in my

I priced by size, more or less - 5 for a small bowl, 10 for a big
bowl, 20 for two stuck together to make a vase, fat-belly coil pots
depending on how long it took and how I felt about it... As I do my
potting at evening classes, overheads and firing costs and all the
rest of it are not part of the calculation. I use the enrolment fees
as a starting point though, divided by number of pots, more or less,
plus or minus, approximately.

Didn't actually have seconds as such, though there was an area where I
put my "experiments", an assortment of jugs (pitchers), trying to find
the shape and style I like and feels right for me, as well as for the
person trying to pour with them. Tricky.

As for the customer deciding - well, this is the fun part for me. I
have this private guessing game - what will my colleagues, many of
whom I think I know fairly well, choose? It's really interesting to
watch them pick up a few bowls, turn them over and around a few times,
um and ah for a while, then suddenly spot THE ONE they love more than
anything, grab it, and ask to buy it, right now, without a moment's

I also experienced another subject that has been on the Clayart list
before - everyone wants BLUE!!! I only had one strong cobalt-ish blue
bowl, and many people were disappointed to find it had been sold and
why weren't there any more in that colour? Well, I had stopped using
it, as it is such a strong, overwhelming glaze, completely swamps
whatever it covers, and of course I had forgotten that there are
glazes that potters like, and there is blue! So, next time I start
building up a heap of sell-able goodies, the bucket of blue will be
always near at hand. Oh yes, and turquoise. But I have to confess
that I quite like a soft pale matt turq. Of course, it's not as
popular as a strong shiny turq, but there we are.

One more topic emerged - about 3 or 4 of my colleagues checked to see
if my name was on the pots! (I use my initials).

Jenny Lewis
overlooking Regents Park
which is damp, soggy,
but mild for the moment