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pricing your work + cheap $13.80 mugs

updated wed 7 jul 10


C Sullivan on tue 6 jul 10

Mornin' Michael
And now you have a majority of two !!! I, too, would dearly love to see ho=
your laser measurement device works. The biggest buggaboo in creating
"sets" is getting them the same size !!! Can't imagine a pottery-related
magazinge turning down your article.

On Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 9:34 AM, Michael Wendt wrote:

> Jennifer,
> Except for my wife and me, there are no other full time
> potters in this market. My wife charges $20-25 for her mugs
> but they are more elaborate and take way more time to make..
> I can make mugs very quickly on the wheel.
> I have developed an elevated microbat system that makes them
> much more comfortable to throw
> I also use a laser measuring system I developed to assure
> better size match without the tedium of jigs or calipers.
> Set work is actually fun.
> The trimming is fast and simple. The handles are easy, fast
> and reliable (read: no handle cracks).
> Once trimmed and assembled, they are fan dried and we can
> throw, trim, handle dry and bisque fire them in as little
> as two days reducing the stored work in progress to a
> minimum.
> The glazing for my style takes on average 20-30 seconds.
> I also fast fire my kiln:
> candle on low over night to above red heat and the kiln
> fires to cone 10 on high from that point on so by 3:00 in
> the afternoon, the glaze load is down and cool enough to
> unload the next morning.
> Candling also eliminated the tendency of the glazes to crawl
> if the were put in the kiln damp.
> The low loss rate means better return on investment all
> around.
> At the low end price, we have found a staple that people buy
> in sets of 4 or 6 making a single contact worth$50-80.
> When you charge $25 for a mug, you may sell a pair once in a
> while but usually people here buy one.
> Also, since I have all my contact information on the bottom
> of each piece, its like distributing my business card to
> hundreds of people each month and the orders for more items
> come in from all over the US.
> From this you can see the cost of living in Idaho is very
> low but so are the wages of our local customers so our
> pricing reflects that. Bottom line, we need to gross $6000 a
> month to keep the doors open and eat too. Low pricing
> assures that.
> Regards,
> Michael Wendt
> PS
> Strange side note:
> I submitted the laser measurement article I wrote to two
> different pottery magazines and was told that potters would
> not be interested in such a device.
> One editor's comment is below:
> "I've looked at how it could be simplified, because
> as is, few readers
> would be interested in spending the time to construct it.
> Production people
> are obviously the biggest audience for this. Anyway, I
> admire the effort but
> we'll have to take a pass on it."
> I will be offering the plans and DVD for both systems if
> there is any interest. As always, people are welcome to
> visit me and see the systems first hand here in Lewiston and
> try them out for themselves.
> Jennifer wrote:
> HI Michael,
> This is interesting. I looked at your website and in New
> England terms, your
> pricing is very cheap. Your retail is almost what I get when
> I sell on
> consignment. 13.80 for a mug is unheard of in my area. Is
> this kind of
> pricing the norm for other potters in your area?
> Jennifer