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edith franklin/pricing help?

updated wed 22 sep 10


Kelly Savino on tue 21 sep 10

Long time no blather... I'm teaching 5 classes at 2 places and haven't had =
much time to catch up.

On my days off, I am helping Edith Franklin (who many of you know!) with he=
r move out of her home of 50 years, into a senior apartment complex. She is=
doing great and ia as feisty as ever, but this year she decided it was tim=
e to let go of the big old house and yard and the associated lifetime's col=
lection of stuff.

Edith is the very picture of grace and generosity. Her kids, grandkids and =
great-grands chose the furnishings and artwork they wanted. She donated her=
collection of famous potters' work to John Balistreri's program at BGSU to=
be used for teaching purposes. Lourdes College got her catenary patio kiln=
, and area potters who stopped by were sent home with armloads of tools, po=
ts, glaze chemicals and miscellaneous. Her very best work will be auctioned=
this winter at a gallery for a scholarship for youth in the arts.

What remainsat the house, though, will be the contents of an estate sale th=
is saturday. I have volunteered to help with the pots and studio aspects, s=
ince she was concerned that the estate sale company wouldn't recognize what=
might be of importance to a potter.

So far I have tagged a basement full of chucks, molds and buckets of glazes=
and chemicals -- a room full of pottery tools and miscellaneous art suppli=
es -- and a patio room with tables full of Edith's smaller pots, experiment=
s, seconds, souvenirs and leftovers.

Here's where I am stuck and need help:

On her coffee table awaiting prices are a foot-wide raku Soldner platter --=
a yard tall Susanne Stevenson lidded jar -- a Daniel Rhodes weed pot -- a =
large Barbara Brown bowl, a BB white cup on a stony pedestal, a very small =
Vivika Heino bowl, and a few that Edith knows are important but can't remem=
ber the artist. Also a Yixing miniature tea set on a tray, and two Yixing c=
ups and a teapot.

I am supposed to price these. By Saturday morning.

I have looked on line for comparable items (the Soldner platter has a crack=
around the base from the firing) but the estate sale guy has advised me to=
price "what the local market will bear". Edith doesn't care what I do... b=
ut this is a lot of pressure!

I found an old clayart conversation about Soldner's pricing of teabowls at =
a hundred dollars per inch of width...

If anybody has an idea (Barbara, are you out there?) what a good price rang=
e might be, can you drop me a line? I want to put a fair price on them, and=
if they don't sell, I can sell them on line for Edith later. She really ha=
s a very small apartment, has kept almost nothing for herself, and wants th=
e pots to go to people who will cherish them.

Meanwhile -- it's been an interesting experience, sifting through the physi=
cal trail left by a lifetime of a potter's inquiring mind. Years of NCECAs,=
hundreds upon hundreds of glaze tests, raku materials, journals full of ki=
ln plans and workshop notes, and pictures of Edith with all the legends of =
pottery fill the cupboards and shelves.

Once this house is empty and sold, she can relax and get back to driving fr=
om opening to gallery to show, making pots at the Toledo Museum, working wi=
th school kids and mentoring adults, and just in general being Edith. She's=
still a powerhouse at 85 and now that she has a bionic titanium hip, I can=
hardly keep up with her -- high heels and all. Her friends can drop her a =
line at -- she's on facebook but has trouble loggi=
ng in. My teenaged son will go back over to her new apartment next week and=
show her how.

Thanks for any help you can offer!

Kelly Savino (in Ohio_