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making, marketing and morale

updated wed 24 jun 98


Judy Musicant on mon 22 jun 98


Here are my experiences, and some observations. When I first started
selling (trying to sell), most of my pots were glazed in a combination of
Randy's Red and a black glaze, which were very consistent and which I
thought were beautiful. Other potters loved it, and it did have its (small)
following of customers, but like you, I was generally discouraged. Because
of that, and because I was getting tired of using the same two glazes, I did
a lot of testing and came up with some other glazes which were lighter,
brighter and more colorful, and most important, which I also loved. My work
sells much better now with these glazes. I have also found that at the
shows I do, other potters whose work is mostly dark, don't do as well.
Another thought--you mentioned your work is "quiet". If by that, you mean
your forms are simple and classical, and your glaze is monotonal, (without
texture or depth) you could try getting some new ideas about forms (look at
pottery books, go to workshops), and, again, keep experimenting with new
glazes. I'm not suggesting that simple classical forms are a bore or can't
sell,--find a book about American art pottery, and look at the work of the
Fulper company if you're not already familiar with it--classical forms with
fabulous glazes. But a plain form with a boring glaze will not catch the
most customers. Having said all of the above, I have no idea if any of it
applies to you, but maybe some others out there can relate. Of course, the
right pricing for your work and your market are also critical. Most of all,
don't give up, keep working and experimenting--you can get there. Good

Judy Musicant

Michael R. Wardell on tue 23 jun 98

Chris - our advice would be to keep making the pots you love, and keep
looking for people that want to buy them. looking at some of the pots we
made when we started, i am embarrassed to think we sold them to people, but
someone must have loved it to buy it. also, make a lot of different kinds
of things, with a wide range of prices. as your pots improve, so will your
sales. i think, though, it will always be hard to make a living as a
potter - hard, but very worthwhile. good luck.