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shipping charges, now fed up (long and boring clay/soap opera)

updated fri 24 sep 99


Bonita Cohn on thu 23 sep 99

Thanks reply. The show required the artist to pay shipping both ways. I
agreed to this. The charges for return were to come out of the sale of work
(there were none, unfortunately). UPS refused to take the work for the return
shipping, so the director was advised to use FED EX. --Bonita
<was told by other potters that FedEx was comparably priced, and handled
shipping more carefully than any other carrier.>> the show
In receiving the returned work, I signed for it. And it is FED EX that has
billed me. It's a very expensive line on the resume.
LESSONS LEARNED: don't send so much (I sent 5 pieces plus 6 tea bowls) and
Show closer to home (within 50 miles)? --Bonita
to which the director replied:
<because your packaging was not particularly good. It is common practice when
shipping pottery to double pack -- everything wrapped individually and placed
in an interior box which is then placed in a larger exterior box with packing
between the walls of the two boxes. I'm rather surprised that this added so
much additional weight, but I also know that had I packed items any less
securely, I would be liable for any damage that accrued due to breakage. >>
Bull. My shipments made it. I have worked as a gallery assistant and done
lots of shipping of ceramics. Lost nothing. I know what I am doing.--Bonita

<< no one has received materials from the show as of yet. I simply have not
had the time to assemble and mail materials, or a final report on the show.
[the show] was a one-person effort -- I did the unpacking and set-up, the
publicity, the signage and invitation and catalog, the show sitting, the
breakdown, packing, addressing, shipping, and accounting. I also have a
full-time job, teach pottery 4 nights a week, and do my own pottery as well
as serve on several boards and as a volunteer for a number of non-profits.
I'm busy and time is short. So I apologize if I do not meet the requirements
of your schedule.

As for consulting an arts attorney, that is your decision to make. I will
tell you that I too am a poor potter, that [the show] cost me $5000 over what
I made on the 20% commission on sales, that I own no property, and that there
is simply no blood to get from this particular stone.

Bonita, I'm sorry that you're upset. But it seems to me that you are
primarily upset over the cost of shipping. (YES YES YES) Please take a
moment to put it in perspective: your cost was approximately $200 to ship in
both directions. My cost to show the work shipped -- yours and that of other
people -- was $5000. For your $200 investment, you will benefit as a potter
from articles which will appear in both Ceramics Monthly and Ceramics Art and
Perception (both publications have requested articles), and your work was
seen by approximately 1000 people during the course of the show, including
three very well known east coast collectors. For my $5000, I got the
satisfaction of producing an exceptionally successful and beautiful pottery
show, enough work to put me in the hospital with exhaustion, and, as a
special bonus, complaints from you about shipping costs.
I do understand your chagrin, and your annoyance at the shipping costs.
As I said, I too am a poor potter, and I would either have gone ballistic or
sat down and cried for a day or two.
I marveled at the fact that your work did not sell. The best explanation
that I can come up with is that, in a field of 300 pieces on exhibition, it
was overshadowed by flashier, larger work. You are, however, in good company
-- Byron Temple's work also did not sell >> some consolation!-Bonita
<<, and I think for the very same reasons...good strong, self-confident but
quiet work that simply did not get the notice it should have gotten. Please
don't limit yourself to showing only close to home -- your work is good, and
you should be showing it in the broadest possible market more and
more people begin to see your work and your name, sales will increase --
making the shipping costs well worth it. >>

So I guess I'll have to eat it, along with the Rice-a -Roni I'm going to be
living on until the Season of Commerce (the Holidays) picks up.
Bonita in San Francisco, the Day After A Major Lightning Storm. And we just
had a 4.2 earthquake in Bolinas! Too much static!