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meyers/simon sale chaos

updated sat 25 dec 99


Scott Chatenever on tue 21 dec 99

Sounds like a pricing problem to me. What's so honorable about underpricing
your work anyway? Just another example of the MacKenzie effect...

Scott Chatenever
For Handmade Ceramic Art and Tile Visit:

Vince Pitelka on wed 22 dec 99

>Sounds like a pricing problem to me. What's so honorable about underpricing
>your work anyway? Just another example of the MacKenzie effect...
>Scott Chatenever

Scott -
I'm not sure what you mean here. At the Meyers/Simon Christmas sale, they
generally kept the prices pretty low because the only ones invited were
their friends and colleagues. It gave those folks a chance to pick up some
of the work for a fraction of what is charged in the gallery, and that is
the only way many of those folks could afford to buy it. There has never
been a problem at previous sales. As I have said in previous messages,
SEVERAL TIMES, they announced this as the last sale, because it WAS the last
sale. It wasn't a sales ploy, it was the truth. I posted the original
message, because I figured that the Clayart audience would be interested and
entertained. I'm sorry now that I did, because most of the responses have
been just plain ridiculous.
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Home -
Work -
615/597-6801 ext. 111, fax 615/597-6803
Appalachian Center for Crafts
Tennessee Technological University
1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166

CNW on thu 23 dec 99

Vince- I have been to sales that were like this and heard tales of even
worse mania. I think that it is fairly common in this area due to the number
of 'folk' potters.

Some of the potters around my home have groundhog kilns doing only two or
three firings a years in them. The most widely known is Burlon Craig. I have
never attended one of his sales but I have been told that he used to
actually have a kiln opening, people would buy them as they came out of the
kiln. Then he went to unloading them and then letting everyone in at once,
lots of stuff got broken. So then he started numbering the pots and you
would draw a number and what ever number you got was the pot you could buy.

Last fall I went to my first kiln opening by a potter in this area. (I
usually work on the weekends). They had cards with numbers and they handed
you one at random, the number you got was the turn you got to select. You
had time before you received the number to look around, but when they called
your number you had to get in there and get your ONE pot and go back. They
said if there were any left at the end they would give you another chance.
They had 220 pots and I got card number.......220. By the time they got to
me the pots I could afford or wanted were gone, but I believe he sold out
any way. It was exciting and worth going to see what it was like.

I don't think however that if you got the prices up too high that you would
get as many people or would sell out. I think that part of it is the
excitement and competition between customers, like in an auction. But I
think there is an upper limit. Too high of an overall price and you wouldn't
get the friendly talk and happiness of the customers you would only get the
serious collectors and I'm not sure left to themselves they would go through
the process.The potters seem to have a broad range of prices from several
hundred dollars to $15 to $20 for small items. "Face jugs" are big in this
area and bring a lot. A plain (no face) one gallon jug brings about $60 to
$75(I'm remembering so don't quote me). Just glazed no decoration. Some
potters get more. But I think there is definitely something to letting even
the little guy and fellow potters have a chance to buy a piece. The more
word of mouth and the more fun people have the more your prices will be able
to go high on the work that you spend more time on. As long as no one is
hurting for money why lose the joy?


Jim Bozeman on fri 24 dec 99

I used to go to Ron and Michael's pottery sales years ago when it was still
a civil event. I think the way some NC potters sell there work is a good
thing; they have customers draw numbers and when your number comes up you
get to select a pot. My own work falls into the "folk" pottery genre
(although I don't call myself a folk potter). I mostly sell my work through
dealers. This works great for me because they can tell me what they want, I
make it then they buy the work. Of course I give them wholesale prices.
Another way of selling pottery that works for me is to place items on ebay.
I have sold everything that I have placed on there. Jim Bozeman web:
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