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pricing your pots (was $10 mug)

updated fri 17 mar 00


judy motzkin on thu 16 mar 00

I just took a look at your web site. I have some
experience with the higher end clay prices,as my own work
tends to be in that catagory.
I would like to say that there is an element of
confidence in the price that you need to reach, and that
comes with the experience of watching them sell. Also
comes patience. If you have the patience to carve for 5
hours into a small porcelain box, then you need breathing
lessons and the patience to wait for it to sell for the
80-100 dollars you need to make on it. Now if you have a
job and want to make a zillion of these in your spare
thousands of hours a week, you can choose to sell them
lower. This is as a way to make room to make more.
Selling, after all, is often just a way to support the
habit of making.

Patience and confidence in the work and the price is key.
One may sell ten $10 pots in the time it takes to sell
one $100 pot. Or you wait at a show watching your friend
selling $100/pr earrings all day,and at the last minute
you have a sculpture go for $2000. It's much more secure
to be selling all day, as the $2000 sale may never show
up. If you can't stand the wait, it may not work for you.
You have to be committed to the work. Also when it comes
to pricing, there is an element of arbitrariness. Play
with the price, there is a place where you will feel
comfortable and the work will sell.Your public may think
$80 sounds outrageous, but will buy that one for a
wedding present at $65. It may be that you need to find a
gallery, shop, dealer, to handle pieces that the folks
you know can't comprehend. Or you can choose to subsidize
the more time intensive pieces with less time sucking
ones ( like loss leaders in the grocery market). Maybe
you make some quick bowls and make $30/hr on them, can
you afford then to get 15/hr for the carving? Remember
that there are no rules but your own. After all, it is
your business.

I have a more particular piece of advice/criticism about
your carved porcelain jars, but I won't offer it unless
you invite me to do so. Ya never know how people feel
about this. Post me privately about this.


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