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pottery price/gas price rise

updated wed 3 jan 01


Stephani Stephenson on mon 1 jan 01

After hearing some very wildly fluctuating predictions regarding natural
gas price increases, we are still waiting for some actual figures.
Some numbers from our utility are supposed to come out this week, but
it is very hard to understand, because of all the processes involved.
Nobody seems to know or wants to hazard a guess.

We too are in a difficult spot because we are sending out our new price
list to distributors. We don't want to overreact but do need to increase
prices to stay current with changes which have already taken place and
to try and establish a small buffer. Rather than refigure our entire
price list we are leaning toward adding a surcharge to our orders,
initially 10% -15%. Of course we are at groud zero, here in San Diego
county. We have already had utility increases enough to warrant this
kind of surcharge, but this way we can remove surcharge if prices
stabilize or increase it if prices skyrocket. All of us have different
products and markets so the hard part is trying to balance what you need
to cover costs with what kind of increase your particular market will

I should add that Alchemie Studio produces tile and architectural
ceramics, so there is a lot of mass per dollar. In other words, 1000
dollars worth of tile and trim takes up a fair amount of kiln space,
uses a fair amount of gas, and weighs a good number of pounds.
If we were making exquisitely fashioned miniature teapots selling for
$300 - $500 a piece, I'd be less concerned about the increase and a
We also are taking a hard look at our product line, trying to streamline
so we fire less, eliminating those lines where the profit margin is very

Unfortunately, as Laird likes to say, there is not a lot of fat on the
old turkey. Trim it if you can find it!

Fedex and fedex ground have been adding a fuel surcharge( for gasoline
not natural gas) since last June. I believe their surcharge has been 2%

Stephani Stephenson
Leucadia CA

All that said, at least it is balmy and beautiful here and there are all
there gorgeous fushia throated hummingbirds whisking around.