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shows/potters/part two

updated thu 11 dec 03


mel jacobson on wed 10 dec 03

remember, it is critical to know `WHY` you enter shows.

if for example, you are on a tenure track, working as an
art prof, well it is critical to enter shows. build an `advancement
book`. if you want to become a full professor, enter shows,
write articles, write books...get out there.
if you do not, well, the results are on your shoulders.

as a high school teacher, this meant nothing to me. it was
not an important part of my career. so, i did not waste my time.
selling pots however, was critical to my life, and my families life.
it paid for kid's college, that lawn tractor, new furniture, and of
course paid for the farm land that i own. it meant something to me.
and, it was far superior to working part time at `sears or the corner
garage`. selling pots at home, fixing my own cars and trucks, being
my own repair person, and building my own home has earned me
many thousands of dollars. and, that is real money. cash.

i had to look deep into myself and ask the tough questions.
how do you sell your work?
what do you have to do?
what does not mean anything?
and, then look at what successful potters did to make a living.

i looked at warren mackenzie, i saw crowds of folks...eager to buy.
i looked at his prices...low end, easy to make pots, functional.
it made sense. the proof was in front of me. and, there are many
like him who are very successful. ask questions.

the four galleries that i tried to get started with all failed me.
i lost money.
the uptown art fair was a big drag. they did not support the
art community. we promoted their area, and got crapped on.
soon the fair was charging us to sell `their idea`. and the price
got higher and higher. i would not pay it. i left.
many are still in line to pay a corporation to sell their work on
a street corner. the beer sales make more money that the art
sales. i know some love it..the event, the fun, the challenge.
it was not for me. it was a total crap shoot. and as i tell all potters,
the choice is yours, based
on what you need, what you want, or what your family will tolerate.
i stay home. make more money, and enjoy my life.
the pressure is off. i plan sales based on my needs, not
the `uptown` calender. and all commissions, sales, and profits are mine.
i control that. i control my prices, i control what i give away...what
i want to do.
yes, fiercely independent, and shall remain so. it is part of being
a private businessman, crafts person, seller of pots.

Minnetonka, Minnesota, U.S.A.
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