Bob Masta on thu 27 may 04
Speaking of pricing issues, am I the only
one to gasp at the prices listed for the pieces
on pages 50-51 in the June-Aug Ceramics Monthly?
Attractive bowl 5 inches across... $1045
Interesting shapes... $7930
Must have some rich collectors over there...
or maybe some potters with huge egos!
Just my $0.02 worth...
David Beumee on fri 28 may 04
I recently had a very long discussion about pricing with a friend who should know a great deal about the subject, as he runs a website for collectors and clay artists and makes his living as far as I know from collecting and selling both historical and contemporary pots. At one point in the discussion I became so frustrated I said "ok, here's what I'm going to do. I'll pack up a pot right now and send it to you, and you tell me how much you think it's worth." When he had received the pot and called me, the first thing he said was "how much do you charge for a piece like this?"
I think this illustrates what is at the heart of pricing, including the knockout prices for the pots on pages 50 and 51 of the summer CM. It so utterly subjective, both on the part of the artist and the collector. Say the artist feels good about asking $7900 for an "interesting shape". Perhaps the collector thinks the thing must be worth alot of money because it has a high price, or perhaps the artist finds out bounds have been overstepped and must lower prices. One would hope that an artist's work would begin to sell at $7900 because of an extesive resume and well earned name recognition, but how does fame happen? Hasn't it happened that some art critic says he or she is "famous" and that suddenly makes them so? I have gone round and round about this for decades, and am always glad to hear discussion, particularly from those who do what I do, which is selling pots to make a living and pay the bills. One guideline that has never failed me is that I need to feel comfortable with the
prices within myself, based on decades of hard work and pages of resume. Yet for me pricing remains the hardest part by far of any part of the process.
Earth Alchemy Pottery
> Speaking of pricing issues, am I the only
> one to gasp at the prices listed for the pieces
> on pages 50-51 in the June-Aug Ceramics Monthly?
> Attractive bowl 5 inches across... $1045
> Interesting shapes... $7930
> Must have some rich collectors over there...
> or maybe some potters with huge egos!
> Just my $0.02 worth...
> Bob Masta
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Kathy Forer on sat 29 may 04
On May 28, 2004, at 1:02 AM, David Beumee wrote:
> Yet for me pricing remains the hardest part by far of any part of the
A rule of thumb that helped me recently was to figure out the "relative
value" of the pieces to me, perhaps on a scale of 1-10, or simply by
placing them "in order." Then take a bottom price, say $10 or $100, and
a top price, say $500 or $5000, and price the pieces accordingly within
that range. Or use the alphabet: that's an E, that's a GG.
Some work can't be priced to sell and perhaps shouldn't be shown, or
priced NFS. It's not necessarily vanity to show them, but they have no
practical value beyond directing the traffic. They have a scale of
their own and are probably best given to friends and family and shown
with a mix of other pieces that are priced accessibly. Market-priced
where neither the buyer nor the seller are completely satisfied, but
are both willing to trade, or better yet, where both feel they got the
better part of the deal.
The "markup quotient" depends a lot on where and what the venue is.
People in a small town may have a similar lifestyle to those in a big
city, but it costs them a lot less to live, and the city folk a lot
more, so milk and chicken are higher in the city but so are salaries,
across the board. It holds therefore that art would fetch higher prices
as well, not necessarily from huge egos or rich collectors, although
those too would tend to pool in cities, but simply economics, a larger
scale of money rolling around.
Just my $0.20 worth...
Russel Fouts on sat 29 may 04
>> Speaking of pricing issues, am I the only one to gasp at the prices listed for the pieces on pages 50-51 in the June-Aug Ceramics Monthly? Attractive bowl 5 inches across... $1045 Interesting shapes... $7930.
Must have some rich collectors over there... or maybe some potters with
huge egos! <<
I don't have that issue yet so I don't know exactly which pieces you're
talking about but I did go to the Galerie Capazza's site. Judging by the
names of the people that they permently represent, I would say that this
is a very high end gallery. Gordon Baldwin, Rene Ben Lisa, Claude
Champy, Daphne Corregan, Robert Deblander, Christine Fabre, these are
some of the "big names" in European ceramics. They do command high
Also, potters in Europe do tend to get higher prices for their work than
comparable work in the north america. People here think most north
american pottery is under priced.
In addition, the dollar is still around $1.20 to the Euro so that's
going to raise those prices even more when you convert them into
dollars. Given the odd amounts of those prices, I would say that they've
been converted to dollars.
My .02 euro ;-)
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Janet Kaiser on tue 1 jun 04
Cannot comment on anything in CM and would not want to with
regard to a named potter, but I have said it before and will say
it again... It is nonsensical to compare prices between towns,
states and countries let alone continents thousands of miles away
no matter who the artist may be or what the work in question.
Just think about "value" and "the buying power of the money in
your wallet" for a few minutes... What is the *official average
salary* of the population in (say) North America compared to
(say) the Indian Subcontinent? The minimum wage? There are still
the rich, the middle classes and the poor in both, but the buying
power of the dollar versus the rupee is going to make India &
Pakistan seem "cheap" to Americans/Canadians whereas their
countries will appear incredibly expensive to visitors from
India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, etc.
I could not afford to visit Scandinavia (Norway) when I was
invited and could only afford to live in Germany because I was
working there and earning a local salary. In those days it was
"cheap" for Europeans to come to buy luxury goods in the UK, but
they have stopped visiting let alone buying goods and products
because it is far too expensive thanks to us insisting on
remaining outside the Euro zone.
Make the comparison between North and South in any one country
let alone between continents... Good grief... No need to leave
town or the home environment to see how futile any comparison
really is... I bet10US$ would buy quite a different amount of any
product in New York City compared to upstate NY? Yes, even
different districts / neighbourhoods in a single town vary... You
can bet your bottom dollar that there are huge differences even
when everyone has a similar idea of "value" and buying power of
any monitory unit whether that be dollars, pounds, yen or Euros.
Globalisation and those dreadful "Walmart"-type concerns may be
having an added influence, but there are still some fluctuations
locally, nationally, regionally and internationally.
Same applies to property prices... You compare a 5 bedroomed
house with garden & garage in a ritzy neighbourhood to the same
house on the wrong side of town... A six cylinder Bentley bought
from a red carpeted Classic Car show room on Sunset Boulevard to
a similar model out of the breakers yard... Same thing goes for
pots and just about anything else you care to mention. You
yourself are judged by the company you keep in much the same
I imagine this is one of the reasons Ceramic Review and other UK
magazines which are considered international publications never
give prices. Saves people being judgmental and creating a certain
amount of bad blood. Even within Western Europe there are big
differences. Scandinavia has always been considered the most
expensive, whereas Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece the least.
Please remember that a pot (like anything else) is simply only
worth what someone is prepared to pay. The reason/s for that can
be anything from mawkish love at first sight to the titillation
of the risk taking gambler--- Oops... beg their pardon -- I
naturally mean "investor".
Seems to me that it is quaintly naive to question the price of
anything... Why did "The Singing Butler" sell for several hundred
thousand pounds last week, when The Art Establishment thoroughly
rubbished both painting and artist? Simply because there were
several people who all wanted to own the original, each had
enough money and were all aware that the sale was taking place.
Bit like a whodunnit... Motive, opportunity and means. You need
all three to commit murder just they are also necessary when
buying a work of art. Or a pot. Or a sandwich.
Half the world lives off $5 per day or less, yet in the UK no one
could survive more than a few weeks on that little, because they
would be unable to buy enough to prevent starvation let alone
provide necessary shelter or clothing.
Oh yes... And just because something has a certain price tag,
does not necessarily mean it will sell for that. I know of
potters who overprice certain pieces because they do not really
want to sell. Follow their work closely, you may just find a pot
priced at 1000 that was on exhibition is amazingly like a pot at
the back of a top shelf back home10-20 years later!
Janet Kaiser - where a spider is valiantly weaving a web across
my VDU... I wonder if the static tickles its toes?
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