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the mug maker is dead!

updated sat 22 jan 05


clennell on thu 20 jan 05

Mel wrote:

> i do not have to quote anyone about this. it has been
> my life. i am very proud of fine crafts people and pleased to be one of
> them.. men and women
> working to keep the craft alive. it is not easy in 2005.

As most of you know i spend an enormous amount of time pondering making a
living at craft. The more I write about it the more i find to say.
Times have changed in the 25 years of my making. In cottage country people
bought mugs in sets of 4,6,8,12. For me now, the idea of making 200 mugs in
a run is just not where I am at nor do I think (my) market is. I now sell an
individual mug, not sets. That's OK with me since I would prefer that
customers have one of mine, one of Liz's or whoever.
I think to stay alive in this market you must be more creative. The
creativity starts in the making, as well as in the marketing. I am not
interested in production techniques to streamline my work. I am dedicated to
the processes that i use and find that the more interesting we make our work
the more it stands out from the crowd and garners enough interest to keep us
very busy. How to make enough good pots to make a good living? I think it
would be easier to make enough bad pots to make a good living. If I want to
feel bad about myself this is a route.
With an ageing population I think a potter is wise to make individual work.
Less of it and charge more money. People here at least are down sizing. They
are buying fine craft for their homes that may not include a family of 6
anymore. The empty nesters! They are exactly why I located in wine country.
They are eating in fine restaurants, drinkng fine wine and buying fine
craft. They have disposable incomes.
Just a drop in the bucket of making a living.

Tony and Sheila Clennell
Sour Cherry Pottery
4545 King Street
Beamsville, Ontario