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wholesale update

updated wed 9 feb 05


primalmommy on mon 7 feb 05

Thanks to clayarters who wrote me, on and off list, to give me advice
and/or give me hell.

Here's my logic and my motivation:

1.) Cash in hand. I said I sell them on my website as fast as I make
them, but the truth is I don't make them very fast. It might not take
much to get my supply to exceed my demand.

2.) Pure greed. My hardworking hubby has been bringing home the bacon
quite nicely all these years, but before we had kids we both assumed
that once they were off to school I'd go back to teaching at the U.
Homeschooling kind of derailed that. I am looking over my tax info and
realize my hobby-turned-business is now making a nice profit, between
teaching and a few sales a year. I am wondering how much I might be able
to contribute if I were to apply myself.

Babies were cheap -- cloth diapers, breastfeeding and homemade baby
food, resale and home sewn clothes. Bigger kids are proving to be
expensive -- orthodonture, robotics competitions, gymnastic and piano
lessons. We manage nicely (ok mel? I'm not being pathetic) but the woman
who wants to wholesale my pots told me her little web business developed
so nicely that this year her husband quit his job to stay home and help
her! What a fascinating thought. And she sells things made by women for
women, and supports stay at home mom businesses. Very granola.

3.) Repetition, according to many potters, is the best teacher. In three
nights of going out to the studio when the kids are in bed, I have made
a dozen four pound pots, all the same height and with the same opening,
but not so identical that I can't look and ask myself, "which do I like
better? and why?" They are really kind of cute, all lined up like fat
little beehives. It is rewarding -- not in an artistic expression sort
of way, but in the way that a row of mason jars cooling on the window
sill -- (my tomato harvest, or peach halves in apple juice) -- is
rewarding. Visible score card of a hard job done well.

Mel made the same damn cup several hundred thousand times in Japan and
it didn't seem to cripple his creative spirit at all.. and as for
boring, he told a story once about that. A student was watching him
throw bowls off an enormous hump of clay, one after another. He asked
mel, "Don't you get bored doing that over and over? "

Mel says, "Watch this". Forms a quick bowl, whip of the cut off string,
sets it on the board beside him -- says "twenty bucks". Then another
bowl beside it, quick as a wink - "twenty bucks". Another. "twenty
bucks". "twenty bucks. " "twenty bucks." Boring?

4.) I love making the little details and differences on the pots for my
own website - I charge $45 for most, $50 for big or elaborate ones. Now
that I am making batches of plain janes, just a pot and a lid, when I
set out to make my own I can throw a series with lids that fit -- due to
lots of practice -- and then take my sweet time to arty them up.

I have enjoyed being organized, as it is new to me -- wedging and
weighing all at once, sitting down with all my right tools where I need
them, a stack of bats, and my throwing water on the radiator nice and
warm. I wheel trim, cut them off with a twisty wire for a seashell
pattern, and go out in the morning before the kids are up to turn them
on their rims to dry.

Elca, I told the lady I might make a batch and we'll see if they sell -
then we'll see. I didn't commit to refilling orders. I am not sure they
will sell very well, just because when I have pots without spouts on my
site I get impatient emails wanting spouted pots (these wholesale
designs have none.) So it may be a one time deal.. or I may ask a higher
price to make her spouted pots in the future.

I can always bail out. I haven't agreed to do this batch yet, I just
said I'd try it out and send a jpg. I'm going to skip her logo, I think.
I stamped in the foot of each one with those letters
you get at office max to make custom return address stamps. (epoxied
them to a stick.) Meanwhile I am out in my studio every night teaching
my hands to do this automatically -- and saying "twenty bucks. twenty
bucks. twenty bucks." (maybe $25? Maybe say $30 and let her talk me
down? )

I have printed all the clayart pricing/wholesale advice, warnings and
suggestions for my file. Boy, some of you get all excited about stuff
like this! You'd think I'd announced plans to sell my children to the
gypsies. (twenty bucks.. twenty bucks...twenty bucks..)

I need to sleep ...

Kelly in Ohio
(Tony, you wouldn't believe how many tiny teapots I can pack around one
big roman bowl. I made my dad a big two part bowl in my gritty brown
recycle clay today that looks encouragingly not like yours.. handles
with fish tails and a different rim... wondering now if I could make an
itty bitty ewer like Sheila's big ones. )

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wjskw@BELLSOUTH.NET on tue 8 feb 05

Heck, that price you aren't EVER going to recoup your
Wayne "does that come with a warranty?" Seidl

-----Original Message-----
From: Clayart [mailto:CLAYART@LSV.CERAMICS.ORG] On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, February 08, 2005 2:23 AM
Subject: wholesale update

SNIP for space

You'd think I'd announced plans to sell my children to the
gypsies. (twenty bucks.. twenty bucks...twenty bucks..)

I need to sleep ...

Kelly in Ohio