Rikki Gill on thu 24 mar 05
This last holiday sale I threw caution to the winds. I do want people to
understand that my sales take place in a long established place, the
Berkeley Potters Guild, where we as a group are well known and our customers
are well to do, and
are very sophisticated, ceramic lovers.
I was offering my shino pieces for the first time, and had decided to ask a
fairly high price for those pieces, and for my new line of extra [for me]
large bowls and platters. 8-12 lbs.
Both areas sold well. What I realized, and I really am sad to say this, is
that we might as well charge high prices. We have [temporarily, I hope]
lost the bottom of our market, and all that is left is high end buyers.
There are plenty of people with money to spend, but they already have
enough chatchkies, what they are looking for is beautiful, high quality
I find I have to change at least some of my work every year. I don't think
you can sell the same design over and over again to the same person, be it
shape or decoration.
That is my basic market. The same people. The Guild as a group spends
money on advertising, but our mailing lists brings the same people in year
after year. If I want them to keep buying my work, it has to look fresh.
I think that what I want to say is that we shouldn't become afraid to do new
work, and to charge what it is worth. That is what sells. For years I
heard that Shino doesn't sell. It does now. The public is growing up.
What I do at NCECA, besides enjoy friends, food and the clayart room is
learn. I watch each presenter. I want to see how everything is done, not
to reproduce their work, but to combine techniques and come up with new
ideas of my own. If I don't do that, if I lose my own excitement in my
work, why should I expect it from my customers?
Best to all, Rikki Gill in finally sunny Berkeley