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$40 mug fetches under a nickel

updated mon 25 jul 05


clennell on sun 24 jul 05

Dan wrote:

> For years I have come away from an art fair with several mugs that
> represented a fresh style, new glaze or a unique handle treatment.
> This year at the Ann Arbor Art Fair the selections were few and alas
> the $20.00 mug was nowhere to be found. The lowest price for a mug was
> $35.00. Steven Hill's mugs were beautiful and $40.00. $40.00 for a
> mug!!
> But that is buying a mug from a famous potter. When I commented to one
> of the exhibiting potters about the escalated price of mugs at the fair
> they broke into the, "It costs a lot of money to make pots and takes a
> lot of time. A potter has to recoup their investment and cover their
> travel...besides I don't like to do mugs=8B they are a lot of work for
> little return" I'm sure you've heard the line before.

Dan: If a potter proclaims "besides I don't like making mugs" don't pay the=
a nickel for it. Anything that is made with hate will ruin your $7.oo coffe=
and bring that hate into your house.
I love to make cups and mine where probably the cheapest at the Toronto
Outdoor Show. My students were asking and getting more than I do. Mine are
$25, made on treadle wheel, often woodfired, trimmed foot and damn fine
handle. To me the cup is the most important object a potter is called upon
to make. It is also a damn fine loss leader, if one thinks $25 is too cheap=
I figure if a person buys a $200 jug of mine they might walk by it once a
month and say that a fine jug. If my cup happpens to be their favourite and
they use it everyday I have put my business card in their hand daily and
they will be back for the $200 jug.
Steven Hill is never home. He does workshops all the time. It's a wonder he
has any cups to sell. So if ya want one $40 is probably a good price. Mayb=
if his cups where $5 you would have been greedy and bought 8 of them.
The cup/mug is to America what the teabowl is to Japan except in the pricin=
dept. We all like a damn fine cup to put our coffee in and at $40 or my
measly $25 they're bloody cheap.
Thank God for my students and guys like SH since it will drag my prices up
with them.=20

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