C.T. Wagoner on thu 28 jul 05
The same mug from our pottery sells for radically different prices
depending so much on the venue.
A 3/4# mug with a good pulled handle, well finished lip, carefully
ground foot and maybe only two glazes can net us as low as 7.50 and as
high as 20.00(Our wholesale to some speciality shops that ask us to
make certain items i.e. "What is a custom order?") depending on where it
is going for us. We sell to the local shops at 40% our retail with the
agreement that they will sell for the same price we do at our shop.
Also, those shops just pick it off the shelves and we pack it right
there and they just carry it out. Over the years some shops have bought
from our shelves at our retail and taken it to shows to sell. I have
never been sure what they mark it up to in many cases. Anyway in my case
I feel justified in our low prices because it is part of the local
community and it is an important part of why people come back for more
pottery and more Parke Co. Our pottery is made to be used on a daily
dishwasher basis and while it is durable, in some cases it looks simple
and basic. I would not blame someone if I came to a juried show and sold
mugs for 20.00 or even 15.00 for objecting. It really is "When in Rome"
for us. We like to enter shows and at times have done pretty well. My
wife makes some pretty amazing tiny pots on the wheel and I have sold
some of my sculptures made from pots "Bald Headed Potters" show at Dean
Johnson Gallery NCECA 2004. It was just cool to get on the ISU Alumni
poster with all those Cool Ceramic Artists that went through Dick Hays
ceramic boot camp. Go look if you have one, I'm down at the bottom right
"But you know what?" ** in the voice of Paulie off O.C.C.
When someone that likes an OK, well crafted, hand made ceramic mug so
much they just clutch it to their chest,I know that someone is buying it
for themselves because they really like it, that is good enough me.
BTW My best and worst mug experience.
Best: Years ago(20?) having the lady that owns American Art Clay company
watch me demonstrate throwing at a "juried show" and after hearing me me
go on and on about using AMACO clay products she said "Well, I own the
company and this is my husband the CEO" She bought a lot of 12.00 mugs
and bigger pots. It was fun to know that a large company was still
family owned. I remember being glad to make bill money and buy a pug
mill. It was one of those early bluebirds, "400 prototype, ummm I'm
rambling, guess I don't want to bring up the worst.
Worst: NCECA 2004 Mug Donation Show. My wifes "ultra mini cup" sold
superfast and my nice, durable, well made, OK, microwave and dishwasher
safe 3/4# mug was one of the last ones to go. One of my old buddies from
Indiana State said, "You gotta be careful when your work starts looking
too machine made." The truth hurts, but I try to remember that everytime
I make a mug.
Potter Wagoner NOT Porter