C.T. Wagoner on fri 29 jul 05
(re-posted with some changes. Didn't go through the first time. If you
get a dupe of this I apologize)
We have found over the years that 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 specialty shops that ask us to make
certain items i.e. "What is a custom order?"....that is a whole other
discussion in itself.) 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. I feel bad when someone that has
been staying at the local State Park comes in to visit and says, "Wow, I
paid twice as much for this at Turkey Run Inn. Also, those shops just
pick it off the shelves and we pack it right there and they just carry
it out. No packing and shipping is always a plus. Nobody like to pack
pottery do they? 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 hand
"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.
Call me a validation addict, but it feels good to make something that
someone really likes.
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 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 wife's "ultra mini cup" sold
super fast 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 got to be careful when your work starts looking
too machine made." The truth hurts, but I try to remember that every
time I make a mug. Each mug is an individual and should be treated like
it. Mr. Peeler always told me that he was not terribly impressed by
speed or size, but by quality craftsmanship.
Long Live Clayart! Even when I am home late and tired I still find the
time to look at the days posts. It is a wonderful community to be part
Potter Wagoner NOT Porter
West of Indy where is cool and beautiful after weeks of a free sweat