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Thread: Doing another pottery show/sale

  1. #1
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    Doing another pottery show/sale

    The spring sale is tomorrow. It's a one day thing. Smaller and probably less well attended than winter.

    set up is tonight. The consignment store and I parted ways (congenially - she changed her consignment policy and all anyone had to do was look at my sales history to see I should go). So I have a lot of inventory. Most of it (probably too much) is in my car.

    i didn't make very much new stuff, two styles of bowls new to my "line" in a variety of surfaces, totaling about a dozen pieces as sort of a "test market". I've already thought of ways to improve them, but we'll see what reactions I get - if any.

    i still haven't taken the etsy plunge, but I had one person ask to shop my inventory and buy two items, and my younger dd has made some very cool stuff recently and wants to do the etsy with me this summer, so maybe with the fresh young tech help I'll get it launched.

    still posting here instead of "work" though.

  2. #2
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Good luck. Pottery is one of my hobbies and I do two sales a year to get rid of my excess. There is little appreciation for handmade items in the Walmart cheap stuff age. But I usually sell a lot, at least enough to pay me for all my supplies and fees and about 10 cents an hour , ha ha. I love it.

    i do my work in a big recreation center. About 50% of the people who wander through say "I always wanted to do that" but like anything it takes a lot of practice. Once I had an instructor who was doing a demo at a big show and he was making an exquisite four foot tall bottle with a narrow heck. Someone asked how long it took him to make it and he replied twenty minutes plus seven years of full time practice. Because like becoming a pianist, or ballet dancer and so on takes years and years

    Do do you do special orders? I do not. I quilt as well and I am constantly asked to do t-shirt quilts. If people are insistent I tell them at $20 an hour it would cost them at least $500 dollars. Amazing how that solves the problem as people really think you would do it for free or close to it.

    Keep,us posted. There is someone here who used to be a full time potter (float on?) and I am sure they can attest how hard it is to make a living at it. A lot of physical work too.

  3. #3
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    I "make my living" the same way my mother did - dad used to always tease that he was going to write "for services rendered" in the memo line on her monthly "housekeeping" check. And mom used to look at it and say "I think I could do better."

    even my my regular job is supplemental, as we could live comfortably on what dh makes.

    one of my goals is to make the farm more than self sufficient - to earn enough from selling goat kids, soap, pottery, plants, fiber, eggs etc to pay for feed, straw, hay, animal medical needs, seeds, Clay, glaze, studio electricity, and the occaisional new tool, while still being able to make pots and yarn/knitted items for myself and as gifts, and supply my household with eggs, vegetables, and milk products. I'm a long way from that. I currently need about half the income from my job to cover everything. It's sort of a ten year goal though - "by the time dh retires"

    I do not do special orders - the odds of the picture in your head getting turned into words and then into a picture in my head and being interpreted by my hands and coming out of the kiln without change are infinitesimal. I do sometimes get interested in people's ideas and offer to send them a picture of some finished pots for first refusal. I've only had one sale from that.

    the only exception would be my hippos - I make a lot of them and there is very little variation and they are glazed with standard idiot friendly glazes, so if you wanted a particular color and I was out - I would take an order for that. So far, people just choose a different color. They are inexpensive impulse buys. I make about $2 an hour on them, but I make them while watching tv or waiting for something, or supervising free play time (for which I get paid and which often interests new kids in taking my classes which benefits both me and the people paying me to supervise free play time.) and they draw attention to my booth.

  4. #4
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    What a cool goal, CL, the self-sufficient farm! I would love to achieve that someday. I wish I could stop by the show and see your work. I really think you should consider the Etsy store, and then I could stop by! I love pottery--I used to want to make it, but each time I took a class I got pneumonia from the dust--I have very twitchy lungs, so I have to be content to admire it and buy it when I can.

  5. #5
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowerseverywhere View Post
    Someone asked how long it took him to make it and he replied twenty minutes plus seven years of full time practice.
    Ha! We always answered the same way...."27 years". We use to host a open studio event around christmas time with a "blow your own ornament in 2761 easy steps". People struggled through a blob and then would buy a bunch of "real" ornaments.

    CL have fun at your show today and I hope you sell lots!
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  6. #6
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    I thnk the show went pretty well! The spring sale has a reputation for being slow, but I sold a couple of big pieces as well as some smaller stuff and I think for me it was an improvement over the Christmas sale if you factor in being one day instead of two.

    and as always it was fun! I dn't know if this is a universal tradition, but at least on this group of potters it's traditional to do some trading at the end of the show. I have had somebody offer to trade me a piece I was interested in but hesitant to buy (like working in a book store, I could easily end up with all merchandise and no money) but this was the first sale where someone approached me and asked me to trade, so that makes me feel good about my work. It was one of the new style pieces - none of which sold, so at least I know another potter liked them. I still plan to do some tweaking and try them again. The other new style got a lot of compliments, but no buyers.
    Last edited by Chicken lady; 4-29-17 at 9:53pm.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    The trade is a nice affirmation of your work. So happy you did well.

  8. #8
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    Trading is fun. My house is full of wonderful things because of 20 years of end of show trades. Just don't say that too loudly if your relatives all happen to be tax attorneys.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  9. #9
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    Well float on, clearly you are a poor trader and all of your pieces were exchanged for pieces of lesser value, leading to a net loss which you forgot to deduct.

  10. #10
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    You guys should show us some of your pottery! I made some a long time ago, and have them around the house.

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