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Nour El-Dein

Doing small projects in the Summer break

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Hello Guys,
Im a student in the applied arts faculty university Helwan, Egypt i just finished 2nd year of my specialization ceramics i have worked in the past 2 years in small workshops specialized in creating  tableware by the means of slip casting and  wheel throwing,
and in 2-3 months time of my summer break i want to start doing something for my self that i can sell.
i was planing to buy cheap premade and fired unglazed bowls and plates and also mold pressing coasters and decorating them with Islamic patterns and i was wondering if this would be a good idea or if you guys have any advice or starter tips for me and on the forms and methods of decorating ,market needs and so on.
i have access to a nearby ceramic village with a lot of workshop selling terracotta which is very common and red traditional Egyptian pottery and no so many colored and decorated pottery i have alot of  friends there and access to electric kilns that i can use for a cheap price and also access to materiel suppler.
so i would gladly hear you advises and Thank you very much .
 

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No advice, but welcome and best wishes--sounds like an ambitious, but do-able way to spend the summer in a productive way to further your skills with clay and glazing. Selling and marketing is a whole other ball game and takes lots of work, and may needs lots of information as to good strategies and techniques for selling (at least in the U.S. commerce strutures, generally).  The ceramic village environemnt sounds wonderful!

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Your questions seem mostly about marketing, I don't know what sells in your area in particular but no one ever went wrong with bowls. If you're trying to sell locally, obviously you don't want to get too close to what is already being done by someone else or you'll wear out your welcome fast. Try to do your own unique spin on something that already works. Since you only have the summer to finish and market your pieces, keep it simple. Are you trying to sell in the US? Bowls would still be a pretty good subject either way, tiles probably wouldn't go wrong either. 

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What you need to look at is what type of underglaze (if you are going to go that route) and what glaze you'll be using. That pretty much dictates what you can use. You say that there's not much decorated work with colour, then you should work towards that.  It gives you an opening where the market is. Also think hard about the length of time it will take for decoration. If you want to go the route of complicated patterns you'll lose out on the quantity. So quantity vs quality, that's the question. Little pieces are quicker sellers in a world economy where luxury items are concerned. Ceramics are mostly thought of as a luxury most will not pay for. So you're really on your own here as you only know what your economy is. Good luck and may your efforts be rewarded. 

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I think it would be a good idea to talk to the people in the village, walk through their shops, observe the customers, to see what is selling, That may help you to finalize your thoughts about what to make, and how to go about selling it.

 

best,

Pres

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You have gotten lots of good advice, I think, on scoping out your local market.

If you were thinking of selling overseas, it would be worth your time to look at what sells overseas in the way of hand-painted pottery with intricate designs.

I live in a medium sized city where my local mall has a store that markets hand-painted very inexpensive painted pottery items of all sorts painted in Turkey with such designs. One can also buy that online (say, via Amazon) with free shipping.

Polish Pottery is sold here at a variety of fairs, usually one booth at any show.

And then there are the big chain stores, national chains, that sell many things, including imported painted ceramic ware. Some of these stores, which you can find online to see what sort of patterns they think sell at the price point of their customers, are Pier One, Cost Plus, Anthropologie, and Pottery Barn.

 

 

 

Edited by Gabby

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21 hours ago, LeeU said:

No advice, but welcome and best wishes--sounds like an ambitious, but do-able way to spend the summer in a productive way to further your skills with clay and glazing. Selling and marketing is a whole other ball game and takes lots of work, and may needs lots of information as to good strategies and techniques for selling (at least in the U.S. commerce strutures, generally).  The ceramic village environemnt sounds wonderful!

Yea it is mostly about marketing but also about having fun with doing those thing  and also having the ability to experiment with colors and methods of decorating and also brushwork on small pieces and also i can use the coasters as a test tiles for testing color blends and so on :D:D
And the ceramic village "
قرية الفخارين" is really really great place to observe and work with people who were born into the field and families that has been working for generations in pottery and the people there are really helpful and friendly  <3
Thank you

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16 hours ago, yappystudent said:

Your questions seem mostly about marketing, I don't know what sells in your area in particular but no one ever went wrong with bowls. If you're trying to sell locally, obviously you don't want to get too close to what is already being done by someone else or you'll wear out your welcome fast. Try to do your own unique spin on something that already works. Since you only have the summer to finish and market your pieces, keep it simple. Are you trying to sell in the US? Bowls would still be a pretty good subject either way, tiles probably wouldn't go wrong either. 

bowls and mugs are a very good sellers here and also tajin and im going a different way then the common stuff that is produced in my area as Islamic patterns and generally colored ceramics is not very common as it generally (brown with transparent glaze ) so products that use ballclay and bone china are rare in workshops in the area so if i go with any thing that is colored on white it would be very different as they considered  artistic pieces by the general standers here and maybe next year i get a bit more confidence and market my products aboard :D:D
and Bowls and tiles are really great for there form and market needs
Thank you :D

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16 hours ago, AndreaB said:

What you need to look at is what type of underglaze (if you are going to go that route) and what glaze you'll be using. That pretty much dictates what you can use. You say that there's not much decorated work with colour, then you should work towards that.  It gives you an opening where the market is. Also think hard about the length of time it will take for decoration. If you want to go the route of complicated patterns you'll lose out on the quantity. So quantity vs quality, that's the question. Little pieces are quicker sellers in a world economy where luxury items are concerned. Ceramics are mostly thought of as a luxury most will not pay for. So you're really on your own here as you only know what your economy is. Good luck and may your efforts be rewarded. 

Thank you  :D
Im going to use underglazes as im used to that and find is an easy way and as of productivity im aiming for quality so i may create or find patterns that i can draw fast or that are simple for me to do and im putting  some hope in the coasters as they are easy to make and easy to draw on and i got a lot of ideas on marketing and decorating them
and going with small pieces is what im going to do :D

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Sounds like a very good plan. You might try stencils that you sponge with underglazes. They will give you the chance to do more complicated designs with several colors in less time and you can still add individual touches by brush so that each is unique. You can also make stamps from sponge, they are easier to apply on curved surfaces.

Best of luck. I hope you share your results with us. 

Rae

Edited by Rae Reich

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