Was: Etsy or Ebay? Now: When Should You Start Trying to Sell?
Posted 20 September 2012 - 03:07 PM
I haven't been doing ceramics long and I am loving it, people say I am doing really well. Though I know I am not on their level I too am interested in selling stuff. I'm in my second class, but I have spent a ton of time in open studio, so my 3 months might compare to some else's year and you might be in that same category...not much time in years but a lot of time in studio. (my current class has been 9 hours and I probably have 40+ hours in that studio)
Sure you can give stuff away and I do/have/am. But sometimes you need a few bills to fund further development. Clay isn't free and it's hard to spend $ on clay and end up with a huge pile of gifts and to keep going.
Some of the more experienced potters even said it 'I wish I could take back some of my early work'. But that's just because they are now better. But that stuff also shows their development, and quite possibly at some point someone will WANT to collect that early work.
My question to them would be "if you made that 'mistake' why can't other people?". Sure advice is great but everyone ALWAYS learns more from their mistakes than from someone else's.
Ceramics is art, art is beauty, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Your stuff looks pretty nice and I am sure many people would love to have a piece. I think I recognize it from Deviant Art too.
I do agree with the more experienced potters that it's probably best in the long run to just not sell everything, pick and choose. When you get a good piece sell it, when you get a 'bad' one give it away. (I'd put donations in the realm of selling, you don't want someone to get a free piece because of a donation and think 'this is horrible'... friends and relatives will be much happier to have them as gifts).
But at the same time why should you wait until it's all 'professional grade'... That's a very elusive term. Especially when experienced potters who have been doing it for many years continue to say they are still improving. 'Professionals' are a wide gamut from production potters who can make 50 mugs that all look the same and sell them for $10-20 a pop to people who make one of vases that cost thousands of dollars. So what if you start selling one of tree vases for $50. It might not be in the realm of the thousand dollar one, but is it less enjoyable to someone who bought it because the foot isn't perfect? (I have no idea how good your feet are ). Is it less enjoyable to someone who can afford it at $50 but not at $1,000?
I think once you have forms/feet/glazes/etc... down and working good for you (and imo it seems you do) then why not see what you can do with it. I think if you sell it it should be nice all the way around (who wants to buy anything with obvious flaws and defects?) but I think that soley depends on you. You work, your focus, your skill. If you have experienced people like teachers that say you are really good (not your mom, they always think you're the best) then it's probably a good reference.
Now if you had asked about getting your work into the Guggenheim then I would probably say you'd want to really perfect your art before even trying. But to sell nice work at a decent price on a crafts website... completely different ballpark.
Posted 20 September 2012 - 03:15 PM
So... let's see here........
Let's say we have a "talented" high school student or adult ed student who has taken a couple of lower level courses and has a knack for undersanding "law". Would we be saying that ........hey.... it is a good road for this person to be looking at now doing legal consulting for some fees
Sorry, can't disagree more. Ceramics is not law, or medicine, or...
Law has serious legal issues and you could commit felonies by doing it wrong, or getting someone else in serious legal trouble.
Medicine too, you could kill someone very easily with a bad prescription or surgery (professionals do it ALL THE TIME).
Ceramics is clay pots, cups, etc... You are not putting someone else's life in jeopardy. Even if you seriously over charging them there's really no harm done. OK, maybe the glaze job is sloppy, maybe the rim is crooked. If someone likes it does it matter? Some professionals do that stuff on purpose.
When people have to exaggerate to such extreme examples it makes me feel that their argument is invalid.
Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:01 PM
I still stand behind my advice to students ... Enjoy the ride of learning before you have to care about paying the bills every month. Most will not get another chance at such artistic freedom in the company of their peers.
Advice #2 is to smash the bad stuff ... Otherwise it just sits around reminding you of how bad you can be.
Keep the 'racers' as often as you can ... They are good company on a cold night. Sure you gotta sell some to pay the bills, but keep a few.
Advice #3 is don't sell anything you would not want to meet again in ten years.... because you will ...
They do come back to haunt you.
Contemporary Fine Colored Porcelain
"My Artwork is strengthened by a thriving global pottery community.
In the isolation of a studio, an artist can begin to feel like an island, but in truth
we are all part of archipelagoes; chains of islands loosely connected by a stream
of information that enhances our Artwork.”
Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:48 PM
They do come back to haunt you.
This one is oh so true.
Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:45 PM
about ebay. I sold on there for a while, quite a few years ago now. Our Canadian dollar was weak so I sold across the border to the U.S. It was a great profit. Canadian shipping prices went up and our dollar got stronger. My enthusiasm waned with the profits.
(grateful now, that I discovered clay at the young age of 29, 20 years ago
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