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Isculpt

Consignment, Reasonable Expectations

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JBaymore    1,432

Love the pairing of pieces and the title of the second one, Norm!

 

rebbbyliscious, if your kiln is as small as you say, you HAVE to be WAY off on your firing costs. Or you have the highest electric rates I've ever heard of.

 

I understand your thought on pricing relative to others works ... and you have a solid point there. I come back to the thought that maybe in the current state of things for you...... if you are not liking the "deal" that the place you are talking about will work out to... that it is not the right time to pursue that situation. Either that or you'll just have to either "bite the bullet" and take what you get out of it.... or raise the prices so that you feel better about the return for your efforts.

 

One real problem with the hand crafted pottery field is that, in general, we are our own worst enemy. We tend to undervalue our efforts badly. So skilled people are selling wwork for prices that are way below what they should be. That depresses the market for everyone. Go into a commercial department store and look at the prices for stuff like Noritake....... Wedgewood...... et al. That stuff is cranked out mainly by machines in massive volumes and the materials costs and firing costs are reduced to a pitance. Yet they price as they do....and they sell.

 

best,

 

......................john

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Stephen    139

I would chime in that the difference in production work and studio work makes a huge difference.

 

A hand crafted mug that has a lot of additional detail and time involved might be priced substantially higher as more of an art piece than a production mug that is thrown in a few minutes, trimmed in a few minutes and a couple of minutes of a 2-3 hour glazing session along with a small corner of a kiln (our 9 cf kiln cost about $6-7 to fire by the way). 30 seconds more of bottom sanding an it is ready to go out the door somewhere.

 

This production mug is still going to be a beautiful handcrafted mug (may well have a little carving or slip work) and gleaned from hours of drawings, testing and other design work by the potter, perfected for production runs and will be priced at say $25 retail. 

 

A $12.50 split works out OK for the potter and selling direct to the public will earn $15-$17.50. Direct selling through decent size fairs cost about 30-40% in expenses (but you will get some show labor at slightly above min wage out of that :-) and could increase north of 50% if you have a string of show failures and have to eat some additional cost somewhere. Like Mark said, it is going to be a moving target trying to attach direct expenses to individual production items if you make and sell many.

 

One thing I would warn is not to take more involved artistic studio work that is done on a functional piece of pottery, like a mug, that you invest a lot of time in and then price it like a production piece or you will have trouble making it work.  

 

Not sure I agree with your pricing based on experience. A subpar mug should not go out and if its a quality mug then why should it not be priced a what is perceived to be the market rate? A famous potter may command much more but you are advocating pricing at well below what I think most folks see the market rate of 20-25 bucks for artisan made handcrafted mugs. I think this is what the artisan market sees as an average price for a nice hand thrown mug (I am assuming your talking about hand thrown mugs and not slab work).

 

I would argue that the adjustment is made if you're honest about the work and only sell beautiful mugs and trash the rest. This means that a new professional is going to have a much higher failure rate than a seasoned pro and make less because of this. The mugs that hit the market though are all of high quality and priced right. Everyone is served as the market is not depressed and the seasoned pro is realizing some additional perk of his/her years of hard work.    

 

The business forum moderator, Mea Rhee, did a fantastic hourly earnings project that was published by this sites magazine and Mark C's and others threads offer of lots and lots of details on making a living at this.

 

Good luck with your first wholesale customer!  

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Mark C.    1,807

Back in the day -like 35-40 years ago I did consignment at a few places when I was Green and the split was 30 for shop 70 for me-That was then and now its it not.

But whatever deal you work out I would keep it simple with an eye toward the future.

Mark

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JBaymore    1,432

............and the split was 30 for shop 70 for me-That was then and now its it not.

 

 

Sigh.......... my my, my.... thanks (I think) fior the walk down memory lane.

 

best,

 

.........................john

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