That must be an awfully big kiln to cost $35 each time you fire it. We have a 3.5 cu/ft Cress 36 amp 220 volt, and this is our cost at $0.12 per Kilowatt hour.
$4.95 Bisque Medium-Slow speed with 6 hour pre-heat ($0.05)
$5.90 Cone 6 Medium speed with 6 hour slow-cool ($0.80)
$3.10 Cone 06 Medium-Fast
Today I would add an extra $1 per firing for kiln repair and another $1 per firing for kiln replacement, but that cost would have to be heavily weighted toward ^6 firings costing more than bisque and low-fire.
This is how I priced out my duck, compared with a test tile - to encourage people use test tiles rather than using their work as a tile.
$15.45 Duck Sculpture (14" x 13" x 12")
$12.51 Sculpture and One Glaze
$ 4.18 20 pounds Amador Clay
$ 4.00 Glaze - I'm giving you an Amaco glaze price here, making glaze your cost is way less than this
$ 1.98 Bisque Firing - 40% of Kiln
$ 2.35 High Fire - 40% of Kiln
$ 2.94 SubTotal of extra firings
$ 1.24 Low Fire - 40% of Kiln
$ 1.70 Gilding - 100% of Kiln
$ 0.15 Test Tile
$ 0.02 0.10 pounds Amador Clay
$ 0.02 Glaze
$ 0.05 Bisque Firing - 1% of Kiln
$ 0.06 High Fire - 1% of Kiln
Is there a market for a duck sculpture by an amateur? Probably enough to reimburse the costs, but not my labor.
If I gave someone a 50% split to sell this for $31, then I've recovered my costs but paid myself nothing. Sadly for my business prospects I wouldn't sell my duck for $3,000 which I assume is safely above the market price, simply because I made it and I think fondly of it and the soul-sucking time and energy I spent making it - sentimental attachment, let's call it. Yet at the same time it offends me with what I could have done better but did not. It's interesting the acceptance of my current limitations.
On the other hand, if I were a well-known celebrity, perhaps $30,000 would not be out of question for this little duck - not because of the talent, quality or time involved, but simply based on who the famous personage is who made it. Just imagine the price of coffee mugs thrown and glazed by Oprah Winfrey, particularly if she donated them to a charity auction where the bids went for a wonderful cause.
I liked it enough to make a companion piece - Return of the Duck in Orange Sauce.
If I had priced this out, it would have been far less costly than the duck - mostly because it takes up far less kiln space to fire.
Both pieces were thrown on a demi-elliptical wheel with a cantilevered digital throwing arm.
Might I ask how one mug could cost you $4 to make? If you are factoring in your labor that's a different story but could you show us your math?
I haven't actually figured it out to be truthful.
I am pretty sure my electric is around $35 each time I run the kiln. Which is about $70 (bisque and glaze) per 20 mugs.
I have been buying amoco glaze by the pint because i don't make any sales to pay for gallon prices. As you know, 1 pint would probably glaze about 15-20 mugs… so that would be around $10 for the single glaze. (just trying to simplify it) The clay body I use is $24 per box. Each small mug I make is 10 oz of clay. (pre handle) So I make about 75 mugs per 50# box.
So we are looking at about $3.50 for electricity, and $.82 for materials. I am completely guessing on my electric bill. I just read this http://www.bigcerami...calc_costs.html
editing to add… I probably get only about 60 mugs per box because I need to account more than 5# for handles.