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Artist Incomes, Hours Worked, Etc. -- New Data From Cerf+


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#1 bciskepottery

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 01:23 PM

http://craftemergenc...e Data Snapshot

Latest from CERF+ on artist income, wages, etc. One-third of professional craft artists report gross of under $25K.

#2 Wyndham

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 02:28 PM

I think the idea of a 30 hr/wk should be 60 hr/wk for a realistic starting point and the income on a per/hr basis drops like a hard pan glaze.

There are about 100+ potters in the Seagrove area and i don't know of any that look at 30+ hrs/wk as a norm. Here, 6 days a week at 10 hrs a day seems to be the norm.

If you look at production time and selling time(show & Wholesale), travel time, if you're in clay you are jumping through hoops just to keep the doors open, unless I'm doing something wrong :)

The other thing is, we love what we do,it's not a chore, but a love affair with clay.

Wyndham



#3 Mark C.

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 05:13 PM

Another flawed data pie chart for me at least

Looks like I was in the top 5% for past 15 or more years until a few years back when I slowed down to a 10%

Now as far as 30 hours -you have got to be kidding -This chart must be for sculptures and painters

Production potters are just warming up in 30 hours.

Mark


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#4 ChenowethArts

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 07:40 AM

My 'geek' hat may be showing, but I read the full report and found it full of interesting information (and perhaps a bunch of forum topics).  Clay artists and craftspeople represented the largest number of responders overall and that bumped up the report's credibility for me as a clay person.  From page 29 of the full report, the income levels for full-time clay artists are parsed from the larger survey sample, and the chart below is what I extracted from that data to represent the results:

income-2013.jpg

 

  • First of all, I am scratching my head over the 7.5% who indicate that as full time artists that report zero income.
  • Secondly, I'd love to meet and interview the one person reporting income of over $101,000...were they using their pottery wheel to pick lottery numbers (just kidding).
  • Thirdly, there were no respondents who reported income of over $201,000...just in case you were wondering.
  • The sample size (248 people) seems just a little small to me for a US survey, so I'm willing to give some significant percentage swings in the results...but still, over 54% reported income of under $10,000. Ouch!

Your turn...what (if any) jumps off the chart for you as a clay artist/craftperson?


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#5 DirtRoads

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 07:52 PM

"Gross Income" .  Anyone that produces only 10K a year is NOT working.  You do realize that is making $28 a day of product.  I don't know what those people are doing, but it sure as hell isn't "working".

 

Very interesting information, thank you for sharing.

 

This testimonial was posted as a reply:

 

"Thank you for providing this information. I find it very intriguing. We are full-time craft artists - supporting our family of five exclusively via our art - and have been for eleven years. We continue to work on increasing our net profit. I believe that being a full-time artist takes a commitment to seek out new opportunities, establish routines and set goals. I welcome any questions about how we are able to make this work. For me, success is the freedom to make choices for our own future. We did not contribute to this survey, but I would like to contribute to any future surveys. We are Gatski Metal. Please do keep us in the loop. Thanks again for putting together this information."

 

Now this is working.   



#6 Chris Campbell

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 10:28 PM

Unfortunately these surveys, and even these forums, are skewed towards those who have/or make time to visit and contribute. When one is working six/seven days a week and keeping a home together, the Internet is not a high priority. I know several potters who support themselves and their families but they have to choose where to spend time and Internet time goes to their own blogs or websites.

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#7 ChenowethArts

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 07:31 AM

Unfortunately these surveys, and even these forums, are skewed towards those who have/or make time to visit and contribute. When one is working six/seven days a week and keeping a home together, the Internet is not a high priority. I know several potters who support themselves and their families but they have to choose where to spend time and Internet time goes to their own blogs or websites.

 

Chris,
It is a balancing act.  Obviously, to be able to sustain as a clay artist, it requires commitment and production to go with it.

 

One segment of the report indicated the importance of the Internet as an additional marketplace.  For the established professional with a solid base of clients, wholesale outlets, and retail outlets the Internet may not be as important.  I do see more, younger artists turning to the Internet to establish a credible presence and to discover a larger community...not to mention exploring sales opportunities  Familiarity and comfort with the technology may mean that although it appears that they may be spending a lot of time online, some are simply more efficient at it.  Looking forward, I cannot image someone seeking to make it as a clay artist and excluding electronic media...but it does require balance and priorities.


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#8 bciskepottery

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 09:07 AM

There's an old saying about surveys/polls, if you don't like the results, question the methodology.  Here's from the overall report, describing methodology and response rates, etc. Will help put the results and data in perspective:

Over 3,500 individuals responded to a national, online survey conducted by CERF+ with the help of its partners. Of these, 3,393 identified themselves working in one or more craft media and are included in this report. The survey was active in January and February, 2013. Forty-six partnering organizations including: guilds, national media focused organizations, schools, state and local arts councils, craft councils, artist service organizations and show producers forwarded the survey to their members. The partners’ distribution of the survey extended the reach but made it impossible to calculate a response rate.

The following organizations forwarded survey invitations to their constituents: American Association of Woodturners (AAW), American Craft Council (ACC), Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Artist Trust, Artrider Productions, Inc., Arts Council of New Orleans, Association of Clay & Glass Artists of California (ACGA), Atlanta Contemporary Jewelry Show, Bellevue Festival of the Arts, Berea College Crafts, Clay Artists of San Diego (CASD, Inc.), The Clay Studio, Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival, Corning Museum of Glass, Craft Alliance, crafthaus, Craftproducers, Craft Retailers’ Association for Tomorrow, The Crafts Report,Frank Maguire & Associates, Inc., The Furniture Society, The Glass Art Society, HandMade in America, Handweavers Guild of America, Inc., Illinois Artisans Program, International Society of Glass Beadmakers, Maine Crafts Association, Montana Arts Council, National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), New England Crafts Connoisseur, North Bennet Street School, One of a Kind Show – Chicago, Penland School of Crafts, Piedmont Craftsmen, Pottery Northwest, Santa Cruz Artists’ Assistance & Relief Fund, Seattle Metals Guild, Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), Southwest School of Art, St. James Court Art Show, Tamarack, Tennessee Association of Craft Artists (TACA), The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Society of Arts & Crafts, Vermont Crafts Council, Westfield Weavers.

Clay was the best represented craft media with 27% of respondents working in that media. Metal was next with 23%, then glass 19%, wood 16%, mixed media 16%, and paper 9%. Other media reported by less than 5% include: enamel, leather, organic materials, and plastics.

Over a third of survey respondents (35%) were mid-career craft artists. One in three (30%) were serious craft artists who made a living another way. About two in ten were either late-career craft artists (22%), emerging craft artists (20%), or second career artists (17%). Eight percent made craft as a hobby and 5% as students.

Over half (54%) of craft artists responding to this survey worked full time (for the purposes of this study, working more than 30 hours per week.) About four in ten (39%) worked 40 hours or more per week. Fifteen percent worked 30-39 hours per week. About two in ten (19%) worked 20-29 hours per week. The balance 27%) worked less than half time at their business. As might be expected, mid-career craft artists devoted the most time to their craft businesses. This finding is similar to results from the 2007 CERF+ business insurance survey reported in 2010, hereinafter referred to as the 2007 business insurance survey or study.

 
Perhaps in the next iteration, the survey can be posted by ACERS or the Pottery Council on CAD or the forums; that might allow increased response rates. Neither ACERS nor Pottery Council was listed in the 46 organizations, above.
 
For those who want to make their voice heard, there is a current on-line survey regarding defining craft.  Follow the link on Carter Gillies blog site to participate if you have time and inclination. http://cartergillies...craft-identity/

#9 Mark C.

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 12:34 PM

I know many an old school full time potters who do not choose to interact with the web other than some applications and to see upcoming weather etc.-do not have web sites (or have info only no sales) and seem to be getting on just fine-even thriving-rasing families-making pots.Its a tool only if one chooses to use it.

If your established or your work is a hands on online of a kind the web may not the best venue. For me it started out becuase I got really tired takling color on phone to customers so I dumbed it down to a few color choices. I also choose not to purse web sales over direct sales as its just so small potatoes. I choose to use it more as informational-tell my customers where I'll be showing and where they can buy my work. Yes some want it sent to them in small volumes. Small volume sales have yet to appeal to me.

The most successfull potters I know do a mix of sales and that mix usually does not involve web sales.

I'm sure this is not true accross the board only my experience.

Mark


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#10 bciskepottery

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 07:00 PM

I think we're confusing two things here. One is the willingness of people to go on-line, or use their time on-line, and complete a survey, noting the CERF+ survey was an on-line survey. The other is people selling on-line, either exclusively or as part of their overall marketing outreach, or just using on-line sites for information about their wares but not sales.

Are the 3500 responses representative of all? Hard to say, but clay/potters seemed to be the most responsive judging by the percent of responses (27%). Would CERF+ obtained a better response using mail-in surveys? telephone surveys? Again, hard to say.




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