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Everything posted by Stephen

  1. ya know some of them do have have a very art/artisan minded crowd. We found the Everett one in Seattle area was a lot like many if not most art shows we do. The crowd was often locals out for a walk and there to grab some vegies but it is on the waterfront and people had money and liked handmade and on a nice weather day it was crowded. Sold a lot of mugs but bigger stuff would sell as well. We couldn't bring enough berry bowls but my partner hates making those and we overpriced accordingly (but still always sold out). Only a 5 hours sales window though so a lot of work for the hours you
  2. hey congrad. Couple of thoughts to add to all the great advice. Wheels, I am hard of hearing so love the Shimpo whispers we have, very quiet and work great. Have been some complaints here on torque on higher weights but we dont throw huge pots and have never noticed a problem. I've used Brent, Shimpo and a clayboss for 6 months. kiln, We have a 9cf oval and a skutt 1027. I think the 7cf 1027 is the most popular small studio kiln. Love the way skutt is built. The round kilns though make large platters a challenge so if you are going to do platters you might look at what size and co
  3. but that's a thousand off new not off another comparable late 90s/early 00 5cf kiln. Stuff depreciates and the value goes down unless its made of precious stones or metals To me getting more than I paid for a kiln 20 years later would definitely be making out really, really well on the deal. I'm just saying the actual owner of the kiln may well get that the friend is wrong and a fair price for that kiln is no where near 2k. besides that 1000 savings you mention evaporates in a hurry if the 20 year old controller goes on the blink or a brittle element craps out. But at 7-$800 which I bet
  4. no I get that. Yes it cost 3 grand to get a new 5cf Skutt and vent but I really don't think that means a 1998 one with a vent is worth anywhere near 2k no matter how little use it has seen and if I understood the original post the go between friend thought that was a good tie in and suggested it as an offer. I was suggesting that perhaps the actual owner gets that the kiln is not worth more than they probably paid 22 years ago and they might be open to negotiating a more realistic price. Maybe not but I wouldn't think anyone would pay anywhere near 2k for a 1998 kiln, electronic controller or
  5. Just wondering, who came up with the 2 grand price? That is a 4.5 cf kiln. We have a 9cf oval electronic controller from early 00's that was $1800 with everything (vent, furiture), delivered and it has been moved 4 times now and fired 100's of loads and it works great. We have a Skutt 1027 from 2015ish (actually bought 2 of these) that were both under 2k with furniture and another $350 for vents and that is a 7 cf kiln. I mean I dunno what a 5cf kiln cost in 1998 but I I find it hard to believe it was more than $1200-$1300 with controller and vent, maybe a bit more (since controller
  6. ya know maybe you guys should rethink it a bit. Does retiring have to be a complete walk away? Maybe retiring is just changing what you do. Maybe your pottery moves more toward something that shakes things up and is less about paying bills and more about enjoyment. We have talked about when we get past the age we want to be lifting 50 pound boxes of clay moving to Egyptian Paste Jewelry and other small items. Retirement that I've seen seems to be best with a work routine of some sort. I don't know why but it seems the happiest and healthiest old people in my family have been the ones with
  7. You said easier to setup and I couldnt agree more. To me one of the things that makes shows somewhat suck is setup and tear down so I would stick to that. Watching this thread as we want to simplify as well. We bought a several thousand dollar professional show rack that is beautiful and I hate setting that beast up and switched to collaspable shelves and one center table last season and while better still just too much and takes an hour an a half on both ends to deal with. Marks shelves look really quick and nice. Good luck and please post what you end up doing.
  8. ya know I do think that by the time this is over a lot of marginal shows will be gone but like you mentioned, hoping that will just strengthen the ones that remain. So many shows seem to not make anyone any money. Of course anyone thinking of getting into the business of art shows should be exploring opportunities that this has created.
  9. A 3-$4000 machine to process a few buckets of clay scrap every once in a while may not pencil out but if you can get right in your mind that a potter dose not have to spend time and cause body wear and tear wedging then there's that. Also things change, about a year ago I started pressing a lot of tile and now it would be absurd to not mix/pug as I end up with a huge amount of scrap and it would add thousands a year in expenses to just toss. I went from using the pugger every once and a while to almost daily. I also think that as a new pro ya just have consider getting things like this
  10. Well that is the problem when small businesses consolidate. If the new service sucks then they lose the customer base. If its mostly an asset sale then some don't care too much but if you paid based on future revenue from the customers then your probably screwed. When I bought other companies I escrowed a portion of the dough and a lot of the value paid for customers was phased in payments as we hit milestones so the outgoing owner(s) has an incentive to help us keep customers. Usually the market has been split up between a few large companies and then the 2nd tier might be a bunch of local sh
  11. hey glad to hear it is looking like the damage was minimal. ya know the problem I see with candling is that it gets real easy to think of it as a way to just push wetter and wetter stuff on through until boom. Now ya got get yourself through PES (pottery explosion syndrome) and hope you have a mild case. Some potters with a bad case of PES will struggle to fire stuff they threw 6 months ago. Every pot feels cold and clammy and they have flashbacks of when they initially opened the kiln and saw the carnage. ...I find that Mexican food and margaritas will help. But I actually th
  12. I spent some time doing rollups and to get it right the common denominator has to be a great process. People don't like change but they can adjust. We bought out a dozen small companies and many of them were run half a$$ed so we lost very few customers. We were an upgrade. Had a competitor that also bought out a few smaller outfits and they always bled customers after closing and we ended up with those customers too. No matter what the business people mostly demand a well run process and they like to feel that they matter. The only other way to keep customers is sell or offer something th
  13. A decade ago we bought a bunch of stuff from them and they were great, I heard they sold out to some non potter/artist company 4-5 years ago that was rolling up a bunch of drop ship website businesses and BCS used to keep a lot of stuff warehoused so it was probably a bad fit from the start.
  14. ya know I'm not sure any potters today will be viewed down the road as a name other than maybe a few sculptors. Functional potters like Leach, Mackenzie etc... have huge name recognition beyond other potters but I think they may have been the end of an era. Everything is so social media centric and that is so dominated by people known for being known. This thread though has me thinking about this though. I need to work harder at knowing who's doing what.
  15. no dates, Not sure why but a date that is not recent just seems old. Have carted s few pots for multiple shows and then the right owner disovers it and bam, the best pot in the display. A date will take the shine off, a date makes it seem like an unsold lesser pot when really it just needed to be discovered by someone who was jazzed by it.
  16. oh, also liked your pots, looks like nice work and I bet lots of people will enjoy owning and using those in thier everyday life.
  17. hey I get it. Might work, might not and like you said, you are willing to accept the downside. I would just say that there is no reason to kick in such a gradiose plan before starting the business and selling some pots. An art business is still a business and if you havent sold anything in a long time then you will have a lot to work out. Here's the thing, you say a year and a half but its really less than that because you cant actually spend to nothing. I tried that and it was really stupid. I was very lucky that I got a programming contract right when I ran out of dough and they paid on invo
  18. Just read your latest post sounds like you have this, just need to work it out. Not clear on what you are building but I'd rethink that. I was at one show where a lady showed up next to us about 5 minutes to opening and popped up a light tent, hung a big sign on the back and put up a folding table and a chair. She then set out 4 or 5 long 'logs' of home made soap and proceeded to sell it an inch at a time to a never ending line of people. When the show ended she was out of there in about the same 5 minutes. I had tears in my eyes when I started the long task of tearing dow
  19. Who knows but no need to do that. Do you make and sell pots now? Do you have all your gear, studio and inventory or do you mean quitting your job and starting from scratch? If you are not currently making pottery at a fairly high end then no I don't think you plan will work, might, but seems more like wishful thinking. If on the other hand you have been doing it for a while and make nice pots and you just mean make the transition from hobby potter to pro then yeah lots of people do that. I think most though start out part time and transition. I tried that one and it didn't work but
  20. A brand new clay boss is around $650 shipped so don't overpay. we have a couple of shimpo whisperers now but I used a clay boss for about 6 months and it was fine. But I don't throw really big pots either.
  21. you did 2 grand at an afternoon popup show in the middle of this pandemic, wow. Congratulations that's great.
  22. Thanks Neil, good points! Thanks for your reply as I keep not doing this. Like you said above I should only be paying double if the local stuff is not up to speed. Since I haven't even tried the local porcelain it is dumb on my part to not do the testing so I am making an informed decision. Still have a few k pounds on hand but its going pretty fast and I don't want to change overnight if I do end up doing so. change is hard
  23. ya know I would normally agree but it does add up with some volume so going to try a couple of local options but you are right on that if we dont like the local stuff its prob worth just having it shipped. The other plus is that they ship a pallet to my door instead of me having to drive 3 hours round trip to pick it up, so there's that.
  24. I think so. Went to your albums and then their shop. Very nice work! I'm sure you do well at shows hope this account works out well for you.
  25. Hey congratulations on the new account and the 65-35 split! It's nice to see the rate. I get very confused with the word being that many shops now need 50-50 on consignment to survive. Makes no sense to me at all. To me its the same as a real estate agent saying they need to increase the 6% commission rate because its been 6% forever. Of course since prices have risen dramatically over the years they have in fact been getting a steady raise all along and make much more money more often than not year over year. A percentage means floating and by definition is not a stagnant commission if
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