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Do you have a daily or weekly Production Goal?

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Just wondering what range of self imposed quotas or product production goals (if any) potters might set. Also, if you have labor do you set any production quotas?



I'm not a production potter but I am a big believer in setting goals. I determine what realistic goals I can accomplish daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly and I get a lot accomplished. And if I fail occasionally I try not to be to hard on myself, I will say that setting goals in the studio is the hardest and has the most failures when it comes to meeting those goals. Slowing drying of clay, disappointing glaze test or having a day when everything you touch goes wrong can change your schedule. Give it a try and see if it increases your production. Denice

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I consider myself a production potter


My goal is to always have plenty of finished pottery on hand.


I have an assistant as well


I have a type A work ethic and this seems to always keep the flow of work going


As far as production quotas I make what needs making when that form runs low –i.e. say I am down to a box of glasses then I make a bunchmore glasses and mix them into the next glaze fire with everything else.


I just keep ahead of show and gallery needs by making morethan I need most of the time. This did take many years to get to this highproduction point, As well as knowing what I need when.I am not a numbers man so I try not to count things say like how many pots in a kiln load or box of mugs.In fact I have in 39 years never counted how many forms in any kiln load. Thats wasted time for me.


That said I do run low now and again as I space out a formnow and again and it’s a time lag to get it finished and out the gate. I seemto work about 30 forms give or take over the years when a new one comes in I loose one so that 30 is a constant. If its sunny out I may crank up production to take advantage of the drying.


If your soul income is pottery sales than you get this in order soon or fold up shop and get a day job.



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My production goals are based on a two-day cycle of work (one day throwing + one day trimming). Maybe because I'm a numbers geek, but I measure myself with the dollar value of the pots I make. So when I am working at an "easy" pace, I'll make about $200-$300 in two days. A "normal" production pace is $500-$600 in two days. When I'm really feeling motivated, I can make $1000 worth of pots in two days, but I don't do that all the time, those are really long and exhausting days!


I'm headed downstairs to the studio now, planning to have a "normal" day.



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I envy those that do have a production schedule or goal. I am such an inconsistent maker that it is hard to get any sort of salable inventory for shows or galleries, and that holds me back. How to get on a schedule, what with the variables that come along in life, not to mention the weather? (My studio is in a garage, so I am sort of at the mercy of the weather, which has been very nice, actually!)

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Thank you for the replies.


And Mea I followed your link and read "The Hourly Earnings Project". This is exactly the kind of analysis I was hoping to find. You said something to the effect that a lot of excellent potters can't make a living doing it because they can output enough. This is precisely what I have observed. Very informative reading on your blog. I really agreed when you said that you limit to yourself to things you can make quick enough to make a profit on. Thank you.


And Mark C I like your point about working ahead. I do know some potters around here that won't make up extra.


I have a set goal of $1500 to $2k a week of finished product. I have an exact kiln schedule that can yield it. I have set amounts for serve ware and fill in with ornaments and jewelry to make it work. I do have the consideration of paying an employee $300 a week so I think my finished product production should be higher than it is. Labor ratio of 20% is a little high I think. Does anyone know the industry standard? (it's 20% for florist, 10% for a perfect Hallmark store, and 5-6% for a high traffic mall store).


Conclusion: Your biggest competition is yourself.

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