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On 12/17/2019 at 6:08 PM, liambesaw said:

 

I've noticed a lot of people who are at an art show or festival or farmers market are there to see a certain thing, not to make impulse buys of pricier things they happened to see.  So at a farmers market, I don't expect to sell a lot of 60 dollar vases, but I do expect to sell a few 5 dollar spoon rests or 20 dollar mugs, small bowls, trinket jars etc.  People are there to buy food and flowers, so pottery is the impulse buy there.

Art and music festival? Forget it, most of the people are there to drink and rock out, and apparently be jerks to everyone trying to sell their art.  So make something a drunk person would love in that case.  

Maybe the problem isnt that they don't see it, they just don't see it in the right context

ha ha, dealt with some of those jerks. Amazing what folks will say to some stranger when they are drunk. I think they mostly think they are being clever but to someone who isn't drunk not so much.

While I haven't popped for a $1000 booth fee show yet I do get it. I think one of the problems is that expensive non essential anything is only going to sell well to affluent buyers in any numbers. Most everyday people venues just don't have enough wealthier folks wandering around. I'm not talking about the 'pushing the envelope' $28 mugs instead of the $20 average buyers seem to think all mugs should be forever but rather the $50, $60 even $100 mugs , $4-500 platters, $8-900 vase or etc etc. High end art shows spend a lot of time getting a lot of these types of buyers in one place at one time and they come with the checkbook (figuratively speaking) out and ready to buy. Nice more expensive stuff is what they surround themselves with in their world and what they give away to others. They have much more money coming in than they need to live a comfortable life and choose to spend their dough on super nice stuff.  While people that are not affluent will certainly 'stretch' to buy that expensive whatever because they like and appreciate it, they don't do that often but affluent people do it all the time and often pass on what they consider to be cheap or average stuff even though it may not be. I do know this, even with a few processes that speed things up, a small shop cannot simply re-order and there are only so many hours in the day for making pots. 

I think you are more likely to make a good living at pottery aiming at the affluent buyer that lives in the really nice house, drives a luxury car and orders the 2nd $40 bottle of wine at diner. 

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I would be willing to bet that you could take any museum piece, place it at any craft show both and no one would say anything about it.   Context, yes.  Place any POS in a gallery setting and we have a context driven result.  Big Money.  Reality, what a concept.

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1 hour ago, CactusPots said:

I would be willing to bet that you could take any museum piece, place it at any craft show both and no one would say anything about it.   Context, yes.  Place any POS in a gallery setting and we have a context driven result.  Big Money.  Reality, what a concept.

Yeah I don't think so.  Either you haven't been to many craft shows or you haven't been to many museums.   

If you're talking modern art than I'd be inclined to agree a bit more, but no one can be that cynical!

Corinth and Minoan pottery, modern examples like turn of the century Rookwood stuff, there's no way you'd find anything with that much time and thought put into it at a craft show and not draw attention.  That's the thing about beautiful things, they draw people in.  

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An excellent disagreement.  Too bad we can't really resolve it, but the point being the necessity of context and attention.  If you were walking through a craft show and came upon this pot while you're trying to decide where to have lunch and did you put enough money in the meter do you think your jaw would drop?

Yes, you can place a pot so out of context that it draws notice, but quality alone will not suffice.

Bonus points if you can tell me where I took this picture.

 

white pot.JPG

Edited by CactusPots
spelling

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I pretty much agree with both of you. I do think context matters and a museum of gallery setting makes a huge difference in focus and in the case of the gallery probably a massive difference in price. I think Liam is right though that the folks wondering an art fair that have an appreciation of pottery will be drawn in by great work. 

That particular lot wouldn't grab me in a museum of show but that doesn't mean it's not a great pot and that I would love something else the same pottery made.

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34 minutes ago, CactusPots said:

An excellent disagreement.  Too bad we can't really resolve it, but the point being the necessity of context and attention.  If you were walking through a craft show and came upon this pot while you're trying to decide where to have lunch and did you put enough money in the meter do you think your jaw would drop?

Yes, you can place a pot so out of context that it draws notice, but quality alone will not suffice.

Bonus points if you can tell me where I took this picture.

 

white pot.JPG

Right on the table in front of that pot, That’s where! Lots  of crazing. I think all points have credibility actually. Promoting things to a wide variety of folks is just tough. People are motivated by many things. Babies and cute puppies  generally attract a crowd, not necessarily an informed  or enlightened crowd though

Edited by Bill Kielb

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This is getting interesting.  So this is as educated of a ceramics audience as I could hope to discuss with, so  is this a great pot?  Why or why not?   You have no context for the judgement, 

Hobby pot, craft show pot, art show pot or museum pot?

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1 hour ago, CactusPots said:

This is getting interesting.  So this is as educated of a ceramics audience as I could hope to discuss with, so  is this a great pot?  Why or why not?   You have no context for the judgement, 

Hobby pot, craft show pot, art show pot or museum pot?

It’s ok by me, not particularly interesting if I don’t know any history, nuances of when and where it was produced,  who produced it, how it was produced,  who owned it, etc.... it’s simply a picture of a pot. If you told me it was taken in a famous place or your living room, without the construction knowledge to me it’s just another pot or at least picture of a pot. I value things moreso as a constructionist but that is me. When I look at pots, wherever they are - the aesthetic appeal to my eye is rewarding but the back story of the creation is what interests me most. I relate most art I see to what I perceive as the energy and imagination to create given the time created or circumstance of the creator.

Unfortunately I am not an educated artist, maybe just an ok engineer. I do enjoy clay art for my reasons though, whether I see the golden triangle influenced their proportion or not.  Maybe that’s too simple, but more often that is how I come to admire many things. More of a celebration or admiration  of human achievement actually.
 

Not sure how that helps your place and context argument though, except when in a museum setting my expectations are likely higher.  I have been disappointed in those environments as well as art shows because there will always be a lot of ordinary stuff called stock to fill the space. Nice stuff, just nothing special really - to me that is.

Edited by Bill Kielb

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1 hour ago, CactusPots said:

This is getting interesting.  So this is as educated of a ceramics audience as I could hope to discuss with, so  is this a great pot?  Why or why not?   You have no context for the judgement, 

Hobby pot, craft show pot, art show pot or museum pot?

I don't understand what your point is with this anecdotal straw man.  You said you could take any museum piece and put it in a craft show and it would go unnoticed.  

If I were a curator for a museum I would probably pass on it if it came without historical context, but that doesn't mean it isn't a beautiful well made piece of pottery.  

If I were to critique it with no context, I'd say it's not a great design for functional ware on account of the rather anemic feet.  But that it also looks aesthetically pleasing with the golden ratio taken into account with the decorating, I'd say it was a well thought out piece of art pottery.

I am uneducated though so take it with a grain of salt

Edited by liambesaw

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Art shows and museum pieces -well they are apples and oranges for me . Not comparable

Lets get a few things settled to start with

After 45 years of art/crafts shows-many buyers are idiots-no I'm not being mean .Just saying as I see it.

Customers need educating more often than not.-Would they notice a museum piece on my booth-of course not

Ceramics in general is not consided fine art-keep this in mind in all art discussions.I have an art degree and this was pounded into my brain from that experience

There is no accounting for taste-this is a key point with the public-the whole public  -if they are at a craft /art show or in a museum

 

Edited by Mark C.

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OK, I withdraw the ANY pot in ANY show.  Hyperbole to make the point.   It really just reinforces my point, however, that context largely sets the value.  Few are able to see outside a predetermined prejudicial format. 

To bring this all the way back to my original post, a press mold bonsai pot has high value because it looks like a bonsai pot and functions like a bonsai pot. 
Everyone agrees that's a bonsai pot.  The context is set and it conforms or is cast out.
There are people who can recognize beauty/value out of context.  That's why Antiques Roadshow has garage sale winners on a semi regular basis.  Also explains why the seller lost out.

I don't have a fine arts degree and I use people who have more developed opinions to help form my own.  All of this helps me to develop my thinking about marketing, which is really complicated if you think about it on the level of What Do People See?

Ceramics is not considered fine art by art speculators, but using money as a basis for value leads to problematic consequences.

   

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Well one thing I would add is that there are many many people who do understand and appreciate pottery. I think to assume someone in any setting does not know or understand quality, method and artistic value is a mistake. I would agree that context and backstory will weigh into how someone may perceive pottery they are looking at and I think that plays into your marketing approach and if you can elevate the perception of your pottery it will certainly sell better to all potential customers regardless of their level of expertise.

 

Edited by Stephen

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