Thursday, August 28

The Scoop

My last test firing was a little disapointing, but maybe two or three nice ideas. I managed to get a few tooth jars in. I really like the black one and the blue one. The black one's blue inside, so a little contrast. I'm mentally and physically exhausted right now, so bear with me. I wanted to put something in the photo for size reference. The blue one is so cute. It's maybe as big around as a quarter. I'm on day three of glazing, and I'm hoping I can get everything finished tomorrow and fire Saturday or Sunday at the lastest. It takes soooooooo loooooooong glazing like this. But I'm figuring out a system along the way.

A little update on my discount gift shop dilema. I called up Rolanda, Farrah-whatever-and I first approached the conversation with an open mind (always good). Heard her out and it was shockingly bad what she wanted for so little money. I'm sure she didn't really understand fully what she was asking for, but I explained it to her.

What she wanted was a little tea set. About maybe six of them. It's something she saw somewhere and like I said yesterday, thought she could get it cheaper through me. The set consist of a teacup, a tea strainer that sits inside the cup, and a cover which also serves the purpose of a little plate to put your strainer in. This is a three piece set (I know you can count) a nesting set, everything needing to be fitted together and such (I'm sure as potters you are all aware of these things, but I need to add drama to my story).

The first thing I asked her after she told me what she was looking for, was how much they were charging for this set? Hold on to your trim tools. 35$. Well, I didn't require a whole lot of thinking after that. One more detail is that the set she saw was mass produced. So, 35$ for a three-piece, mass-produced tea set, and I diplomatically explained to her that there was no way I could possibly do better than that for a price for a hand-made set like that given everything involved, and that it sounded like she had already found a good deal. She wasn't upset or anything, but I sensed a slight bit of surprise, but my senses are occasionally off. I wasn't apologetic at all-in fact-quite businesslike, which I think was a good way to approach the situation, because I am trying to run a business after all. So that is my story and Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.


Judy Shreve said...

It sounds like you handled the tea set commission perfectly -- wow it's hard to compete with $35! That's nuts. I love the little tooth jars - I like the shape of the black one as well as the glaze. From the photo it seems a little rounder - fuller.

Deborah Woods said...

Thanks Judy. I can fit the tiny ones in my pocket-maybe I can market them as pocket pots! Who doesn't need a pocket pot?

cynthia said...

I just read your past 3 posts and enjoyed them all! I think you handled the situation well. I don't think people understand the difference in hand made items vs. mass produced ones cranked out by people in 3rd world countries who probably aren't even getting paid a living wage.

Love the tooth pots!

Deborah Woods said...

Thanks Cynthia. I agree. We have become used to getting foreign-made things very cheaply in this country. But I always try and remember, I don't have to compete with Walmart and the like.

Patricia Griffin said...

Most people have NOT A CLUE as to what it takes to make pots by hand... My studio gallery is right next to a cute gift shop, but nothing hand-made. Items from China, Cambodia, China, Thailand, China, China, China. There is no way I can price like they price their stuff. It's a totally different thing. I don't even try to go there in conversation with prospective pottery buyers, unless they ask... They either "get it" or they don't... That being said, I do wish more people valued hand-made.

Deborah Woods said...

I think the genre of handmade makes a difference as well. I worked for a silversmith for a while and he had no difficulty pricing his work high. I could easily myself makes hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of jewlry from start to finish in one seven hour day. Anyway.

I was talking with one of the woman who worked there and she expressed her feelings that it's probably not possible to really make a living selling pottery, and she finished her thought with this: "I mean really, how much can you really sell a piece of pottery for anyway?" Ouch.