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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Just a few more

Here are a few more snaps I took at Mark's place this week. We went by today to say hello while out on the Chatham County Studio Tour and the shelves were nearly empty. Almost all of the apprentice work was gone and just some of Mark's larger very expensive pieces were left. We also went by Chicken Bridge Pottery and his shelves were nearly empty as well. Great to see pottery selling. Today was Wesley's day to visit painting studios because she isn't so much into the pottery. I hope there is pottery left for next weekend. I still want to get to Doug's place.
This is Mark's wife, Carol, doing some pricing with Joseph. All of this work was gone today.





Ok, that's it from last week. Next weekend, Laura, Susan and I are having a small sale at Susan's so I'll be getting ready for that this week. It will be a low key sale with music and a potluck. I don't have a lot because of my kiln situation, but there will be three of us, so there will be a good selection. I'm more interested in the party anyway! My goal for the new year is to see if I can pull my head out of the clouds and get serious. I have wandered about like a nomad lost in clay experimentation this year. Good news is that I have ruled out many of the things I thought I might like to do. It's been fun to try a little of this and a little of that, but my work looks like that of someone with a bipolar disorder. I keep coming back to shino, so shino it is. So what if half the population doesn't know what the hell it is. I'm a good sales person, so...
Wesley keeps pushing me to do more sculptural work, so maybe I should work on that too.
We'll see...........

11 comments:

david santos said...

Brilliant!

mahanpots said...

Nice work. Were those teapots really priced at $35? That seems low, unless they were small, and still....

tsbroome said...

The teapots were small and very precious, I think made by Joseph Sand. I guess more affordable because they were apprentice work.Still, what a bargain! Carol was very conscience of the economy this year and priced so that everyone could afford something.She and Mark spent a lot of time thinking about the pricing and they were very generous. Her business savvy paid off because their shelves were empty today.

Michael Kline said...

Thanks for the behind the scenes report. It's nice to see the pots.

Michael Kline said...

With prices like that, there's no wonder that the shelves are empty, saavy? maybe. I'm sure it's not cheap to keep apprentices.

tsbroome said...

Well, I guess there are several ways to look at having good prices. When I was a designer in High Point, one of my clients was a company that made good quality furniture but sold at fairly low prices to retailers and the sales rep in the midwest drove a new Rolls Royce every year. His motto was "sell to the masses, eat with the classes". Another client sold very high end furniture and when wall street tanked in the eighty's they went out of business. The lower priced company is still in business. I guess you can sell lots for less cost or less for more cost. I don't know.......I do know that I washed a shit load of pots and they are all gone now. They weren't cheap, and they were really good quality, but they were affordable, even for my wallet. Not everything was affordable of course, Mark's nicer pieces were still more than I could ever spend. My friend Laura Farrow also had her prices very reasonable this year and she had a line of shoppers at her studio when I was there. She had a very good show. Doug Dotson makes some of the nicest pottery I know of and he has great prices on his work and it sells very well. I think many people still want to buy pottery, but they are certainly price conscience right now. I know I am. I don't think artists can ever get back monetarily what they put into their art. It's so frustrating.....

tsbroome said...
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tsbroome said...
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tsbroome said...

sorry for the deletes, for some reason my comment was duplicated two more times

Michael Kline said...

My previous comment may seem like sour grapes in the shadow of my full shelves, but without the scale of production that Mark Hewitt, Matt Jones, and others run, it is hard to compete with those kind of prices. Mark and his apprentices make fine work, there's no doubt about it, it's fine production pottery.

Most of the shops here in the western mountains are small and without a system of apprentices.Our shops aren't physically set up for apprenticeships and the kilns are generally small. Hence the work is personal and idiosyncratic. To fill the gap many of us teach at places like Penland and Haystack among other clay centers.

I have always found pricing to be a very interesting. I admit it's one of the most difficult decisions a potter has to make about their work. Has handmade pottery become over valued? Can the price of a mug continue to go up? Will we see more prices drop? Certainly.

There is a gathering conversation brewing concerning the economy and pottery. Not everyone will be able to weather the storm we are about to experience and it will be interesting how this affects consumer taste and ability to support more esoteric endeavors.

tsbroome said...

Not sour grapes at all, just reality. It's not easy for artists in this Walmart mentality our country has created, but don't get me started on that one! I am a perfect example of a typical pottery customer. We are a one income household and have to budget very carefully. I love pottery and will buy all I can, but I have to buy a $15 mug or a $25 bowl. That's about all I can do. I can't buy those big beautiful jugs that you are making but I could afford that lovely $20 plate I got from you and I use it every day. I'm doing the teaching thing too and working for other potters, thus taking away the time I would have to produce my own work. Such a catch 22. Nothing about art is ever easy it seems to me! But rock on with your pots, Michael, they are beautiful and there are many homes out there waiting for them!!!