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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Small and Affordable..... ain't nobody got time for that

 I had a friend call from a nearby gallery asking me for some work. I also had a lovely gallery email to say very nice things about me and ask for some "small and affordable" work. sigh...... dreaded words of a craftsman. Isn't small and affordable craft an oxymoron?
These barns are small, they can be affordable if I choose to make them that way, but, shit, man, they take a lot of time, and "affordable" is a relative term. Affordable for whom? not me, that's for sure. If I price these at what everyday shoppers are willing to pay, I will make very little. But apparently I need to add a small and affordable item to my inventory. I went over to Raleigh and picked up my work from The Collectors Gallery. Closing their doors, yes they are. Too bad, I had such hopes for success with them, and they were such nice people.....  folks need "affordable" art these days.

Back to the galleries asking for work.... Well, I don't have a lot of work to offer. I have been off playing with these two. Wouldn't you? I mean, look at them! I'm getting nothing done again this week. Monday, we went climbing/hiking together. Tuesday I ran, made a video of us climbing and hiking together and crashed on the sofa for the rest of the day with this miserable cold I can't get rid of, and then went to my weaving class, feeling like crap. I clearly did too much and I paid for it. Today, feeling a bit better, but Gerry and I went for a hike in the woods near our house on some new trails we found, then I went shopping to get his birthday present. I can't tell you where I went, but it took awhile. So, tomorrow I might get a full day in the studio, and then Friday is Gerry's birthday and Wesley is coming home. So one day of studio time is getting me nowhere. Next week I have to put my foot down and ignore these two adorable family members if I plan to have anything for the upcoming shows. Or not.... I'll just have what I have, sell out and make the best of it. It's good that Gerry has a wonderful job and takes very good care of his family. I would like to contribute more to our bank account, I really would, but I seem to be busy taking care of these two so they can be a success at what they do. That's fine, but my work output is really taking a backseat to family time these days.
Weaving news: I finally got my loom all set up and I started weaving last night. I am hooked, I am on the weaver path, I do believe. I want a loom, I want to sit at it all day and pass yarn through the shed and count my pattern.....
3, 2 and 4, 6   3, 2 and 4, 6.... bliss. Counting and pattern and yarn and color and order and balance, weaving is definitely for a Libra mind!
For those of you that know about the weaving stuff, I am making a huck lace sampler scarf in an indigo blue and I got about 18 inches done last night and the fringe. It is beautiful and I can't wait to finish it!
It's going to be interesting to see where clay and fiber meet in the coming months...... if I can get some time for either one of them!!

16 comments:

cookingwithgas said...

girl- let us leave this madness behind and become Gypsies and just wander our days away.
Or better yet ladies who drink tea and talk about the world's problems...
I feel you!
Mark and I worked 3-4 hours on a proposal for someone and gave them a price- 32.00 cheap only to find out that they were thinking about spending less than 5.00 and after all they are a non-profit... well I'm not. Sorry I do this to PAY my bills- take your non-profit...whoops! time for a beer.
XXOO! M

Tracey Broome said...

What the hell can you buy that is hand crafted for less than $5!!!! not even a refrigerator magnet!
I'll skip the tea, let's drink some beers and be gypsies, I like this plan!

Anna M. Branner said...

That's huCk lace. :) But I know it could be a typo too. SO glad you are enjoying weaving. Once you are warped (heehee) it just seems so fast!

Tracey Broome said...

LOL, yes it was a typo, thanks for catching that, as only a weaver would! Yes, I am warped and loving it!!!
I still don't know how you weave and do clay though, that's a LOT!

madpotter1 said...

Been weaving on my pots for quite some time now..... Started life as a fiber artist and then switched to ceramics; it was no quick path..... Only 28 years. I LOVE the transition from throwing clay and the physical-ness of clay to sitting down and weaving collars and handles...... Two loves ..... I guess it is the journey.....

Susan Wells said...

I like to do a lot of what my friend Berkeley says. She makes batiks and charges what lands up to be around a teacher's or a police officer's salary- with out benefits. She says in a nutshell: if someone wants to buy what I make for the price I ask then great! If not then OK.

And Meredith! that's the problem with so many non-profits, they forget that they need to make money to do what they say they want to do. I think many n.p. believe artists should not make money too. which is why they constantly ask us to give them our pots for their fundraiser.

Christine Covert said...

There is surely no profit for low-end items. $5 or less is ridiculous for handcrafted anythings but you could sell photo note cards of your work for that price. Today's affordable is $20.

But, how about making 2D wall hung barns for your low end rather than 3-D? That is, a single slab with two bottom posts and roof? You still couldn't do it for $5 but you might be able to do it for $20.

Dennis Allen said...

I am still hoping for a 10 dollar Picasso. Still looking. Not gonna happen. How about rubber stamping an image of a barn on a small circle of clay and inscribe I WOULD NT PAY FOR THE REAL THING around the edge.

Lori Buff said...

I see a lot of shows advertising "affordable art" and then stating the price range. Some think affordable is $100 or less, some think it's $500 or less, and so on. I love this. You need to get clarity from the gallery if they haven't provided that.
Don't you wish they would all be up front about their pricing needs?

Laura Farrow said...

ugh. art and money seem to go like oil and vinegar most times. I agree wuth what Susan suggested via Berkeley, pay yourself a livable wage and stand by it. cultivate collectors.. they're out there.
very attractive shots of the fam! xo

Tracey Broome said...

Hi all, great points, why can't we just make art? This money thing! Argh!!

Amy said...

well, I just took two boxes of pottery to an event I attended and met people there; they saw a teabowl of mine and well, since then much of the pottery I took found new homes. and i don't think i priced the pieces high enough. i am thinking these days that life is short, be with those you love and that if pottery doesn't need to pay the bills, even better yet! i remind myself that I do this because I love it and it's an extra thing if others like it. of course, everyone has a different path in this... and that charging enough is so needed! I think the pricing can be a teachable moment. it makes me sad to see pottery be sold so cheap and is well, unfair to the rest of the potters!

Hollis Engley said...

Pricing pots ... shit ... affordable? ... I mean, what the hell is "affordable"? OK, it's late and I have nothing rational to say about this. Except, I'm with you on it, Tracey.
And you've got the right attitude - spend time with your great family.

Hancocks Houseofhappy said...

I've got a bit of a noob question: you mention that you have galleries asking for your work. How, when you were first starting out, did you get galleries interested in showing/selling your stuff. Did you just pick a few and roll up with what you had? I am at a point where I would like to try selling my stuff and have no idea how to break in to the market. I love your houses btw. This is something I struggle with as well. Do I make small "affordable" things that will get me selling or stick to more complex work that takes more time. As I am not selling anything at any price at the moment it seems a moot point! The UK retail situation is pretty bad right now.

Ron said...

I like what Dennis suggested. Nice one!!

Rosa said...

People who collect "serious" art were not hit by the recent recession. I read an article recently about a painter who, realizing this, pulled out of 1/3 of his galleries and raised his prices 20%+ and made a killing because it looked to collectors like his paintings were becoming more exclusive and increasing in value.

Maybe we potters need to learn to not cater to galleries and gallery owners who can't seem to, for whatever reason, cultivate a clientele that can afford to pay for art.