Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Good Week

Isn't this pretty? I hope 2013 continues to be as nice as this past week. I spent the week making and shipping out raku pendants, which was fun. I forgot how much I like sitting at my work table putting necklaces together, very restful and it gives my mind time to roam around and think about other clay things. Tiles and bowls are on my mind these days. Barns are not..... sigh.
There was only one minor blip in my bliss. Mid week, I got an email from a gallery that a commission they had requested for a customer did not get purchased after all. Shame on you lady! I put a lot of work and love into that piece, but I also understand when financial woes come up, for example a $2300 well pump the day after Christmas! So, whatever, it will sell to someone else that will love it. The gallery very kindly offered to pay for it, but they shouldn't have to cover up someone else's problem. Lesson learned, get a deposit.
No worries, I was depressed for about a minute, and then got two Etsy orders, which is always fun. Of course $10 pendant sales are not $300 barn sales, but who cares. Someone likes my work, wanted to buy it, and I am just as happy to sell something for $10 as I am $300. See why I'm not a good business person:)

I finished up a very good week with a trip to Starworks with my pal/mentor Barbara McKenzie to get clay, chemicals and a new present for myself.  I suppose I could say that those of you that purchased pendants this week gave me this, so thank you! :)  Barbara pointed out these bats with inserts while we were waiting on our chemical and clay orders to get filled and she convinced me that we both needed one. I can't wait to get some bowls started and use my new bat system. My old bats are pathetic to the point that I just don't use them. I inherited them from Leonora Coleman, previous owner of Claymakers. When she passed away, I helped her daughter clean out the basement and she gave me boxes of Leonora's clay tools. The bats were well used when I got them, and they sort of piss me off when I use them.
I also got 50 pounds of dark clay and bunches of chemicals to mix some cone 6 test batches. Laura, there are your two bags of star white, I remembered! Has anyone purchased tin oxide lately? Holy crap! $40 for a pound! YOu will notice my tiny !/4 pound bag there. And people dare question the price of a piece of pottery. I was thinking I should put that bag in my booth at shows with the price on it for an example of why I'm charging what I am. People just don't understand what goes into the cost of making a piece of pottery. Clay prices have gone up, cobalt is very expensive, but tin for $40!!! Dang!

Today promises to be warm and I don't have a lot going on. Gerry is shooting the Governor's Inauguration in Raleigh, so I am here alone. Good time to get my studio back to working order and start planning some glaze mixing and clay making. I have my warp ready to dress my loom, but these warm days are pulling me outside. The loom can wait for those cold days of February.
No worry. Haha, my new mantra!


Michèle Hastings said...

Congrats on the Etsy sales! I think you could raise your prices on those beautiful pendants... think about it, you can't buy a factory made necklace at a department store for $10.
Raku beads are a lot of work, never mind your time assembling them. Research some pricing on Etsy to help you determine a fair price.

Laura Farrow said...

thank you for remembering and schlepping my clay back home with you! Yay for etsy and inspiration! and warm days, however weird that is in January... who's complaining? xo

smartcat said...

I agree with Michele, I think your prices are low. Don't raise them a lot, but you need to make a little profit.

Isn't it the pits that some stuff is so expensive? I had a heart attack when I needed glazes mixed....My supplier does a great job, but the cost of the tin stopped me cold. Low fire glazes are dependent on opacifiers.....I used to use half tin and half zircopax, switched to all zircopax, so far so good.

However, I have to use Mason's various tin formulas when mixing stains.....try pricing the cost of encapsulated will give you pause!

Well Pumps! You have my sympathy....we had to replace ours last fall. We have a dug well so not as pricey as yours but enough to pinch!

Nice that things are looking up.....bummer about the commission!

Tracey Broome said...

no offense peeps, but potters telling me to raise my prices is what got me in the pickle I'm in right now with my barns! Nay on the price increase. It costs me very little to produce these pendants, I don't have to pay gallery commissions, they are a good value,and I'm not a trained jeweler, just an A.D.D. potter. Maybe later when people have spare money to spend randomly on things they don't need, ha! but right now I like being able to offer a nice affordable piece of jewelry to people who like and support my work. Call it a lost leader, but it feels right for now....
I do agree that I should be probably be asking more and maybe I will later, but this is a good jump start for my Etsy shop and 2013 sales. Thanks though, I hear ya:)

Melissa Rohrer said...

Tin oxide- I know. I also ended up with a lot less than I planned on buying last year when I last purchased it.
That is a pretty pendant. I wanted to post some of mine on etsy too but I can't find them. Always happens when I store things in what I think is a smart, safe, logical place.

DirtKicker Pottery said...

Your pendants are fabulous. Introductory pricing is a great way to test how buyers respond to a new item. I would say they are responding well. :)

cookingwithgas said...

you are in a good place right now. just do what you like and things will fall into place. I look forward to seeing you and chatting up some ideas.

Anna M. Branner said...

You will love the bat with inserts. You can fit so many new pots on each ware board!

Sandy miller said...

Ordered a 50# bag of zinc oxide as I used to do and the tech just started laughing! How much? Over $400!!! Then I order Lithium and had a heart attack! Pendants are really perfect! Every ody tells me to raise my mug prices but they are just perfect...... For me :) be happy!

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Melissa, I always lose things when I put them in a logical place haha! I dread trying to find everything in my studio after the holiday sale, ugh...
Thanks Cindy, I agree, it's a good place to start
Hey Meredith, YES! Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!
Anna, I already love it and haven't even got It out of my car yet;)
Sandy, take a lesson from me and leave your prices where you like them!! Zinc at $400?! Yikes, terra sig looks better and better!

Amy said...

Beautiful raku! Oh and hello from south of the equator in Bolivia. Your raku reminds me that I want to buy one. Hope to access your etsy site from my iPhone here.

Lori Buff said...

I took a quick peek on Etsy and you are charging less by $5 or more (much more) for your necklaces. That means you have room to grow if you want to do that but it also means that you have the best price. That has power too. Oh, and you're enjoying yourself, that is worth a lot also.

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Amy, wow, Bolivia! I would love to be there with you! I hope to get some more pendants in my shop next week, just gotta get some photos.
Lori, I am mostly just doing this, treading water until I figure out what I want to do and I get my studio back in order. And yes, enjoying it, no pressure, no worries, just selling some pretty and affordable necklaces. Not worrying about galleries or commissions or popularity or any of the mind games that I can bring on some days:)
I haven't really looked around at what anyone else is doing, thanks for the info!

Vicki said...

I also charge $10 for my pendants at markets. At etsy, I have to charge more for the few items I have there to make up for the huge postal prices over here. But then, markets are my bread and butter and where I sell the most.
I charge a few dollars more for my hand sculpted blackbirds at markets though, as a little more work goes into them.
I agree with Lori, you have some room to move if you want/need to charge a little more in the future.
I'd rather go home with less in my basket and more $$ in my pocket. It's a balancing act for sure.

I spent the better half of last year working out how to keep my tiles consistently flat during drying, bisque firing and glaze firing.
Finally, most of them stay buckle-free for me now. It's been a learning curve. Fingers crossed :)

Sorry the commission fell through. I hope very soon, you'll get a cheque from someone else who has made the purchase.

Looking forward to more of your raku goodness :)

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Vicki, thanks. My pendants are just sort of a side thing I do when I'm bored or indecisive. They free up some head space, so I'm not too concerned about getting more for them, I just like them and like making them affordable.

Sissy said...

Etsy is great...welcome back! said...
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Candace Thomas said...

hi tracey, i was was watching one of the ted talks videos about creativity on you tube and thought about you.

Tracey Broome said...

Thanks Sissy, I broke up with etsy for awhile but it's good to be back:)
Thanks Candace, this was great!