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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Raku

 Raku is my first love. I don't give a damn what all the pottery snobs out there say about it. The raku I do is pretty and it sells well. I pulled out an old hard drive to see what was on it, and it was full of images of work that has sold over the past three years. I have also been reviewing sales receipts from the past few years, raku was the top selling item. Wall tiles, beads, vases. Way more than my barns.
 This is bending my mind a bit. The barns got me noticed, galleries started asking for my work, I got in really good shows, and I sold a fair amount. But my raku tiles and pendants have way outsold them. Galleries paid me no attention when I was selling raku except Sarah at the NC Crafts Gallery, and she sold a shit load of it. Neither did anyone else, except the people that were spending their money. They like my raku work just fine.

I love my raku pieces. Looking back at all these photos makes me want to go back to it. I don't really care if galleries are paying attention to me or not. I thought I cared, but it's not that important to me right now. I am in some very nice galleries that I like working with and maybe they will like some raku, who knows....funny, as I was writing this post, Gerry walked in from the mail box with a check from NC Crafts. Guess what I sold? Raku stars and raku dishes, one wall tile. Go figure.....
I did a trunk show last January about this time, only selling beads like the ones above, and I made $700, just beads..... makes me wonder why I rolled out all those slabs this year!
Doing a lot of reviewing right now, looking at where I want to sell work, what I want to make. I actually looked to see when applications are due for Shakori Hills Festival. I know, I know, I bitched about outdoor shows and vowed to never do them again, but Shakori is different. It's at least fun, even if I don't sell anything.
Right now I just want to fire up my raku kiln! and also make some bowls....... I am very done with the barns, for awhile at least.

24 comments:

Laura Farrow said...

raku!! whoop, whoop! xo

gz said...

It is beautiful work, you obviously enjoy making it, no wonder it sells

B. Rogers, Alchemy of Clay said...

Those pieces are gorgeous, with the delicacy and color only raku can give. Follow your heart!

gabi said...

Love your raku beads, no wonder they sell well.

But I'm gonna miss your barns, I must admit. - Maybe you're gonna miss them and sneak one in every now and then

Vicki said...

Oh wow Tracey, your raku work is beautiful. A rustic, timeless, aged quality. Stunning.

I don't know anyone here who does raku, so I use transparent glazes that produce tiny little crazes on some of my jewellery - some pieces I rub ink into for that aged look. Not the same as raku, I know, but I like the look anyway.

I don't get it? Why is there a stigma attached to raku in the pottery community?
Raku has character. The glazes may be non-functional, but why the "snobbishness"?
Perhaps it's cyclical and tastes will turn from "clean", white porcelain to more rustic again.

Never mind. Your work out-shines and the sales are proving that. Perhaps there's a return to appreciating work with character and soul.

Follow your instincts, listen to your heart and shine on :)

Tracey Broome said...

Laura yes! We will be whooping as soon as the weather gets better!
Thanks gz, I really do like raku, I forgot how much until I looked at these photos!
Thanks B. the heart is leading right now, that's for sure :)
Hey Gabi, the barns may not be gone forever, they just need a rest
Vicki, I don't know why the stigma of raku either. a potter recently commented on his blog that it was the velvet elvis of pottery, I really disagree!! and so do the people that buy it! potter snobs, what can you do?!

Michèle Hastings said...

We always sell most everything we raku fire, in no time at all... and we don't do it all that often these days....
WHY???
You have some great glazes that fit your forms very well. It's no wonder it sells so quickly.
Maybe 2013 is the year of RAKU!

Hollis Engley said...

Hey, Trace. Your raku pieces are lovely. Always have been. Do some more.

Rosa said...

I've never heard of this snobbishness about raku. Out here in the southwest raku sells like wildfire and one of the most successful potters I know does probably 95% raku and sells in some big galleries in Santa Fe, Taos, and Durango. Seems strange--or maybe like sour grapes--to hear people call it the "velvet painting of pottery."

Your raku stuff is really wonderful, and there are so many lovely raku glazes to play with!

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Michele, I know. People are so attracted to the copper especially, like a shiny penny I suppose!
Hey Hollis, thanks, that's the plan!
Hi Rosa, I don't get it either, but I hear comments all the time about Raku being the "step child" of pottery. I personally think it's beautiful and so do a lot of other people! Maybe it's an east coast thing....

Lori Buff said...

It's so hard to keep inspired by something that isn't selling well, especially when something you love is selling well. You'll figure out how to make it work. Two lines? That's what I do.

angela walford said...

bring on the raku trace its one of my staples too!
I think over time the barns will catch up sales wise they just need to be seen and galleries are a fie place to have them...maybe show your raku to some of those galleries they may be more interested now that they already have some of your work... HAPPY NEW RAKU!!

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Lori, the barns are selling well enough, I think I just got burnt out making so many for the holiday shows. Galleries are well stocked now and I can look at some other things I have ignored for awhile.
Hey Ang, yeah I'm not too worried about the barns,they are fine, I'm just bored and looking for something new to do, short attention span here :)

Susan Wells said...

ArtMath: Rak-Ooo-La-La! + Revu-la-la = one happy camper

cookingwithgas said...

If you enjoy making something just make it- no worries- it's only clay- clay can be so many different things.

Tracey Broome said...

Yep!

Michael Race said...

And here I thought the title of your blog was going to change to "Tracey Broome: textile"

Tracey Broome said...

Haha,that's yet to be seen Mike. Maybe clay and fiber or something like that :)

Melissa Rohrer said...

As long as you're doing what you like- I find I get frustrated if I focus too much on figuring out what will sell.

just jody said...

"Let yourself be drawn by the strange pull of what you love...it will not lead you astray." ~ Rumi

....but don't give up on the barns...they're awesome!

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Melissa, I long ago gave up trying to figure out what sells. For me it's more about figuring out what I don't get bored with, haha!
Jody, great quote, I need to pass it on to my daughter! The barns aren't gone, just resting.....

Shannon said...

yep, my plan to this year is to look at numbers and assess what is working, what is costing, what is rewarding. I have one little Tracey raku dish, and I love it.

Tracey Broome said...

and I have one little Shannon rooster, and love it! Here's to making a great 2013!

Michel said...

Well I'm a pottery snob and I love your raku so there!
Best
Michel