Monday, May 5, 2014

First Prize

My blog has been kinda boring of late. No one is commenting. Time to stir the pot. The good news is the sales at the Hamilton Pottters Spring Sale are up. Ya this could mean a turn around in the economy. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
So does first prize go to the potter that made the most money at the sale? Remember first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado, second prize is a set of steak knives and third prize is you are fired!!!!!!! So for those of you that took your best work to the sale and came home without much money you're fired. Do you feel like failures? Are you saying to your pet rock "No one understands my work!" Do you believe in the bohemian paradox that if it sells it ain't any good. Hmmm this is indeed a conundrum.
 I don't display at the sale since I know my sales would most likely be in the bottom 10% so I would be too embarassed to cart it all in and then cart it all back out again. I subsidize my pots with teaching. I love teaching so it is a fair trade off.
That said I am the lucky recipient of all the benefits of membership to the guild. These benefits are mostly provided by monies from those that sell well. I get to do a 12 month paid wood fire mentor ship courtesy of the Hamilton Potters Guild.  Thank you to the "Eh" Team!  To those of you that made enough money this past weekend to do it for another day, week or month my hat is off to you. To those of you that barely paid expenses buy my book "Stuck in the Mud". It is full of lessons


on learning through failure. Oh yeah, I forgot you can't afford it and those that made the money don't need it. Dang!

5 comments:

carter gillies said...

Thankfully I occasionally get a set of steak knives, so I can sometimes afford things like your marvelous book. I finished it the other day, and am so happy to have gleaned all that insight you so generously lay out. But really I'm a bottom 10% potter like you. I don't think the bohemian paradox is exactly true, but my pet rock tells me that quality can be disguised ion plain sight by a lack of familiarity for the audience. Not simply better quality, just different quality. Like folks playing cricket and an audience expecting baseball..... Which makes it especially tough if you are making up the rules as you go! No wonder most folks don't always understand what you are trying to say....

Dennis Allen said...

Tony there's not a potter out there who is not a sucker for a new tool that will make them quicker and slicker.For $20, your book will turn their frowns upside down and make them seem taller, thinner, and more intelligent!Their skin will clear up, clay will no longer stick to their clothes, and they will be irresistible to the opposite sex of their choice. How can they not invest in their own futures?

Anonymous said...

As a newbie to the field, I find it fascinating that the same economic questions apply as in other industries: quality vs quantity, tried-and-true vs newfangled... Maybe we could invent a Ceramic version of Monopoly and get people to tell us about the most frequent winning strategies. You know...Mediterranean for lower cost items or Boardwalk for high-end galleries; Go-to-jail: bad review; Chance cards:bad weather on sale day, 'hit-on-a gimmick'(the Rubiks Cube of cups), kiln-load failure... the only problem would be how to set the criteria for ‘winning’ the game....
Chris de T

Mark Fitzgerald said...

Never boring Tony!

Holly said...

I enjoyed that your book has many bits on how to please clients and gain loyalty - these are important pieces of the marketing puzzle that many Artists simply don't see, and you provide solid insights there. Those tid bits open doors to selling well and more, and over my years in this biz, I've practised most of the things you mention. I make the very best pots I can, while keeping an eye to the cash register and the clients smiles as well. I'm not a starving potter, I move a pile of pots, which sometimes makes me wonder if my work is worthy or deep enough, or maybe I have paid too much attention to the commercial viability of my pots - and does that lessen the Art aspect of what I create? Maybe I need to go do a 2 year residency in Kathmandu to get more street cred and come back with work that's harder to sell... it's hugely inspiring that you went for your MFA at my age, and learned the words too... Wish I had those words in my head as I know this would enrich my journey and my work, but that's not in the cards for me... Will just keep studying and working at seeing deeper into what I do and pondering on a place where both commercial and artistic success can each bear merit.