There is certainly a different skill set to throw a nice teapot. You have to be able to make a nice form, a fitting lid, a spout that pours, put a decent handle on it and it has to function without dripping. This is what I call hard money. This is not an item someone makes right out of the starting gate. It is also harder to sell at prices over $100.
On the other hand there is the slab tray. I call this easy money. You could probably hire a high school student to make them for you and very easy for the beginning potter. To make them your own will require the signature handle, a nice paint job and some sexy detailing in the brush work department.
It is rather disheartening that the slab tray was my biggest Christmas seller. They are perfect hostess gifts and they ring in under the $40 mark and that includes a small thrown sauce bowl all tied together with some nice caning to complete the gift package.
I’m spent from doing my books so the easy money is actually a welcome mindless occupation. I also like the money they provide so I will try to decorate them as nicely as I can.
There really is no easy money in the pottery business but the tray is as easy as it gets for me. I’m going to spend a few days and get 50-100 made so I can make life hard for myself again. If it were easy everyone would be doing it! Well, the slab tray is something that everyone seems to be doing. All ya have to do is make yours better.