Easy Money

Easy Money
Why don’t I know how to make easy money at pottery?  Actually I do know how, I just don't want to do it. Why don’t I just make bowls and pots with no additions or appendages? Well I have a confession to make to you. I don’t really enjoy throwing all that much. I’m pretty good at it but it is one of my least favourite parts of the process. I love trimming, putting pieces together, making handles, all the little details of finishing, and firing.
I am making pots for a show at Shane Norrie Contemporary and it occurred to me I have made nothing that would fit under a 9” post. I also thought I need to make some affordable items so I thought I’d make some jars and carry on with my new blown trumpet knob. Well here is the drill for TC’s easy money- 9 jars = 9 lids, 9 knobs, 9 foot rings and 18 handles so a sum total of 54 pieces go into making my 9 affordable jars. Then let’s add to this 2 bisque firings for my crackle slip and then a 34 hour wood firing. I think when I was little my mumma must have smacked me on the head and called me stupid.
The potters that make money in this bizz throw barely trim, add very little shape or detail, make no additions. Each and every step you take takes time and time is money.

 Don’t get me wrong I admire them. For years my pottery hero was Isaac Button the English country potter that threw 2000 lbs a clay a day- no fuss, no muss.
There is a looooong list of items that people seem to be goobling up- pate dishes, potpourri pots, incense burners, compost pots, berry bowls, omelette makers, mason jar flower holders, spoon holders, wine coolers, utensil holders, brie bakers, and the list goes on. I don’t want to make any of them. I don’t have them in my house so I don’t see a need to make em!. There lies another lesson in easy money. You don’t make for you. You make for the marketplace. Imagine a donut store owner that decides he doesn’t like chocolate donuts so won’t make them. Artists and their egos.  Bacon holder- I’m holding out for bacon holders to be the new rage. I want to lead fashion and not follow it- said tongue in cheek.

Mumma why did you slap me on the back of the head and call me stupid?  It has had a long term effect on my career.


I agree, but when you are just starting eating seems to be a problem, lol . . . if customers would buy my pricey stuff I wouldn't make my cheap stuff . . . but I am adding more flair to my work all the time and developing more pieces for galleries . . . time will tell
Unknown said…
Absolutely know a person that throws 4 basic shapes and tweeks them for different items. After almost 30 yrs she's very fast at those shapes and no trim nothing but an occasional handle and can fill a 60 cubic car in 2 weeks which includes drying , bisqued, glaze , load .... the wow factor is the glazes but once you live with the stuff and it's not fresh in your mind it bores the heck out of me . It's not the $$$$ that I envy it's the free time she enjoys to get a life outside the studio lol ... knowing me I'd use any free time in my studio anyway lol
RichardA said…
Funny but true, Tony. I make what I use, or like to have around the house. All the other stuff, just can't seem to muster the energy. I guess I epitomize the selfish artist!!
Anonymous said…
Smarter not Harder... 'nuf said
smokieclennell said…
Grimwurks: do whatever it takes to not miss a meal. If you are lucky like me you will reach an age were old age pension will arrive mysteriously and you too can be an old curmudgeon like me. Good pots to you. t
Penny said…
Just an observation. Here in the South (USA) it is next to insane to hang horse shoes without the open end up! All your luck runs out! If those are in fact horse shoes near the ceiling in your studio, run, don't walk and turn them around now!
Just sayin'.
Potter by the creek~

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