[Clayart] selling in 50 miles/story

mel jacobson melpots2 at visi.com
Sat Jan 7 17:33:55 EST 2017

one of the most difficult parts of selling pots for
me is shipping.

i hate packing pots, and really hate when they get smashed.

in the early years, i got totally screwed over by two 
galleries in about four years.

both galleries left in the middle of the night and i lost 
about 40 pots.

i hated selling my pots on the street like a truck farmer 
selling apples.  it was very un/dignified.  and then there
was the haggle freaks.
i walked away from that.  and, then the vendors of shows 
started to charge big fees...good bye.

what was staring me in the face was a lovely wooded lot, 
decks around my entire house and the thought.  `why not sell 
from here...no packing, no unpacking, no crap.`  let them 
come to me.

so, i started home sales.  i did adverts in the local paper, 
  discovered that families of both students and swimmers 
liked shmoozing on my deck and buying pots. (i never gave 
out flyers to students, they found me, there is an integrity 
issue there. parents just showed up.  and, i always gave 
nice discounts to parents of my students. it was always very 
low pressure...i often said. `please don't feel any 
obligation to buy my work!` `hush, fill the bag.`

(the head doctor of public health for the new england states
just wrote me an hour ago for images of my new miniature 
painting work. (the tiny ones i give away.) he has like six 
of them in his office...and he wanted a new one. he buys 
pots almost every summer from me when he is home. he was a 
student, along with his two brothers in the late sixties. 
friends for life.)

then the discovery of facebook and the chance to connect 
with old friends and students has given me a gob of new 
clients.  no integrity issue as they are from 30 to 70 years 
old.  they can choose.  ( i realized that my first students 
from ely, mn, on the canadian border are all 78 years old 
this year.i was 22 when i started to teach, they were 18. 
odd thought.  in my mind, they are still 18.

i love my line: `don't ever live in a town that has no road 
running north out of town.`  and the weather/temp gets to 
-56F. it was -39F last week.  it was -26 on my back deck.

i still ship pots most of the time.  but, i still hate it.
mostly hate standing in line, broken pots, but, at least 
they do not send them back for the `wrong color`.

a few years ago i sent 600 pieces to the AMOCA museum in 
california. an entire container full. that almost made me 
crazy. shipping price tag $1,000.00. then many of them went 
to china for shows. but, it was very important work.

just reminders of my life as a selling potter.
we have to make our own way, on our time and place.
your life style, family and commitment will determine the
style of your sales.

if you seek fame, it is pricey. it can be done, but in so 
many ways it is a bad choice. often fame does not come with 
profit. and, it is hard to stay on top the mountain. i just 
never had a need to be `famous` i would rather be known as a 
teacher, helper, and a keeper of the tradition of the craft.
that is more than good enough.  and one can be that forever.
then the legacy has merit.
love to all.

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