[Clayart] selling in 50 miles/story
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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