[Clayart] costs and business (digression)
gerholdclay at gmail.com
Thu Jul 27 07:28:54 EDT 2017
I would hope that anyone who works in clay would get personal satisfaction and pleasure out of their work.
Sent from my iPad
> On Jul 25, 2017, at 4:39 PM, Snail Scott <claywork at flying-snail.com> wrote:
> Some people do their craft for personal satisfaction and pleasure, and that is
> also an honorable and worthwhile endeavor, and they need to find the balance
> of cost to payback (if any) on very different terms. If they choose to work a
> remunerative day job, and then plow those funds into making ceramics
> (instead of traveling, buying a car, or whatever), that is up them. It the
> birthright of all human beings to make art, and to do so on their own terms.
> Few other professions so closely overlap a leisure activity. (Pro athletes and
> prostitutes come to mind, but not many others.) ;) Few people do plumbing
> or accounting purely for recreational purposes. Many amateur artists are
> highly skilled and may have spent many years at their craft in between their
> paid work, and conversely, a declaration of professional status is no guarantor
> of excellence. A certain amount of friction is inevitable, as some practitioners
> rely solely on their art for financial support and must recoup their spending
> and earn a living wage, while others are able to shift some costs to an art
> center or school, and others simply have no expectation or desire to make a
> profit. Nonetheless, we have much in common.
> Professionals must acknowledge that effort, time, and money spent do not
> make an object worth more to a buyer. If the selling price won’t cover
> production costs, then something needs to change: time, overhead, prices…
> whatever. Amateurs are in an enviable position in many respects, free from
> at least some of the hard choices of professionals. A suitable courtesy, in my
> mind, is to charge a fair market rate for all work. Transferring some cost
> of production onto an outside paycheck, subsidized studio, or other means
> of support is fine, but allowing it to affect public selling prices is unfair to the
> many professionals who require an honest market rate for their work. Humble
> modesty (“Oh, I’m just an amateur) and generosity (”I want everyone to be
> able to buy it”) seem virtuous, but have their own costs to others.
> Charge what your work is worth. If you still can’t break even that way, then
> reconsider your practices. If your work is worth more than you need to charge,
> then buy gifts or a vacation or donate to charity, but charge what your work is
> worth, regardless of your source of income.
> (So, what is your work worth? Well, that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms, to
> be opened on another day. It’ll keep.)
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