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kenny rogers on tiles - cottage industry

updated wed 2 apr 03


george koller on tue 1 apr 03

Potters would be outta their minds to go head to head with tile companies....


I have a recent example. So recent I'm only 1/3 into the
job.... 4th full kiln load cooling as I write this.

My studio in Michigan is in a building shared with HBD
ceramics where Dick Solon brings in tiles by the container
load from England - those dry pressed "English Bone China"
tiles made by companies like H&R Johnson.

Well, Dick ran out of white glazed ovals (6" by 4") but
has raw bisqued ones. Could I glaze 1200 of them for a
customer? "Sure" I said.... and set a price.

For a cottage industry operation my system is pretty
darned efficient, I think, but even so it is taking me some
5 hours to spray the about 180 tiles I can squeeze into
a kiln load. That's less than 2 minutes each for cleaning
up, measuring, mixing, spraying, putting into sitters,
in /out of kiln, and repackaging.

Now with "corrected" tabulations it shows that At 0.80
USD per tile I might make minimum wage after the glaze
costs, electricity - direct costs are taken out.

Another hard lesson in Cottage Economics 101. I'd be
"folding 'em" if I didn't have hope that technology can
also be on our side.

You gotta know I'd love to chat about what I see coming,
but I have to get back to spraying tiles now....