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one lousy more thought

updated sat 17 apr 04


Richard Aerni on fri 16 apr 04

Hello again Sharon,

I went back to the archives and read the thread of your experiences. As
for the staff not knowing who you are, well, that seems to be off-color,
since I would think staff, and particularly management, would want to know
about "their" artists, so as to facilitate sales, and give better customer
service. I would be steamed about that one. I wonder whether you've given
them promotional material for their files on you, or for display with your
work. Also, sad to say, my clay supplier got bought by one of the larger
companies a number of years ago, and I don't believe that I've ever called
to order clay from them and gotten anyone who has the faintest clue that
I'm a customer, what my needs are, or who can answer any of my questions
(unless I talk to the plant manager). It bugs me, but they have something
that I want that I would find difficult to get elsewhere...but believe me,
once I find something that works from someone who treats me better, I'm

As for your complaint that all of your work is not displayed at all times,
I guess I'd have to wonder if that is so all the time, or just once in a
while. Galleries redo their "look" as often as once a month, and things
get shifted around. One of my best galleries, whom I consign with, often
has some/much of my work stashed in the back, or in shelves under the
counters. They always have some of my work around, and they sell a good
bit, but it's not all always on display. I have to give them the latitude
to do what works best for them, businesswise.

Another gallery that I deal consignment with, in a far-off city and with a
BIG reputation, I recently learned usually only has two or three of my
pieces on display at any one time, since they want to give each clayperson
(it is a clay gallery) their own "display" and they have so many top clay
artists and only so much space. This is a bit disturbing to me, since my
sales have dropped significantly there since their reputation has blossomed
and my display space has lessened. Also, because they pick out the work
from me, and always pick my best, bar none. The thought of all that good
work in the basement bothers me. But, they are friends, and it would be an
issue, and I do want to show with them. My plan? Let the sales draw down
and then control what I send them, quantity-wise. But, it niggles. If I
didn't have enough sales outlets around the country, so that this problem
is relegated to a small one, it would niggle lots more. Do you need to
find more outlets, perhaps?

As for accounting issues, well, what can you do except to keep better
records, and be prepared to show them their mistakes? This is a tough part
of consignment, since it is your word against theirs, unless all documents
are signed by both parties, which is tough to do. I don't know what to
say, except to track your transactions and if the errors become too
frequent, or too significant, consider drastic action.

Well, those are my thoughts, and I'm sticking to them, at least for the

Best wishes,
Richard...good to hear your name again, though not in these circumstances...