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creating atmosphere to sell...advice anyone?

updated wed 2 feb 05

 

Elizabeth Priddy on thu 27 jan 05


Me too.

I've had a similar problem. My regular ware stopped selling well and I worked
at creating a new niche for myself. You can see the drastic difference by
looking at the two sites here:
http://www.elizabethpriddy.com/mygallery.html
http://www.elizabethpriddy.com/2003tiles.html

The first documents what I used to make and sell with ease.
And the second shows what I have made for the last 7 years or so.

I think some of the same principles of aesthetic are still there, but it is a
whole nother ball game making and selling simply decorative clay slab work.

It is straight up art galleries that want it. Pottery shops are not interested.
Same for my decorative pottery tiles, mermaid tiles and ornamental sculptural tiles.
They go in art shops or as special features in cabinitry shops where they make
custom cabinets and are contracted to make the surrounds and tile as well.
That's why the tile go to the specialty shops, the decorative tile go to the art
galleries. And the pots will be sold at a studio sale at the end of February.

People appreciate the one of a kind odd bits I make at home. Gallery owners
appreciate niche items that they understand and that fit their marketing profile.

I think the real trick though is that you can't try to fit their niche. If you do, it will
look like you are trying to copy some other aesthetic than your own. It won't fly.

If you look around with an objective eye to available markets and look for things that
really appeal to you, that inspire you, not necessarily in your media, particularly
things that are not in your media,you might find a spark that flips a switch in your head.
"Hey, I really like that. I think it is beautiful and something like that would
be cool made in clay." Then use images or themes meaningful to you, or that
you have been working with already. Something new and something old.

Notice where it is sold and think realisticly if a clay version or variation that is truly
"yours" would work in that market. If you can't identify a market for what you are
planning, keep looking. Don't waste a year developing a new product line that
has no market.

But if there is no existing market and you really really love the new idea,
own it and make a market for it. There was NO market for chinese brush
painted decorative tile. Chinese brush painters don't paint individual tiles
for the most part and when they do they paint on porcelain squares.
Tile tends to be utilitarian and no-one puts that much effort in a clay tile
sold in a standard pottery format, so it is too expensive for that market.

I did it anyway. I couldn't paint well, I had to learn. I painted on pots and they really sold.
the painting was bad. It was attractive and decorative, but it was not up to the standard I
had set for myself. But I sold enough of them to keep at it. Eventually they wanted the
paintings on whatever I painted it on, freeing me up to paint on flat things and dispense with
the major effort of making a pot and having the same amount of effort on the painting
all be lost on each one that didn't turn out. The tiles are simple to make and take less
space to fire. They are buying the painting. I own it.

It was sad to realize they didn't really care about the pot it was on. But it was fine.
What I am saying is that you might have to let something go to move on to the
new thing. Be willing to change. Be willing to let ANY component of what you
do now go to make room for something new that will work.

When I did my last show, all potters, my work was the only thing like it in a field
of about 60 potters. I am proud of that. It didn't just happen though.

I hope this anecdotal story helps. It was a major deal in my life to shift my gears that
drasticly. Only the baby coming has been as harsh a change. But I have learned that
you cannot be a one trick pony and survive in today's market.


Kathy McDonald wrote:
I have been pondering why I am working harder than I did 10 years ago
..making better pots than I did 10 years ago,and making far far less $$
than I did 10 years ago. These snippets from other posts made me really
think.




Elizabeth Priddy

252-504-2622
1273 Hwy 101
Beaufort, NC 28516
http://www.elizabethpriddy.com

---------------------------------
Do you Yahoo!?
The all-new My Yahoo! Get yours free!

Antoinette Badenhorst on sun 30 jan 05


According to Crafts report of last year, pottery sales on average went down
dramatically from the previous year. Glass and metal are the top craft
sellers right now. metal really high.With earth tones on it's way back as a
fashion color, I believe there is hope for pottery.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Elizabeth Priddy"
To:
Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2005 12:21 PM
Subject: Re: creating atmosphere to sell...advice anyone?


> Me too.
>
> I've had a similar problem. My regular ware stopped selling well and I
> worked
> at creating a new niche for myself. You can see the drastic difference by
> looking at the two sites here:
> http://www.elizabethpriddy.com/mygallery.html
> http://www.elizabethpriddy.com/2003tiles.html
>
> The first documents what I used to make and sell with ease.
> And the second shows what I have made for the last 7 years or so.
>
> I think some of the same principles of aesthetic are still there, but it
> is a
> whole nother ball game making and selling simply decorative clay slab
> work.
>
> It is straight up art galleries that want it. Pottery shops are not
> interested.
> Same for my decorative pottery tiles, mermaid tiles and ornamental
> sculptural tiles.
> They go in art shops or as special features in cabinitry shops where they
> make
> custom cabinets and are contracted to make the surrounds and tile as well.
> That's why the tile go to the specialty shops, the decorative tile go to
> the art
> galleries. And the pots will be sold at a studio sale at the end of
> February.
>
> People appreciate the one of a kind odd bits I make at home. Gallery
> owners
> appreciate niche items that they understand and that fit their marketing
> profile.
>
> I think the real trick though is that you can't try to fit their niche.
> If you do, it will
> look like you are trying to copy some other aesthetic than your own. It
> won't fly.
>
> If you look around with an objective eye to available markets and look for
> things that
> really appeal to you, that inspire you, not necessarily in your media,
> particularly
> things that are not in your media,you might find a spark that flips a
> switch in your head.
> "Hey, I really like that. I think it is beautiful and something like that
> would
> be cool made in clay." Then use images or themes meaningful to you, or
> that
> you have been working with already. Something new and something old.
>
> Notice where it is sold and think realisticly if a clay version or
> variation that is truly
> "yours" would work in that market. If you can't identify a market for what
> you are
> planning, keep looking. Don't waste a year developing a new product line
> that
> has no market.
>
> But if there is no existing market and you really really love the new
> idea,
> own it and make a market for it. There was NO market for chinese brush
> painted decorative tile. Chinese brush painters don't paint individual
> tiles
> for the most part and when they do they paint on porcelain squares.
> Tile tends to be utilitarian and no-one puts that much effort in a clay
> tile
> sold in a standard pottery format, so it is too expensive for that market.
>
> I did it anyway. I couldn't paint well, I had to learn. I painted on
> pots and they really sold.
> the painting was bad. It was attractive and decorative, but it was not up
> to the standard I
> had set for myself. But I sold enough of them to keep at it. Eventually
> they wanted the
> paintings on whatever I painted it on, freeing me up to paint on flat
> things and dispense with
> the major effort of making a pot and having the same amount of effort on
> the painting
> all be lost on each one that didn't turn out. The tiles are simple to
> make and take less
> space to fire. They are buying the painting. I own it.
>
> It was sad to realize they didn't really care about the pot it was on.
> But it was fine.
> What I am saying is that you might have to let something go to move on to
> the
> new thing. Be willing to change. Be willing to let ANY component of what
> you
> do now go to make room for something new that will work.
>
> When I did my last show, all potters, my work was the only thing like it
> in a field
> of about 60 potters. I am proud of that. It didn't just happen though.
>
> I hope this anecdotal story helps. It was a major deal in my life to
> shift my gears that
> drasticly. Only the baby coming has been as harsh a change. But I have
> learned that
> you cannot be a one trick pony and survive in today's market.
>
>
> Kathy McDonald wrote:
> I have been pondering why I am working harder than I did 10 years ago
> ..making better pots than I did 10 years ago,and making far far less $$
> than I did 10 years ago. These snippets from other posts made me really
> think.
>
>
>
>
> Elizabeth Priddy
>
> 252-504-2622
> 1273 Hwy 101
> Beaufort, NC 28516
> http://www.elizabethpriddy.com
>
> ---------------------------------
> Do you Yahoo!?
> The all-new My Yahoo! - Get yours free!
>
> ______________________________________________________________________________
> Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
>
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at
> melpots@pclink.com.
>

Elizabeth Priddy on mon 31 jan 05


I wonder if that means that metallic glaze finishes or at least accents would help
sell pots as it would make it work better in a decor focused on metals.

That is what I meant by look outside your media for inspiration. Not change your whole
color pallette over to metals, but maybe add some accents of metal or possibly
metal attachements to the finished pieces. Only work from where you are out. Anything else is just strict imitation and looks like it.


Antoinette Badenhorst wrote:
According to Crafts report of last year, pottery sales on average went down
dramatically from the previous year. Glass and metal are the top craft
sellers right now. metal really high.With earth tones on it's way back as a
fashion color, I believe there is hope for pottery.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Elizabeth Priddy"

To:
Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2005 12:21 PM
Subject: Re: creating atmosphere to sell...advice anyone?


> Me too.
>
> I've had a similar problem. My regular ware stopped selling well and I
> worked
> at creating a new niche for myself. You can see the drastic difference by
> looking at the two sites here:
> http://www.elizabethpriddy.com/mygallery.html
> http://www.elizabethpriddy.com/2003tiles.html


Elizabeth Priddy

252-504-2622
1273 Hwy 101
Beaufort, NC 28516
http://www.elizabethpriddy.com

---------------------------------
Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Search presents - Jib Jab's 'Second Term'

Antoinette Badenhorst on tue 1 feb 05


I think the secret is to stay consistent in what you are doing. I've
experienced many downs during my career in clay. It is harder to change
style than one think. The public simply do not except changes easily, since
they associate you with certain things. The better way in my opinion to
survive through difficult times is to be creative with things like teaching,
writing etc. Of cause many people fall out during these times. I think that
is an important sifting process.
Regards.
Antoinette.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Elizabeth Priddy"
To:
Sent: Monday, January 31, 2005 2:08 PM
Subject: Re: creating atmosphere to sell...advice anyone?


>I wonder if that means that metallic glaze finishes or at least accents
>would help
> sell pots as it would make it work better in a decor focused on metals.
>
> That is what I meant by look outside your media for inspiration. Not
> change your whole
> color pallette over to metals, but maybe add some accents of metal or
> possibly
> metal attachements to the finished pieces. Only work from where you are
> out. Anything else is just strict imitation and looks like it.
>
>
> Antoinette Badenhorst wrote:
> According to Crafts report of last year, pottery sales on average went
> down
> dramatically from the previous year. Glass and metal are the top craft
> sellers right now. metal really high.With earth tones on it's way back as
> a
> fashion color, I believe there is hope for pottery.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Elizabeth Priddy"
>
> To:
> Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2005 12:21 PM
> Subject: Re: creating atmosphere to sell...advice anyone?
>
>
>> Me too.
>>
>> I've had a similar problem. My regular ware stopped selling well and I
>> worked
>> at creating a new niche for myself. You can see the drastic difference by
>> looking at the two sites here:
>> http://www.elizabethpriddy.com/mygallery.html
>> http://www.elizabethpriddy.com/2003tiles.html
>
>
> Elizabeth Priddy
>
> 252-504-2622
> 1273 Hwy 101
> Beaufort, NC 28516
> http://www.elizabethpriddy.com
>
> ---------------------------------
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Yahoo! Search presents - Jib Jab's 'Second Term'
>
> ______________________________________________________________________________
> Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
>
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at
> melpots@pclink.com.
>