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Etsy and The Studio Potter

Maybe I get bored easily or maybe I'm continually growing.  I like to think the latter is true especially since I spend so much time auditing and attending workshops and trying to improve myself and my pots.  We are told that growth is a good thing.  We are always striving for a higher degree of knowledge, a promotion at a job, we even measure our children's growth on a wall because we find it important.
Sometimes growth is not so good, like when it comes to listing my pottery on Etsy.  I don't create formula pots.  Even when I make a lot of one piece each one tends to be very different.  Take mugs for example.  Many potters make mugs, they can be a staple of our existence. But when I make them, even if I make a set, no two are alike.  It's not that I can't make a pair of matching mugs, I guess I could if I tried.  It's that I don't want to.  Like many people my mug travels around with me in the mornings.  It starts in the kitchen, moves to the bedroom then maybe outside, to the office then the studio, and eventually back to the kitchen and into the dishwasher.  Janet's morning coffee mug makes a similar journey and we don't want to get them mixed up since she takes hers without sugar and I take mine with, if we mixed them up it would be bad. 
In order to list one piece for sale on Etsy I need to take at least 5 good images of the piece from different angles, know it's measurements and then write something interesting about it.  That's a lot of work.  So is setting up and breaking down a show.  Which is the greater time suck?  I don't know.  But I will tell you that I do enjoy doing shows more than Etsy.  I like meeting my customers and hanging out with other artists.  Don't get me wrong, my favorite way to sell is still in galleries and stores.  It's easier than setting up the booth and I still enjoy a personal relationship with the owner of the place.
Lots of people sell on Esty, some of the work is very unique.  I'd love to know where they find the time.  I'd also love to hear some suggestions for making Etsy listing faster and easier.
I love and appreciate your comments.
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery


  1. I haven't put anything in my Etsy shop for so long for all the reasons you mentioned. It's just a big old time suck for me. I would rather spend the time making more work for shows and galleries.I hate having to come up with some kind of description, shoot all the photos, I also hate the packing and shipping thing. I do sell when I list, but I need an etsy employee here to make it work I think! Not sure about that Etsy thing at all, but I'm too busy getting ready for fall shows to worry with it right now.

  2. Hi Tracey - I'm with you, I'd rather be making the work than listing it. Of course who wouldn't, that's the most fun part.

  3. I definitely list more on Etsy fall and winter. But it's also hard during summer show season to keep my inventory separate and straight so I just skip listing anything new during the summer. About once a month, I choose items from my inventory I would like to list and photograph all of them in about 1/2 hour. After photos are done, I try to list one new item each evening so there is something new each day. Descriptions are often copied and slightly modified from one listing to the next for similar items. My most recent descriptions need some work but that's easy to go back later when I've got a few minutes to kill between other tasks (like while watching TV or something). I definitely like doing shows, but they are a lot of work. If I can sell enough on Etsy to replace one show, I'm pleased. Now... to figure out which show I should eliminate. :)

  4. Hi Sue - you've got some good ideas there. Maybe when I'm packing up my last holiday show I'll make one bin an Etsy bin so all the pieces are together and ready to be photographed.


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