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It's a Part of Me

Most, if not all artists put much of themselves into their art.  I'm no different, each pot I make is a part of me.  Some parts of me are very complex like a teapot, some are are simple like a soap holder.  Simple does not mean lesser.  Probably the soap holder will get used everyday while the tea pot sits on a shelf waiting it's turn for that special occasion when it can be used.

I think that's part of the joy of selling my work.  When someone sees a piece that they like and what to make it a part of their life that's an acceptance.  It's almost like someone saying they want to be my friend.  And yes, many customers become friends.  It's really a happy thing.

Teapot with Mishima Flower and Robin by Lori Buff
Dogwood Teapot

Some people see my pots and try to give me less money for them.  I don't think that the pieces are overpriced, or that I've put less into them.  I think people are conditioned towards the sale item.  They are used to the large grocery and department stores who mark things up so they can mark them down.  I've been told that people feel happier when they find a sale so I should make that possible for my customers.  But the vast majority don't haggle about the price.  They understand, appreciate the quality and buy the piece.  Some then tell me that I don't charge enough!  Go figure.

Determining the price of our work will always be an issue for potters and probably for all artists.  We can figure out a formula for time and materials but how do we figure out the cost of that little piece of ourselves.

Speaking of other artist check out the interesting artists at mudcolony and in my blogroll.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff


  1. Your teapot is a classic, I love dogwoods

  2. ah, its a pretty teapot indeed :) I sometimes feel like a nice customer is getting a bunch of things and give them a deal, but GOSH I hate it when somebody asks me for a sale price!

    1. Exactly Gary, I'd like the decision to give a discount to be mine because of a feeling of generosity. I've been telling the "discounters" no and then selling the piece at full price to someone anyway.

  3. You have raised in interesting point. What price for a piece of your creativity? What is fair and what is unreasonable. The time a crafts worker puts into a piece is never fully recovered. I stress to my students it's about $4 per hour when all is said and done. We make things because we are driven to, not for the finacial reward however we all have to pay rent and rego etc. And we should be rewarded for our efforts. We are not machines....we need to eat. It is a sign of the times and the "Down down down" advertising does noting for the bespoke world.

    1. Well said JB, thanks for the comment. I assume many people who haggle assume an artist has another full time, well paying job that pays the bills but many of us do not.

      I was discussing this with a much more well known potter than I who said she earned about minimum wage. Your students have something to aspire too if they put in the heard work.

  4. I liked reading your thoughts about putting yourself into your Art. It really gave me something to think about.

    As a customer I have never haggled on a piece of Art. If I can't afford something in a gallery I don't buy it. I've paid $20 for an 8cm high clay chicken simply because I recognise the work that has gone into it and the talent of the artist. I've drooled over a $1500 metalwork birdbath because of the same reasons but left with a sigh as I couldn't justify the expense (and I'm pretty good at justifying expenses). I've paid $15 for a bowl that I can now make myself but I was super impressed with the effects of the glazing.

    I say well done for not giving in to the bargain hunters because I don't believe they would treasure your pieces like a customer such as myself.


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