Saturday, December 13, 2008

Annual Crisis of Confidence

This will consume more than one post, and truthfully, it happens more than once a year. It goes kinda like this: until 2000, before my divorce and move to Maine, I was a full-time potter. I did wholesale and retail artfairs and taught a few classes a week. Since the move, I've been a part-time potter with a part-time job. It's not the worst job in the world, and in this economy God knows I am grateful to have it. Without it I wouldn't have been able to buy my home. Nevertheless, the idea when I got the job was that it would be temporary, until I could get my studio business going full steam again...and eight years later, that hasn't really happened. Lots of good things have happened: Bought a house and a gas kiln (such as it is), got married, my work has improved. But though I have a nice life, I am really no closer to being a full time potter than I was in 2000. < So I can't help but wonder if I am going about this wrongly. Right now I get my pottery income from private sales, a number of consignment outlets, and a couple of small wholesale account. Consignment is a fairly limited model, as I have found consigning outside of my immediate area to be unworkable. You either have to pay for shipping or (depending on where it is) take a day to deliver the work. If it isn't somewhere that you can visit periodically, they might not even have your work on the sales floor. And then you have to pay to have it shipped back if it doesn't sell. The checks are unpredictable, and you have to have thousands of dollars in inventory out in the world while you are waiting to get paid for it. 

Add to that, I also have a body of sculptural work that I really never do anything with. I'd like to display it but I can't seem to get enough cash together to get it professionally photographed, and amass enough of the pieces to make a good show; or, really, scrape together the guts to approach a venue. I don't even know how. So, maybe that's a place to start: a specific goal: show this work.
More later.


Linda Starr said...

I sympathize, I'm in a similar situation without a part time job, but have been reading "I'd Rather Be In The Studio" by Alyson Stanfield and that is helping me. I just need to crack the whip over my own back and get doing what I should be instead of just making clay - marketing - not as easy as it sounds.

Linda Starr said...

Oh I meant to say in previous post, I just love your sculptural pieces. It was so neat to see them especially the first one. Just the other day I was making a miniature ceramic bed - then I saw your post of furniture - they are so beautiful.

Lori Watts said...

Thanks Linda!! I've put that book on my Amazon wish list.
I make couches, chairs, phones, sometimes ladies' shoes and purses...always sort of sexy, sometimes vaguely, sometmes in a more overt way. I've been doing it for years, and I always either give them away or sell them for, like, $25...So I never have any to show!