Saturday, November 15, 2014

So, you saw this, right?

Bon Appetit magazine recently ran an article about restaurants using handmade ware in place of the chilly, manufactured white china you usually find when eating out. Awesome, right? Awesome, right!! The article seemed to be written by someone not particularly familiar with handmade ceramics, or maybe just written for people less familiar. (For one thing it makes no distinction between stoneware and earthenware. You can put high-fire stoneware in the dishwasher all day long. Not that you'd want to. But IF you did want to. Anyway.) It's a brief article, that contains a shout-out to Portland's own Eventide.

Here's hoping this is, in fact, a trend! But here's the funny part: Since this article came out, I've received two emails asking me to DONATE pottery to newly opening restaurants, for the exposure, dontcha know.

Let me think about 

Now, I'm happy to donate ware to a handful of charitable auctions every year. That's one way I can support charities. But I don't do it for the dubious benefit of exposure, and I'm damned if I am going to start donating to businesses.

I wanted to write back saying that a business I am associated with holds a huge social event every December, and would the restauranteur care to cater this event, for free, for the exposure? How many takers do you think I'd get?

You know what I do for exposure? I write this blog. I market my work in stores and galleries. I advertise. I go to trade shows (or at least, I used to, and may again.)What I don't do? Give it away and hope somebody sees it and wants to buy it.

Artists are notoriously bad at business, and I might be the poster child (er...poster lady of a certain age); but jeez, even I ain't falling for this. I hope nobody does.


Sandy Miller said...

Posted it on my Facebook wall and it got more shares than any other article I ever posted, including the plight humans, animals and bees......

And not that I would want to make hundreds of dishes for a restaurant but I guess it goes to show potters are dreamers :)

And yeah I quit giving my work away years ago, don't think I've missed a sale. A music foundation asked for a large donation and I asked if they would provide a musician for my next opening....... Ha! They haven't called back.

Have a great season of selling work!

ShellHawk said...

Along those lines, you may or may not have seen this article, earlier this year:

If I were at a skill level to make dishes for a restaurant, I would, but not for free! Why do people not see how insulting it is to ask for art for "Free for exposure," and not offer compensation, even for materials?

Lori Watts said...

ShellHawk - that article is great! What I actually did respond was that while "I often donate to charities, I am not in a position at this time to donate to businesses. I do, however, offer wholesale pricing...." AT THIS TIME! As if at some FUTURE time, I might start donating to businesses!

Cathy Kiffney Studio said...

Thank you! Where is the like button? Infuriating! Glad to see you all are not falling for it and passing on these "opportunities".

Unknown said...

Bravo! I don't even donate pieces anymore to many of the nonprofit auctions, raffles, etc. that I used to support. Instead, I'll donate a gift certificate so the "winner" will come in, see my work, and (hopefully) pick out something they really love - and perhaps buy additional pieces, or come back for more later.

Mimi said...

I love this post. So many of us have been asked this sort of question.