Sunday, March 10, 2019

Demos & Seconds & One-offs, Oh My!

Every pottery teacher amasses demos. I teach 5 classes, all mixed skill levels, so I make a lot of demo pots. I don't fire all of them, but I do a lot of glazing demos, also, so many of them do eventually emerge a a finished product. It's the nature of teaching that I teach many techniques and forms that are not in my usually body of work, and also, I don't do the types of detail work - sanding the bottoms, for example - that I do on what I think of as my "real" work.

In addition, my firing method - soda-firing - generates a fair amount of seconds. Pasty, not-enough-glaze pots, big blobs of soda in unfortunate places, warps, minor cracks...all of those fall in the category of aesthetic seconds: flaws that don't compromise the function of the piece.

What to do with all these oddballs? In the summer I sell many of them from my front yard "pottery stairs," but in the winter they just pile up. Since one of my 19 for 2019 was to increase online sales, I decided to offer these imperfect-but-fine pieces a place in my online store. Upside: maybe sell some pots! Downside: photographing & listing takes time - way more time than just sticking them on shelves in the yard & letting them sell themselves. It may turn out to be not worth it. Also, the flaws do not decrease the cost of shipping, so they are not as much of a bargain for online shoppers as they are for drive-bys. In spite of these, I decided to give it a try. Here are the pots I've listed so far:

Serving Bowl w Green Dots, $30
(Some of the dots are smudged)

The flaw is the blotch, obviously! But this one is nevertheless my favorite. 

Green quilted mug, $22
I got distracted while doing this demo for my class, and mis-spaced one of the quilting lines.
See that funky diagonal? That's what I get for trying to do too many things at once. 

We'll see how it goes. Worst case, they don't sell, and will find homes when summer comes.


Barbara Rogers said...

There is still a lot of value to these. Especially since they tell a different story than a regular piece!

Lori Watts said...

Thanks! Telling the piece's story is an approach I use to selling my "real" body of work. It didn't occur to me to try it for seconds!