Monday, September 18, 2017

Double Your Pleasure-Double Your Fun

Upon being presented with the proposition that adding a new glaze combination to your current ones would double your sales -- presumably because you'd now have twice as many options....

Your sales will only double if you're magically able to make twice as many pieces.

I remember a conversation I had with a friend who makes VERY fine sculptural raku vessels. For years and years he made them the same way -- white crackle glaze with areas of bared, smoked clay.

Then he started being influenced by an extremely talented painter who encouraged him to add color to his pieces.

The friend was right insofar and his work was at least as striking, and perhaps even more decoratively appealing, given that it might fit a more colorful setting.

But I happened to be discussing with him a problem I was facing -- that variety was KILLING my inventory. That is, I was noticing that if I had, say, three pitchers but each one was decorated differently, I suddenly didn't really have the same inventory. I suddenly didn't really have three pitchers. I suddenly was sold out of an item upon the sale of one pitcher....though I appeared to have two left.

Get what I mean?

And when I said this to my friend, he got that look of dawning horror that you get when you realize you should have left the haunted house at the BEGINNING of the movie, and not after you first hear the chain saw start up.

It suddenly dawned on him the problem he had been facing all year: He hadn't increased his income by tripling his color choices. In fact, he had done just the opposite.

And if he happened to have chosen exactly the right percentages of exactly the right colors, well, then he was okay. But what had ACTUALLY happened was that he created the metaphorical un-meshed gears. That is, he was placing the moving target of the right color combination against the moving target of the random tastes of his audience....and realizing they were spinning at two different speeds. He was selling less and keeping up worse.


  1. Sounds like you have managed to run an Alice In Wonderland race!

  2. John- I have loved your pottery from the first piece I ever saw- probably in the 80's, and I can't even remember where. I used to have a clipping of one of your casseroles on my bulletin board as inspiration and perfection to strive towards. I would love to purchase a piece and have looked on Etsy, but am wondering if that is all you have available at this time? And another question- Is the green as green as it looks on-line? Thanks!!!

    1. Hi Barb,

      Sorry, I nearly missed this. My blog is supposed to email me alerts when I get replies but it doesn't always do it (I've wondered if there's some sort of server compatibility issue with Google). Anyway, sometimes the images are pretty true to the green. I try to make the ones I put up on Etsy as accurate as I can, but I shoot with a Canon G-10 and it really lacks saturation so I'm always playing with it in photoshop.

      I'm guessing that from time to time I over-do it, but it's also true that the glaze itself varies quite a bit -- thin and it's lighter, thick it is not only darker green, it also often has flecks of charcoal color and very deep undertones.

      I'll be using Etsy quite a bit more toward the end of the year. Right now I have two big shows demanding most of my time.

      Thanks for the message. It's nice to hear from you and especially nice to hear such kind words.