Monday, October 24, 2011

Being Happy Is Being Rich

At a recent show the only bowl which sold was my galaxy bowl. If you recall months ago this was the bowl which didn't turn out the way I liked. But several folks remarked they liked the bowl. Who am I to argue with the public; after all they are the ones who are purchasing my pottery.

So in that vein I've made a few more of these galaxy bowls, the first photo is a new one I made. The second photo is the one I sold. The photo doesn't do it justice. Perhaps it's the size or shape of the bowl which is a draw too. It's about a two person salad size or good to serve vegetables, chips or a bowl full of cookies.

All of my botanical plates and platters sold except the rose colored one. So I've made a few more of those too. All of my ornaments sold, the ones with red or green, but the turquoise crackle snowflakes didn't sell. Now I like turquoise, but perhaps others don't like that color, perhaps it's because it's not a traditional xmas color. I think of blue for snowflakes but maybe turquoise isn't close enough.

Only one vase sold and it was another one of my seagrass vases. I hope the person who purchased it appreciates all the time I took making it, carving and texturing, then hand glazing each stripe. There were actually cooling crystals inside the bottom of the vase. For what I sold the vase for, I figured I made about $2.80 per hour because of the time it took to make and glaze it. I had lowered the price of this vase because I personally didn't like the color of the glaze on the exterior, but apparently someone else did, at least for the price I sold it.

The average city factory worker in China makes $1.08 per hour, but their cost of living is much less than ours. The average city factory worker in Mexico makes $2.38 per hour; their cost of living is higher than China but less than ours. With the cost of living in America, I made the least per hour than either of the factory workers in those countries. What I sold was not a factory item. This is in no way a complaint, just an observation.

In order to make a comfortable living with my lower priced items I'd have to mass produce them and sell lots of volume. I could do that with the botanical platters and ornaments, but not the vase. Well maybe I could make a mold for the vase I don't know, but I don't want to get into factory production, if I did I'd let a factory do that work. I'd rather make and sell one of a kind handmade items. So I'm looking for those buyers in galleries and other venues.

If only my health permitted me to flip hamburgers or greet at wally world I'd be much richer, but not too happy. So I guess being happy is being rich. I'd be a little happier if I was a little more comfortable though. Years ago I worked as a waitress and I enjoyed that. In fact that's how I put myself through college. Of course college was much less expensive back then. But I couldn't be on my feet or do all the bending a waitress has to do now, too bad for that. I don't even hope or want to be rich, but if I won the lottery, which I don't play, I wouldn't turn down the money. I'm sure if I won the lottery I'd have plans to help make other people's lives more comfortable. Wasn't there a TV show where a rich guy gave money away to deserving strangers, wouldn't that be fun. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. I remember the old Millionaire TV show where the reclusive John Beresford Tipton gave a check for a million dollars TAX-FREE to unsuspecting people. (Of course, that was back when a million bucks was a lot of money!) I wonder which makes for a greater life accomplishment--having a body of creative works, or having a million dollars. (But then, they aren't mutually exclusive.)

  2. Yes you could make lots of less expensive stuff, but how happy would you be? The production potters I know enjoy doing the work and the results. We make so little in the long run; enjoyment of the process is one of the rewards.

    I sounds like you sold a good amount of stuff.....that always is a spirit lifter.

    I guess I have fairly small needs, but I feel rich when I have enough income so I don't have to worry about bills etc. Rich, for me, is more a sense of well-being than cold, hard cash.

    By the way, I am totally in love with the sheep/ram tile. I want to sink my fingers into his wool and give him a hug! :)

  3. Well, David and I are not millionaires, but we live comfortably. He told me he might have to work until he dies to pay for our vacation trips. The day he is unable to travel will be the day he retires from his job as an accountant.

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  5. Hi

    Your pieces in the first three photos are so beautiful. I love all of them!! Really glad to hear that just like me many people love your works and they sell well. I'd think that happiness is a state of mind, however, at the same time I think that there is no happiness without some money to pay the bills though money may not always bring happiness. Probably happiness is a form of courage which I've learned from you and your long courageous journey to Florida. I lead a life without frills; you know very well that we should save power(grin).

  6. Times are hard, but then you already know that. I'd rather be working for nothing that working at Wally World are McDonald's. Seriously.

  7. Hi Ms. Sparrow, thanks, well a million dollars would be a whole heck of a lot to me, if I had that much I'd have many less worries. But I'd still work in clay, but with more travels thrown in between, ha.

    Hi Smartcats, thanks, yes I wouldn't mind feeling a little richer for the less worrying for sure. That wool is not going to be very soft, but you have given me an idea to perhaps add some textures or materials to some piece of clay, the shrines will have additions, so many ideas and so little time.

    Hi Sapphire, thanks, without the money for bills and a little left over for some small enjoyments it is difficult. Yes, you and I and many live lives without frills, some more or less than others. When I feel trapped in this economy I have only to think of a man my Gary met at our community meeting who said he was a prisoner in his own home because he only has enough money to barely pay his bills but not enough to go any where or do anything else, that is extremely sad to me to think there are so many folks like that existing but not 'living'.

    Hi Rubye Jack, thanks, I'd rather work for nothing than work at those places, but if I could I'd work there part time for a while to help pay the bills, food, utilities and for my clay and supplies, and perhaps put a small amount in the bank for those unexpected emergencies, if there isn't enough for basic necessities, well then, that's when it becomes difficult.

  8. I could not agree more with the title. A woman came into my booth one day saying "you think they would charge less so they could sell more." Since I don't have a factory in China I can't really afford to do that. Your work is beautiful, and crafted with care and love, you should be able to get a fair price for it.

  9. Sometimes I think, "gosh, you'd really have to be independently wealthy to be an artist!" I know how much work goes into a piece... I've often thought about how much you'd have to sell it for to actually make a decent wage. So, for now I keep my day job, make my art on the side... and often give it away. Our cost of living is tied into your recent post... making corporations richer, which makes us have to work harder for less... just to get the basic bills paid!
    Well, keep fighting the good fight!
    I do vaguely remember that show.

  10. Hi Lori, thanks, charge less to sell more, yep. I'll make smaller items to charge less and sell more, but not the complicated ones. Although I can't help myself making them and love those much more than the less complicated items, just need to find more venues to sell my work.

    Hi Becky, thanks, if only I had a day job, I'd be better off and not as worried about all my bills, looking for a part time job but they are few and far between and even fewer of the ones I can physically do. All we can do is keep keeping on for sure, just to keep our heads above water.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment