Monday, June 16, 2014

Follow Your Muse

Over the past year, really as long as I've been working with clay, I've had plenty of time to reflect on making and selling pottery. I've thought about what I like to make and what sells and at what price. At the last farmer's market I noticed a pottery booth filled with functional pottery and the highest priced piece of pottery was $65 and most pieces were priced at $20 or less. The market runs for six hours and the booth fee is $15 and it takes about an hour to set up and an hour to take down a pottery booth. A person would have to sell $135 worth just to pay their booth fee and make $15 an hour. That doesn't include the cost of materials, equipment, time, and effort making the pottery.

Rather than add to my expenses and purchase a kiln and pay for the wiring, I thought I could depend upon having my pottery fired in the kiln at the art center in Helen but I just learned the person in charge of firing the kiln is gone for two months. I didn't learn this till after I brought my latest batch of greenware to the center. Driving to the center takes 45 minutes one way. I'm not sure whether it's cost effective to drive over there but the wiring and cost of kiln is more costly up front. I do know I get much better results when I fire my own work. Just wondering if I'd be paid more for the fish wall tile or log cabin plate if they were painted on canvas or board?  Not that art is all about money but it does help to be paid for your effort and materials.

Inexplicably I'm drawn to painting on clay with slips and I keep returning to that aspect. I notice many folks are drawn to paintings and seem to value two dimensional art over pottery, at least with their pockets. I plan to do some painting on canvas and board in addition to my pottery. I have an appointment with a private wood mill tomorrow to get some special wood for an idea I have. Now that I have all of my art supplies unpacked I can devote part of my time to painting again. I'm not sure where this is going but I'm following my muse where it takes me. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. Hello Linda,

    We can absolutely empathise with you over receiving what you feel is a reasonable reward for all your efforts. It is so dispiriting to put in a huge effort and for that not to be satisfactorily recognised.

    So, perhaps it is a good idea to take a new direction and to follow your muse towards painting. Sometimes, things happen for a reason and the absence of the person at the Centre could be just the trigger you need to follow a different path.

    We shall watch, wait and see!

  2. I think that following one's muse is always the way to go. Our passions never lead us astray. In fact, too many people in this world DON'T follow their passions - and they end up living with "what ifs"...

  3. I think some canvases sold alongside your pottery would be a nice addition to your work.

  4. I second the Optimistic Existentialist. It's all about moving on.

  5. Following your muse is not only better for you, it enriches everyone's world. Muses are there to brighten our days, our nights and our lives. Demanding though they can be.

  6. Linda, you are a wise woman. And your commentators seem to be as well. I actually took my watercolors outside yesterday and sat by the creek to do a painting. Then today I decorated with glazes on plates. Keep on stretching yourself in a new direction. It's the only way we grow.

  7. Hi Jane and Lance, thanks, perhaps you are right about things happening for a reason, I hope so.

    Hi Keith, thanks, I hope I can follow all the paths I want to take as I really do dislike 'what ifs'.

    Hi Michele, thanks, I was thinking along those same lines. Ha.

    Hi Joanne, thanks, keep going forward so you don't fall back.

    Hi Elephant's Child, thanks, oh those muses are definitely very demanding. Ha.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, oh you and I are following in parallel lives, how fun.

  8. just when I start to question my clay work I will sell a piece for a good price and be happy to continue. Combining skills sounds like a good option.

  9. Hi Anna, thanks, I hope you are correct about selling something at a good price. Ha.

  10. Give it a try....a lot depends on the area you live in if things sell. Your artistry is worth the money. :)


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