The Selling Season, Not All About Money

The "selling season" arrives twice, in November-December and March-April. The pre-winter one is all about "holiday shows and sales", and the pre-spring one is before Passover and Easter and the new spring leaves on the trees, which seems to make people desire something new and fresh.

For the potter, this pottery business is most happily about the making. This photo from around 2011 says it best. Making is engrossing. Here I am at the very beginning of a goblet.

(Before the studio reno, on my trusty Lockerbie kickwheel, ca. 2011)

But selling is the other bookend bracketing my business. Selling; that's as challenging as making. It would be great if everyone loved handmade pottery and wanted to own it. But here's how it really  goes: The handmade aspect attracts the relatively few who, in their unsnobbish way (as I make and sell unsnobbish pots, which they seem to understand), are kind of select. I understand that and don't expect everyone to jump up and down every time I unload a kiln. (Fortunately, I have one or two who do!) Most all of my buyers just come along here and there, at random times including times of need-of-gift, and are individuals who have curiosity and willingness to not always be like everyone else and go for the thing everybody has. 

I like the part where I get to talk with people. It might be the same conversations many times over- 'How long did it take you to make that? How do you get the shiny finish on the piece? What is the oven like that "bakes" it? Why is there no glaze on the bottom? Do you draw this freehand?' I'm OK to have that conversation repeatedly. It's education and connection, after all; most people don't have 30 years of pottery education to know these things without having to ask. 

The people are unique and separate individuals. Even if the piece doesn't get bought after, the conversation is still good. Most of the time in my working life, except while I am teaching, I am in semi-seclusion in the studio. But people, after all, are at both ends of the handmade pottery transaction. Potter>>>allthatprocess<<<Buyer! In the end it becomes a sociable transaction. The pot didn't come off an automated assembly line, and neither did the person who made it, or the person who bought it. 

I think about the person enjoying using or giving this thing I've made, that they liked enough to think about and want to touch and purchase. The pottery connects, as does every handmade thing. It bridges gaps. It finishes a circle between people. 

Posted on December 8, 2015 .