Thursday, 13 September 2012

Making Pottery Adds up Sometimes!

This blog is about my journey in the world of Pottery.

But today I just want to share a thought to  those
who think you can't make a living at Pottery.

It depends how you apply yourself.
Give this some thought.

I buy my clay by the tonne this means
I pay around £3.50 per 12.5KG bag

These small sauce pots take 2.5 ounces of clay
this I have worked out means I can make 9 per 1 Kilo gram
so allowing for a bit of wastage
this means I can make 100 per 12.5 KG Bag.
I sell them retail at £4 each
that means that from one £3.50 bag of clay
you can make £400 worth of pots.

This picture gives you an idea of the size
here I have sat one next to a 4" wide Ramekin.
100 of these small pots could easily be made in one day
with just a bit of slip on the inside
and glazed on the inside and the rim only
they don't take much glaze.
The great thing about these is that you can fit them in the kiln
in all the small gaps between pots
so in my kiln I can usually fit between 10 - 20
per glaze firing.
so if you think this through that's an extra £40 -£80
worth of value in each glaze firing.
I was doing the sums on this on Monday and I just wanted to share
the sums with you.
Makes you think dosn't it.

Not one of my normal blogs I grant you
but one that I think was worth sharing. I hope it gets a few brain cells working.


Hollis Engley said...

You're right, Paul. I've mostly ignored those little pots for the past several months, which means every time I fire I'm looking at many gaps where a small vase or shallow little bowls could easily slip in. People buy them. But I also use them as bonus gifts for those few people who come to my booth ad buy several pots. It's a nice little thing to do for them, costs me little, and keeps me from feeling like I have to give them a discount for multiple pots.

Susan said...

Wish my clay was so cheap, I use porcelain, but kiln fillers are great, and yes even though I make buttons and jewellery I find teeny buttons fill the gaps and sell really well.

Marshall Colman said...

Pottery is cheap to make but expensive to sell. Here's my two pennorth

Tracey Broome said...

Yeah, but you gotta be able to make them as beautiful as yours and have a lovely space to sell them and work really hard marketing yourself like you do, and have a supportive mate, and, and, and..... something to think about, definitely!

Paul Jessop said...

Hi Hollis, That makes even more sense, to give one to a customer rather than discount, I think that's a win win situation. I will start doing that.

Lori Buff said...

Besides the cost of the clay we also have to consider time spent making them, time spent marketing them, cost of selling them (store space, show fee...), cost of heating/cooling said space, cost of wrapping materials to protect them in transit, cost of education to learn how to make pottery then the time invested in making it well... the customer is getting a really good deal on these great little pieces.

David Barber said...

Thanks for the post. I did some similar sums, but included £20 per hour for my time (less than a decent wage for a skilled professional!), gas for bisque firing, gas for glaze firing, electric and heating bills for studio, insurance, transport costs, marketing costs etc, basically all the costs involved in running a manufacturing business. I tried to be completely realistic when I did this. The outcome wasn't as rosy as you make it sound - I wish it were! I'm sure it's possible to scrape a living from making pottery, but I think it's a choice between standard of living or job satisfaction. Good luck to everyone who's trying to make this wonderful occupation pay, if you manage to succeed you could make a killing advising all us other would be potters!

Paul Jessop said...

I do think some people are missing the point here, if you have a workshop then you have a workshop regardless of how much it costs, if you are making pots, then you are making pots, theres no point in saying if i were mending cars I would be being paid £'ss per hour, cos your not, all I'm saying is that given one bag of clay, it depends what you do with it that can make a big difference with how much you can earn from that one bag of clay. so all I'm saying is stop and think about what you are making.

peggy said...

Thank you for this post. It is appreciated and your pots are beautiful

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