Handmade pottery cost a little more, but why?
As I prepare to launch my very first webshop of handmade ceramics, I feel overwhelmed with mixed emotions. Contrary to what you may be thinking, this isn’t because I don’t believe in the product I’ve created, but rather because of that dirty word “money”. Besides I don't think you are going to ask every time why someone's work or service is expensive like to a plumber, electrician, painter or other artists.
I want to help you understand of what goes into the pricing of my work.
First of all, handmade is SLOWWW: By definition, handmade is literally just that, made by the hands of the maker (or in my case potter). My pieces are thrown on the wheel, dried, put back on the wheel to trim, then dried some more. At the same time attachments or appliqués are created and set aside to stiffen. Then all the parts are brought together, an arrangement is thoughtfully designed, the arrangement is then taken apart, only to be put back together using “slip” (pottery glue) to make everything permanent. Believe it or not, that’s not even one-quarter of the entire process…we could be here all day. The point of this is to say that while a machine can crank out hundreds of units per hour, an individual can only make a finite quantity or fraction of the number of pieces in the same amount of time- and time is valuable!
Second, is technique & training: This one is pretty easy to explain… as a potter, I have spent years honing my practices- and it’s always an ongoing process! I’ve learned how to successfully make pottery, performed endless tests, worked and re-worked designs, researched materials and techniques, learned to use equipment, and so on. Without this interminable pursuit of education, my handmade product couldn’t exist.
Last is Research & creative process: I basically think everyday about pottery! I know, sounds crazy, but I'm always looking for inspiration, new form designs, new glazes, reading pottery books etc. My journey into ceramics never stops :)
Keep in mind that a lot of work goes into handmade pottery and please think twice before you ask why it's so expensive. I'm not a mass production ceramics maker.
Having said all of this, I’ll finish by saying that creating is a wonderful process. Over the making journey, I come to know each of my pieces intimately, and I grow to treasure each one. While sometimes it can be difficult to see a piece leave my hands, some of my most gratifying daydreams are to imagine my creations being used and treasured by all of you. So thank you for valuing the work I do enough to want it to become apart of your home and daily lives.