Dec. 22nd, 2018

Hot ideas

Dec. 22nd, 2018 10:05 pm
offcntr: (rocket)
Former potters are the worst.

They're always the ones with the great idea that you should totally be making and selling in your booth. I got one in today, chatting about how he used to love throwing pots, complimenting my work, then, just as he's about to leave, he does a Columbo and says, You know what you should be making?

Hoping to head him off, I gesture at my crowded shelves and say, "Does it really look like I have room for another item?"

Not to be deterred, he continues, You should make hot pads. Not, like, those things you use to take pots out of the oven, but the thing you put on your table to put hot dishes on. 

"You mean like a trivet?" Yeah, I used to make them in the shape of bread crusts (huh?) and you could totally sell them and... I forget the rest, but I made some comment about the difficulty of drying flat things so they stay flat, and eventually say that there's already someone doing that at Market, and I don't want to horn in on his business. Which is mostly true: Danny Young of Barbarian Pottery does brilliant press-molded tiles, which may be used in this fashion. But they're really gorgeous, and I'd much rather hang 'em up where I can see them.

But I couldn't help wondering, after he'd left, "If this is such a great idea, why aren't you still making them?"


offcntr: (Default)
Two in one day, though the second one wasn't so insistent, just a very nice older lady who'd broken her soap dish, and wanted to buy a new one, and you know? I couldn't think of a single potter at Market who made them.

It's a design issue, or construction or price-versus-time, possibly all three. A good soap dish has to have some sort of raised structure to keep the soap out of the water that runs off of it. It probably needs to be rectangular, to fit on the sink and accommodate the bar of soap. And it needs to be quick to produce, because, like spoon rests, nobody's gonna pay very much for one.

So throwing and altering is out. Hand-building is definitely out. Both take too much time. The best way to produce soap dishes is probably either casting or press-molding (though I think Buck Creek Pottery used to extrude them), and the few potters we have that work with molds concentrate on higher-value products.

Come to think of it, I used to extrude soap dishes, long, long ago, and like my sponge holders, I never sold enough of them to make it worth my while to make more.

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