I was sharing over lunch with a friend the number of ceramics we bought at the recent art shows when she said, “Sounds like a hazard of the job?!” Indeed. So many pieces so little shelf space.
After the NCECA Claytopia event in Minneapolis, I had to figure out how to bring 12 ceramic pieces home, of all different sizes and shapes, in my backpack and carry-on luggage. Not easy when they’re all packaged in bubble wrap. Fortunately, I packed only one pair of shoes to wear over three days, in preparation for this dilemma.
In my meetings with artists in Minnesota, I asked what trends they are seeing from customers and they all shared similar perspectives, unique is what clients want. How that’s defined changes by client, but when customers invest in artisan, it means it’s worth it to have something special, a different piece than what’s on the shelves at other places.
On the flip side, artists have to marry unique with good business. (Read more on this here.) As one artist said, he’s been coached to “tighten things up,” which make sense. Every item can’t be a one-off unless it carries an unusually high price tag.
There’s so much to consider, but for a moment, let’s enjoy the beauty and craftsmanship of these ceramic pieces acquired across the show season…