When you run a small business, the most important people in your life learn more than they could ever want about your job. I asked my family to tell me what it is like to have a ceramic artist in the family and over the next few weeks I will be sharing their answers.
As the husband of a ceramic artist, I get more perks than most. Unique, handmade Christmas gifts for my co-workers, custom taco holders, and my pick of the “reject” pieces that Christie thinks aren’t good enough for selling. Plus, I occasionally am allowed to play around in the studio and attempt to throw a pot or make something else – usually to no avail.
I also see the incredible amount of work that goes into each piece – something I think is rarely appreciated by the average customer. I can’t count the number of times at a show that someone has walked into her booth and pronounced that a certain $20 piece is “overpriced”. What they don’t see is the hours of time that went into forming the piece, hand drawing a design on it, loading it into a kiln for 12 hours of firing, hand glazing that same piece, and then re-firing it for another 12 hours. They don’t see the 2 or 3 pieces that don’t make it through each firing. They don’t see the hours it takes to pack fragile ceramics for a show, transport them, set them up, and then do it all again at the end of the day to get them back home. I know this frustrates my wife, but I think it frustrates me even more – I always want to walk up and give those people a lecture about how much work goes into each piece and then ask them if they still think that meager $20 dollars is too much for all the hours of work that went into each piece! Obviously I don’t or I’d get kicked out of the booth, but I sure do want to!
As for wishing anything was different, there’s really only one thing. I wish she would stop under-valuing her work. It really is amazing what she’s actually doing! Keep it up Christie!
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