Lessons Learned from the Sale

by - November 13, 2011

First, I am so thankful for chance to be at this show. The Handmade Market is huge and well run, and getting a table can be very competitive. The Handmaidens are so professional and talented, and the day seemed to go off without a hitch. For me, the show went mostly well. I don't think people were at the show to drop a lot of cash, but I managed to turn out a little profit and sell around twelve pieces. Of course, in my ideal world, people would have been fist-fighting each other for a chance to buy my pottery, perhaps without the violence.

It is difficult to predict what will sell well at each show. For instance, in the past, my bud vases and bottles tended to be overlooked for the medium-sized bowls, but this time, hardly any bowls sold and the bottles were a big hit. I think shows around the holidays cater to people buying gifts, so a small vase is a little more giftable than a serving bowl that may or may not match the recipients dining style. The very first show I did was in the spring season, and people were buying more for themselves. A seasoned potter probably is much better at predicting all this.

However, the bottom line is that people want mugs. The fact that I don't make mugs puts me at a sharp disadvantage to the other potters. I think it's time to buck up and design a mug. There are several I've seen that are handle-less, which may be a route I'll pursue if I find an attractive shape. I don't mind doing handles, but they are such a subjective things. Should there be room for three fingers, four? Should they let the user keep their knuckles off the side of the mug or should they keep the hand snug to the side? If the side were thick enough, then the mug wouldn't be too hot to hold and would excellent for warming the hands in the winter.

So, a question for my readers and especially hot liquid drinkers: What is your ideal mug? If you have a link to a picture, please post it.

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  1. This is my favorite mug. What you can't really tell from the pic is that it's short and fat. Love it. Love the handle. I reach for it every day.


  2. I like the short and squatty - it's less likely to be knocked over!

  3. I totally agree with short and squatty. Other qualities I enjoy: a long handle (none of that tea cup business), but a thinner handle. A lip to the cup (because every decanter/pitcher I pour coffee out of dribbles and the lip helps collect that dribble). Am I a little to serious about this? Here's my fave: http://www.miss-ology.com/mug.jpg

    Size perspective: my whole fist will fit in that mug - it's pretty big. :)

    PS - let me know when I can pre-order some mugs :) :)

  4. So the curved lip controls the dribble... ahhh. I like the rim to contour to my lip. Makes it feel like it was just for me! Miss, I don't think you are alone in how serious you are about how you like your mugs.

  5. It was great to see you and your beautiful pottery at Handmaidens! I feel your frustration. Markets and Etsy selling can be tricky...it's kind of like the SAT's...all about how well you take the test and not necessarily how well you know the topics. I've found that it helps to focus on making things that I love and am excited about and hopefully folks will feel the same. It's too hard (actually, impossible!) trying to please everyone, so I work to have a good variety, price-wise and project-wise, and hope for the best. Sometimes people come to these things, get ideas and shop names, and actually make the purchase later...or at least, know to look for you next time around. Anyway, just wanted to say that mug or no mug, you had a beautiful table and should be proud!

  6. Laura, you are so sweet to say so. It was great seeing you too!



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