Have you ever walked into a nice shop or cool studio, picked a nice vase thinking what flowers will match the decorations? But all of a sudden you are surprised with the price. If it is just a piece of ceramics, why does it have to be so expensive?
The pottery could be pricey because it takes a long amount of time and money to be made. Also, it takes time to develop the skills, and that can take ages to become a pottery master.
Every handcrafted sculpture or pottery is expensive because of the materials and skills involved, the time, and also the process.
The process of making pottery involves stages from planning to creating and finally firing your piece. That firing process can be unpredictable, and it can show you how unforgiving art form is ceramics. Even if you make your piece of pottery perfect, it could crack during the firing process.
It takes thousands of hours to hone your skills and become good enough to offer your pottery on the market and actually sell it. If you want to specialize in making cups you need to find your way to fire the piece that you made out of clay and to see what works best for you. One second you are holding a beautiful vase, and the next you have a lump of clay or dozens of pieces scattered around.
Specializing more forms like vases or plates, well, mastering this craft will take double or triple time.
Add the cost of firing as your pottery needs a large amount of heat, whether it is electricity or gas.
The next thing that is worth mentioning is definitely glazing. When using glaze, results can be different every time even if you use the same glaze the same way. If you want to be more creative and try experimenting more, chances that your final product will break during the process are rising.
Is Pottery An Expensive Hobby?
Making your pieces of pottery can be exciting, relaxing, and fun but also has expenses like every other hobby.
For creating something worth selling you also need good equipment like Pottery Wheel, Kiln, and clay as well.
While clay might be inexpensive, free if you find it in nature, or if you know how to make it at home, the equipment for making your ceramics isn’t cheap.
The good pottery wheel can cost around $1,000, and Kilns are even more expensive. The material you need depends on the types of pottery works you want to make.
The main types are:
- Earthenware – pottery that has not been fired to the point of vitrification and is slightly porous and coarser than stoneware and porcelain
- Stoneware – pottery that has been fired at a high temperature until vitrified (that is, glasslike and impervious to liquid).
Although usually opaque, some stoneware is so thinly potted that it is somewhat translucent.
- Porcelain – vitrified pottery with a white, fine-grained body that is usually translucent
A short guide on clays that you can use to craft your pottery
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How Much Should I Charge For Pottery?
If you feel confident and would like to sell some of your work keep in mind that it is a one-person job most of the time. That means you are doing everything, from clay-related trimming, finishing, and firing to logistics-related: stocking, sending orders, emailing, and doing all the marketing.
There are platforms to make the selling and marketing process easier like Etsy, or you can make your own website with an online shop. You can also consider selling your art on Farmers’ markets, and it is a great way to engage with people interested in your art.
This can be a competitive market and when setting up your price there is no universal formula, but we will list the most obvious:
- Your time/hourly or daily rate – if you are an experienced artist, and you make better pots than someone who just entered the market, you can set your rate a bit higher.
- Material – Clay, glazes, firing supplies. Depends on what you are using and what is the quality of the material, it should be calculated in the final price.
- Creativity and unique style – the more unique style, the higher price can be set.
- Kiln maintenance – every piece of equipment needs to be maintained well to give the best results.
Tip for you!
To cut the costs, artists can share studio space and firing kilns which can be a great solution especially if you are just starting with pottery.
What Pieces I Could Sell
You might ask yourself this question, but this one is really easy to answer; you should make whatever you like and what people would be interested in buying.
Our tip would be, do a little local research and start small but experiment periodically. Make your pottery in pairs and sets because people like to buy matching plates or cups most of the time.
Try to have a unique style and at the end put your signature at the bottom. That could be your trademark and people can identify your art more easily.
The most important thing is you are having fun and enjoying what you are making.
Why Is Porcelain So Expensive?
Porcelain needs to be fired at a much higher temperature than other soft-paste, usually called artificial porcelain and that makes the process more difficult and expensive to produce.
According to CBC.ca the most expensive porcelain in the World worth a fortune.
Here is the list of the 5 most valuable:
- Qing Dynasty Porcelain: $84 Million.
- Blue and White Porcelain: $21.6 Million.
- Jihong Porcelain: $10 Million.
- Blood Red Porcelain: $9.5 Million.
- Joseon Porcelain: $1.2 Million.
Can I Make A Living Making Pottery?
Being a professional potter may not be easy, and it is definitely challenging, but it is also very rewarding. Like any other craft, there are always people who like to buy unique pieces so yes, you can make money-spinning the wheel and doing pottery.
Take this all into consideration, we wish you a pleasant spinning time!