Occasionally, I get asked about how to start selling pottery. First, let me say that I don’t think selling is indicative of success. For most people, pottery is a hobby, an opportunity to be creative, or a chance to make something handmade to enhance their lives. And, for most people, hobbies don’t need to make money.
Nonetheless, there is a different form of affirmation when some one purchases something you’ve made. It shows that they recognize the time, craftsmanship, and creativity demonstrated in your work; and, they are willing to pay for it. After all, if you give some one a pot, it is unlikely that the gift will be declined. Most people accept the gift and offer some compliments of thanks. Given this general graciousness of people, I have always felt uncomfortable giving a pot that wasn’t my best (well, my best pot at that time…).
But all of this is a parenthetical side-note to answering the question of how to sell.
Perhaps the easiest outlet where you can begin selling is within your sphere of influence such as work colleagues, friends, or neighbors. Most people are very enthusiastic about purchasing pots from a potter they know personally. This is a great way to sell a few pots without needing to have a large inventory and without needing to figure out credit card payments.
A word of warning…it is common for people to make requests (a blue fruit bowl/ large mug/brown and green teapot/ etc.). This can be quite challenging. And, such a project can motivate you or it can lead to unnecessary frustration if it is too time restrictive or not within you current ability. In short, know your limitations, know thy glazes, and sell what you are confident about.
In the next few posts, I will address other selling options.