How Much Money Do Potters Make?

If you've ever asked the question how much money do potters make, here's a way to figure it out!

how much money do potters make

If you have been considering turning your pottery habit into a profession, you have probably pondered “how much money do potters make?” 

It’s a tough one to figure out, but Mea Rhee decided she wanted to find out what her hourly wage was, so she could be sure that her prices were where they needed to be. So she set out to track her hourly earnings. I first heard about this project on the Ceramic Arts Community Forum, but Mea also prepared an article that appeared in the Ceramics Monthly archives. In this excerpt, Mea explains how she systematically figured out her hourly wage and gained a better understanding of her annual potter’s salary. How much money does a potter make? Find out below and then – Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor.

I am obsessed with measuring. I adore all the measuring devices that potters use; calipers, scales, hydrometers, etc. I am always preaching to my pottery classes “why guess, when you can know?” I don’t mind all the vague abstractions involved when making pots, but when I can know something precise about my work, I measure it.

My pottery business has grown considerably in the past two years, but my ambivalence to let go of my graphic design practice continued. I realized that I knew how much I earned per hour as a designer, because my contracts are based on an hourly rate. I wanted the same sense of “knowing” about my pottery business. How much am I really earning per hour by making pots?

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So How Much Money do Potters Make?

I often hear people say, “add up the costs of your materials, then make sure you pay yourself an hourly wage, and this is how to determine the prices for your pots,” and I think “it doesn’t work that way.” This approach is disconnected from the real-world factor known as “market value.” Is anyone willing to buy your pots, and for how much?

So I adopted the opposite point of view about the value of my time. Instead of pondering what I should earn per hour, and using that to determine the market value of my pots, I started with the current market value of my work, and used that to calculate what I did earn per hour.

how much money do potters makeHere’s my methodology: Whenever possible, I separated pottery sales into quantifiable portions. I kept track of the time I spent to complete the work. I subtracted any applicable expenses from the sales amount, then divided that by the number of hours spent. The “quantifiable portions” included wholesale orders, retail art festivals, and an open house. Not only was I looking for the overall value of my time working as a potter, I was also comparing these different avenues of pottery sales, hoping to uncover the most profitable ways to spend my energy.

How Much Money does a Potter Make Part 1: Large Wholesale Order

This first calculation is for a large wholesale order. It is the largest order I wrote at the Buyers Market of American Craft in February 2010. It contains a good mix of low-, medium-, and high-priced items; therefore it should be a good measure of wholesaling in general.

I kept track of the time spent working on it, including the following tasks:

• preparing clay (recycling, pugging, wedging)
• building pots (throwing, trimming, altering, handbuilding)
• glazing
• loading and unloading the kiln
• studio cleanup
• applying hang tags to finished pots
• packing for delivery
• accounting

I did not track the time spent on tasks that didn’t specifically apply to this order, such as mixing glazes, or the afternoon I spent carrying a ton of clay into my basement studio.

From the total dollar value of the order, I subtracted the following expenses that I could quantify:

• clay
• shipping boxes
• a percentage of my Buyers Market expenses equal to the percentage of Buyers Market sales that this order represented

I did not subtract the following expenses that I could not quantify:

• glazes
• tools
• equipment use and maintenance
• utilities
• bubble wrap and packing peanuts (some purchased, some recycled)

The dollar amount that remained was divided by the total hours spent. And in the end, I made $24.74 per hour. My official response to this first calculation is “not too shabby!”

How Much Money do Potters Make Part 2: Everyday vs. Fancy Wholesale

how much money do potters make

Two plates from the line of fancy work.

This second calculation is also about the wholesale side of my pottery business. I compared two different wholesale orders side-by-side. Their total sales amounts were nearly the same. They were due on the same date, therefore they were going through my studio at the same time. But there was a significant difference between them. One of them consisted mostly of everyday functional items, bowls and mugs and such, whose retail prices range from $25 to $120. The other order consisted mostly of my “fancy” line of pottery, which are oversized serving pieces that are hand-carved with illustrations, whose retail prices range from $180 to $350.

I followed the same parameters as before, in terms of the time and expenses I tracked and didn’t track. For the order of everyday items, I made $20.18 per hour. For the order of fancy items, I made $29.58 per hour.

I guess this is good news and bad news. On the positive side, these results verify the results of the first calculation. Now I feel confident that I am doing a consistent job of tracking my time. And I am really proud of my fancy line of work. It took me a lot of time and thought to develop these pieces, they are honest reflections of my aesthetic values, and I am happy to see that the effort is paying off.

But truthfully, I’m a little bummed. Everyday functional items are my reason for being in this business. I feel thoroughly requited when I look across a table full of identical pots. How many jobs can make you feel like that, after a long day of work? But I’ve had inklings for years that they weren’t very profitable, which is why I started developing an upscale line. And now my inklings are being confirmed. I wish the difference wasn’t so big.

How Much Money do Potters Make Part 3: Big Art Festival

The third calculation of my project is the first to analyze the retail side of my business. I’ve wondered for years whether wholesaling or retailing is more profitable for a pottery business. There are clear advantages and disadvantages to both, but is one superior to the other?

how much money do potters make

*The overall retail festivals calculation was based on four art festivals, including the two that were detailed in the article.

Artscape Baltimore is my favorite art festival. It is a huge and multi-faceted urban spectacle, produced by the city of Baltimore. I’ve done it for eight years now, and throughout this churning economy, my sales there have grown every year. However, in the context of hourly earnings, this show has a big disadvantage: crazy long hours. That’s ten hours on both Friday and Saturday and eight more on Sunday. But on a different measuring scale, my income from this weekend now equals a busy month of graphic design work. So regardless of how it ranks on the hourly earnings scale, this show is worth spending all those hours in the scorching city heat.

I didn’t produce the pots for the show in one continuous time block like a wholesale order. So to determine how many hours I spent on production, I used the data I collected from the three wholesale orders that I previously calculated. I ignored the task hours and expenses that were wholesale-specific, and determined the “dollars-per-hour” just to produce pots and apply hang tags. I multiplied this by two, because my retail prices are double my wholesale prices. Then, I took the total sales amount from the show, and divided it by this $ per hour number, which gave me the number of hours it took to produce and tag the pots I sold.

Notice that I only counted my earnings for the pots I sold, not all the pots I brought to the show. This is an important point about my whole project—making pots is not a normal job, where you are entitled to income in exchange for working hard. For the unsold pots that I brought home from the show, the time I spent to make those still has a value of $0.

There are lots of other hours required to do a festival, so I added the time spent on the following tasks:

• writing and sending a blast email (surprised to realize I spent 1.25 hours on this)
• packing my pots and my display into my car, and unpacking afterwards
• setting up my display and taking it down
• those 28 hours of selling
• accounting (this takes much longer for retail; I spent 1.5 hours adding up receipts, counting cash, and processing credit cards)

From the total sales amount, I subtracted the following expenses:

• booth fee and application fee
• credit card merchant fees
• parking
• food

Finally, I divided the remaining dollar amount by the total number of hours involved, and I made $35.05 per hour.

So after analyzing one retail show, even despite its long hours, retail kicked wholesale in the backside. Hmmm. Maybe it’s not fair to make conclusions now, let’s see how the other shows fare throughout the rest of the year.

How Much Money do Potters Make Part 4: Little Art Festival

Arts in the Park is a small, locally minded, and thoroughly charming event, held in Towson, Maryland. This is a good, quality show, regardless of its size. The art is good, the setting is postcard-perfect, and the event has a strong grasp of its own identity. My intention for this portion of the project is not to compare good shows with bad shows but to compare small shows with big shows.

There are many differences between the processes of a small show and a big show. The scale of everything is very different; a small show takes much less planning and heavy lifting, the hours are usually shorter, and it’s a lot cheaper to do a small show. During the show, I often felt like I was just relaxing in a beautiful park. When it was over, I wasn’t even very tired (unlike after Artscape when I felt like a cooked noodle).

So is it better to spend more effort at a big show or less effort at a little show? I added up the hours I spent on all the same tasks as before. I subtracted all the same expenses from my sales total as I did before. And at the little show, I made $16.66 per hour.

Ugh!! That stinks!

Remember how I said I felt like I was relaxing in a park? That’s because there were no customers around. All the artists were baffled by the sparse attendance, because the attendance had been much higher in previous years.

I’ve done my share of small shows in the past, not just this one, but their results are collectively disappointing. Even when they look promising, they don’t have enough presence to draw crowds consistently.

And I’m not saying that big shows are always good. Some of them are overpriced and overproduced. But if you put your brain into choosing carefully, a big show that is well established and expertly produced has more substantial qualities, such as credibility and momentum, which can attract a productive crowd. Small shows have nice qualities like coziness and good intentions, but to those of us who are trying to earn a living wage, those things don’t have much value.

Maybe another way to put it is “anything worth doing takes a lot of hard work.”

How Much Money do Potters Make Part 5: Holiday Open House

This is the fourth year that I’ve held an open house around the winter holidays. An open house is very different from an art festival on many, many fronts. For starters, there’s no booth fee! However, a good art festival spends your booth fee on marketing and infrastructure, and I had to do the same for myself. I printed and mailed a postcard invitation, and provided food for the event. Those expenses added up to $318, which was still less than the booth fee of most good-quality art festivals.

The time and labor requirements were very different too. The middleman, known as my car, was eliminated. I only needed to move my display and pots from one room in my house to another room. But, and this is a big but, I also had to remove the furniture from my living and dining rooms, and thoroughly clean the place. Overall, setup and take down for an open house took more time than taking my display to a festival site.

But, and this is an even bigger but, here’s where an open house is far more efficient with time. Unlike the casual browsers that must be seduced at an art festival, the attendees at an open house are already fans. They have signed up for my mailing list, responded to an invitation, and gone out of their way to a private residence with the intention of buying. This means the selling can be condensed into much shorter hours. I was open for five hours on Saturday, and four hours on Sunday. Compare that to the 28–hour marathon that was Artscape Baltimore.

These customers have more value than just sales. Those who already own your pots can provide the most relevant feedback. It pays on many levels to maintain a customer list, and inviting them to an open house is a great way to stay in touch. It’s important to remember that the open house taps my customer base without growing it, so I am careful not to take too much advantage of this resource. Growing my customer base is best accomplished at retail shows.

For the first time, my gross sales at the open house were higher than any of the festivals. After factoring in all the differences in cost and time, I earned $46.81 per hour. In other words, the open house blew away all other forums for selling.

Standing Elephant, 11 in. (28 cm) in height, wheel-thrown stoneware with hand-sculpted handle.

Storage jar with herons, 8 in. (20 cm) in height, wheel-thrown dark stoneware with illustrations carved into white stoneware slip, and-woven reed handle.


Of course these dollar amounts are specific to my business and every other pottery business yields different numbers. So please don’t quit your day job tomorrow expecting to make $35 per hour this weekend selling your pottery. Here is my experience level in a nutshell, so you can prorate your comparisons based on your own experience: I made my first pot in 1994; sold my first amateurish pots in 1996; established my own pottery studio, part-time, in 2002; began wholesaling my work in 2007; and in 2010, though I still did some design work, I made most of my income from my pottery business, and it was enough to support myself financially.


While the numbers may not apply to anyone else, I do think the correlations can be applied to many pottery businesses. Wholesaling can add stability to a pottery business, if you are willing to accept lower profits. It can also provide income during the colder months when there aren’t as many retail events to attend. And within the wholesale market, upscale work yields more value than everyday pots. Retailing can be more profitable, but it’s less predictable. Careful decision-making is essential, plus some seriously strenuous weekends. And it’s not “double the profit” as some wholesalers speculate, because of all of the extra hours and expenses it takes to complete a festival. In my business, retailing earns 32% more per hour than wholesaling. This is a significant percentage, but certainly not “double the profit.” Open houses yield the most profitable use of time, by targeting one’s best customers. I recommend that all working potters incorporate an event like this into their business plans, if they haven’t already.

Based on My Calculations

For me, it makes sense to continue doing wholesale, retail, and an annual open house. However, I now plan to scale back my wholesale work in favor of one or two more large retail events per year. Within my wholesale line, I will shift further into the upscale market, without abandoning the everyday pots. And even though the open house was by far the most profitable, I will keep it to a once-yearly event, so as not to dilute its value. And do I feel better after completing this exercise? Absolutely. Now I can make clear-headed choices about future business planning. And before I started this project, I feared that I was making less than minimum wage, but the real answers are nowhere close to that. The results fit my self-evaluation as an up-and-coming, but bona fide, professional potter. My time has a good value, but the value has room to grow, as do my work efficiencies, craft skill, and business development.

Have you ever asked yourself how much money do potters make? Follow Mea’s lead and calculate your hourly earnings. Then share the results in the comments below!

the author Mea Rhee lives and works in Silver Spring, Maryland. To see more of her work, visit

**First published in 2011
  • Bonnie R.

    This is an excellent reminder of why I have always known I needed to be around other potters (artists in general ). We learn so much from each other and your offering is no exception. What a load of work you have done for anyone who sells any artisanal fare. I read much of it to my candy making daughter and most of it applies to her business as well. Thank you for being so generous with your time and efforts.

  • Barb G.

    Exactly! THanks for doing the calculations!!! I’ve pulled away from so many selling opportunities because I hate seeing the low prices on “our” pieces. I’ve needed this validation!!

  • wonderful article,glad I am only a “pottery hobbiest”and only sell my pottery through galleries and an occassinal art fair.I am past the age where I can do a lot of things a younger potter/business person can do.I do try to adjust my prices according to both sales and the percentage galleries charge me.Our area is so poor that art sales are very minimal and when the summer tourist season starts that helps a lot.Glad to see there are real professionals out there selling their wares and taking care of business properly!

  • Subscriber T.

    I was looking for Gas on your sheet or travel.
    Also do you carry insurance;fire,theft,product liability and health?
    Do you count in phone, internet, electricity and all overhead cost?

    • Reader L.

      It’s good to calculate profitability in many different ways – thank you for this article it helps!

  • Brenda B.

    Thank you for the article. I had to take a break from the studio for a year, which ended up being two years, and now the market has changed. I’ve had a hard time trying to wrap my head around what to do to make some money with my pottery.

  • Cristine B.

    great article! now I know what to discuss with my “business” coach this time. We are trading expertise, its been remarkable. Im going to have her read this article, and have her help me formulate a strategy to track my hours. I work on so many different things at a time, all at different stages, that I have not figured out a way to determine “how long” it takes to make a mug, plate, bowl, sculpture etc.

    thank you so much

  • Katrina L.

    Very interesting information thanks. We have been in the pot making biz for 35 years and the market-value has the ultimate decision. I too work backwards and if we can’t make a * very * good profit on the market value then we re-think the whole making process or immediately ditch the product. No point working for nothing – work smart is the only way.
    Interesting stuff though – Gareth

  • Mandy Q.

    Oh, and congratulation Mea – we all mean to do this and keep putting off. My father was an architect and he built a pottery factory in Stoke on Trent. He asked them how much it costs to make a mug and they didn’t know – too many variables to calculate.
    Takeshi Yasuda said that he decided how much he wanted to earn and divided that sum by the number of pots he made in a year. If people were prepared to pay those prices then his business was viable. Fortunately it was!

  • Mandy Q.

    If wholesale buyers moan about your retail profits tell them this: If you sell direct at lower prices you will be undercutting the store prices and they will lose business. Rather you get a better percentage for your direct sales and the price to the customer is consistent – or reasonably so.

  • Mea ,
    -nice work and article.
    – as a retired small business owner myself (non-pottery), i think your focus on an “hourly” figure might be good to gauge whether you want to make a jump to pots full time, or not.
    -but once you do,you can throw all those “hourly” ideas out the window! and you’ll need to focus on monthly/annual, net/net figures.
    -BUT, the freedom to work on something you love and on “your” timetable will make it all worthwhile!! how much is that worth? you’ll see.
    -good luck! –john

  • Beccy R.

    Interesting article, but I feel important points been left out. Costing is so much more than simply adding up the material cost of an individual item.

    You need to do a few things –

    1: Add up what it actually costs to run your workshop/business for a year. This should include heating, lighting, tools, equipment maintenance, phone, internet/website, transport, marketing, cost of shows/fairs, periodicals, insurance, rent etc. etc. etc. It’s a big list!

    Then divide this by how many weeks you’ll be working in the workshop – want 4 weeks holiday? That’ll be 48 weeks. Then divide this by how many hours you could actually spend making. This is usually in the region of 24 hours because it doesn’t include time spent on the phone/internet/packing kilns etc. Just working the clay. This is your overheads. Let’s say this comes to £10 per hour.

    2: Work out how much you actually spend on you in a year. This should include clothes, food, mortgage, car, going out, holidays, home utilities, treats, health, telephone etc. etc. etc. This is an even bigger list! Divide by 48 then by 24 again. This is your labour cost. Let’s say this comes to £10 per hour too.

    Add the two together and you get a basic hourly rate of £20. You then have to add on the cost of materials you used. I’m going to ignore tax because it’s different wherever you live, but that’s important too!

    Say a pot took you 3 hours to make and used £20 of materials. This gives you a basic costing of £80. If the market value of your pot is £150, great! But if the market value of your pot is only £60, that’s bad news and you know you have to make changes to your work – could you make it quicker? Could you use less expensive materials? If not it’s back to the drawing board.

    If you don’t have a basic hourly rate for your work, you could very easily end up charging less than it cost you to make and have a very expensive hobby rather than a money-making business. Market value is very important, but knowing you can afford to feed your kids is important too.

    I know a lot of creative people can’t stand all the business stuff which is why my ceramics degree had a business component to force us to look at it realistically – we all know how tempting it is to simply pluck a reasonable cost out of the air!

    It’s a lot of work up front but it pays dividends in the long run.

  • Meena D.


    Superb study. Your methodical research is awe-inspiring. Some of the commentators gave great accounting comments. Good luck and I hope your creative energy never flags!

  • Ann S.

    What a great article. Thanks for sharing! I find myself wanting to know how much the pots that are shown in the article retail/wholesale for? I have never done this thoughtful of an analysis but I have tried this in comparing shows…If I hope to make $2,000 at a show, how many pots do I need to have in my booth? I have found that at a good show I can sell @ half of my work, and once I have less stock, the sales start to slow down. If I don’t have at least $4,000 in my booth, I will not make $2,000. Anyone else think in this backwards manner?

  • Mea R.

    Hi to those of you who are better accountants than me … I totally understand that my project only represents the “P” in “P+L”, which means I deducted my “cost of goods” but not my “expenses”. In the context of an hourly earnings, I think it was impossible to do quantify the expenses for each calculation. Except I agree that I could probably have figured the cost of electricity per kiln firing into a “cost of goods” value (it’s on my to do list now). For me, knowing the “P” has been extremely helpful, and I hope other working potters find the “P” useful too.

    To Richard, thanks for the laugh, and of course not!

    -Mea Rhee

  • Richard P.

    i spend $150 on maybe 2 gallons of glaze!…i need to re think…something…; ^)
    a most excellent article! we own you anything for your time?…
    ; ^)

  • Mea R.

    Hi Maureen, all of the art festivals in my project were within commuting distance from my house. I’m lucky to live in an area with lots of good events to choose from. This means I didn’t have any travel expenses associated with those art festivals. I did factor in my travel expenses (hotel, gas, parking) for my wholesale calculations, listed as Buyer’s Market expenses.

    Hi Judith, no commercial glazes for me! I agree they’re too expensive. I spend between $80 and $150 on glaze ingredients per year, and fairly small expense.

    -Mea Rhee

  • Judith F.

    I don’t know how you can figure out any rate without including the cost of glaze. That is a major cost in my opinion, especially if you use commercial glaze.

  • Maureen L.

    This is a good exercise and I appreciate not only Mea for taking on the task of keeping close track, but also Jennifer and team at Ceramics Monthly/Ceramic Arts Daily for posting it. What I’m missing, however, are the added costs of sales and marketing associated with out-of-town events, such as transportation and accommodations (although food is figured in).

    These are quantifiable as they’re specific to events and, unless shared or staying with family and friends, often significant.

    If these costs are included as a percentage of expenses, equal to the percentage of sales that the large wholesale order represented, then it is certainly a more accurate analysis. Helpful to consider, as well, it that when a new wholesale client is won at a show, they’ll hopefully remain a happy customer for a long time, earning the artist repeat sales and higher profits as it’s less costly to keep a customer than to earn them (which the retail Open House proves).

    This is great food for thought. I would, however, like to see the analysis broadened to include the full costs associated with sales and marketing one’s own artwork. If it appears to be most profitable for artists to market and sell their work in their own studios and on their own websites, what is the benefit of giving up these profits to art and craft galleries who market and sell the artist’s work?

  • Darlene M.

    I’d say standard overhead including capital and other equipment with a depreciation and replacement cost formulas should be calculated for the year at least and then divided by the job.

    Shipping costs and handling hours should be calculated on all new supplies as once you re-use or recycle (and you cant count on always being able do that) that cost goes back to the order new supplies cost.

    Small biz admin (SBA) or SCORE may have free or cheap local help in getting the biz plan and calcs together.

    Taking the time to consider all costs and overhead and how to put it all together can save lots at tax time too. IRS does have some publications and a 1-800 number which may help biz owners determine costs and profits too.,,id=99200,00.html

    Using their forms to itemize deductions can help you figure costs on a job…

    Ok, now past the boring stuff- This is very nice work!

  • Marsha D.

    You are an inspiration.

    As a fourth year newbie with still no consistency in outcome, my goal is to pay off the expenses of starting my little home studio through 10 years of meager sales before I retire and then just cover costs there after.

    I suspect my profit margin will continue to be those priceless creative wow moments when I open the kiln and then again when someone actually wants to buy it.

  • Casey C.

    Thank you so much for sharing this! Invaluable information on how to structure your work and how to analyze your profitability. A great tool for potters looking to break into the money-making end of the field.

  • Kristie N.

    Great article. Thank you for all the hard work that went into this and for sharing it with us. Also thanks to everyone else for all their comments. Some terrific and helpful information here. Thanks again!

  • Howard & Ali S.

    I take very few wholesale orders. The production, in many cases is mindless work, once the design of the products are determined and sold. I would much rather create individual pieces to be sold at an open studio. I find that I can ask a price closer to the worth of the work at an open studio and yet put an original piece of art in the collection of a buyer at a reasonable price. Often gallery commissions and retail markups make the pieces difficult for people who want them to afford.

  • Raymond K.

    This is a great article. My wife and I are starting our own studio and plan to sell our work in local galleries and through an annual home/studio show. This will help us place a value on our time. Your calculated hourly rate was higher than I was guessing. I am working on a method to account for glaze costs. We mix our own. Thanks for the article.

  • Elaine G.

    Well done research and thanks for sharing. I suspect that if you factored in the electricity and maint on your kiln(s) and tools, etc., the hourly rate wouldn’t change much – less than a dollar. The good news is, now you know and can make dicisions going forward and understand the impact.

  • This was the most helpful of all articles. Although I am a hobby potter (also started in 1994) I always wonder what the price per hour really is. This was fascinating. I’d be happy to reach “minimum wage” but then — what I don’t make in my occasional sales — I save on psychiatrist’s hourly fees.

  • Tracy W.

    Very informative. I have often wondered about the difference between wholesale and retail.
    makes me want to start an open house event too.

  • Rose O.

    This was great to read Mea! I am an accountant to support my clay and your approach is a good start.

    To comment on the comments – glaze costs and time (if you make your own) are a critical component of your direct costs.

    Time to set up the display should include setting up items that make the display “work” regardless of whether you sell them. I am sure you have included that in your study.

    Looking at your Total Sales and then subtracting your Direct Costs – how much material and labor go into each piece – is determining your Gross Profit. Gross Profit is the amount of money left to run your operation – things that cannot be traced to an individual piece of work – like repairing and maintaining your equipment, and the depreciation of the assets over time.

    I guess the best way to look at this is – if I had to pay someone to do what I do- their wages and all overhead associated with it – would be part of the Direct Costs to determine Gross Profit, and now it starts to sound like a Wallstreet conversation…ughh…but necessary to know if this is what puts food on your table, clothes on your back, and a roof over your head.

    When we put ourselves into that “wage earner” spot – it is because we don’t really want to delegate that role to anyone – and that has an intangible element that is difficult to quantify.

    Would you quit doing it if the hourly rate was not “enough”? What is “enough” anyway? If you manage to pay what you owe at the end of the day – that is enough – for that day.

    And the next day we begin again.

  • Emilie P.

    Wow Mea. You’re my hero. This is inspiring. You said in the last paragraph, “before I started this project, I feared that I was making less than minimum wage.” That’s my fear of doing production pottery. Has anyone else had a similar experience in doing production pottery?

  • Chantal A.

    Awsome post. Great info, not just about time/$ but also illustrates all the different components of being a professional potter. Educational for the beginner! Thanks.

  • Deanna R.

    This is a good start to a problem we get asked about in the store – this is an excellent dialog to start in determining how to price your work and value your time as an artist.

    Quantifying the electrical usage is possible – most kiln companies know an approximate hourly usage fee – most electric kilns are between $1 and $1.50 per hr – gas depends on your rate in your area. And, glazes are a huge expense as well – my wage per hour would definitely go down with glazes added to the mix – depending on what products you use whether commercial or glazes mixed from dry chemicals – I feel for other potters out there trying to figure the hourly wage – adding up your glaze usuage / materials usuage is really important.

    Additionally – expenses like kiln/wheel/pugmill maintenance and repairs should be added into the mix so those expenses don’t come as such a “reality check” when they happen and come out of that hourly wage figure or your next show budget.

  • Patricia G.

    Wow! This is such a great article! I’ve thought about collecting this type of data, but have never been organized enough to do it. Thank you for sharing both your data and your method so clearly! Very interesting results, also.

  • June M.

    If I was a professional potter, I would include the time and costs to produce the inventory that you have to take to a sale in order to have a good display and choice of work. Ongoing what is that ratio of inventory to sold pieces that need to be replenished? One potter I know for one show only sells half vs other shows it’s much more.

    Great exercise, thanks for sharing it!

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