I’m firing the kiln today, and again Wednesday, and again Friday.
It’s that time of year where I look at everything I make, and evaluate how long I’ve been glazing those things in the same color, and how tired am I of that color vs is it still selling, and I really want to change up a lot of the colors of the things I offer. BUT. Will that lose me customers? Will people get “mad” (and I use that term loosely) that I’m not offering x-item in colors a-b-and-c any more? Or will it get me NEW customers because, yay, I’m finally offering that item they want in their favorite color?
This is where not being psychic really sucks. I can guess at what people want, based on previous sales (especially custom work vs. regular stocked items – what are people asking for when they want something in a different color? Do a lot of people ask for the same color that I don’t offer on a regular basis?)… and I can guess at what people want by reading articles of current home decor trends (but are current home decor trends necessarily something I really give a shit about? If everyone in the free world suddenly only wanted pink dishes, would I switch to nothing but pink? PROBABLY NOT.)
In addition, I’m slowly moving away from slipcasting (which is a low-fire clay) and into throwing (which is a mid-range fire clay). To bisque them, they fire at the same temperature. But to glaze them? Different temperatures. And while you can use a low-fire glaze on a mid-range clay (although you won’t get 100% of the benefits of a mid-range clay), you can’t use a mid-range glaze on a low-fire clay (the clay will melt and turn into soup at the bottom of your kiln). What this means is that my color choices are going to start changing soon as I move from low-fire glazes to mid-range glazes. I’d like to keep a selection of both, because sometimes I buy bisque from a distributor for quick turnaround pieces that I don’t have time to pour, clean, and bisque fire so often… but I’m not going to need, like, 75 low-fire colors any more.
So which colors do I keep? Which do I pitch? No matter what, I’m sure I’ll have that one person who is disappointed I’m no longer offering x-color (although I can almost guarantee, because I know how people act in retail situations, that the person disappointed I’m no longer using x-color will also not be someone who’s ever, ever bought ANYTHING in x-color. Oh, humans. You’re so funny.).
ANYWAY. My point is, I think, that I’m tired of glazing the deviled egg trays and the butter dishes in the same four colors I’ve been doing them for like three years now, so expect some changes next year, but I promise you, it’s not the end of the world.
Huh. And here when I sat down I didn’t think I really had anything to say this morning!