"Who made the world?" is the first line of a much loved Mary Oliver poem (see below) and doesn't directly relate to this post other than that I was reminded of it while looking at this lovely photo of a dear friend wearing the rainbow T-Shirt while at the same time contemplating all the Sales at this time of year and whether I should have one. So please excuse any seeming tie-ins of shopping or sales to this beloved poem, it's poetess or the celebration of your life & the earth we live on.
I"m in Vancouver BC with my family for the holidays. Today is Boxing Day which Wikipedia says 'In Britain, it was a custom for tradesmen to collect "Christmas boxes" of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year' but is now known as a sales shopping day similar to Black Friday after Thanksgiving.
As a rule of thumb I don't put my work on sale. Every year at this time I re-consider discounting my work online and then decide not to, and this is why.
My prices are not arbitrary and I have spent much time and attention calculating & continue to re-evalutate them. They are based on the material, the labor, the firing costs, the purchasing and upkeep of large specialized equipment & all the daily studio expenses needed to make the work.
The labor for each piece is extensive. Each piece passes through many hands and requires many steps. Dipping and painting the clay body in the white base, and hand painting each piece adds extra double-trouble atop of a standard clay production process in which each step already comes with a set of possible mishaps. I am committed to fair & living wage + compensation for my amazing group of production artists. Training periods are 3-4 months to get on board. You can read more about my process here.
Not only are sale discounts NOT built into my pricing structure, but I also hate the idea that someone might purchase my work (which I know & greatly appreciate that it requires a commitment, belief and trust in the work) only to have it go 'on sale' a couple of weeks later.
Anyways...those are my thoughts! I hope everyone of you have a great holiday season.
In much gratitude! Michele
Here's poem I cannot read often enough.
The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass,how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?