Buying by Name

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big jars

Post by tenpot on January 13th 2013, 10:47 am

climberg64 wrote:After a little thought it seems that production of large pieces might be associated with pots as art rather than as functional items, (rather obviously). Ceramic jars 60cm plus for storage were superceded centuries ago. William Staite Murray made quite a few pre war and these were clearly non functional. Likewise RJ Washington. Post war when items were mainly functional (and materials were scarcer) fewer big items were made.

Since self consciously arty ceramics reappeared in the 70s large pieces have always been a staple.

The interesting thing about the two potters you identify Potty (and others) is that they are more in the functional pottery camps and so their super large jars cross the boundary into purely decorative items.

It would be interesting to hear from the potters themselves why they make the big items. To demonstrate their skill? For economic or artistic reasons? Is it a status thing?

How will these oversized jars be viewed (and valued) fifty years from now?.......starting to free associate now so will stop..... Happy
I used to own a 3m high spanish wine storage jar with the date 1927 on it big storage jars were made right up untill stainless steel (expensive) and plastic supercedeed them post 2nd war, I like a big jar and think its nothing to do with fashion or prestige artists make what the are drawn towards some are better at bigger some smaller
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Re: Buying by Name

Post by climberg64 on January 15th 2013, 7:15 pm

Tenpot wroteI

used to own a 3m high spanish wine storage jar with the date 1927 on it big storage jars were made right up untill stainless steel (expensive) and plastic supercedeed them post 2nd war, I like a big jar and think its nothing to do with fashion or prestige artists make what the are drawn towards some are better at bigger some smaller[/quote][left]

You have a point Tenpot. I hadn't been thinking of non British potters.
I was thinking of some large Richard Batterham jars I'd seen in Cambridge. Not as expensive as some but still a large outlay. Like something more at home in a garden. I nearly bought one but am glad now I didn't.(Sorry Richard) I have started to they then differently. Obviously not functional but not quite original enough to be art. Something like that anyway.
A lot of money for an ornament, inside or out.
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Re: Buying by Name

Post by studio-pots on January 15th 2013, 7:35 pm

I was up in London yesterday and popped into the CPA shop (can't remember what it's called these days). I have to say that it is quite noticeable that there are far more big pieces in there than ever you used to see. To my mind scaling up doesn't always work and most weren't good value for money because of that.

I do have a few large pieces myself, including a Richard Batterham, whose large work was his best, as far as I am concerned.


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Re: Buying by Name

Post by philpot on January 16th 2013, 7:23 pm

Potters who have made 2000+ at auction.Precious few.
Lucie Rie,Hans Coper,Bernard Leach,Michael Cardew,Gordon Baldwin,Shoji Hamada(does he count?)Alan Caiger Smith,John Matlby.Magdalene Odundo...
I begin to struggle. Ken Eastman? Martin Smith? Who else?
Gallery prices being a different matter of course....
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Re: Buying by Name

Post by NaomiM on January 16th 2013, 7:28 pm

Grayson Perry

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Re: Buying by Name

Post by philpot on January 16th 2013, 7:42 pm

I would agree on Richard Batterham's large pieces.
I have an atypical cut sided bowl of his.As a large bowl,it just works so much better than the smaller versions.
Wooley and Wallis had some nice big pieces of his in their November 2012 auction.
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Re: Buying by Name

Post by climberg64 on January 16th 2013, 9:53 pm

philpot wrote:Potters who have made 2000+ at auction.Precious few.
Lucie Rie,Hans Coper,Bernard Leach,Michael Cardew,Gordon Baldwin,Shoji Hamada(does he count?)Alan Caiger Smith,John Matlby.Magdalene Odundo...
I begin to struggle. Ken Eastman? Martin Smith? Who else?
Gallery prices being a different matter of course....

Liz Fritsch?

There's a small Lucie Rie and another Hans Coper in the Primavera Kettles Yard 11000 each Big Shock
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Re: Buying by Name

Post by dantheman on January 16th 2013, 10:03 pm

Guy Sydenham

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Re: Buying by Name

Post by climberg64 on January 16th 2013, 10:23 pm

Going back to Eds initial question, I would buy any pot by a famous name (depending on price of course) but the pots I'm most fond of are the unidentified pots or lesser known potters that have just got it right somehow; proportion shape glaze style...
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Re: Buying by Name

Post by dantheman on January 17th 2013, 8:22 am

I have owned pottery from most price ranges (never more than 2000.00) but many of the pieces I have around the house are valued at under 20 and were made by lasser known potters

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Re: Buying by Name

Post by philpot on January 17th 2013, 6:13 pm

What actually is a Fair price for a pot?
Given that most potters do not make a good living,and the majority of them have to take other jobs in teaching and such like.
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Re: Buying by Name

Post by Potty on January 17th 2013, 7:23 pm

philpot wrote:What actually is a Fair price for a pot?

All depends on the pot, so many factors need to be considered:

Cost all materials used to make the pot, Including any wastage and allowing for tool replacement costs.

Overall cost of firing/s per kiln space required. Including time, fuel, replacing kiln furniture when needed, maintenance, etc.

Allowance for pots that come out damaged or too poor to sell.

Total time spent on that pot.

If being sold in a gallery, they too need to make a mark up.


After all of that, it all comes down to what the end buyer/s considers to be reasonable.



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Re: Buying by Name

Post by studio-pots on January 17th 2013, 8:54 pm

philpot wrote:What actually is a Fair price for a pot?
Given that most potters do not make a good living,and the majority of them have to take other jobs in teaching and such like.

I think that because the general concensus in this country is that studio pots are craft and not fine art the work has been undervalued. This means that you can buy an important individual piece of work by most potters with an international reputation for less than 1000. That sum might buy you a print by a fine artist with a similar reputation, if you're lucky. So to me they represent good value for money.

While I agree that potters do not make a good living the same is true of the vast majority of fine artists as well, so rising prices seems to reduce potential sales whatever art you make.

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Re: Buying by Name

Post by climberg64 on January 17th 2013, 9:34 pm

What if ......a performance artist entered a ceramics gallery showing a number of pots by a moderately well known living potter (say Jayne Hamlyn for example), then proceeded to smash all the pots except the best one there. After all the commotion they then took out a bundle of cash and paid for all the pots, swept up the mess and took the one unsmashed pot away. How much would the one unsmashed pot be worth then?

And how long would the community sentence be? Nuh-huh
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Re: Buying by Name

Post by studio-pots on January 17th 2013, 10:37 pm

climberg64 wrote:What if ......a performance artist entered a ceramics gallery showing a number of pots by a moderately well known living potter (say Jayne Hamlyn for example), then proceeded to smash all the pots except the best one there. After all the commotion they then took out a bundle of cash and paid for all the pots, swept up the mess and took the one unsmashed pot away. How much would the one unsmashed pot be worth then?

You shouldn't put such ideas out there when you know that some young artist might just pop by and nick it.

You'll be very annoyed when they're shortlisted for the Turner Prize.

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Re: Buying by Name

Post by philpot on January 18th 2013, 8:33 am

Its the very same old argument really.
Craft -in whatever form- is regarded as a lesser form than Fine Art. Hence the permanent lesser value. The bases have not changed much over the years,and I would say the monetary is getting far wider
Now how you define 'Fine Art' is another matter. The first Craft person who manages to convince that their work is worth just as much as Damien Hirst's mass produced Dot panitings is going to be a millionaire many times over
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Re: Buying by Name

Post by tenpot on January 18th 2013, 9:07 am

grayson perry does have some interesting points to make on this, one thing he suggests is that potters should not get obsesive about technique if they want to be considered 'fine artists', also anyone watch 'a history in pictures of the riviera' the great moment when pablo started working in clay
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Re: Buying by Name

Post by NaomiM on January 18th 2013, 9:54 am

I caught the end of 'a history in pictures of the riviera'. I'll have to catch up on iplayer.
As for Grayson Perry's comments about technique, personally I think his pots are technically excellent, even if the lustre decoration is very individual, so I'm not sure exactly what he means by that comment. Maybe he meant not being stuck in tradition like Leach and his ilk.

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Re: Buying by Name

Post by studio-pots on January 18th 2013, 10:44 am

Very much enjoyed "a history in pictures of the riviera" and know what Grayson Perry was saying but I think that the bottom line with most artists/potters is they do what they want to do.

Potters need to make pots in a way that they enjoy and very few are driven by money. Likewise I haven't met anyone, who exhibits/sells studio pottery, that is in it to make money.

They need money to be comfortable for sure but if they want to make money by selling there are any number of things that are more profitable than selling pots.

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Re: Buying by Name

Post by Potty on January 18th 2013, 10:58 am

In terms of artists (painting), I personally rate the good painters who are also not "in it for the money", yet produce exceptional results.

Of the painters who are "in it for the money" (and that get it), it all seems to be about shock factor and little skill. I guess their biggest skill is in publicity and talking. Big Laughter

Just my opinion anyway Cheeky

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Re: Buying by Name

Post by studio-pots on January 18th 2013, 11:38 am

Whatever the skill publicity sells.

Now I like Grayson Perry and his work (except for the lustre bits Cheeky ) but it is the awful dresses that he wears that have made him famous.

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Re: Buying by Name

Post by NaomiM on January 18th 2013, 12:03 pm

studio-pots wrote:Whatever the skill publicity sells. ...

True - just look at Tracey Emin. (Although she's said that you need a fundamental knowledge of good technique before you go and do your own thing).

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Re: Buying by Name

Post by Potty on January 18th 2013, 12:24 pm

studio-pots wrote: but it is the awful dresses that he wears that have made him famous.

They're fabulous darling!


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Re: Buying by Name

Post by NaomiM on January 18th 2013, 12:30 pm

studio-pots wrote:

While I agree that potters do not make a good living the same is true of the vast majority of fine artists as well, so rising prices seems to reduce potential sales whatever art you make.

The same is also true for authors. The average annual income for published authors is 4000

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Re: Buying by Name

Post by NaomiM on January 18th 2013, 12:34 pm

Most potters have their one offs, limited editions, and domestic wares. It's volume sales that makes the money, rather than the occassional indulgences of expensive one offs. And volume sales of domestic wares depends on getting commissions to supply high street stores &/or restaurant chains.

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