I’ve made what I hope will be a wise decision regarding the next two years. Certainly there’s zero guarantee I’ll live long enough to see tomorrow let alone two years from now, but one must plan just in case. I’m moving out of the basement studio I’ve called home the last four years and mark the beginning of my two year goal the first of October.
The primary reason for this change of venue is twofold: First, and foremost there are no stairs to negotiate! At 66 rotations this has become a big deal and my arthritic knees make going up and down a lengthy set of stairs painful. Secondly and most exciting is I’ll be working in a true Co-op! This means access to a common work area, w/slab rollers, spray booth, and all the things one could ask for in a clay studio otherwise not offered me at Artist’s on Santa Fe.
It’s been clear for at least a decade I’ll not have any other source of income beyond Social Security and savings containing only enough cash for a nice vacation to Hawaii! So I’ve embarked on what I euphemistically refer to as “Zuki’s hope overcoming reason plan” to supplement my income as I walk slowly into the sunset. I love clay, so from that standpoint I’ll be starting out on solid footing. Where it gets tricky has been my tendency to look down on these artisans and disavow all things production.
That said, reality dictates I swallow my pride, so for the last six months I’ve spent the majority of my studio time working on potential designs for women’s jewelry using slip cast porcelain as my medium. What I’ve discovered is that custom jewelry is a crowded market place. Cut glass, beading, lapidary, metal cogs, and semi-precious gems can all be assembled onto a $2 chain without having to fire multiple times. Most of what I’ve seen looks good, but purchased from a jewelry supply house and is much cheaper than I can make it. This fact forces me to think about what my real costs are. Oh shit, business 101 and Excel spreadsheets! GAWD!!
My offerings will have to be decidedly different in looks and style to command a price worthy of the effort. Fortunately (I think) I have several other porcelain “stuff” I intend to sell and plan on utilizing ETSY to promote my ultimate line of products. I’ve given myself two years to develop sellable products and a distribution plan that gives me a realistic chance of supplementing my income. If not…, I’ll have to work corporate until they pin a note on me and abandon me at the mall! I’m just sayin’…..