First day back in the workshop yesterday, xmas decorations down and children back to school!!
The workshop heating has been off for almost a month and the cold was well and truly established in the clay temperature, so after wedging a few lumps of clay I couldn’t feel my hands. So I set my paraffin heater and went indoors to do some bookwork as the deadline looms for end of month tax returns. Rebecca Harvey from ‘let me organise you’ arrived to not only organise me but she programmed my new coffee machine ( the glitch we discovered was that I had ground my coffee too finely!)
Regarding profit, I am (four years in) not really making any, as everything is reinvested into equipment for the business. I do however, have a fantastically equipped studio/shop. This springs investment is a spray booth. I spray a fritted lead glaze which sits in the spray booth, not very health and safety correct. So if I buy a wet back one which will be good for my long term health it will be almost 4K. A cheaper alternative is around £1500. I’ll consider both but haven’t really funds for the best option.
The Christmas season was a very successful one, both in Gallery Sales and Fairs. The 2am finishes in the workshop were many as sales were good and I wasn’t meeting demand. Two months of summer house and studio moving did really affect my productivity, so I vow to begin making much earlier so I don’t end up in a heap before next xmas.
My own open shop weekend was a huuuge success, it was stonking!! Thankyou so much for those who came and bought, some customers came and did their entire Christmas shopping with me. I also have some fab new customers – thank you, thank you. I had various pickles and jams for sale, made by my own fair hands using home grown produce, Alan’s own Welland Valley oil was also for sale, he grows the Rape then presses it through olive presses in his small factory here on the farm, I wouldn’t use anything else (obviously)!
I tried rushing some work which is never a good idea, so a fair few disasters, you just can’t rush clay!!!
The new Open Door Gallery in Market Harborough have begun to sell my bespoke range. These are much larger ‘one off’ forms depicting the rural idyll. Sales here were very encouraging and I am developing this area of my collection. Thank you Janet Pelling, the Gallery looks great and there are some fantastic artists represented there.
Sadly ‘White Street Gallery’ in Kibworth will be closing their doors after just over a year in business. Hannah was a delight to work with which is really important, it almost feels like gallery owners are surrogate parents to those little parts of you going off into the world, they love and care for them and give them good homes, corny I know but true. The rent increases on our high streets is just too steep for small businesses to survive. So good luck in your new ventures Hannah and I will miss you!
If you would like to visit, just give a call or email, half an hours notice means I will have time to pop some scones into the AGA and get my new coffee machine warmed up.
Well, that clay must be warm enough now!