Clay bowls and pottery designs have been around for thousands of years. In the 21st century, pottery is used more for design than function. Artistic pottery gives a room texture. Adding paint to pottery brings in a splash of colour to help accent a room. Starting a studio should address these trends in consumer taste, whether the business is your own or invites the public in to make their own pottery.
Choose income generation strategies that you can easily incorporate into your existing business concept, expertise and schedule of operations. Oossible income generators are classes for pottery enthusiasts, selling original designs or renting space to amateur pottery sculptors who need a place to work.
Get a reseller's license to eliminate your responsibility for paying taxes for clay, paint and other materials you'll need to produce your pottery. Get a business license. Contact the department of revenue and request an application.
Estimate the costs for supplies, shipping and studio rental. Apply for bank loan to pay for painting supplies, studio rental, clay and other expenses you will need to get the doors open on the studio.
Work with a commercial real estate agent to find a studio to rent. Visit several possible studios before making your final choice. In the book, "Making Pottery for Profit" Richard D. Cole writes, "Your main considerations will be the amount of available floor space, light, heat, power facilities, sanitation, and facilities for delivery and shipment or raw materials and merchandise."
Search online freelance job boards for experienced web designers. Build a website to display your pottery artwork and to list your class schedules. Open an account with a shipping company who can deliver pottery that is ordered online.
Find art supply wholesalers. Buy an electric kiln, a workbench, bins and paint brushes. Electric kilns can be as cheap as £455 depending on size and heat levels.
Buy moulding clay or make your own. To make moulding clay, mix a cup of flour, cup of water and a cup of salt over low heat. Then cool the mixture. Create your first set of pottery samples.
Buy a digital camera to take pictures of your initial samples. Use the graphic designer you've commissioned to help create a brochure with pictures of your samples.
Solicit local retail businesses. Make a list of retailers in the local area who sell pottery, home design fixtures and artwork. Send them copies of your brochure along with an order slip.
Market your pottery studio to the public. Attend art festivals. Rent a booth and display your pottery. Stack plenty of copies of your brochure for people in attendance. Rosalind Resnick writes in an Entrepreneur that "People like to see a craftsman creating artwork in his booth, not just selling it. While this isn't always possible, it's a crowd-pleasing idea that works well for jewellery makers, woodworkers, quilters and other craftspeople."
Post ads on online classifieds like Craigslist to announce your class openings. Post advertisements in community newsletters and local art magazines.
- Making Pottery for Profit; Richard D. Cole; 2008
- "Entrepreneur Magazine"; How to Sell at Craft Fairs and Shows
- Painting on Glass & Ceramic; Karen Embry; 2008