How to Price Your Pottery

How to Price Your Pottery

*Image: Stoneware, hand and thrown and painted ceramics by Miriam Fraser. @miriamlucystudio

Putting a figure on handmade ceramics is a pickle for most potters. It can feel a bit itchy for creatives for a number of reasons. As a society, we aren't always taught to place a high value on artistic work, for most ceramicists, the work holds personal value which is tricky to calculate or think objectively about and there are those of us that feel sad and alone at the mention of numbers and commerce. Unfortunately there is no magical calculation that will apply to everyone's work, however there are factors to consider to help put a price on your work.  


As passionate artists, we understand that pricing your handmade pottery is an art in itself. So here's a guide  to help you put a number on it.



Where and how

Where and how you sell your pottery is an integral and often overlooked factor in its price point. It’s important to understand the context of where work is viewed and accessed. 

Do you sell online, markets/ ceramic fairs, retail shops, a studio or in an art gallery?

Take a look at the average cost of purchase for a customer in this situation. Identify your target market and understand what they will spend.

*If your work is sold in retail stores or galleries, a commission will be taken which you must factor in. This can vary greatly but is often between 30%-60%.


Calculate Material Costs

Begin by determining the cost of raw materials, clay, glazes, and any additional elements used in the creation of your pottery


Factor in Studio Expenses

Account for studio-related costs such as kiln firings, equipment maintenance, utilities, and any other overhead expenses associated with your creative space. These factors are wildly different depending on what your unique processes are. 


Give yourself a fair wage

This is a tough one. If you are just starting out it will take you longer to make, or you might make pieces that are simple and relatively quick, compare this to someone wood firing who has stayed up all night after weeks of wood preparations. Your hourly rate isn't easy to determine but should factor in your skill level, the complexity of the work and your relevant expertise and experience. 


 If this is your career, you need to consider a fair wage for yourself according to where you live. 

You don’t want to lower your credibility by being priced too far below your range or burn out because you can’t charge enough for your time. It's a balance between being realistic about what your work will practically sell for in the market it's are placed in. 


Consider Market Demand & Artistic Value

Research the market to understand the demand for your particular style of pottery. If there's a high demand for your work or if you have a strong following at markets, galleries or on social media, you may be able to command higher prices. Adjust your pricing accordingly to reflect the size and complexity of each piece and consider the artistic value of your work. Unique designs, innovative techniques, and a cohesive artistic style contribute to the overall value of your pottery.


Understand how your target audience perceives the value of your work. Quality craftsmanship, unique artistic expression, and a compelling story can enhance the perceived value of your pottery.


Research Comparable Pieces

Talk to other potters that you know and ask how they price their work, look at similar work locally, nationally and internationally to get insight into where your work fits in the market. Search online, go to galleries and look locally- visit Clay Northern Rivers events,  Good Things Market, the annual mud trail, or open studios to find work that is in line with yours. Look at characteristics like medium and materials, subject matter, style, and experience level. And also check out artists determine whether they are at a similar stage in their careers.

It's pretty fun homework!


Build Consistency in Pricing

Establish a consistent pricing structure to create transparency for your customers. This can help build trust and brand recognition. 


 Factor in Business Costs

Account for additional business-related expenses, such as packaging, shipping, marketing, and maintaining an online presence or gallery space.


Regularly Review and Adjust Prices

Periodically review your pricing strategy based on market trends, changes in your skill level, and shifts in demand. Adjust your prices accordingly to maintain a fair reflection of your art's value.


Pricing is both an art and a business decision. Balancing the financial aspects with the artistic value you bring to each piece will help you establish prices that are fair to both you and your customers. 

It’s fine to start with a simple: (Hourly Wage × Hours Spent) + Cost of Materials, especially if you are a beginner. Eventually, finding a strategy that helps you keep making work and feel good about the relationship you have with selling it is key to a good pottery business.

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