Coffee in the Austin skyline mug, "Ain't Wastin' Time No More" by the Allman Brothers on iTunes. Yesterday was a good firing day--two full big loads in Bertha and Bettina--but a lousy paperwork day. Becky the Wunder Assistant has another job mornings now so I get her in the afternoon and my whole schedule is upside down. It's not a bad upside down, mind you. In the same way pineapple upside down cake isn't bad, having Becky at the studio to bound and cement the afternoon work hours isn't bad. She arrives an hour or so before I pick the J up from school and stays an hour or two longer. Her being there helps keep the end of the school day from making my brain think it's the end of the work day too.
So I filled the kilns yesterday full of little pieces, the self-same little pieces that are going to get me through this pesky economic downturn. Right now the way to keep an art/craft business afloat is to have a small-sized series of work that efficiently uses materials (keeps waste to zero), has a quick turnaround time (is not labor-intensive), and can be--because of the first two--priced lower than other styles of your work. Oh yes, this series also has to be of the same quality and made with the same care as the rest of your work so as to put the finishing touches on your customers perception that it is a very good bargain and will sell well to their customers.
The time that you have freed up by doing less labor-intensive work can be put to use teaching, reselling supplies, or doing a host of other income-generating activities. The secret is flexibility and openness to change. Now I'm going to head off and polish up a class schedule for the studio. There are fountain classes, birdbath classes, ikebana container classes and who knows what else to create.
(The playlist for today's post is everything in my music library that has the word "waste" in the song or album title, or in the artist's name. It includes lots of good songs and the entire album "Too Long In the Wasteland" by James McMurtry--a fitting kickoff for the SXSW Music Festival Dave will attend today in Austin. I finish writing to "Song For a Deckhand's Daughter". It doesn't get better than that.)