Saturday, July 23, 2011

Too Much of a Good Thing...

I enjoy making yarn bowls, especially the carving. But I've had to work hard to come up with a design for the open part of the bowls (the section that is carved through the rim) so that it is wide enough for the yarn, but not too fragile so that it will break or collapse during the various steps necessary to making them. My first design was okay, but I decided it needed to be wider. Then I tried to make a large spiral, but there were way too many casualties! Then I tried several variations of a spiral that is, essentially, the number 6 and finally settled on one that seems to work well, both technically and aesthetically.

So, what is my problem now? The problem is that I've become too successful! I am now the queen of the yarn bowls... Of the last 24 items I've sold in my Etsy store, 14 were yarn bowls. With a few exceptions, they sell within a few days of listing, and I am having a very hard time keeping them in stock, particularly the green ones. I am now down to 4 unloved bowls (all blue, who would have thought?).

I like making them... they are selling well... so???  The thing is that all I make are yarn bowls! They now take all my studio time and I miss making other things. Most importantly, I miss my creative time in the studio.

I am at a loss about what to do... I thought that I would just ride the wave and that soon enough everyone would have a yarn bowl and things would quiet down. But that hasn't happened and it doesn't look like it's going to happen any time soon. A very savvy potter friend suggested that what I need to do is raise my prices. I suppose that another alternative would be to simply tell all the people who write asking for "this same bowl in green (or blue, or yellow)" that I am no longer taking special orders and that the only bowls available are the ones in the store. What would you do?