Each year the fabulous AKAR gallery has a Yunomi invitational show, collecting an assortment of 5 pots each from both established and upcoming clay artists. Quite often the exhibit is sensational, and usually sells through the bulk of its inventory within several hours of opening online. Its a great opportunity for artists to get exposure and a great opportunity for pottery lovers to see some familiar and extraordinary things. I typically come away with at least a handful of design ideas that I let percolate through my imagination.
But all that glamour and sensation comes as the result of the big wheels of AKAR’s gallery momentum driving things forward. Thank the clay gods that there are at least some such institutions able to spread the word about pottery goodness!
And then there’s etsy…..
At etsy your exposure is based most often on one’s ability to either drive customers to your shop from outside links or to a continual campaign of seeking higher placement in the site’s searches. If there were only 5 pots, then each one would be visible no matter what. Instead, there are 127,113 items (as of my writing this) in ceramics and pottery, 17,378 bowls, 17,238 cups, 11,594 vases, and 9,129 plates. And the longer its been since you re-upped on the listing the further down in the search you will be found. So also, the more people listing things the less effective it becomes overall. If all 17,238 cups were relisted on a single day, the first person to have done so would be back at the end of the search!
Which suits etsy just fine. The more desperate we artists are to be seen the more money they make. And the more desperate we are, the more of us listing things, the more that competition actually diminishes the value of what we are buying. So we spend more more often to make up the difference….. Its a spiralling cycle that gets us nowhere fast. Unless we play the game all out and non stop (and everyone else is not also doing the same!), of course….
So there’s a lot for customers to look through (Wade through really, when you consider the quality of some amateur offerings….). And with the AKAR show now online I was curious to see what etsy had in the way of comparable items. It turns out there are 1,916 items listed as tea bowls, and also 532 listed as yunomis, and some of them are quite excellent. If people knew to look on etsy for ‘yunomi’ there would be a mere 14 pages to scroll through, and plenty of real gems unearthed!
But I’ll save you the trouble. I took some time the other day to go through the 48 pages of tea bowls and select out some of my favorites. There are some big name artists and some little name artists. There are prices that beggar the mind and there are humble affordable prices. I put as many of them as I could in ‘treasury’ listings so that folks could find them more easily outside the basic search. This is what I came up with. Hope you enjoy!