Michael Rice | Episode 340
Michael Rice is an Irish Artist who specializes in Ceramics. He is particularly interested in firing procedures such as Raku, Smoke and Saggar firing; his work is also is concerned with geometry, gestalt principals and archetypal forms.
Number 1 brand in America for a reason. Skutt.com
For all your ceramic needs go to Georgies.com
How do you go about establishing a price point for your work?
I am selling for more than I would at home for sure, because I am reminded of one of my lecturers in college who said, Get as much money as you can for them. Whatever the market will stand. Now that I am living in Dubai I kind of have an idea of what I can get for things. I sell a lot to interior designers in Dubai and I sell to interior design shops. So I have come to figure out what I can sell it for. It’s just knowing the market and figuring out what is acceptable for this. I am certainly selling them for more than I would back at home in Ireland.
How do you find the pulse to know where you fit in the market?
Well, you’ve got to get in there and make mistakes, I suppose. And try and negotiate and look around and see what other people are doing, what are they selling theirs for and what do you think you can demand for yours. It’s a difficult one, some people are impressed by high prices and they consider it to be more valuable if it costs them more. There are a lot of factors, like size, glazes etc. I cannot give an exact formula.
How valuable is idea? How do you factor it into your pricing?
Idea is….I am interested in outcome. Obviously the idea is the genesis of it , I am always saying to students, show me don’t tell me. Because some people are brilliant readers, some people are fantastic communicators, they are witty and charming, you like them, but what they put on the table isn’t necessarily very good. So if your idea is brilliant, if your pitch is brilliant but your product is bad, I am not interested in your idea. I am only interested in your idea after it’s come to a fruition that is acceptable or more than acceptable.
Do you price your work differently when it comes to commission work versus pieces you’ve made from your own imagination?
Yes, commission is usually negotiated. I would have an idea of your price because of your own work. But for commission it is a little bit different. Sometimes you have to think, OK where is this going to go? Who will see this? Maybe I will price it cheaper because I want this, it’s a marketing sort of thing as well. So all those things come into play as well.
So do you see commission work as opportunity for more doors to open?
Definitely. If it’s commission for a private individual or for somebody’s house or something like that, well no. But if it’s for, for example the commission I did recently for the Abu Dhabi festival. That was a huge exhibition that went on for a month in Abu Dhabi, so I was happy with what they paid.
As an artist do you feel uncomfortable talking about money and pricing and things that I have been asking you?
Only because I can’t answer you very well. I don’t feel uncomfortable about it because it is an uncomfortable subject.I wish I could be very succinct and say it is just this, but it isn’t. I will price things sometimes because there is more than a financial dividend and other things are going to come from this. It is not always about money.
You have changed cultures a number of times. What was the most surprising thing that you experienced when you changed cultures all together?
Yes, I think that is a really good thing to do. You find out new things all the time when you talk to people who are completely different from yourself. But you also recognize that you are kind of the same.It’s fascinating to do. It’s good to meet people who are superficially different from you because then you realize that you are not.