I'm in a bit of a conundrum these days, trying to sort out my next move. It's as though I need to go back to the drawing room of what I want 'dahlhaus' to be. When I started out on this journey to make a living from my art, I thought about this dilemma a bit, but left it well behind for the immediate issues surrounding making unique work that could become my signature, and that I could make consistently well. I was grappling with the day to day concepts of how to get my work 'out there' and how to get people to buy it so I could keep doing what I loved. Along the way I found out what people liked about my work and began to tweak it so that people would begin to love it and want to buy it. There's a big shift that goes on in that stage and it is very exciting to have shops start to contact me (instead of me contacting shops), have some blog and press mentions, and start to feel like maybe, just maybe, I can really make a living at this.
So now I'm in the grind of making. I am a great maker, it's what I seem to do best. I've never thought of myself as a designer, but these days I find myself envying them. The idea of coming up with an amazing ceramic design and then passing it along to a manufacturer to do the making. I used to scoff at this with my art-school turn up your nose to everything that seems like the easy way out. But now, in the midst of all my making and the constant requests by new shops to wholesale my work, I dream of passing along some of my work to a manufacturer to make it for me, because I can't do it all by myself anymore. I have a whole host of ideas of how to avoid my work being 'made in china'. I have all sorts of reasons why it wouldn't quite be the same to have my work made somewhere else- it wouldn't feel or look the same. I think about raising my prices to meet the demand of my work better so I could avoid this (it's a good start). I think about expanding my studio to have a staff or 2 (and all the issues in expanding and staffing that would come with this). So it's a conundrum, you see. Financially not much seems very viable, and yet, it seems a shame to just throw up my hands without at least searching for a way around it. At the very least, it's not a terrible place to be embarking on- a crossroad in life has always been an exciting place to be standing at.