Thursday, December 30, 2021

Last Days...

Even though I'm lucky enough to have this weird, between-Christmas-and-New-Year's-weird-time-off, I still keep an eye on my Etsy store to make sure I can get orders out as quickly as I can. It's only right, right? I want to keep my repeat customers happy, and keep the new customers, too!

But this? This is agony. (See above picture.)

Because I really want for folks to use the coupon codes to get the thing they really wanted but didn't get for Christmas before I have to raise my prices for next year.

That's right. I have to raise prices.

Shipping has gone up, as I'm pretty sure everyone knows. Just yesterday I had a sale of a larger item and a cup which, had I sent it Priority mail to its Missouri destination, would have cost me over $100, which would have been roughly equivalent to 3/4 of the combined items cost. I had to send it slower, which I really hate to do.

Supply chain issues are no joke, either. Right now, manufactured glazes, which are my personal go-to, as I don't have space right now for raw materials to formulate glazes, are nearly completely gone. Like, you can't find them in any online shop, anywhere. 

So start making and testing your own glazes, ShellHawk!

Well, that normally would be a good answer. Except that raw minerals and the other magical things which go into a glaze are also gone!  

Frits, which are not optional in making your own glazes, are almost impossible to find. Cobalt, which is mostly mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is where, by and large, we potters get our "blues." There are issues in getting it mined ethically and sustainably in the first place, let alone getting it from Africa to the U.S. and getting it off the ships and into the glaze manufacturing plants to make the glazes we love so much in our dishes and cups.

There are more shortages of crucial ingredients. Those shortages won't just affect me and my clay compadres. Those shortages will drive up the cost of clay sewage pipes, sinks, toilets, and any number of little (and big) things made from ceramic clay.

Shortages are going to drive up the cost of raw clay, which, until now, has been a fairly cheap part of making ceramics. (Boy, am I glad to have my reclamation buckets, right now!) So, the natural order of things is for little ol' me to raise my prices to compensate.

I hate to do it, for real. 

I really hope this starts to get under control, and soon!

Meanwhile, grab a mug or a bowl from the shop while you can!

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