Join Living Clay Australia
Who We Are
Living Clay Australia is an online gallery which promotes and sells handcrafted, functional pottery created by Australian studio potters. We do not sell paintings, sculptures, woodwork or any other artistic items, we focus purely on high quality, practical ceramics that can be used and enjoyed on a daily basis. Our website has been developed for people who wish to source and buy hand crafted pottery to use and enjoy at home. We look for high quality, well designed pieces that are not only functional but beautiful, we are particularly keen to source innovative design and great shapes.
We have found over the past 3 years that the best way to introduce new potters to our portfolio is to do it slowly and carefully, by first introducing you via artisan markets and fairs and by using Facebook and Instagram to display and publish your work on social media networks. We attend markets and fairs frequently, mainly in Sydney, but sometimes in country regional areas. We generally publish to Facebook and Instagram - rotating items and potters displayed. This trial period gives us a really good idea for how the market responds to your work when sold on line at a retail price.
Our pricing policy is standard across all potters and always includes GST. If we believe your pricing to us is either commercially too low or too high, based on similar work from other potters, we will talk to you about it. But ultimately your asking price is your final decision, not ours. We simply advise based on our knowledge of the market.
Once the market testing period is over and we all agree that it is worth continuing, we load your professional bio with a photo forwarded by you onto the site plus a selection of your work which has been photographed by a professional - the talented Greg Piper of @Blinkneye. Examples of his work can be seen on our website. We believe that's essential in the online environment to create interest and sales - it is our shopfront. We ask for a contribution from you of $300 towards that cost - the rest is ours. It generally costs between $600 and $1000 to do the initial load dependent on the number of items photographed and the complexity of the shoot. A copy of the photos will be provided to you to use on your own website or on Instagram. Initially we suggest no more than 10/12 individual items to get started - we can build from there as customer demand warrants. For all additional photography we work on the basis of a 50/50 split on actual invoiced costs which we will always discuss with you before it is undertaken.
Management of Your Inventory and Payment
Throughout the entire staged implementation we will provide you with monthly reports on what we have sold and more importantly what we have in stock, so that we can discuss additions, replenishment and new ideas etc We will then pay you for any work sold at the agreed cost. Both the report and the payment will be made by the 15th of the month following the sale. We have recently installed a 'Point of Sale' system to manage this whole process more efficiently It now manages both website and market sales.
We will need your ABN Number and either your bank details to enable electronic transfer of funds for your payment or you will need an account with Paypal to work with us. If you do not already have a Paypal account it’s very simple to do – it takes just a few minutes to set up. We regret we cannot make payments by cash or cheque.
Costs We Cover
We cover the following costs:
- All initial photography costs except your contribution of $300
- Liaison with photographer and set up of photo shoot
- Photo selection and loading the items onto the website with full descriptions, costs, technical details and posting data etc
- All promotion and advertising via social media
- Attendance at exhibitions, fairs and markets around Australia
- Postage and packaging of purchased items to customer
- Any breakages and insurance claims that occur after we have accepted the goods
- All website and on site transaction costs
- Maintenance of all inventory and reporting
- All administration costs
- 50% of all ongoing photography costs for any new items
The responsibility and cost of getting your items to us is yours, which you can do either by mail, courier or personal delivery if you prefer. That cost should be incorporated into your invoiced costs. Once they arrive here, they will be checked to make sure there is no damage or breakage and we will then send you a confirmation receipt to say they have been put into the warehouse, and loaded onto the website for sale, within 5 working days of receipt. We will need a delivery slip listing every item sent and its price to us including your freight costs for check-in purposes and entry into the system. In the event of breakages or damage en route we will contact you immediately.
If the item does not sell we reserve the right to return it to you after 12 months, however, we prefer not to have to do that, which is why we take great care to get it right the first time. We will be guided in those selections by what our customers tell us they want to buy. We have recently been successful in asking potters to introduce several new items to their range which customers want to buy and cannot find.
If we do not have any of your items in stock then the product listing is marked "sold" until you can supply us with more stock. The reason for that is that our primary objective is to create a memorable and enjoyable buying experience for our customers. The key elements of that are:
- Instant gratification. If they see it on line they can buy it NOW.
- Easy access and clear navigation for our customers on the website
- Simple, flexible and efficient payment options
- Fast turnaround and on time delivery. We have committed to deliver “within 5-7 business days” in Australia; that would be impossible to do without the stock in hand.
Athough we have spent a lot of time and energy to date making sure that we get this right, I am sure that new ideas will emerge that can improve our customer’s experience, so we will continue to fine tune this business model until we get it 100% right, in consultation with you the artists and of course our customers.
We do from time to time get requests for custom work from restaurants, corporates and private customers wanting something really unique. Whilst we generally spread the net wide to locate the appropriate and compatible potter, we always look first at our own potters to see if they have the interest and capability to fulfill the request. We generally shortlist to three (where possible) and let the client make the final choice. When selecting candidates for the shortlist we look at sustained quality of work, creative fit, capacity to do the job and ability to meet the timelines, as the key criteria. We always consult with you on realistic time frames for you before submitting a quote to the customer. We may ask you to submit ideas and where appropriate photos to support your bid. Successful bidders may be asked to prepare prototypes to be approved by the client before going into full production, however, that cost will be quoted and built into the overall cost to the client. Once the work is approved and the costs have been accepted we will continue to act as liaison between you and the client. We will also handle all financial arrangements taking a 50% deposit before you commence work and collecting the full balance before delivery. This is an area that we intend to promote heavily in a direct selling campaign in the near future. It is our major project for 2021.
Will be maintained in our database indefinitely whilst ever you wish to work with Living Clay, whether we have stock for sale or not, so that if customers want to look you up at any time they can. We will maintain your personal profile and photograph online which tells customers about your artistic history, your skills and your preferred areas of work, together with your first name, surname and your state of residence. If you have work available for sale it will show at the bottom of that listing.
Starting in 2021 we intend to run specialist pottery Expos in some key city and regional locations under the banner "Claymakers". The first of these is being held in Sydney on the 29th May and from that we will evaluate what we have learnt before selecting key locations around Australia to do it again. Currently locations under review are Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra and Orange/ Bathurst. Members of our website team will be given priority for stall bookings at all events.
What do you need to do next?
If you like our business model and want to find out more – please complete the adjacent form (sorry about that!) and submit it together with 3 or 4 images of the work you have done recently that you believe could be suitable for Living Clay Australia’s business. For each item we need to know a little about the process you have used to create it, how many you made and the approximate price you would be selling it for. This just gives us a ballpark to work with.
Once we have received that information we will call you with any further questions. We may ask to come and meet with you in your studio, or if that is not possible ask you to send us a couple of pieces to review first hand, on the understanding that we will return them to you immediately (at our cost) if we do not wish to stock them.
I hope this gives you a good understanding of how Living Clay Australia operates. We believe it is a simpler way for customers to locate and buy beautiful, functional pottery from around Australia and that individual potters will benefit from the wider, national exposure. Our mission is to ensure that we only represent the most creative and technically expert potters in Australia so that over time we develop a reputation as the premium source for quality, innovative, diverse functional work.
If you have any queries or questions please give me a call or drop me an email at any time. All my contact details are noted below. I look forward to talking to you about this in the near future
Living Clay Australia Pty Ltd
PO Box 151
Berowra NSW 2081
T. 1300 397339