Tuesday, October 25, 2011

patience is a virtue . . .

. . . and sometimes it gets you FREE BOWLS.

about 7 years ago i sold some bowls to a customer. 2.5 years ago he decided he wanted more of the same so he ordered 3 more bowls. this man patiently waited. sometimes gently nudged. checked in every now and then. waited. tapped his fingers. asked how they were coming along. waited. gently nudged. checked in with me. waited. and waited. and waited. finally, 2.5 years after he ordered these bowls, they were ready and yesterday he came to pick them up. i couldn't bring myself to charge him for these said bowls. he was such the IDEAL customer. so patient. never got angry. never mad. no threats. quite understanding. and very pleased with his 3 new bowls.

moral of the story:

1. it would be nice if more customers understood the theory of CUSTOM HAND MADE objects and what goes into it. lots of failure, time, and motivation to make something that you really don't want to make in the first place. (the first batch of these bowls came out too small, the next batch 2 of them cracked in the kiln, this was the 3rd batch . . . 3's a charm ? i don't think so)

2. to check in with MYSELF before i accept a custom order (in the future i will be accepting a LOT less of these).

end of story.

14 comments:

Kit Lang said...

I guess that means I can't order some of those bowls, huh? ;)

bridgmanpottery said...

Hi! I'm commenting because this was really great, and I've done the same- just handed over the goods or extra goods because I feel like I've taken too long.
so delighted to meet you and see the studio with D earlier this month! Your little wren dish has joined other special dishes on my plate wall in my bedroom.

Francesca Di Leo said...

hi rae, so nice to meet you!! i somehow stumbled upon your blog and have been here lingering for almost a half hour... such beautiful, sentimental, beautiful clay 'stuff' you create. wow. love your work. xoxx

Joyful Things said...

Too true - some customers are keepers and others should be fired. Its a long process, even when things go well.

Anna said...

Thanks - I'm feeling much better about the teapot it took me 18mths to make. The customer was very happy with it and uses it for tea partys with her grandchildren.

ang walford said...

ooh ouch I know the feeling I lost about 12 platters in a restaurant order!! what a learning experience.. :P not

rae dunn. said...

kit . . . NO. BOWLS. FOR. YOU.

(well, maybe . . . if you're willing to wait a few years for them !)

rae dunn. said...

MELISSA it was a treat to meet you at my studio ! i love that my wren is hanging on your wall.

rae dunn. said...

ang . . . O U C H Y ! 12 platters in one sitting. if there is ONE thing that potters learn, it is definitely about LOSS. it makes us stronger though, no ?

Brandy dyer said...

I'm in love with those bowls!

keith carlson said...

these bowls were worth the wait!
I love them, and use them daily...and for the exceptional artist to not accept payment was the extreme example of customer service!!...which is sadly lacking in our society today.

rae dunn. said...

. . . . and there he is, THE DREAM CUSTOMER. we all wish we could CLONE you, keith !

Michele D. said...

Beautiful bowls. Potters are givers!

Ashley said...

Oh! You know, my parents are both artists (painters), and I remember as a child listening to them try to find the motivation for commissions (as they called them). Your post reminded me of that. Customers waited years, but were always happy in the end.