Following on from my piece about potters’ income, I was fascinated to see a quote by Roger Deakin, offering a somewhat different perspective.
‘The real wages of the potter are in the daily silent appreciations of each of their customers as they pour tea from their teapot, or drink coffee from their mug, or eat dinner off their plate.’
From Notes From Walnut Tree Farm
It is true that the ‘use value’ of tableware is likely to far outweigh any financial cost or worth. As a maker of domestic ware for many years, customers write to me after a gap of twenty years or more asking for replacements for broken pieces. Alas, materials have changed and, try as I do, the results barely match the older wares. However, what was bought for a few pounds many moons ago has consistently given pleasure to the user. This is ‘real worth’. It does not help to pay my bills, nor do I get PLR or any other rights on it, and I like the fact that the pots have been and still are in use.
Rather than thinking ‘real wages’, maybe it would be more helpful to talk of ‘real satisfaction’, an alternative way of describing both the enjoyment of making and the pleasure of using pots.