[UPDATED 1st November]
Since 1st May potters throughout the country have been making to raise money for NHS Charities.
On the first of each month we make ‘together’, working with a real sense of community to create something positive with the skills we have.
I am astounded by the level of commitment, effort and heart that potters around the UK have put into this project.
THANK YOU to all those who have managed to be a part of this & to all the lovely people who have supported us by purchasing our work.
HOW IT ALL STARTED…
April 24th 2020 – I’ve been feeling a little directionless in terms of the clay, and work, due to the current situation. The pace of making has drastically changed for me, going from a full-time, busy schedule to – almost overnight – having no deadline to work towards. Throwing pottery seems quite trivial, in light of what is happening around us.
I still love the process of making pottery but want to try and do something a bit more meaningful with my throwing; something with a purpose which can in some way help in these difficult days.
After mulling a few things over and chatting with fellow potters Lucy Rutter and Vicky Hageman, we came up with an idea…
…. a day of throwing pots.
On the first day of every month we would like to invite all potters across the country to give up a part of their day, to throw for NHS charities.
We will all be working to create something positive; all throwing to raise money for NHS charities.
When the pieces thrown are finished, the potter then sells them, at a price of their choosing, with all profits go to NHS charities. The cost of materials and postage can be deducted from the sale amount.
This project is designed to be completely inclusive and self-managed. We hope it will create a really valuable sense of positive action throughout the pottery community. The only thing we need you to give is your time.
If you feel that you can’t commit to something like this right now, that’s absolutely fine. You can show your support by spreading the word and following the project. It will run monthly, so you could always take part another month.
How it Works
If you’re a potter, and would like to get involved, all you have to do is throw some work that you are happy to sell to raise money for NHS charities, on the first day of the month. Follow and share some photos via Instagram, and tag the project using the Instagram hashtag #throwforthenhs. By doing so, people will be able to discover your pottery. It will give you and your work a bigger platform, and our project will grow.
The more pots we throw, the more we sell and the more money we raise for NHS Charities.
Any pieces of work which are unsold are for the potter to keep.
If you’re not a potter, but would like to see us all throwing and view work as it becomes available to buy, please follow the Instagram hashtag #throwforthenhs.
For more information on NHS charities go to https://www.nhscharitiestogether.co.uk/what-we-do/
I can’t throw on the 1st of the Month, but want to take part. Can I?
When we started this project during the first lockdown, many of us were able to coordinate our time and throw on the same day, ‘together’. Since then, as our situations have changed and our lives get busy again, more and more potters are unable to commit to the first day of the month, or every month. Please throw when you can, if you can. There is no pressure to only throw on a particular day, or indeed every month. Mould this project to suit you and your lifestyle.
How do I sell or buy a piece of pottery?
When a piece is finished and ready to sell, the potter will share a photo on Instagram, using the hashtag #throwforthenhs. Anyone following this hashtag can then see the items as they become available. Anyone interested in purchasing a piece can then message the potter and arrange payment and delivery.
Each potter is responsible for selling their work. This includes taking payments and posting work to customers.
What if I don’t have an Instagram account?
If you don’t have an Instagram account, and can’t set one up, but would still like to take part in #throwforthenhs, you could sell your pots in other ways. If you have an alternative social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, you could highlight the project and advertise your work for sale in that way or think about selling it more locally, using community groups or sharing your work with friends, using email or Facebook groups.
If you don’t have any social media platforms available to you, you could make some pieces on the first day of each month, and store them with a view to selling them at markets or events when the situation settles and these opportunities become available to us again.
You can still throw on the first day of each month, alongside others, and sell your work in a way that is easiest for you and your situation. There is no right or wrong, and no deadline to this project. The whole premise of this idea is that potters across the country feel that they area able to contribute in some way with their pottery, and donate the funds they raise to the NHS.
I don’t make wheel-thrown pottery, can I still be a part of this?
Yes, absolutely! Just be sure to highlight that your work was hand-built when you come to sell it, to avoid any confusion. It’s all about use potters working together and raising funds for NHS charities.
What should I make?
It’s completely up to you. You could use it as an opportunity to try making something new.
How many pieces should I make?
That depends on how much time you can give to this project. Whatever you can do, even if it’s only 1 piece, will make a difference.
How should I price my work?
Pricing is tricky at the best of times, and this is no different. When you come to sell a piece, we are only asking you to giving your time, and want you to deduct the cost of postage and materials from the total amount donated. This should be factored into the price.
How do I make a donation?
Once the customer has received your item, and you’ve deducted the cost of materials and postage, go to www.nhscharitiestogether.co.uk and follow the instructions there. If you’re selling a few items, you might want to do this monthly, to save time.
If you’re happy to, I’d be really grateful if you could message me the total amount your work raised, to my Instagram account @PRINT.pottery each month. This information will not be shared, but used to keep track of how much the project is raising. I will share a running total on Instagram monthly, using the hashtag #throwforthenhs.
What if I can’t get to the Post Office?
Don’t worry. You could choose to only sell locally, and suggest local pick-up, or reserve the piece until restrictions on movement have been lifted. Please do not take any unnecessary risks visiting the Post Office. Only go when it is safe for you to do so. If you’re selling several pieces, you could wait until you have a few items to send, that way limiting your trips to the Post Office.
I don’t have access to a kiln right now. How can I still be a part of it?
If you can make, but are unable to fire your work, you can still be a part of the project. It doesn’t matter when the pieces are finished and sold. What matters is that the profits go to the NHS. There’s no deadline, or end date to this, and it’s so important that you can be involved
Can I sell my work overseas?
How you choose to sell your work is completely up to you. At the moment, postal services are being affected by the current situation and it may be better to only sell to customers within the UK. Many potters have chosen to sell only within the UK, at this time, until things settle down. This is absolutely your choice.
I’ve never sold online, can you give me some advice?
The easiest way would be to post a photo of your work on Instagram (use the hashtag #throwforthenhs) with a simple description, approximate dimensions and the price. You must decide if you want to send to the UK only, or overseas and consider postage and packaging prices.
Ask people to direct message you if they’re interested in purchasing the piece. They can then send you their payment by bank transfer or paypal before you send the item. The potter is responsible for ensuring their work arrives safely. This means wrapping it well. Should a piece arrive damaged, the potter must give a refund to the customer.
I don’t live in the UK. Can I take part?
At the moment this fundraising project is UK based. If you would like to use this framework, it would be wonderful to see potters around the world making a difference, through throwing pots. I would suggest you alter the hashtag to highlight the charity you’re raising money for.