Retirement of Designs Explained – June 13, 2023 Email
What does ‘retirement’ mean? At Ephraim we define retirement as follows: verb, adjective : to withdraw from production; a piece that has been withdrawn from production.
Why are Ephraim art pottery designs retired?
There are no strict rules for retirement except one–Studio Collection art pottery designs are limited to a maximum of 500 pieces.
Make that two rules–once a design is retired we never make it the same way again.
Annually, 15-20 art pottery designs are chosen for release in a Studio Collection–typically in March-and are featured in our annual catalog. These are the designs with the best chance of going the distance. Reaching 500 pieces typically takes a few years–the timing depends on customer purchasing. When retirement is imminent we try to alert you; however, sometimes we cannot predict when it’s coming.
Throughout the calendar year we release many more designs in a variety of limited offerings including Seasonal Collections and POT(tery) of the Week. These designs are retired after a stated time frame. The potential longevity of any particular design is determined by its collection or series. We will talk about how a design is chosen for a collection or series next week.
Can art pottery designs retire before the 500 piece maximum?
Yes. Aside from reaching the stated availability time frame, maximum piece count, or both, designs may be retired because a change in materials no longer allows us to achieve a desired level of consistency.
Ok, but why stop making a popular piece?
Two interrelated reasons:
1) Collectibility– At Ephraim, we are part of a long tradition of collectible art pottery. Art pottery lends itself to collectibility because historically it tends to have been well marked with “shop marks” and it was naturally limited due to the making process. We have upheld the tradition of marking our pottery and because of the handmade nature of our process, the pieces are limited by the capacity of the pottery.
2) Keeping it fresh–We love love LOVE to try new things! Curbing the number of designs in production at a time provides the studio room for new designs, keeping our overall offerings fresh and interesting.
Contact our galleries to find pieces of recently retired designs that may be still in stock. You can also find pieces of retired designs in our annual Online Ready-to-Ship Holiday Pop-Up Shop beginning in mid November.