How to display pottery on Etsy
If you have started an online shop, perhaps with Etsy or one of the other online stores, you will have found that photographing your work takes a lot of time. Not only that, but you can also end up with frankly indifferent results. It’s a challenge for all craftspeople to demonstrate the beauty of their work in a medium where touch is not allowed. If you ask yourself how to display pottery on Etsy then, simply put, a picture really is worth a thousand words, but it also has to replace those thousands of nerve endings that the non-virtual world calls ‘touch’.
Displaying your work is always going to be a challenge, whether in-person at a craft-fair or online, clearly you want work to look at its absolute best. Take a look at other crafts-peoples’ work online… do you think it is all being showcased in the best way possible? The short answer to this is of course, no – there are always ways to improve the presentation of our own work.
Take a look at my photograph above. It shows a one-off ceramic ‘Labrador’ jug that I threw on the potter’s wheel here in Kent, it is one of a series of images that I have uploaded to my Etsy shop at olleypottery.com to help me promote and sell it. There were a number of things I wanted to show a potential buyer of this jug, it’s worth running through them here as they could help establish a template for your own photography…
1. The shape and size (scale) of the jug – I’ve used my hand and some fruit to help show this
2. The overall design and attractiveness of the design and illustration
3. Detail of design and wording
4. The 3D-ness of the jug – I want people to understand how it might feel or appear in real life – tilting the top of the jug towards the camera gives a sense of the roundness of the rim
5. Texture, shine, materials used (there is clearly a reflective shine to the glaze, whilst the lower part of the jug shows the natural bare clay surface)
6. Theme and style – the use of rustic wood as a baseboard and shadowed lighting adds some rustic feel that complements the craftness of the pottery
I use other photographs to better show the piece’s details and overall shape (close-ups and straight-on images).
Somehow, we need to present our work in such a way that it is super-enticing and yet super-true to the piece. As I say, it is a challenge, but with practice work really does become (more) perfect!
Good luck with all your photography and your work.
You can browse and purchase Simon’s ceramics in his online Etsy shop at OlleyPottery.com