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My MIL passed away and left a garage full of greenware, molds, and even a small kiln. How do I find out what any of it is worth? I did look up the kiln and it sells on eBay for $1500.00.
Condolences on the loss of your mother-in-law.
It sounds as though she had everything a ceramics hobbyist dreams of-I know this because I love doing ceramics and there is no public studio (aka ceramics shop or hobby centre) where I live now. When I lived in the States I used to scour the local classifieds for something like what you have. Here in Scotland it's even harder to find a public studio!
The price of used molds can be surprisingly high, so not only do you have a top-end kiln (the really good 'home' kilns bought new cost around $1000-2000, so you do have a good one there) but you have molds too!
The best way to sell what you have is as a lot. It's quicker than trying to piece it out. There are two ways you can determine how to price the lot, you can pay someone from a local studio to come out, give you a ballpark figure based on seeing what you have, and may even be able to suggest a reliable auction house to get it moved on quickly.
Or you can do the research yourself, save your self some money and then list it on local classifieds boards (be sure to follow safety rules for using online classifieds which are usually posted on the home page of the classified site-if they don't have rules posted that's your first and biggest clue you may not want to use that site!)
If you do the research yourself, you'll find the overall condition and number of firing hours on the kiln will lower or raise the resale value, as will what glazes were used in firing-the glazes are important because the settings on the kiln depend on the type of glaze and using the wrong setting for the glaze can be a kiln killer; the mold pricing is going to depend on what is trending with hobbyists in your area.
Greenware is harder to price sight unseen because so much depends on the quality and quantity of slip used-poor quality and/or incorrect pouring can result in unsatisfactory greenware that has minute (or large) cracks and other faults that can cause real problems when firing. Most public studios will not be interested in it because of the variables-you'll find they don't want to talk about buying it because it could blow up in their kiln; they frequently will not fire anything they didn't pour because 'stranger greenware' can be a kiln killer.
Greenware is extremely fragile and hard to ship, too, so that one bit of your inheritance may prove the hardest to move on.
Any books or hobby magazines, the owner manual, etc, will bump up the price of the lot too, as will any notes she made regarding kiln and firing processes, glazes, and pouring sessions. Serious ceramics hobbyists usually make up notebooks or binders and keep meticulous notes. If she did this those notes will have high value to a hobbyist interested in buying.
You can use simple search terms like 'ceramics hobbyist equipment supplies' to get started, and you can also search the brand names from her paints, molds (should be on the bottom 'lip'), and the name of the kiln with the word 'resale' or 'used'.
If you're willing to put a little work into it you'll save money and I think you'll be surprised at the value of what you have there. There is interest out there for something like what you have. If you lived in Scotland I would be highly tempted!
I have approximately thirty ceramic, medium size, molds for various items. Can you give me any idea of what I should ask for them when I list them in the paper?
By CCG from KY
My MIL and I bought a ceramic shop in January and we were overwhelmed with all the molds we got (over 17k!). One of the very large molds we found is a large blue collar pig. With some research I found out that this large mold is a vintage piggy bank. I think the name of the mold is "Mr. Harley Boy Forever Pig". The mold company is Tesoro, and I have the mold number, #200. It's a giant pain to pour and apparently a pain to find the cost of the mold as well. I found one website that has the mold and sells painted pieces of this mold for $799.99! We have a lady who is very interested in buying the mold itself. I don't want this lady to over pay, but if the mold is worth something I don't want to under charge either. I guess my question here is, is there any way to find a price of a mold that is rare and hard to even find on the internet? I have tried everything to find a price and keep getting nowhere.
My MIL passed away and left hundreds of pieces of greenware and molds. I don't know what they are worth or how to sell them. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.