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MudTalk Podcast - Pottery, Ceramics, Art and Business Discussion
20 minutes | 8 days ago
026 – Your Market / Customers
Who is your market and how did you find them? Links Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/potterymakinginfo/photos/a.10151503193013457/10154915774163457 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BZdZ4HIlnPy/ Transcript Welcome to episode 26 of the mudtalk podcast. In this episode we re talking about your market, or, the people who buy your work. Who buys your pots? How did you find them? Why do they buy your pots? How do you find more of the people that will buy your pots? These are the questions that any potter should start asking when they get serious about selling their work. Thanks to @stonecropstudio for suggesting this question a very long time ago. This episode will be interesting because there were only a handful of responses. Literally 5 responses. Now it s hard to judge what that means for certain. Maybe the social media algorithms didn t put this question in front of very many people. Maybe a lot of us clay people have never thought specifically about our markets. Maybe we don t know who our market or ideal customers are. Maybe, as Little Blackberry Creek Pots says later, we just want to create, instead of thinking about things like this. Maybe we can get by if we just put our work out there without precisely defining our market. I ll be completely honest with you. I have no idea who my market is. I just put my pots on instagram and facebook, list some of them on Etsy, set up my booth at events (remember those?), and hope for the best. Okay, maybe I m not quite that lost. I have some ideas. For example, the map mugs would probably be perfect for someone who likes to travel. Or who enjoys history or geography. But I know I could target certain people more specifically. So at the end of the episode I ll talk about a few ways that I may be able to find my market.. First, let s hear what other potters have said about who is your market and how did you find them? Ibtispottery @potterymakinginfo Markets is where I sell my pottery and people who have seen me at markets would contact me to buy more. This is an interesting point from Ibtispottery. The word market has a few different meanings. Market could mean the group of people that are looking for products like you are making. Market can also be a physical location or event. Usually these markets are already set up for you. I m thinking of a farmer s market or art fair. But the question is, are these predefined markets actually YOUR market? Technically, these are the people in front of your pots but are they the people that will be most interested in and most likely to buy your pots? Probably not all of them. We will explore this idea later. Spectorstudiosporcelain A very smart friend told me that a market for your work is something you create. Working on that. This friend seems very wise. You could probably argue about the words create vs. find when talking about your market but I think the idea is the same. It takes work and usually some kind of plan to figure out who your market is. And speaking of creating and finding a market, it was interesting to be part of the Michiana Pottery Tour this year. The previous 8 years it was an in-person event in the region around the Michigan / Indiana border. It was a self directed tour with 6-8 stops where potters would open their studios and often invite other guest artists to display their work. This year, being the pandemic year, we offered all our work for sale online and promoted to a nationwide audience. We could change the idea of our market because we were shipping pots instead of expecting people to drive and see us in person. There was still a large concentration of website visitors that were from our region but we also had visitors from just about every state in the US. In fact, we had over 400 visitors from the combination of California and NY together. So we definitely expanded our market to a wider geographic audience. On the other hand, are there people that are willing to drive and see us but don t like to buy things online? Under our current circumstances, these tradeoffs were acceptable. Littleblackberrycreekpots Everyone is a potential Little Blackberry Creek Pottery lover. I do 4-7 shows a year, two studio tours, and follow my business plan of 1/3 wholesale, 1/3 consign and 1/3 direct. When I see a dip in one area, that’s where I target. At the end of every promotion day, I realize that I would have much rather have been creating This is an interesting strategy. I like the idea of having different markets because markets change and, as the saying goes, you may not want to put all your eggs in one basket. And I agree, as I m sure many of you do as well, we just want to make stuff, not promote and sell stuff. This response could be a whole new discussion but we will explore more at the end of this episode. L2fee7 I view everyone as having a potential interest in L2A pottery! I began w/ gifting to family, friends & co-workers. I now have two “home shows” each year & have had amazing sales as a result. I am in 4 retail locations; two outright purchase orders & two on consignment. I continue to be humbled by “strangers” having an interest in & purchasing my work. Hustle = Sales I love the last part: hustle = sales. That, for the most part, seems to be true. And I agree, it is still humbling sometimes to have other people love your work because of the work and not just because they have some other connection to you. It is interesting that LittleBlackBerryCreekPots and L2fee7 both consider everyone as potential customers. To some extent this is true. You never know for certain who will like and even buy your work. But a big step is finding people who are MORE LIKELY to like and purchase your work so you can minimize the time and money you spend marketing. More on this in a minute. Benjamin W I started really selling and going for it during grad school. Started with a really good weekly sat market locally. Helped to get my feet wet and figure things out. I developed a good customer base and 14 years later still attend when im not at an art fair. It’s never an insane amount of sales but a steady amount i can count on. This is a good point from Benjamin. It is a good idea to find an outlet or build a following that will provide you some consistent sales that can be counted on. I think the most important part is just to get started. You will figure things out as you go. And then being consistent pays off. Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts. If you are going to be a full time creator or even have a serious side gig, it is important to think about your market. After researching branding over the past few months (check out episode 25 for more on that) I started to think a little bit about who my target customers are, or my market. Knowing your customers is part of building a brand, and really it s probably part of finding as much success as possible for your business. But, you may think, I make my work for everyone! And I agree. Everyone should appreciate, buy, and use my pots! But guess what, there is actually a very small percentage of people that will even consider it. Just think about what my own work is not. I ll even just focus on my mugs. I don t make pink mugs or use rainbows and unicorns. There s a chunk of the population that won t be interested in my work just because they would only consider buying a brightly colored mug. I don t make political pots. There goes what feels like 90% of the people on social media this year. I don t make smooth white minimalist mugs. I don t make sculptural work. I don t put cartoon characters on my mugs yet. My cheapest mug is around $25. My most expensive mug is around $50. Now, think about the millions of different people and what they are going to buy to drink their coffee or tea. Probably a large portion of the population will go down to walmart and buy a mug for $5 or less and would never think of buying a $30 mug. So the point is, anyone can buy or use my pots but not everyone is going to. So how do I find the people that will consider buying my work? Here are 6 ideas that can help you get started. 1. Match your work to the venue I think the easiest step is to consider the kind of work you make and what outlets align with it. For example, if you make big, valuable sculptures, a rural farmers market probably won t have many people that will be looking for your kind of work. And if you make simple, single color mugs that you sell for $20, you may not have galleries or collectors looking for your work. Some potters even make different lines of work for different venues or audiences. 2. Ask around Do you know some other clay artists who seem to have a good idea of what they are doing? Maybe you could ask them what kind of shows are good for potters or what kind of people buy their work. Or maybe you know some other artists or craftspeople that use a different medium but have a style related to yours. Maybe they know a show or venue that would be a good fit for your work. 3. Consider your subject matter If someone is going to buy your work they will have some kind of connection with it. If you have specific subject matter that could be what draws certain people to your work. For example, when people buy my map mugs they often comment about how they like to travel. Whether it is through advertising on social media or the way I write my Etsy listings, I could really focus on the travel theme so people that enjoy traveling will find my work and connect to it. 4. Look for Patterns in sales As you sell your work, take note of any patterns you see. Do you have an uncommonly high number of grandma s that like to bake purchasing your work? Maybe this could tell you something as long as you aren t only selling your work at Grandma s Who Bake conventions. Start to notice different demographics that seem interested in your work. 5. Create customer profiles Another suggestion is to create an ideal customer profile. You create an imaginary person based on some patterns that you have noticed or how certain aspects of your work relate to characteristics of certain people. After you create this imaginary person with as many details as you can, everything from name to their favorite magazine, you can really get specific on your marketing efforts. 6. Build a following This goes along with the idea of creating your own market. When you start putting your work out there in an authentic way and do it consistently, people will start to find it and connect with it. These followers are your market and they will be most likely to purchase your work. This can take different forms such as social media followers, email list subscribers, shop visitors, and even snail mail mailing lists. This is what finding or creating a market actually is. But once you have the followers or subscribers you actually have to take care of these relationships. You have to figure out how to keep strengthening the connection. The more connected someone feels, the more likely they will be to buy something from you, or buy something from you again! So there are 6 ideas to think about as you find or create a market for your work. But one thing to remember, it is not going to happen overnight. Finding or creating a market is a process and it will take time. You ll continue to improve. What about you? Have you started to find a market for your work? Do you have any tips to help someone else? Get in touch through social media or email me at email@example.com. So that about wraps it up this time. Thanks for listening. And check in on the next episode where we will talk about sharing pottery information. Until then, stay safe, keep finding your market, and stay muddy. The post 026 – Your Market / Customers appeared first on Expert Clay.
17 minutes | 2 months ago
025 – Business Tips and Advice
Links Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BY5fkp1Fnjg/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/potterymakinginfo/photos/a.10151503193013457/10154884355993457/?type=3&theater Transcript Episode 25, business tips and advice. Hello all you fantastic listeners! It has been way too long. The MudTalk Podcast has gone on quite a hiatus here over the past few months. You would think with all the social distancing and quarentining I would just be cranking out the podcast episodes. But alas, I decided to focus completely on my top priority for the year, finish my pottery studio. I ve also been spending time with my family so we can all stay sane. But now that the studio is taking shape I hope to spend a lot more time making pots and online content. In fact, the Michiana Pottery Tour will be online this year – that s right, you can buy pots from all the amazing artists no matter where you live! – so I ll be making pots for that and promoting it big time. The Tour is at the end of September so go to michianapotterytour.com to find out more. I ve also become fascinated with the idea of branding which is perfect for this episode. I ve been listening to and reading books, articles and even taking some courses. At the end of this episode I ll share 5 things that could help a potter or ceramic artist improve their brand. And yes, if you are trying to sell your work, you should have a brand even if it is more of a personal brand instead of a big corporate brand. Thank you for taking the time to subscribe, download, and support this podcast. Today the topic is business tips and advice so let s hear some business tips and advice from other potters. Littlecharliewheeler Knowing that everyone has different tastes, and that piece that disappointed you as it came out of the kiln, might be someone else’s favourite. throwingmudetc@littlecharliewheeler that is so true! Usually the ones I don’t like are the first to go. littlefernpottery@littlecharliewheeler I hated the cup to one of my matcha sets. HATED the glaze. 5hrs after I posted it, it was gone lol. You’re so right. leagueindustriesgroupNetwork pipthepotterUse the shows to network. libbeckA lesson I learned: Don’t accept custom orders. It’s never satisfying to make something as directed by a customer. It will always feel better to make your own piece. And, it’s hard to match their vision. 954lla@libbeck Thank you! I’ve been struggling w/ turning down “requests” but know I never enjoy the process as much as going w/ my own vision. earthartam@libbeck Disagree. The first custom order I got was a disaster, I agree, no satisfying that guy. But I’m glad I didn’t give up on them. I like the challenge of meeting someone’s vision. After that first one I’ve never had another person that didn’t see what I do and trust me to get it done. It’s not a huge part of my business, but I do enjoy it. Tip: get paid up front for truly unique work. claystationdhakaTreat your customer the way you would like to be treated as a customer! thattmumHave a 20 second instagram story-style video to show anyone your work/process and be able to explain why x ( for example a teapot , costs $100.00 in time and money to make sharfam61Have you sold online? How do you package pieces and avoid breakage and cost of shipping? @sharfam61 i wrap them with thick bubble wrap and then fill the box with packing peanuts making sure the piece can not move at all and there is enough space on the edges to account for squish. Never had a piece break in shipping! earthartamTreat it like a job, not a hobby. Show up everyday and put in your time. bspottery@sharfam61 I sell online retail and wholesale, customer pays for shipping, I get my supplies from Uline…. rdceramicsTalk to every customer that comes into your space at shows and stand up. Don’t sit in the back & expect them to come to you Anotherseattleartist Don’t give up and don’t half (heart) anything you make. People can tell. ibtispotteryI agree with rdceramics, smile at ppl who come to your space encourage them to pic up ur pottery even when ur sure they won’t buy, tell them how you make your pots , don’t ever be pushy JoAnn S (from facebook) Make what you love, because when you become successful at it, you will be making it….A LOT!!! My favorite thing to make was (is) mugs and now we make over 30,000 a year! And of those 7,000 go to one account. All hand thrown, and hand decorated. And be prepared to work half-days….12 hours is half a day! These last few responses fit well with what I ve been reading about branding. dtaylorsatmEnjoy being different, it’s what makes you stand out from the rest. mudbird_ceramicsMake what you love, don’t try to be someone else. Your passion & creativity will come through in your designs, therefore attracting your customer to the story behind you as well. hillBippieClayCoCustomers are buying your story as much as they are buying your pots. I’ve found when I’m most true to myself and let people in on the reason why and how I make what I do, the connection is deeper. You’ll lose money and you’ll make money, don’t lose site of why you started selling pots in the first place. Put your passion into you’re work and be prepared to start over again and again Pirkitta P (from facebook) Have the courage to be different. Not that I have a business yet but that is my two cents to ya all. Yes! These four responses cover some of the most important parts of building a brand, which is a big part of marketing and running a business. You have to be your unique self so you can highlight what makes you stand out. There is a lot more to think about when you are building your brand but I ve written down 5 things to get you started. The first thing to consider while branding yourself or your business is obvious. Choose to create a brand A brand is how other people think about you and your work. If you don t really put some thought into building a positive brand, you may be unknowingly sending conflicting, confusing, or even negative messages to potential customers. It is a lot of work but if you commit to do it, it will surely pay off later. Know yourself and your work There are a lot of ways to say it, but you have to find out who you are. Not just what you do, but WHY you do it. What motivates you, what drives you, your purpose for living, or your purpose for making. Giving people the reason behind what you do gives people another thing to connect to. Know your customers After you have figured out who you are and why you create your work, begin finding customers that will connect with you and your work. There are different ways to do this. Not everyone is going to connect with you and your work. You have to find the people that will. Tell your story People connect with stories. Figure out which format, style and voice is most authentic for you and your work. Not just a words, tell your story through images, videos, and of course, clay! Engage your customers, maybe even make them part of the story. Be consistent The biggest reason to put some thought into your brand is to be consistent which will help build trust. If you are inconsistent potential customers will be confused and will be less likely to interact with you or buy from you. So, to review, 5 things that can help you get started as you build a brand for yourself or your business: choose to create a brand, know yourself and your work, know your customers, tell your story and be consistent. Hopefully that will help get some ideas turning but this is only the tip of the iceberg as they say. I ll also be writing a few articles and maybe even create a crash course on expertclay.com in the next few months if that is something that people are interested in. But anyway, that s about it for this episode. Thanks to everyone who shared their business tips and advice. Thanks for listening. The next episode will be about finding your market. Until then, keep selling pots, stay healthy, and stay muddy. The post 025 – Business Tips and Advice appeared first on Expert Clay.
16 minutes | 8 months ago
024 – How Does Social Media Affect Your Work?
Links Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BYVX1xXFdwn/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/potterymakinginfo/photos/a.10151503193013457/10154849215758457/?type=3&theater Transcript Thank you for joining us here on the MudTalk podcast. This is episode number 24 and today we are talking about how sharing on social media affects your work. As always, we would love to hear what YOU are thinking. Go to https://expertclay.com/mtp/ to get in touch and share some of your own ideas. Also, this past Monday I posted a new MudTalk Monday question on the Expert Clay and Pottery Making Info social accounts. The question was What clay related content, opportunities or ideas would you like to see more of online? As you probably know, during the recording of this episode the world is a little uncertain right now. Many places are closing down and most of us have been encouraged to avoid crowds and stay home to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Even NCECA was cancelled which was disappointing to a large number of people in the ceramics community even though it was the right thing to do. So what can we do to help each other, learn from each other, and grow our community when we can t meet face to face? So there is something for you to think about. But let s get back to our topic for today: how does sharing on social media impact your work? During our current time this may take on a new meaning. When we can t go out it may be even more important to share with others online. Has your own view changed on this at all over the past few months? Are you doing anything different? Will you do anything different in the future? Let s see some of the original answers to the question “How does posting on social media affect your work?” Sheric2015 I’ve learned so much from you tube videos. I love seeing other people’s work in videos. Hollycoley Studio life can feel isolating. I think social media takes the edge off, encourages people supporting each other, and gets my work seen by hundreds of people. Celestial.surf.studio Social media is a wonderful tool in my opinion. It’s helped me grow outside of reaching only friends and family. It’s provided countless business opportunities, ideas, and provides feedback on how well a design is doing. I love uploading progress videos and photos to keep my audience engaged and interested in my work. It also helps the impact of shop updates, making them more exciting and easier to anticipate. I try to post at least once a day and keep something on “my story” but sometimes it’s hard keeping up being a maker and normal human. Over all I feel like it’s mostly positive. Swoshpots Positive – found teachers, friends, inspiration, knowledge. Negative – addiction of likes and followers, constantly checking, takes time from real life. Taniarustageceramics It makes me take more photos of the process and not just the end product. Casapangea it is incredibly helpful. and i can try so many techniques and get so much inspired by them. i love Conniesceramic For me as a starter at the wheel it is very exciting watching the videos and of course I am also inspired of the other potters work, because in the beginning I thought it would be boring making only round things but now I know that sooo much is possible . I also like to show my work and I am pleased and makes me happy that my stuff [is] like[d] [by] people all over the world Jnpottery I find inspiration and new techniques to try, to improve my throwing and glazing. Jodipottery_at_sandycreek My new mantra: “every minute down the rabbit hole of social media is time better spent creating in my own studio”. I’ve had to impose strict time constraints for my online ‘research’ or I get sucked in every time! Lithopsstudio I feel that social media provides great exposure when used right but there are definitely it’s down sides. It tends to cause unnecessary anxiety stemming the need for validation through likes and followers. Plus it can get very personal at times so take care my friends! Keeping a balance is key (-: Happy claying Taz_london_clay Instagram is my learning tool, my contacts with other clay workers, my inspiration, my occasional weakness and most of all my “look what I did today at school mum”, moment when on days being the only ceramists in what is predominantly a music studio can get a bit lonely and I need clay approval. Here are a few of my favorite responses: Wildfirepotterypenn For me, sharing a pic(s) on social media can bring joy or heartache. If something is shown and it gets alot of “likes” or comments it feels great and validates the creative ego. If it does not, for whatever reason, it brings up thoughts of what is wrong (Even Though it may not have anything to do with the work itself) My work is affected more by what I see from others. It takes away the ‘creating in a vacuum’ effect because I am exposed to so many other people’s work. I think this is a great point from Wildfirepotterypenn. The creative ego can be a fragile thing. But sometimes all those likes and follows or lack thereof have less to do with the actual work and more with the eye catchiness of the image of the work, the engagement with your post and the algorithm in general. It is good to feel validated though and encouraging comments or likes can really help with that. Artbygretamichelle It’s good in that your brand is seen. If it leads to sales, great! (So far I’ve had no sales from social media which cause more questions) If one is not careful it can also be a deterrent to creativity. I have found that limiting myself from certain sites is good. Too much stimulant causes me [to] question whether the idea that I have is one inspired by my experience or whether I’m just pinching it from something I saw on Pinterest or Instagram. Also it’s easy to get caught up in the how many likes and why they like me syndrome. This is an interesting thought from Artbygretamichelle. All the social media can actually be a deterrent to creativity. With a constant stream of stimuli it may make you unsure of your own work. And I get it, you don t want to copy someone else. You don t want to make someone else s work. But maybe it s not such a bad thing according to the book Steal Like an Artist. Just make sure you steal your ideas in the correct way. Sometimes I find myself thinking, it s all been done before after scrolling through social media. And that can be a little discouraging. But it is possible to put your own spin on things and combine things in new ways. I think the real problem is alluded to by the how many likes and why they like (or don t like) me syndrome. It is really easy to get discouraged when you don t think you re not getting as much engagement as you think you should. Especially when you start looking at other accounts and see how many more likes and followers they have. Sometimes it s even just a discrepancy of support between some of your own work. If a picture of one pot doesn t get as many likes as another pot does that mean that the pot isn t as good? Maybe? There may be some value in seeing which images are best received on social media. But there are a lot of other variables that can cause more or less engagement. So make pots that you like. Then find the right people that like them too. Robertdboyer Thanks for the shout out! I definitely find positive aspects of community and exposure on social media but often find that it muddies the waters for me in terms of creativity and motivation. I sometimes wonder whether the work is driven by the social media or vice versus and I feel more likely to NOT do something because of a post I see online than to be inspired toward a new idea I’m willing to act on. Overall I keep doing it so I must feel like it’s a net positive but weighing the costs and become more mature in regards to my emotional connection to the metrics is proving to be important. Thanks RobertDBoyer for the idea for this MudTalk topic. It seems that a lot of people agree, social media can have a big impact on creativity and motivation. Hopefully more positive than negative. An interesting question for each potter and artist to examine for themselves: is the work driven by social media or is social media driven by the work? Is one better than the other? At one point I probably would have said that I hope to create my own unique work that I have come up with from real influences and inspiration. But some of my inspiration has always come from other ceramic work. And social media just gives us much more and easier access to other people s work. And I do take note of how images of my work performs on social media. Over a large enough sample size it could give me some indication of what may sell well. So I would say for me, social media can drive my work in some way. But I m also working on taking the qualities of my work and presenting them on social media in some kind of coherent manner. Kind of a personal brand or artistic style through the work and social media presentation and marketing and everything else. So what about you? How much are you influenced by social media? How does your unique work influence the way you post it on social media? Perhaps there is some correlation to where you are in your clay journey? If you are closer to a beginner, maybe your work will be influenced more by what you see on social media. If you have already established an artistic style in your work maybe you influence others or your work influences the way you post on social media. Interesting things to think about. Thanks for thinking about them with me. I hope you are doing well in these uncertain times. Keep a positive attitude. Stay safe. Keep making. We are in this together even though we aren t physically together. If there is anything I can do, don t hesitate to reach out. The ne
11 minutes | 9 months ago
023 – Tips to Set Up a Pottery Studio
Resources Original Discussion on Instagram Article: Organizing a Pottery Studio Transcript Thanks for tuning in! This is episode 23 of the MudTalk Podcast and we re talking about setting up your pottery studio or clay workspace. In this episode there are a lot of great tips for arranging the place where you work with clay. This episode comes at a perfect time for me because I m putting the finishing touches on my new pottery studio at my home. I already have a plan for the basic layout. I needed to have that much before I had it built. But soon I ll be moving all the equipment and tools and everything else in and setting up. So it was great to read through some of the comments and hear some of the tips. It also seems there were other people that really benefited from the discussion. Just listen to some of the first few answers to the question: How do you arrange your workspace? syrihee.ceramics I don’t? Hahahaha Anisha maria crasto This is exactly what’s on my mind. I am in the process of setting up a pottery studio and have been planning what goes where. Crawford paint and clay I’m also setting up and it’s a bit tricky when the space is small. Ash glazed ceramics Hi there I am currently challenged by the same question, how do I get involved and learn? estrovan I’ll be converting my single car garage into a studio at the end of the year – love these ideas So it sounds like I m not the only one that loved all the responses. Let s hear the rest of the responses and see what we can learn about arranging a clay workspace. Spector studios porcelain In our studio my wife Sarah and I have finally learned to put everything on wheels. 5 Gal buckets of glaze fit quite nicely on heavy duty house plant caddys, our really big glaze batches go in garbage cans and you can buy heavy duty caster sets for those. Our pug mill is on a cart, all the ware racks are on wheels as well. Harbor freight sells pretty decent casters for building carts with Kate bussey 3 We too have everything on casters. Makes for a bigger work space when needed. Also fold away tables to pop out when needed too. Cp carlson pottery Everything rolls, even my kilns are on casters. This allows me to push them close to the wall when I’m not firing. Extra pop up tables come in handy for glazing. I tried to get a good flow on my space create, clean, glaze fire but that doesn’t work so well in my small space, so flexibility is key for me. Jeff szarzi Wheels and casters as well. Roll, roll, roll your studio. Jclay pottery studio Super fortunate that I moved from a 400sq ft to 1700 sq ft 2 yrs ago & it’s Sooooo much easier BUT more room=more mess that gets left longer -HAD to always clean and organized in smaller space. Must haves: Tons of shelving : a glaze table(s) that fits all often used buckets -height so when glazing doesn’t kill our back (IKEA Formica skinny table desk height is awesome). Bakers racks w/ covers on wheels : glaze cart(I have only one but great investment) : various heights work tables (mine are wooden horses for legs,thicker pine board on top-Masonite board or pressed board to top it-doesn’t create dust-can be flipped & so cheap I can get a new one if needed (had for 2 yrs and still good shape) Problem: 8 huge trash cans of scraps-any recommended pug mills are welcome!!! Art by gretamichelle Shelving unit and storage boxes help. My wheels face toward the wall to allow for ease of getting up and my tools are at hand and stored in pouches that I made using a length of floor vinyl that I stapled to a board and then to the wall. Made by powley If your studio isn’t cramped, then I suggest setting it up so it flows in a circle with the clay process. Starting with your throwing area with shelving, glazing area, kiln area. It is helpful to have shelves beside the kiln for pots ready for bisque and separate shelves for glazed pots. This saves lots of steps when gathering up pieces for firing. Last tip: don’t put the kiln near the door… That is your escape route in case of fire. Hope that helps! applehead74 I just sort of created a circle. Clay storage, handbuild area, wheel area, drying space, kiln, glazing spot/packing, then display. Also I found that small indoor greenhouse (on Amazon $40) works great for small studio slow drying space Thanks to everyone for sharing your experiences and ideas. Even though there were less responses than some of the other episodes I feel like this one may be extra helpful to some of us. A while ago I wrote an article on experclay.com about organizing your workspace to improve efficiency. I ll link to that in the show notes. How Organization Makes the Most of My Time in the Pottery Studio The main idea of the article is to set up your studio to match your process so that the clay has to travel the shortest distance possible. For example, you don t want to store your clay in one corner, wedge your clay in the opposite corner, and then have your wheel or work table in another corner. You would have to carry the clay around way too much. It would be much better to have your clay storage next to your wedging table which has your wheel or work surface next to that. With all of this in mind, I ll soon be setting up my new pottery studio. In fact, I am recording this episode of the MudTalk Podcast from the new studio for the very first time. I am beyond blessed because I got to build this new studio from the ground up. I didn t have to adapt my plan to a space that was already there the way I did when I set up my work space in my basement. For this new studio, I started with a rectangle building and walled off one end to create a kiln room / storage area / non clay work bench area. We put in some pocket doors so no space is required to swing the doors open or closed. We also created a corner office / utilities room / photo area. This separate room will be a clay free zone and a place that I can close off if needed when guests come for a visit. The big space in the middle will be for creating pots. Wheels, work tables, shelves, etc. I plan to have workbenches on wheels and folding tables so the space can adapt to what s needed. Maybe I can even have movable counters and shelves. Then as I set up I can give each tool a specific spot that relates to my process. I ll have to fill in those details once I get the big stuff in place. So as we close this episode, think about your own workspace. Could it be improved? Are you making the most of your space? Is your process as efficient as possible with the way it is set up? Thanks again to everyone who shared ideas about how to set up a pottery studio. In the next episode we will discuss how sharing on social media impacts our work. Until then, keep working efficiently in your space and stay muddy. The post 023 – Tips to Set Up a Pottery Studio appeared first on Expert Clay.
18 minutes | a year ago
022 – Your Must-Have Clay Tool
Links and Resources Instagram link: https://www.instagram.com/p/BXNKfO3F7xz/ Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/potterymakinginfo/photos/a.10151503193013457/10154777128508457/?type=3&theater Most Recent MudTalk Monday Discussion Troy Bungart Pottery Tools Sarah Pike bisque clay stamps Transcript Welcome back! This is *only* the 22nd episode of the MudTalk podcast. I say only because I had hoped to have a lot more episodes of this podcast finished during 2019. If you signed up for the free course Your Best Pottery Year at the beginning of the year, you would have heard that one of my goals for the year was 20 new episodes. But… that was one of my extra goals, it wasn t exactly at the top of my list. So I won t feel bad because I have already accomplished some of my primary goals. In fact, I think going through the Best Pottery Year course really helped me focus on what was important and plan for success throughout the year. So at the beginning of 2020 I ll be offering something even better, the Clay Success Club. It will include the Best Pottery Year Course plus a bunch of other stuff. Check out expertclay.com if you may be interested in something like this. Anyway, in this episode we are talking about pottery tools. And what potter doesn t like to talk about tools?! The question was, what is your must have pottery tool? There were some great answers and some that made me consider adding a few new tools to my toolbox. So let s start with the most basic of all pottery tools, the hands. Hands bv_xi Hands tthomas_art @bv_xi I was going to say hands too! Lol littlefishceramics mum and dad gave them to me. Marc robert isaacs My hands soulfirejewelry My hands! Earthen bones My hands! One of them broke, and I was helpless! Don’t take them for granted! Ribs bianca_colangelo Metal rib. Break ur nees Wooden rib. It cleans the wheel head, cleans up the edges of a pot thedoglovingartteacher Metal rib. I can score, cut, clean, shape Yo panama Metal rib! It’s an all purpose tool. I use it to shape, clean, trim can’t work without it. glynnislessing Brass rib Leigh art tx Wooden and metal ribs l.y.s.t.o.n Metal rib by far olisny The “metal rib of death” as I heard someone call it. killionpottery Red rubber rib by mud tools. I use it for shaping & smoothing. Got it @ #brackersclay (Brackers Goodearth Clay) pinkmoonceramics Metal rib by far! It’s so satisfying cleaning up a pot at the end with it cedarhillchick MUD tools ribs & finishing sponge. Nicola hart studios Rubber kidney, my fav shedceramics Yep…a little red rubber kidney. I use that every day. nbypotter Mudtools Red rubber kidney Al G Custom made by me from Stainless steel Sponges artofawen Yellow and white mud tools sponges. siramikpottery My sponge! bateendje A sponge Carving spectorstudiosporcelain Exacto knife for sure mallymoonhandmade I second the exacto knife! @spectorstudiosporcelain and sponges! Oh the many many sponges! maruollitasguevara Carving tools rdceramics A rubber chamois I got for free from @didemmert_pottery. It says wiziwigtools.com on it Trimming marianwilliamspottery My giffin grip! 2frogsstudio My Do-All Trim Tool by #mudtools. It really does all and saves me so much time not switching from trim tool to trim tool looking for the perfect angle. And it stays sharp for a long time! danaswheel One perfect, sharp, trimming tool…hands down penncerameg Turning tools that I’ve made and a wooden rib made from a bamboo spoon swoshpots My trimming tools from @hsinchuenlin – they are priceless to me. And his YouTube videos. dmorris_138 Half moon trimmer karoartceramics Scalpel! Other mycelium_sophira Well , my kiln . I just need clay and kiln. dowidat.ceramics It’s weird but a needle tool. Very useful in the building process cause I can cut straight lines, pierce clay for design and slip and score with it. corkelialee Needle tool itsart.bitch tooth pick! ryanreichceramics Wooden #2 pencil artroxinabox My imagination stefanstattack My Shovel… second hands Multiple artbygretamichelle My mudtools- anyone a.newmanpottery All of them!! For me, each tool has a specific purpose and is just as important as the next. aliveguy_pottery Definitely my red Mud tools ribs and white sponge from Xiem tools for finishing my pots… Also love my new insert bat system from Versa bat.. Allows me to keep forms tight without damaging from direct hand wheel removal… goodpotceramics That’s so hard to answer because I use some tools to throw, some to trim, some to finish/decorate… I could probably pick a favorite from each stage in the process zenamed needletool,sponge,my beloved sharp japanese knife and my teachers at youtube.I was at the kindergarten of pottery when my beloved teacher was diagnosed a breast cancer and had moved to a big city 600km away.and youtube came with extraordinary teachers from China to US,from UK to Japan… Favorites earthartam Years ago, in college, they were remodeling the studio and had pulled out the old sink. Under where it had stood, stuck in year’s accumulation of dried out clay muck, I found a small copper rib. Perfectly shaped, I use it every day. I still have many tools from college days but this is my all-time favorite. I love this response because it has an interesting story AND it seems to be a unique tool. All the metal ribs I ve seen have been stainless steel. Starting pottery Since I’m a beginner I am quite awkward with tools! I always find my fingers are better than the tool I try to use because my fingers feel the clay! But the toolI find handy is the round sponge! This is a good point from starting pottery. I really like to feel the clay when I m working on the wheel. And I can get a pretty good curve now with just my fingertips. But ribs and other tools do have some advantages. Bc ocean mist All the textures I play with, bark, starfish (not real) and ones I create with polymer clay. I like this response because I love it when artists make their own tools. It can really give your work some unique properties if you are using a tool that no one else is using. This response also reminded me of the Indiana Clay Conference that I attended a little while ago. One of the presenters was Sarah Pike. She passed around a collection of bisque stamps that she had made herself and showed the marks that they made in the clay. Very inspiring. I ll try to remember to add a photo in the show notes of this episode. I started making some of my own bisque stamps years ago but I feel like I could spend some more time making some really interesting stamps now. I ve also made a number of other tools. From a simple sponge on a stick to custom logo stamps. I made myself a custom trimming shield to fit on my wheel so the trimmings don t fly all over. I started to make some brushes after taking a workshop with Troy Bungart but never finished them. I make some little plastic ribs out of old credit cards that I use to round the edges of trays and I m sure there are plenty of tools that I made but didn t use much and now I ve forgotten about them. But let me think about the tools I use all the time. Like some of the other responses, it is really hard to pick just one tool above all the rest. My hands are, of course, my primary tools. But if that doesn t count and you don t count the pottery wheel as a tool, it would come down to my wooden trim knife, my stampmaking kit, my hp laserprinter, or my cut off wire? What I call a trim knife is what I use to cut away extra clay at the bottom of a pot and create a little groove under the bottom so I can slide my cutoff wire underneath. The one I have is handmade by Troy Bungart. He makes all kinds of amazing pottery tools out of exotic woods. Check out his Etsy shop called Burlchaser by troybungartstudios.com. I suppose if I had to live without that tool I could do it. But I m not sure if I could live without a cutoff wire. Yeah, kinda boring right? But that cutoff wire makes it so easy when I m weighing clay and cutting pots off the wheel. There are two other tools that I use that are very specific to my work. The laserprinter is what I use to print my decals to make the world map mugs and cups. I also have a stampmaking kit that I can print my own rubberstamps which I use for logos and textures. I suppose I could order decals and stamps from somewhere else but I like to be involved with those parts of the process. So it s hard to pick just one tool that I can t live without. But the good thing about being a potter is that there are always more tools! As I was thinking about my own tools and tools other people mentioned it made me think about how much of an effect tools have on our work. Think about your favorite tool. How would your work change if you didn t have that tool anymore? What if you changed the tool in some way? Are most of your tools used for efficiency or do you have certain tools that give you a certain effect that can t be achieved any other way? Interesting questions to think about And on that note, let s wrap up this episode of the MudTalk Podcast. Remember, if you have any thoughts you would like to share, I would love to hear them. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment on the show notes. Just go to expertclay.com and click on podcast. And while you re there, take a look at the 2020 Clay Success Club. I hope to keep the number of accepted members low for this year but I think it will be an awesome opportunity for some of you. Also, check the show notes for links to some of the tools that were mentioned here on the podcast. I also put up a new MudTalk Monday question recently about growing the clay community so if you have some good ideas, we would love to hear them. In the next episode of the podcast, we ll talk about arranging your pottery studio or workspace. I can t wait for that one because I ll be arranging things in my new pottery stu
14 minutes | a year ago
021 – What Can You Teach?
We’re back! After a long break, we have a new episode of the MudTalk podcast! Thanks for listening. Links and Resources Instagram link: https://www.instagram.com/p/BWpLXYtFaZG/ Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/potterymakinginfo/photos/a.10151503193013457/10154734498508457/?type=3&theater Transcript This is episode 21. Thank you so much for listening. In this episode, we are going to talk about what you can teach to someone else. This was actually a really interesting topic because there were a lot of different responses. There were so many that I didn t even include them all. It was really interesting to me to see what people are confident enough to teach someone else. This is especially interesting to me as I set up expertclay.com which will allow other people to teach or share their knowledge. For example, I put together an online course about setting and achieving goals as a potter. I hope to find others who want to share what they know, whether it s a simple tip for working with clay or a detailed course exploring a topic on a deeper level. At the end of this episode I ll talk more about how you can make that happen if you are interested. But first, let s get to the responses. I separated the responses into two categories. There were plenty of people who could teach others how to have a proper mindset. We ll hear those at the end. But we ll start with the people that could teach techniques for working with clay. Clay Techniques mappotter Lids kathrynburnsclay How to recycle clay. sandyvanderwyk Find your tool. pinkmoonceramics Underglaze painting and sgraffito tips ? terraforms Pinching textures. fancyfrogpottery To centre clay on the wheel.? butalaclay Base wall thickness for great foot rings carolyn_sawyer Always valve grind lids…glazed or unglazed. chuck_dm3 Go into how to find textures and tools (sticks/rocks/bark/leaves/etc) cabreraceramics Make their own glazes clay_with_mi Pulling walls artbygretamichelle Finish is everything. It makes the pot. dowidat.ceramics Carving technique I love making clay look like something else suzie.hawkes How to slipcast wildfirepotterypenn How to fire obvara raku ? pathwaypottery Mugs laurieandwilliam Pulling handles. and hillbippieclayco Attaching handles ? The rest of the comments were less about techniques and skills for working with clay and more about how to have a proper attitude or mindset to work with clay. Mindset vivita5 Love every pot you make txochi7 I’m a complete newbie, so could only impart enthusiasm ??? claybylaura Embrace the failures, learn and move on! ryanpaulder Breath dtaylorsatm Don’t get in a hurry. artroxinabox Love what you are doing & do it with your heart not only your hands ? sandywithaq If you don’t like something out of the kiln, give it a couple days. If you still don’t like it, it doesn’t mean nobody else will. wisp.ceramics Don’t get frustrated, it’s just dirt. leslie_mbizz Don’t try to work if you’re tired forgottenfern If you don’t love it smoosh it- it’s the only way you will grow. bettys_pots Make something creative with every scrap of clay. Don’t make extra work for yourself by putting little bits in the reclaim bin. earthartam The joys of handbuilding shesonthepath Study wabi sabi pamelabarclaysatx Make multiples. Each one you make will be just a little bit better than the last. kleesestamps Put your personality into your pots – make what you like and they will come. bentwingley Make 500 more and you’ll be in good shape nichibeipotters Everything matters. From wedging till it comes out of the kiln. Never settle, always strive to get better. Susie Lawrence M indfulness with clay, connecting with your soul through clay play creating connection with Mother Earth. Libbi Hutchence To relax on the wheel and remember to breathe. Play …. lots is learnt through play. Don’t forget to have fun! Thanks to everyone for those great answers. It was interesting to hear such a broad range of topics and skill levels. It reminds me that even some of the most basic things need to be learned if you are just starting out. That is a good reminder to some of us who have been working with clay for a long time. I know some of the things that I don t even think about anymore were once unfamiliar to me and maybe even a struggle. I asked about what you can teach for a few reasons. I wanted everyone to think about something that they were confident in doing. It s good to think positive about yourself instead of always thinking about things that you can t do. Give yourself a pat on the back for the things that you have learned well enough to teach someone else. Especially if you can take something complex and simplify it enough to teach it. Teaching is hard work. You not only have to know the content, you have to figure out the level your student has mastered or not mastered and then figure out a strategy that will lead them to the next level of mastery. I think it s also important to support and grow the clay community. Even as a beginner you can help someone else learn something new. It may be a simple clay technique that you just learned or it could be something to help their mindset or even a skill from outside of clay that could be useful for a potter or ceramic artist. You definitely don t have to be an expert to teach something. I just created a whole course about setting and achieving goals. But I m no expert on the topic. I just shared what has worked for me. So what if you have something you want to teach but you don t know how to get started? You know the content. Maybe you even have materials and lessons ready to go. But you need to find some students, you need to give them access, and you need to deliver an experience that is worth their time or money or both. This is where I hope that Expert Clay can help out. If you are interested in finding out more about sharing your story or your knowledge go to expertclay.com. Look for a link in the menu that says Teach / Share. As for me, I feel like I m at a place where I could teach a lot of the basics of pottery making pretty well. And this is perfect because I m in the process of building a new pottery studio where I ll actually have the room to teach other people. I feel like I m starting to create my own style so I could share some of the unique things I do in my own work as well. I ve also been working on skills that are outside of actually working with clay but will be very useful when I become a full time potter. Things like design, photography, marketing, goal setting and time management. I m far from a pro at any of these kinds of things but since my actual profession IS teaching, I feel like I could teach the basics on some of these topics. Think about all the skills you use every day when you work with clay or run a business. I bet there are plenty of things that other people would love to learn from you. To conclude this episode, think about how you can find opportunities to teach something. If not to earn some money, or increase your status, or even to help someone else, maybe you can do it just to make the clay community a little better. As always, thank you so much for downloading, listening and sharing. Remember, I love to hear your thoughts about what you have enjoyed about the show, how it could be better and especially topics for future discussion. The next episode will hear about your favorite clay tools. Until then, keep teaching and stay muddy. The post 021 – What Can You Teach? appeared first on Expert Clay.
15 minutes | 2 years ago
020 – Form vs. Function
Resources Facebook Discussion Instagram Discussion Make 2019 Your Best Pottery Year (free course) Transcript: Form vs. Function Happy New Year! Welcome to episode 20, the first episode of 2019! In this episode we will hear some great thoughts about form and function. But first, a couple updates. It took me a little longer than I had intended to get the first episode of the year finished. I have been working hard on some of my other goals that I ve set for 2019. In fact, as I went through the process of setting some new goals this year I created a free course on Expert Clay to help you set, plan for, and achieve your own goals. The course was created to cover the first four weeks of 2019 to get your year off to a great start. But don t worry if you missed it, all the course material is available and you can still work through it at your own pace. It will help you decide what you really want, how to set SMART goals, and then create a plan to accomplish your goals. If you are struggling to get things accomplished or make the growth that you really want, this course may be for you. Just go to expertclay.com and you ll see some information about the course right at the top of the page. Some more good news: At the end of 2018 we had a giveaway. Robin won the free tshirt from potteryshirts.com this time but we ll have to do more giveaways in the future. Thanks to everyone who participated! And thanks again to all of you who are listening to the podcast and spreading the word! Now, let s hear some answers to the question: Is form or function more important in your work. First, let s start with the potters who start with form or feel that form is most important to them. Form williambakerpottery Form is always first for me artbygretamichelle Form. I’m aware of function but focus on the form. she_dreams_in_underglaze Form is the most important element to me, but I would find it hard to justify (to myself) making something that did not also function. Would I sacrifice a small degree of functionality in order to create a form that is more pleasing to me? Yes, without doubt – but I could never make something totally disfunctional…. for some reason the idea appalls me sak_sakshi Form is of more importance to me .. as creating the form u like gives u immense peace ! zeldalune Form There were also some that feel function is more important to them. Function Zained shahid Function pathwaypottery I lean toward function. I like things to be useful but I am trying to explore more with form. Getting out of my comfort zone A bit! lucyfagella For me.. Ideas about form flow from the way a pot functions. wildfirepotterypenn Function comes first. However, if the form is not pleasing to the eyes, hands, & whatever else it encounters, then function is useless… ?????? ladytokioblue For me function is more important because I only have basic knowledge of form. So in trying to make things that can be used I don’t think of form… Usually because I suck as designs. ?? harrychoepotter For me it must be functional with a dash of design. Enough to make it look fab!!!! But overall I think function out wieghs form. Making somethimg useful and being a useful person is key to my life. Some claim that form and function are of equal importance don t feel strongly enough about one or the other to choose just one. Both earthartam Equal. Sculpture is my first love, but I find people want something they can hold in their hand, use in their daily lives. So I do my best to combine the two. leslie_mbizz It was never form vs function, it’s “form follows function”. If the form does not allow for the function intended, then it does not function and is only form. As artists we look for new forms to function in the ways unexpected olisny In graphic design we have hammered into us that for function cannot exist without proper form. If your form sucks, you will ruin the function. claybylaura For me form and function hold equal importance . When I’m making something new, I first think about its function and develop a form to fit those needs. The creativity happens when I meld those two ideas . 2frogsstudio I am also from the school of graphic design but now a potter. Form without function and function without form cannot be the end all statement on its own. I make teapots. Without the proper form, it doesn’t function. And just because it holds water and pours, its form isn’t justified as a teapot. Yes, I make functional ware. One without the other is not a win. Other mimiho_cat Fluidity dowidat.ceramics Hand to hand These last few comments were my personal favorite. Favorites philosophiclay_speaking For me, function gives me purpose, but form fills my soul. First of all, philosophiclay speaking is a fantastic instagram name. 2nd, that is a great response. Simple but thought provoking. I like the idea that form and function serve two different purposes or fill two different needs. We often think of of them working together but it s interesting to think about each on their own. And finally our last response is from Benjamin W Both are important, the production potter must master function to be successful. Fine art pots require both form and function to be truly successful. Nothing worse than a beautiful pot that disappoints you when you use it. Even though many universities label pottery as craft, it’s still the only art we truly interact with on multiple levels thanks to its functional aspect. Benjamin I like the point about the production pottery vs. fine art pots and craft vs. art. I think these are all related to form and function. But before I start rambling too much, let s define the terms form and function because sometimes they are so intertwined that I forget which is which. According to Mirriam Webster here are 3 definitions of form: a: the shape and structure of something as distinguished from its material b: a body (as of a person) especially in its external appearance or as distinguished from the face : FIGURE c: an archaic definition: BEAUTY So, I think of form as how something looks. The best definition of Function from Mirriam Webster, at least for our discussion, is: 2: the action for which a person or thing is specially fitted or used or for which a thing exists : PURPOSE So I think of function as what something does. The action. So if we are thinking about pots, there are usually pretty clear actions that a pot is made for. It doesn t take long to figure out if a pot functions in the way it is expected to or not. The main function of a mug is to contain a liquid and carry that liquid to your mouth. If your mug has a hole in the bottom it isn t going to fulfill its purpose very well. The FORM of a pot though, can be unlimited. Even if we are trying to make all our mugs the same, if they are handmade, there will most likely be some subtle variation from mug to mug. Now think of all the different options and alterations we can make when we are trying to make something different. The interesting part, at least to me, is how much of your function are you willing to give up for your form? For example, you could make a mug with a zigzag or jagged rim. It may look really cool, but it may be a little harder to drink from without spilling liquid down your face. Are you okay with that? There s no right or wrong answer, each potter, and their customers have to decide that for themselves. It seems like form and function are each related to one side of the art vs. craft discussion as well. I could be way off, but art seems to be more about expression or communication which is more about form. Craft, as in craftsmanship or perfecting a craft, makes me think of making something that has a certain purpose, which is the whole idea of function. But all these terms are related and it s hard to draw any well defined lines between them. So, can you have form without function or function without form? Maybe not completely. If I was going to try, I d probably pick one of those white styrofoam cups to show only function. There is a form involved but the sole purpose of the form is to function as well as possible. I guess every object has some kind of form. But maybe having a form is just part of the definition of an object? I could talk in circles all day. On the other hand, I think some things can be completely about form. For example, think about a sculpture. If the sculpture doesn t DO anything other than get looked at or provoke thought or express or communicate a feeling, does it really have a physical action? I would say it is just there to get a reaction from viewers. Anyway, I feel like in my own work, function is most important to me. I want my mugs and cups and bowls to be comfortable and easy to use. Being used is the key idea. The form then comes out of the best way that I think a pot will function. I don t set out to make a bowl or mug to sit on a shelf and be looked at. As I create a pot I think about how a handle will feel in someone s hand or how the proportions of a bowl make it easier to pick up or fill with food. I still want to explore beauty and make unique work but most of that effort goes into surface decoration instead of changing the form of the pot too much. It makes me wonder, do simpler forms function better? Do simpler forms appeal to a wider audience? I do hope to keep exploring form and think about how I can still make pots that function well but aren t just plain old cylinders. There are a lot of things to think about when making pots, especially the balance of form and function. Here are a couple things that I know for sure: Function is less subjective than form. Form is viewed as more valuable than function in many cases. There is an audience for all kinds of pots along the form and function spectrum. If you don t agree, feel free to change my mind. Let s wrap up this episode with a few quotes about form or function to inspire some more thought. There’
23 minutes | 2 years ago
019 – What Would You Do Without Clay?
Resources MudTalk Instagram link Mudtalk Facebook link T-shirt Giveaway! Free Course: Make 2019 Your Best Pottery Year Transcript This is episode 19! Since it s the last episode of 2018, it s kind of an important episode. First of all, this is your last reminder to win a pottery shirt! Listen for more details at the end of the episode. It s also important because it s a small milestone. I can look back and see that I put together 19 episodes in 2018. That doesn t seem like much over the course of an entire year, but considering I didn t even know how to make a podcast until February, I d say that we have done okay. Thanks again for listening. I definitely wouldn t be motivated to keep going if all of you weren t showing support. You may not find the topic of this episode as helpful or informative as some other episodes. I really enjoyed reading all the responses though because I feel like I got to know the community a lot better. It was really interesting to see what other skills and passions you have. And sometimes it s fun to imagine how things could be different. There were a lot more comments than some other MudTalk Mondays. Perhaps because it was an easier question to answer? There were a lot of similar answers so I tried to group some of them together. So let s hear some of these responses to: What would you be doing if clay did not exist? Painting Dtaylorsatm Painting Shari.sutherland.art Still painting…. just wouldn’t be as exciting. Stonecropstudio More painting, for my soul! And maybe woodcuts for a tactile fix? ArtbyGretaMichelle Painting in oils. Caseydepasquale Making paintings that are thick and juicy and full of #texture! Metal / Jewelry Mudbird_ceramics Making jewellery/silversmithing or painting:) PathwayPottery Metal sculpture Conor.jensen Keep doing metal sculpture probably DoubleMusePottery I’d be making jewelry and glass etching. So many things to create. Pitchpinepottery Still making! I’ve always wanted to try metal smithing and make jewelry. Food Poteria_oficina_ceramica I would be making food! Bdeterling @ioceramicarustica I agree! Specifically baking since it’s similar to making clay and firing kilns ? Connie J Cakes probably Wood Reidthepotter Woodworking KathrynBurnsClay Turning wood on the lathe. Ebboren Carving wood, which would probably include some trips to the ER!? LittleCharlieWheeler Leather or wood. Have to be tactile. Measa C S carve wood Textiles Marisol_blamey quizás bordaría alfombras! pero…. no es lo mismo! (Maybe I would embroider rugs! but it’s not the same) Debra_lee2 Quilting! Sandywithaq Back to the knitting needles! GardenGateDesign Hooking more rugs now I split my time between the two and making beeswax candles . . . Monstriss Knitting Dawn I Crotchet Marg F textiles Glass Maxschreifels Blow glass like a man lol Jean_faith_vanderheyden Soap stone carving and or stain glass making. Anni_s_t Blowing glass.. Madeleinevinkceramics Definitly glass blowing! Photography Yopanama I would be doing photography Mike W Photography. Clay_lady I’d have more time to practice piano and work on photography. Other Desoet_ceramics Nice question ? anyway i would be sculpting. Doesn’t matter from what material Syrihee.ceramics Architecture probably :/ and painting Bluee_pottery Rock climbing Sudima Drawing Olisny Printmaking! I had a fund saving up for an etching press I instead used to buy my kiln and wheel. ? Nancybloklandpottery The garden would be the next best thing Jojo.hare I’d still be making candles ? KaraMorrisPottery Writing books ? Suits._p architecture AmyThomasCeramics Midwifery ? KaroArtCeramics I’d be an illustrator, that’s my plan for when my body fails me Susan H D Mosaics Another_day_wiser I was a music performance major in college until I switched to ceramics, so probably that ? Multiple Things Paulinepotspottery Still creating – maybe get back into macrame or painting or baking – just need to keep those creative juices flowing ? Littlepotteryshop Gardening, cooking, sewing… all things I do as hobbies anyway ?I couldn’t live without my creative outlets! To make money though I might be a professional organizer. Apicio72 Only drawing and cooking. And eating? of course! Gia_mcc Reading, cooking and dancing like no one is looking at me! Thistle_dew_nicely_ceramics Before clay I did tole painting, painted saws, painted canvases. Made jewelry, sewed lap quilts, paper crafts. I did lots of craft type stuff. Ingridj1957 I’ve tried and loved making silver jewellery in the past. If I had a lathe I’d do woodturning and make bowls again. Lauren_johnson_studio I make ceramics and I also do woodblock carving and abstract painting. It’s a lot of money and work to have a clay studio so I get it in when I can take a class. Beemajabee Stamp carving, fountain pen sketches, water color, maybe go back to quilting. Marisepu Painting, doing mosaics, writing…things I used to do before I fell in love with Clay !! Laurel F My back up plan is water color, drawing, quilting. But if clay didn’t exist, we wouldn’t be here. There wouldn’t be an earth. Lorna B I would have finished the brick paving a long time ago and finished more paintings done more mosaics and the garden would have fewer weeds There is nothing quite like clay ?? Kim W Paint, knit, glass work … gotta make something! Just Make Something Lucyfagella Make something else…#makersgonnamake. Sandysunpottery Finding another medium! When you have this internal need to create art, it doesn’t go away if you don’t have your favorite medium at hand ? Annelie57 Any other creative art Amymskemp Creating something…food, drawing, painting, fibers, and babies Maria S A sad thought , but pray God would put another desire in my heart to creat. Have a blessed day. From this Cotton Pickin’ Potter from Beautiful Beaufort SC by the Bay. Find It / Invent It Some of you are not giving up hope. Bobbie141 Wait till it returned …or go and find me some ? Earthartam Inventing clay Expiredin2012 Invent clay Bateendje Invent it ? Tanya K I would be inventing clay!!!!!! Mental State Some of us sound like we would be in rough shape without clay. Hnilebo Go mental! Finbarness Probaly be dying I coulndnt live without pottery TeenaMartinArt Insane asylum Jane N Would be mentally in rough shape Estrovan Crying ? Pirkitta P Perish the thought! ? Libbi H ??? Other Job It was interesting to hear about how some mentioned other occupations. Mariekennedypottery Maybe still sitting in a cubicle and collecting craft hobbies waiting until something grabbed me and wouldn’t let go… Like clay did. 2frogsstudio Getting a job that makes money… lol KaraleighCeramics I’d probably still be working in visual merchandising & my soul would be searching for something it didn’t know it needed. Thank God for pottery!! Kali D G Still be in advertising and marketing…. and suffering an ulcer….. Robinhoodgrl I would probably still work in fashion; but unhappier. I would still paint, draw and all the rest though Deeper Meanings And some responses just required some extra thought from me. Mils0nrisas I’d have a life! ? At first I wasn t sure about this response. But I don t think Milsonrisas means that we don t have a life if we work with clay. At least not in a negative way. But more that clay just consumes us and some of us devote our entire lives to it. Ceramica_agostini I’d have an easier life with less failure but also with less excitement and experience ?? This was an interesting response. I suppose if I didn t work with clay my life would be a little easier in some aspects. I would have a lot more free time. I wouldn t have a pile of pots that suffer from glaze faults, cracks, or that are just mediocre or terrible. Ben.fields If clay didn’t exist, we wouldn’t exist. I think this response is valid on multiple levels and we could really dive deep. But we ll save that for another time. So that s it. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to respond. Some of these thoughts got me thinking. I like how so many people have other interests and skills. I would be interested to know how your other interests impact your work with clay. And I know for myself, I like to pursue some of these other interests along with clay. I know everyone is different, so do you think it would be better for YOU to try and split your time between interests? Or are you more of a person that lets one thing consume you? I know that I m a little bit of both sometimes. I think of it as creative ADD. I get really into one thing for a while and put all my effort and thoughts into it. Then I plateau, or feel like I ve accomplished what I want, or something else comes along. Then I get consumed by this new thing for a while. Usually I return to the original thing at some point but usually at more of a sustainable level. As new things come and go I just have to decide what I want to keep pursuing and what I want to take a break from or put on the someday shelf. Back in college I focused on oil painting and ceramics for my two senior projects. We lived in a tiny apartment after college so I painted. Then when we bought our own place I had room for the wheel. I tried to do both but eventually I decided that I needed to focus on one thing. Clay won. But all my painting stuff is packed up into a tub on a shelf just in case SOMEDAY I want, or need, to get it back out. That doesn t mean I m actually focusing on one thing though! Sometimes I like to take photos, sometimes I just like to use computers to design stuff. Quite often, it s clay. It seemed like a major theme in all the responses was that if we weren t working with clay we would be creating something else. I can relate to that. There is something that drives me to create. It doesn t really matter what medium. I just need
19 minutes | 2 years ago
018 – How to Balance Your Time
Resources MudTalk Monday on Instagram MudTalk Monday on Facebook Make the Most of Your Time in the Pottery Studio Giveaway Details Transcript Welcome, this is episode 18 of the MudTalk Podcast. This is the one about time management. How do you balance your time? This is a great topic for a few reasons. First of all, as potters and ceramic artists, I think maybe it s a little tougher for some of us than for other people with a more common 9 – 5 job. We have a lot more flexibility and freedom with our schedules. It s also tough because we have to do so many different things. Sure, we get to play with clay but what about the shows, the photography, the listing, the marketing, the ordering, the finances, and everything else? And some of us are trying to balance clay with another job! Another reason that I think it s hard is because time in the studio seems to go so fast. I look down at the clay and all of a sudden a couple hours have passed! The best thing that makes this a great topic for this episode is that some people have really figured out what works for them and you get to hear some great ideas and helpful tips. But before that, just a reminder, this episode is sponsored by potteryshirts.com because we have a giveaway happening. That s right, you could win a free T-shirt from potteryshirts.com as a thank you for listening. Make sure you listen to the end of the episode to hear details about how you can enter. But now, let us hear some thoughts from other clay people about time management. We ll start with the comments from people that seem to be struggling and then we ll hear from some of you that have started to figure out what works. Struggling to Balance Time First off, we have NewSpinOnTradition For those that are making their living from clay, how do (you) divide your day between the making of work, marketing and taking photos, social media, applying for opportunities, etc. Is it a free for all, or do you try and follow an actual regimented schedule. I’m a very slow worker, so making the work seems to eat 95% of my time. I know I’m not paying enough attention to the other aspects. And trying to squeeze in time for friends and family barely happens. ?? Next up, responding to How do you balance your time? Olisny I don’t. ? I’m struggling…I have two kids under 6 and stay at home with them. And my studio is at home! Balancing making art, household management, business management, kid education is something I’m getting closer to figuring out. It’s hard seeing people produce so much when I’m slow; I have to remind myself I’m following a lot of people online who are students without kids. ? OctopusCeramics I don’t ?? GlynnisLessing So easy to go into the studio and not come out all day. Still struggling with balance! PathwayPottery I don’t balance very well! Feast or famine! QueerlyClay I’m supposed to balance my time? This response got me thinking. I guess nobody is forcing us to balance our time. So you don t have to if you don t want to. I suppose some people want, or need to, work on something for 4 days straight and then sleep for two days straight and then wake up and do something else. Some people probably don t have a lot of close friends or family or are very introverted so they don t worry about spending time with others. So there is no single right way to do this. But many people feel that it s healthy or ideal to find a balance in their lives. You have to decide what is right for you. The next response covers a lot of topics along with time management. Other HarryChoePotter My goal in life is to be a potter and studio owner full time. How do you live off pottery? Not possible for me. I work full time and run a studio part time. Not enough time in the day or night. How do we stay happy? It’s tough trying to market your business and create art. In Korea, pottery seems like it’s a dead art. Schools don’t offer pottery anymore. It’s all diy based now. Artists can’t make a living just from selling art. What is balance? Just surviving is tough enough. I truly wish all artists the best of luck. I’m really happy to see artists succeed. Stay true to yourself. See love in people not hate. So it seems pretty clear to me, there are some people that really struggle with balancing their time. And that s okay. It s not easy. But the good news is that time management is something you can get better at. Next, we ll here some tips and ideas that seem to be working for people. Ideas and Tips DamarisOakleyPottery Very challenging, but I do look at Monday as the start of something new, new day, new week, more pottery!??? I love the positive vibe! When you re working with clay, Mondays aren t so bad! Anita R I make reasonable goals that I’d like to achieve for each week in order to stay on track and write them down and check them off as I complete them. Sometimes it works like a charm, other times life happens and you deal with it. I make lists of things to do in ceramics, family life, exercise, and include fun stuff on those lists to attempt balance. Whatever I don’t get to, I add it to the top of the following week’s list. Thanks Anita. I like to make a lot of lists for myself too. Mostly to remember what I need to get done. If I don t write things down I often forget to do them. Just ask my wife. I also like making lists because when life happens as Anita says, I can come back and remember where I left off and get right back into it. Lists help me stay focused. After I write something on a list I don t have to worry about remembering to do it. I can focus all my thoughts on the thing I m doing at the moment. Artofawen It’s (balancing time is) a big challenge. I need outside motivation. I work full time and have a young child. At the end of the day if I don’t have a deadline looming I’m probably not going to make it to the studio This response really resonates with me. I feel the same way a lot. If I don t have a show coming up or a sales season, I don t get into the clay studio nearly as much. That outside motivation really helps me get pots made. Not just because I want to play with my kids or watch Netflix all day, sometimes I just have a lot of other kinds of work that I want to do. Like a podcast, or a website. Outside motivation helps me prioritize things. Quigley_ceramics I put my head in the sand and make make make until I bring so much work home that my husband says “Time to rent a storage unit” and I say “No! Time to sell!” I finally bring out the photo booth, spend a couple days editing and listing items on the website and Etsy. This probably happens every two months. Having a new baby has totally changed my studio time management. That’s a whole post unto itself… Thanks Quigley Ceramics. Many potters talk about working in cycles. I think the long production process forces, or at least encourages this. For some it works really well to focus on one part of the process for a while and complete that part, then move on to the next part of the process. Once all the pots are made, or sold, you can start the next cycle. There are definitely some advantages to this. I generally work this way because I m making pots for an upcoming event. But alas, I feel that I never have quite enough time in the clay studio so I have a variety of pots in different states of completion. This is actually a good thing though because sometimes I have just a little bit of time to work. So I may not have time to throw a dozen mugs but I may be able to glaze the inside of a dozen mugs in the time I have. In general though, it seems efficient to work in batches or cycles. Claybylaura This is a toughie! Hours pass in the studio in the blink of an eye. For me, I need to remember to get out of the studio, stay social, exercise and enjoy friends. All of it helps keep me happy and productive when I’m immersed in the clay. Very good point Laura. Take care of yourself first and it will help you do your best work when it s time to work. Bridgespottery I am a full time studio potter. I teach one to two mornings a week at a local studio. To balance my time I map out my week(s) on a calendar just like project management. Time dedicated to making,marketing and admin, as well as fun, off the grid clay time with no pressure. Then I balance work with home and family just like any other working person does. Like the accountant, I have busy seasons where I work early and late. It is a juggling act. I have a husband, kids in HS and animals that fight for attention. Everyone feels like they are dfl sometimes, some more than others. Well said Bridges Pottery. After a little google search, I think DFL means dead freakin last. But anyway, the main takeaways from this response are fantastic. A lot of people plan their schedule week by week but the key word is plan. With all the different things that potters have to do, it s a good idea to plan all the things. Even the non essential things like exercise, quality time with others, and time to play or explore. Those things may not be essential to your next deadline but they are essential to YOU. Making pots isn t like a lot of other jobs but you can still treat it as a full time job and balance it with the other parts of your life. PigeonRoadPottery I’m a full time potter. I tend to work in the studio most days from 9 to 6 with an hour break for lunch. Some days I am more disciplined than others but for the most part I treat it like a job. I only work in the studio at night when I am under deadline but I regularly do marketing and business stuff in the evenings. I also teach a class at night once a week. If I need to schedule an appointment during the day I try to make it either at the beginning or end of the work day so I can get at least 6 hours of work in. I take one full day a week off to do things with fr
16 minutes | 2 years ago
017 – The Biggest Contributor to Your Success
Resources Link to instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BUHDrs4FOPu/?taken-by=potterymakinginfo Link to FB: https://www.facebook.com/potterymakinginfo/photos/a.10151503193013457/10154547366953457/?type=3&theater PotteryShirts.com Hack the Entrepreneur Podcast https://hacktheentrepreneur.com/podcasts/ “You have to be chasing something.” http://www.stearthpottery.com/discursive-loop/archives/678 Giveaway! More info and links: https://expertclay.com/giveaway/ Entry 1: Survey Entry 2: Leave a Comment or Message Transcript Welcome to episode 17! I have probably never met you before, but I m glad you are listening. Thanks for your support. As a thank you to all of you who are downloading, listening and sharing I m going to offer a small giveaway for the holiday season / end of 2018. I ll share the details about that at the end of the episode so make sure you listen to the whole thing. In this episode we re going to see some of the top reasons for success. The question was What one thing that you do has been the biggest contributor to your success? I love this question because it really gives us some insight into what is working for somebody. I also like the phrasing because it is asking for something that you make a conscious decision about, not just something good that has happened to you or something someone else has done for you. I ve grouped related responses together to find some common ideas or themes. The first few responses are all related because they are about the way you work. So here are some things that you do that really contribute to your success. The Way You Work Jeffszarzi Incorporate my drawings on my pottery. Piperpottery Finding my style Ebboren Keep my hands on the wheel when I start centering! I think using a certain technique can really affect your work. Especially if you master it or combine certain techniques into your own style. Sometimes just remembering how you find success on a small level, such as centering, can set you up for larger successes. The next group of responses were about Work Ethic / Dedication Angelagrahampottery Repetition and sticking with my gut, if I think it will work, it might not at first. But stick with it! Pritpalbharaj Practice. Mcginnispottery Practice Ladytokioblue A LOT OF PRACTICE!! and more patience ? Damarisoakleypottery Practice, practice, practice:) Dallas_wooten_ceramics Just keep working! Earthartam Because I love what I do doesn’t mean it’s a hobby. It’s a full time job with regular hours. Be dedicated to it! Drurygirl5 Being selfish with my time -(trying to remember that I can say ‘no’) Benjamin W Dedication These kind of responses seemed to be the most popular. And for good reason. Most people that find success have to work at it. Working hard can help you overcome other faults or setbacks. Confidence / Belief Sweetpixels_thesudsypotter Accepting that I’m not perfect and learning not to compare my work to others in a negative light. I make art and art is subjective someone somewhere is going to love what I create. 954lla Believing in my design! #L2Apottery Maridmartini Being more confident Claybylaura relax and listen to/trust my own (creative) inner voice. It seems like a lot of us don t have enough confidence in ourselves at times. I know I ve struggled with fear of failure or rejection before. I just have to remind myself that if I don t take chances, sure, I won t fail, but I also don t give myself a chance to succeed. Even if I take a chance 100 times and fail 99, that 1 time I succeed is still more success than I would have had without taking a chance at all. Mindset / Taking Care of Yourself Jerichostudiopottery Afternoon catnap. gonemoondancing Pray I put these two responses together because you need to take care of yourself. You are going to be more successful when you feel good and have the right mindset. Getting enough rest is important, whether it s getting enough sleep at night or recharging during the day. Prayer or meditation, or whatever you need to do to get in the right frame of mind is worth the time it takes. Growth Casapangea curiosity Jo A Keep learning Gxdesigns Loving the imperfections and then improving! Thepotterslounge Never being satisfied. Ana C Working hard. Improving all the time. This was one of my favorite groups of responses. I feel like having a growth mindset can really help most of us. Flexibility Ken_bull If I make a dud pot, or cut the bottom too shallow, I modify or add to it on the wheel .. making it into an “organic” design succulent pot. ? There was only one answer in the flexibility column but I think that ability to adapt can really give us an advantage sometimes. And here are a few other responses that I didn t categorize. Other Bridgespottery #bridgespottery good quality craftsmanship and marketing knowhow Rachaellpotter Turning up to the wheel. No pun intended. ? Anita R Patience/Nintai/Paciencia. You gotta put in the time and work on things and not rush them…don’t expect instant gratification…expect your patience to be tried and just know you have to keep trying, you will have to do things several times before getting something that’s decent. Persevere instead of giving up and moving on to another project. Good things come with time and practice and to persevere you need patience. Man, I feel like this could be the beginning of a self help book for potters. Some of the main ideas I pulled out include confidence, dedication, work ethic, growth, flexibility, and mindset. Lots of important ideas, not just for working with clay, but any area of your life. I didn t try to pick out any favorites this time. I mean, I love any response that identifies something that is working for you. So they are all my favorite! I did notice that there weren t as many responses as some of the other topics and it makes me wonder why. Maybe the social media algorithms didn t put it in front of as many people? Maybe it s just a hard question to answer? Maybe the background image wasn t as eye catching as some of the others. Maybe some people don t feel successful yet? Even though there weren t as many responses, this happens to be one of my favorite MudTalk questions so far but I have to admit that I stole it from another podcast. Jonny Nastor does a podcast called Hack the Entrepreneur which I listen to sometimes. I even stole part of my intro from his intro. He interviews people and usually asks a few standard questions, one being about the biggest contributor to each guest s success. So thanks to Johnny! I ll put a link to his podcast in the show notes. I m glad I haven t been asked the question myself because it s hard to pick one thing. It would take some time to really think about what one thing is actually the biggest contributor. Luckily for you and me, I ve had some time to think about it since I started looking at all the responses. It s hard to pin down one specific thing that I do that is the biggest contributor to my success. In fact, it may actually be a couple related things. Or something I haven t even thought about. And really, maybe the biggest contributor to my success isn t even something I do. I mean, having a supportive family that did a fantastic job raising me is pretty important. I would say, however, the thing that I actually DO myself is that I always keep learning or growing. Maybe that is due to my drive to get better as a person. Maybe I m just curious. I know for sure that I like to solve problems which seems to be part of the drive to learn. Some people may describe it as never being satisfied. I wouldn t go that far for myself because I try to take the time to enjoy successes or just enjoy life in general. I think you should feel satisfied if you hit a goal or accomplish something. But I guess I do set a bigger goal or find something else to learn eventually. So I know what people mean when they say that they never want to be satisfied. In fact, Steven Tyler once sang, Life s a journey, not a destination and I agree. I don t want to ever feel like I have arrived at a place in life and feel like I have nowhere else to go. Nothing else to learn or try. This reminds me of when a fellow potter named Scott Cooper wrote a blog post a while ago that really resonated with me. Basically, he said, You have to be chasing something. Just always having something to chase, a reason to get out of bed in the morning or a challenge to inspire me. That continued learning has helped me develop my personal style and then keep evolving as I try new things. In just the last year I ve learned how to create a podcast, learned how to mine cryptocurrencies, learned how to trade currencies, trained for and ran my first 10k race, set up an ecommerce store, tried a couple different techniques in the pottery studio and have added a few new forms to my inventory. When trying each one of those things I started with the mindset that I m not going to be very good at the beginning but if I can keep improving, I may figure out how to get good at it. Then As I was reading through the responses from everyone else I had an epiphany. It really depends on how you define success to figure out the things that make you successful. So maybe I should have asked that question first, how do you define success? Perhaps you ll hear this question on the next MudTalk Monday! So anyway, I feel like I ve rambled on enough, let s get to the fun stuff. I ve decided to have a small giveaway for the listeners of the MudTalk Podcast to show my appreciation. I started this podcast really as an experiment and a learning experience. And then people actually started listening to it! So thank you! The winner of the giveaway will get their choice of one T-shirt from potteryshirts.com. As you may know, this is the site I started to sell shirts I ve designed. There will be two ways to enter. First, you can go to expertclay.com/mtp and leave a written or audio me
17 minutes | 2 years ago
016 – Which Skill Would You Like To Increase?
Resources MudTalk Monday – Instagram, Facebook Handle With Care Workshop Notes 6 Ways To Develop Self Discipline Books (affiliate links) Mastering Cone 6 Glazes (out of print) Complete Guide to Mid-Range Glazes Complete Guide to High-Fire Glazes Mastering the Potter’s Wheel The Ceramic Spectrum High Performance Habits Start With Why Steal Like an Artist Seth Godin Amazon Page Transcript Hello and welcome to episode 16 of the MudTalk podcast! Thanks for listening. In this episode we re going to hear about which skill you would like to increase the most. The original question was If you could increase one skill or attribute overnight, what would it be? Of course, you aren t going to magically change yourself overnight. But what would you like to get better at? There were a lot of great answers. Even some that I wouldn t have thought about. But there were many things mentioned that I would like to improve myself. As you can imagine, many of the responses were clay-related. So we ll start with the clay related answers, including wedging, centering, throwing, trimming, glazing, and decorating. Then we ll hear some more general, what I ll call, life-skills. At the end, I ll share some of my favorite resources that I ve found for improving some of the skills mentioned. And remember, if you want to share your own thoughts or favorite resources, go to expertclay.com/mtp. As always, thanks for listening, subscribing, sharing and just being awesome in general. Let s get to the responses and hear which skill you would like to increase the most. We ll start with the clay related comments. Wedging Kathleenevil5 Clay related: wedging! ? Marian H W Spiral wedging Centering Kathy K Centering! Cyndi L A I’m with Kathy K, centering. Jenmf CENTERING!!! Jim49_ Better centering Darkfruitbat I would love to be able to center more than ten pounds of clay, but I’m weak! Lunetca Clay related, centering. Life related, work ethic. Throwing Merskata Throwing! Woolandclay Throwing! Sandyvanderwyk Throwing! Artofawen Throwing on the wheel. I love it, have taught it but never gotten past a certain level of expertise. And I second the life energy! Dtaylorsatm Wheelthrowing. So jealous of those plates and huge jars thrown on the wheel. Unbelievable skill. I’m just happy if i can center and create a small bowl. Oh, well…got to start somewhere. Czpotterys Even pulls EsterLipscomb_pottery Throwing speed! I have a space quota to meet each month and I wish I was as fast as some of the other potters I work with. There is a reason my family always called me the poky puppy. Lakinkceramics Throwing on the wheel! And fully developing my ideas before making a piece. I’m working on both of them this summer! Stonecropstudio Increase my range of throwing to include new forms! Blackbirdfarms2017 Shaping Kristacford Pulling walls and handles! Throwing Bigger Samyam1667 I would love to work on throwing large forms Mudandsticks Throwing tall cylinders @mudandsticks! Gingerbarrheafey Throwing LARGE pots. 10+#’s Handsinmudpottery tall forms Teresa.gagne22 Bigger pots. Mike W Throwing bigger pots. (bottle forms). Bridget_kiara Throwing taller vessels! (Taller than 7 inches) Miragrl22 @bkiara88 That is my height max also!!! What is that about???? GiselleNo5ceramics @bkiara88 @miragrl22ME TOO! ? We should start a club. 7 Below. Handles Octopusceramics Making handles Mcginnispottery Making handles _avonlea__ Handles haha Claye.by.jaye Handles handles handles ? Trimming Mgwalsho TRIMMING Ebboren Trimming! Glazing Studio2ceramics Mixing glazes Thats_my_art_teacher Mixing glazes! Alybee_ceramics Glaze consistency at cone 6 Barroceramicstudio Mixing my own glazes. Karamorrispottery Knowledge of glaze chemistry Iloveceramics2015 All of the above especially glazing? Pamelabarclaysatx Creating new glazes. Zephyrinmontana Glazing! Ugh. My Nemesis! Figuring out colors drives me crazy!? Decorating Bluelotuspottery Decorating Ladytokioblue I would like to work on my decorations. I honestly really suck at anything after throwing. Even my glaze work isn’t so adventurous… I could use a whole class or workshop on decorating ????? Other Clay Related Skills Catherinedanielceramics Throwing, mixing glazes, and business know-how. Oh – that’s 3 things, so Maths as well.? Elmacb Being able to finish things cleanly. Marzipana_ Technique, technique, technique!!! Andrea G If telepathy and flying can’t be included, then I’d have to say sculpting. AngelaGrahamPottery Dishes Piperpottery Consistency Dowidat.ceramics Consistency I’m getting better but its like “wow out of these ten, six are consistent. I measure, use same amount of clay but form still varies a little Tarihuffaker Consistency and self-expression, both in life and clay. There were a number of people that responded with skills that weren t related to clay. Since they can be applied to many different things I m going to think of these as life skills. Life Skills Earthartam Self control, discipline Annelie57 Life energy! Kali Di Grassi Networking Olisny Networking. So many other potters with knowledge out there, and I’m too shy and lack confidence in my own skills to reach out. Forgottenfern Social networking. How to get my work seen by people who like, admire, and want to buy it. Claybylaura appreciation — learning to value what is. Giselleno5ceramics Thinking before I react. Claudia_magalhaes_ceramica Focus. I’m always trying new things Zeldalune confidence Tweeter_williams Business savy. I don’t want to take away from the ups and downs of learning and exploring new things – figuring it all out for myself. However, my business mind struggles and needs improvement. Allisonqpottery11 Marketing/confidence. I have hard time believing in myself or thinking my pieces are good enough to sell. I get compliments from family and friends all the time and badgering to sell but it’s hard to change that mindset. Nicolahartstudios Making money! Other Veredceramics Writing! Imzarana Dancing Lionainsoma Piano Thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts on the MudTalk Monday posts on instagram and facebook. As for my own thoughts Boy, I m not sure if I could pick just one. I would like to try some more complex forms on the wheel, get better at making lids and spouts, and maybe explore assembling multiple pieces to make a pot. I would also like to improve my online presence and marketing, get better at networking, make more money, and help other people learn about pottery and improve their skills. And then there are some other things like running a faster 5K, learn more songs on the guitar, and do more digital illustration. But if I had to pick just one thing I ll have to go with self discipline to cover almost all of those things. Now, you may ask, how do I plan to get better at something like that? And I guess I would say that it goes back to Episode 3 about setting goals. Not just any old goal, but a SMART goal. Looking back at the show notes for that episode, found at expertclay.com, I can see that first, I need to specifically define what I want. So, overall, self discipline is pretty abstract and hard to measure. Maybe time management is closer to the skill that I want to improve. So to be specific, I ll say that I want to get things done in a more systematic way and finish things at a more constant rate. Okay, now I need to break it down and focus on one thing at a time. It could be a new article every month or a certain number of hours in the pottery studio. But to really make this interesting I m going to put out two MudTalk podcasts per month until the end of 2018. That is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time sensitive. So next, I would set up my plan. I won t bore you with the details of that but basically I ll set my publish dates as the 1st and 15th of each month and then work backward to set up a schedule to keep me on track through the month. Now the cool part about this is that all of you listeners have heard my goal. So if it is a week past the publish date and you don t see a new podcast, feel free to send me angry emails to keep me accountable. But enough about me. Let s talk about some resources that will help you improve some of the skills that were mentioned in the comments. I’m working on an article on the Expert Clay blog with some tips for throwing taller pots. For centering large amounts of clay I ve centered 4 or 5 pounds first, then put 4 or 5 more pounds on top of that and center the new ball of clay. Keep going until you have a large enough amount centered. Some of my favorite glaze books include Mastering Cone 6 Glazes by Ron Roy and John Hesselberth, John Britt s Guide to High Fire Glazes and Guide to Mid Range Glazes, and Robin Hopper s Ceramic Spectrum. There are an abundance of books and videos about throwing. I really like Ben Carter s book Mastering the Potter s Wheel. As for handles, I used to hate making handles. Then I made a bunch of handles and got a little better. Then I went the the Handle With Care Workshop and learned some great handle and decorating techniques from Todd Pletcher, Eric Botbyl, and Matt Schiemann. I wrote a blog post about the experience and I ll have a link in the show notes. As for the life skills, things like energy, discipline and focus, I ve read or listened to a plenty of books and some of my favorites off the top of my head are High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard, Start with Why by Simon Sinek, Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon and anything by Seth Godin for marketing. I ll have links in the show notes to all of the resources mentioned here. What I ve found to be the best resource for networking is simply showing up. If there are pottery or art related events in your area, show up. If there are festivals or shows where another potter is displaying work, show up. Tell them you like something about their work and a
18 minutes | 2 years ago
015 – How to Price Your Pots
Resources Instagram post: https://www.instagram.com/p/BTQ-5Malakj/?taken-by=potterymakinginfo YouTube video: https://youtu.be/Uu_qFDanGPY Potters network discussions about pricing: https://www.facebook.com/groups/219780908063139/search/?query=pricing Article: 13 Things to Consider While Pricing Your Pots Pottery shirts(!): https://potteryshirts.com Transcript And we re back! After a break that was much too long you are now listening to episode 15 of the MudTalk Podcast. And boy, let me tell you, this is quite an episode! In my opinion it has been packed with some of the most helpful thoughts I have read yet. But that may be because pricing my work is something that I m still trying to figure out. So get excited if you are in the same boat. But first, a couple news items. I just want to give a huge thank you to everyone who has listened and shared or done anything to support the MudTalk Podcast in any way. Just before recording this episode, I took a quick look at the stats. In July there were over 1800 downloads and then in august we had over 2500 downloads. We re at over 8000 total downloads since episode 1 was published in February. That blows me away. Thank you so much just for giving this thing a chance and especially to all of you who have shared your thoughts. I know the last few episodes have had some long breaks in between. But I hope to get back into a more regular schedule. I ve had some big things going on this summer. One upcoming event I ll be participating in is the Michiana Pottery Tour on September 29th and 30th, 2018. If you are located in or near southern Michigan or Northern Indiana, it is a great event full of talented potters and ceramic artists. Get a map and find out more at michianapotterytour.com. I m itching to get into the responses so I ll save the next announcement for the end of the episode. Stay tuned for that. So, pricing our work The elephant in the pottery studio so to speak. It can be a little uncomfortable, maybe even stressful. There are so many variables and everyone has a unique situation so there doesn t seem to be a one formula fits all solution. Hopefully some of these comments will give you some ideas to make pricing your work a little easier. Instead of sorting the responses like I usually do, I m just going to read them in approximate order of when they were made. But at the end I ll share a list of 11 things that you can consider as you price your work. So let s get to some of the responses to the question: How do you price your work? Billy H Number (of) hours plus material and add a little extra because its handcrafted Kate P There was a very good thread on Potters Network recently about pricing which would be worth looking up. Lots of sensible formulas and ideas. I ll put a link in the show notes to the Potters Network group on Facebook and some of the pricing discussions. Kimberly W I d love to hear everyones formulas on how to price their items. I love making pottery so much I have trouble putting a price on it. Plus I look at other peoples sites and sometimes have to take a second look (be)cause the pricing isn t anything like mine. When i started selling my stuff, The advice I got was: Charge enough first off so your not always changing your prices and make sure to charge enough because its a competitive field and we need the pricing scale to stay constant. Its a place to start, but a clearer formula would be nice. _avonlea__ The going market price (for example a lot of mugs go for $30-$40) along with personal thoughts about the piece, time, and material. Then add 10%-20% that way if it shows in a gallery setting it’s the same price as outside the gallery. Clients then know that’s the price regardless of gallery Dallasbradbury shared a youtube video from Make Something. In the video you are encouraged to come up with a day rate, at minimum $500 per day. Then figure out your prices based on your day rate plus cost of materials. There will be a link to the video in the show notes. Hunter_maypottery @acr_art I price my work this way so that my online prices roughly match gallery prices. Prices of pieces may vary based on firing process, glaze, and clay body. Since some take more time and cost me more resources than others. Annaugustinpottery I use a base price of $12 per pound of wet clay and adjust upwards from there. So a basic 3# bowl starts at $36 and that’s for a bowl that’s not footed. I factor in how many times I handled the pot – footing, carvings, etc. Also, I consider glaze. If I use something other than my normal glazes I might have to account for any additional costs. ?I keep my prices the same across all selling platforms. Dtaylorsatm There are several warehouse pottery dealers in my area. I am a small batch clay crafter, therefore i price a little below their price to add my creations to the retailers selections. Indefatigable2 I am the same..time, material and creativity…but then how I feel in the moment really affects it too Bcoffman_art Everyone says people appreciate high priced items because they see it as quality. If you live in the “Walmart” Midwest, that isn’t true at all. I have to sell at a lower pric point to even make a sale. It’s all about context when selling. Pinezenpottery I just can’t figure this one out. But I am a total newbie. My friend @snewceramics has impressed upon me the importance of not under pricing my work because it devalues my efforts AND the efforts of other makers to make a living. She also feels that pricing too low eliminates your ability to get wholesale opportunities that can make money. It’s really hard as someone just starting out because I just don’t feel confident enough to price too high. So I started pricing a mug at $22-$25. This last firing I decided to jump it to $33/mug because a lot more work went into each mug. (and 3 is my favorite #) ? this past Saturday I bought one of Mariko’s @foragestudios Wonder Woman mugs for $75 and I wouldn’t even blink to spend that much again on a mug she makes. But as another clay person I can appreciate all the work that went into making that mug a piece of art that also happens to carry my morning coffee to my mouth. Theclayteapot I’m a newbie and haven’t actually sold anything yet, but I am working in that direction. I’m a logical thinker so I needed to create something I could remember and that seemed fair. Here’s what I’ve come up with (it may change): charge a base price for any object. Larger size – add $5, trimming add $5, additional glazes used $5, (or $5 each depending on design), carving or other decorations add $5, handles, etc add $5. You see where this is going. Quick to add up in my head. So a regular mug with 2 layered glazes and a trimmed foot would end up being $25 if the base price was $10 (for a new potter). I’m not looking to make a lot of money, this is my hobby. Hope that helps, I’d love feedback on my idea. Foragestudios I think a lot about pricing and what goes into things.. it’s no use trying to compete with Walmart etc, but if you put more one on one love time into say, a one dipped wonder in a souvenir shop then yes.. more than 25 should be your starting line for sure! Plus, if you are giving up to 50 to a gallery you need to seek a price out that makes it worth it just to get up in the morning!! Right?! When I started off I looked at where I wanted to be pricewise, and then looked at my work to see where it was in comparison..when in doubt, ask friends in the business and even gallery owners! Sometimes I find we sort of get blinded by the task and can’t see or evaluate straight!! Enjoy your coffee!!! Canmorepottery Ideally, I’d like to figure out my hourly wage! By now, 8 years in, I have a pretty good idea of a mug’s worth when I see it. (I see underpriced cups often!) But more creative pieces are really tough. A good mug should never be less than $25. Hmpottery Pricing is the difficult part and there are a few things I consider. Pricing equals valuing our own art. And I am my own worst critic. But I feel if we don’t believe in ourselves and our Pottery, our buyers won’t either. The value of our pieces is reflected in the $ we put on it. I also feel that a person’s experience, time, and money invested in perfecting their craft should be counted and respected. As I have taken classes, gotten more creative and my own style started emerging, I increased my prices. I have learned to be more confident in my skill, and really believe the value I am putting on my own pottery. Twistedwoodpro I am a newer potter and at first I just made stuff and gave it away ??I knooow I knooow ? but it made my heart happy n that was payment enough. Now I have a website up n I specialize in necklace Pendants (so unlike mugs … I’ve had a harder time with pricing) I do “one offs” at about $35-$55 depending on complexity and glazes/Time (because I still usually make 3 just in case there is a casualty when sanding or firing) lol! My standard rate has been $25-$35 per piece n that includes a tediously handcrafted wire necklace and quality closure. My close friends n family say it’s to cheap for what I actually do, however I think it’s more important to share the beauty and get my “stuff” out there and shown to the wonderful world ??? (I sure don’t know what’s best or right for everyone, but I would say, follow your heart and your dreams if you live with happiness n love, you’ll never be wrong ?) Ibtis_pottery where I live ppl are not much into pottery, sometimes I’m the only Potter in the market, my prices have to be low, as I love making pottery I always have loads of it, mostly functional. From the start I decided on my prices by just looking at a piece n say to myself, well I think it should be this much, so I ended up by selling dinner plates for $ 18 , side plates $8 , cereal bowl or soup bowl 13, I’m not so good with handles so I make hand less cups usually smallish $8 platters are around $ 30. I might add a very few dollars if I took more time to decorate or special glaze, I do not make much from selling specially if my kiln is taking time off, then I must pay for firing Favorite Piperpottery I believe I’m currently using a dart ? board and a blindfold… Okay, this may not be the most serious response. But I love it because it helps us see how difficult pricing our work can be. Claybylaura This is a GREAT question and I look forward to seeing what other people say. I confess my method is not totally scientific. I take into consideration time and materials AND I also try to account for my creativity. I have one or two lower priced items that I consider advertising. I believe I need to have an item that any potential customer can afford; then I try to make them a repeat customer. It does not work every time — but in the long run, has led to future sales. Sometimes I research a little to see what other people charge for items. For me, this is one of the hardest parts of the clay making/selling process. I love this comment from Clay By Laura. She considers a number of variables and has thought through why she prices things a certain way. But even after all that, it s still not easy. Final Thoughts So, what do you think? Do you have some new ideas to work with when you price your pots? Hopefully you have a little more clarity. I don t consider myself qualified enough to offer advice on pricing your work but I will say this: Your work and process and situation are not the same as anyone else. So don t feel like you HAVE price your work a certain way. Figure out what works for you. There were a few resources mentioned and I ll have a link for those in the show notes. Go to expertclay.com and click on PODCAST in the top menu to find the list of episodes and you can click on each episode to read the notes. Here s another resource you can get your hands on. I ve written an article at expertclay.com that lists 13 things for you to consider while you price your pots. You can read the article to get a little more detail but the list includes things like: Expenses Your Time Financial Goals Creativity / Uniqueness Your Experience or Expertise Your Market Your Customers Price of Similar Products The Pottery Community The Economy The Purpose of the Piece You are Pricing Supply and Demand Your Overall Philosophy Go to expertclay.com and click on BLOG in the menu to read more about each idea. Pottery Shirts And now for the big announcement before we close this episode. Okay, maybe not big but something pretty cool. If you didn t already know, I ve designed some pottery shirts and have sold them through instagram and potterymakinginfo.com for a little while now. But now I have launched a site dedicated to nothing but pottery shirts. Find it, of course, at potteryshirts.com. Now you can get a better selection of shirt styles and colors than before. I still need to make a few small fixes and organize some things but you can order yourself a new shirt as you listen to this. And I m currently working on a new design made just for the listeners of this podcast. I should have it ready by the time you listen to this so go see if you can find the new design. If you need a hint, just listen to the very end of every MudTalk podcast episode. Head over to potteryshirts.com and take advantage of a special site-launch discount. Yes, for a limited time you can save a few dollars on every shirt that you order to celebrate the new site. Remember, every purchase helps support this podcast, potterymakinginfo.com and expertclay.com. Thanks again for all your support. In our next episode, we ll find out what one skill you would like to increase the most. Good luck pricing your pots and until next time, stay muddy. The post 015 – How to Price Your Pots appeared first on Expert Clay.
19 minutes | 2 years ago
014 – Advice for Pottery Beginners
Resources Start with Why by Simon Sinek – mentioned in the podcast (affiliate link) Leave a message: share your thoughts about the podcast! Expert Clay Blog Transcript And we re back. Finally. If you ve been following along you may have noticed that there has been a long wait for this episode. I thought over the summer I would have more time… but then I got really busy for a while. Mostly doing awesome things. I ll probably post some of the awesome things on my instagram @artbyfuzzy. You can check it out there so I don t have to bore you with the details here. Anyway, thanks for your patience! This is episode 14 of the MudTalk Podcast and it s a great one. The topic is: Advice You Would Give Yourself As A Beginner. There were an enormous amount of responses so I trimmed out quite a few that were similar to others. Sorry if your comment didn t make the cut. As always, you can check the show notes at expertclay.com. One thing to note before we get started is that the advice offered here was aimed at someone else so some of it may not fit your business, personality, style or situation. There was a variety of advice. We ll start with some very general advice and then hear some encouraging words. There was also advice to keep learning and stay focused. At the end we will hear some really practical advice and then a couple of responses that were MY favorite. General Advice So let s start with some general advice, mostly short and sweet. Pradnyagulwani Let go Tara_bane Let it go and it will flow Veralucile_ Slow down Terraforms There’s no accounting for taste. Jay.decker You don’t know if you’ve gone far enough, until you’ve gone too far. Nicolaashley1101 Practice, practice and practice S.hellybelly Cut your nails. Stewartcampbell61 Listen to everyone, ask questions, then do it your way. Crazikaren Go for the money Sheri_mccullah Start younger with the Arts. Sarahbethpottery The ‘perfect pot’ is overrated Encouragement / Positive Attitude There were plenty of responses full of encouragement and reminders to have a positive attitude. Fibromyalgia_fitness If I knew Im going to get all I want, I would never stress and had lots of fun. Stress has made me sick but fun could make me more healthy to enjoy my blessings. Clay_lady Enjoy the journey of crafting pottery and people you meet along the way. Yuvikabader Be patient. As the old Indian saying goes, do the work and don’t worry about the outcome. Love these conversations. And this virtual clay community you have created thanks! Highleycrafted Have more confidence in yourself and go for it. Anni_s_t Have fun and try bolder stuff Dtaylorsatm Believe in yourself now! Don’t listen to the naysayers! Recognize your limits, but excel in the possibilities. Musingaboutmud You think it’s fun now? Just you wait… ???it only gets better. Judykepes Don’t let your negative inner voice rule your thinking- you will look back at your stuff 20 years later and say” wow, that sh**s pretty cool, wonder why I thought it all sucked” Angeltilpottery Be patient! Airingout_clay Don’t stop. Do what you love. Redboatstudio “Patience is a virtue make yourself rich” Very true working with clay Melliferapottery You will get there, so enjoy the ride! smileygirlartis t It seems like progress is slow now, but be diligent, be patient, and you’ll improve faster than you thought you could! Don’t be afraid to experiment, don’t be afraid to cut something in half, don’t be afraid to try new glazes. You got this! Dsummrs Stop being so critical of yourself and make stuff every day! East2westpottery You WILL make a better version of the last thing you made. Keep making. Earthartam Yes, go for it! It all turns out great! Oh wait…that’s what my younger self told herself. Ceramic_amateur Don’t get emotionally invested in a piece until it is fully complete and set in place Hillbippieclayco You’ll solve one problem and another will arise. Keep solving Artbygretamichelle Just keep throwing stuff. Bluee_pottery Your teacher doesn’t always know what your capable of, you can do a lot more than they think you can so just go for it Hnilebo You can always try again and again and again and… Michellebowceramics Make space in your life to do this now… buy a pottery wheel… join a pottery club… go for it ?? Kali DG Throw… often, everyday, anytime and under any circumstances…. teach your body to remember so your mind can relax… this is your happy place. Kerry D Don’t stress about centering! It will happen! Keep practising! ? Learning? / Improving Now we ll hear some advice about learning or improving. Flowergurl4eva Learn all you can about glazes, before spending lots of money on them. Woodywood250 Learn all you can. Absorb it like a sponge and don’t ring it out! Orvietoclayart There is no substitute for putting the time into learning, exploring and experimenting.. to finding your vision and intimately getting to know the medium. Take risks they are short cuts to knowledge downloads ? Laurieandwilliam You’ll ALWAYS and forever be trying to improve your skills, so relax! Teval_guner Every mistake teaches you something, so smile at the mistakes you make. Atomicselection You will get the experience exactly after the point at which it would have been useful. Wildfirepotterypenn You think you know a lot, but you know less than a drop in the bucket. Lori W Don’t fuss over individual pieces; focus on gaining skill, not how many pots are on the board at the end of the day. Focus There were a few responses about staying focused. Mepifano Don’t waste time, do this and nothing else. Jh_ceramics Only make what you enjoy making, NOT what you think other people will like. Sandywithaq Pick one thing and do it well. D.nelson.oman.art Give yourself time. Time and focus are your best assets. Doris L R You don’t have to make production pottery. One piece of art is original. Don’t be bound by perfection. Imperfection is beauty. Practical Advice Some of the following responses offer some practical advice. Crw_designs Great topic. So many ideas…. Don’t take breaks from creating. Involve yourself more with the clay community. Don’t work in your classroom; have your own space. Ericabodinepottery Work smarter, not harder. If a piece isn’t working out, and it’s taking you longer to fix it than it would to make a whole new piece, make the new piece. Also, sometimes there are days that just aren’t clay days. You know, when nothing is working out. Those days are for working on other things. Cooking, relaxing, or just self reflection. It’s a balance. Santesalvoni Don’t forget to breathe. Really. Don’t hold your breath. And , slow down. Take a minute to clean the slip off your wheel before thinking of your next pull Ceramicbianka Cut everything in half. Bluelotuspottery That I like slab work more than wheel work. Littleblackberrycreekpots Brace yourself Effie. And don’t forget to come out of the studio long enough to enjoy the other parts of your life, too. And pick some shows in places that you just want to go and see for yourself. Chadantomlincreations Use the sponge to pull! It wasn’t till someone suggested I use the sponge that I finally was able to make decent pulls. Mamawikisonfromtheville How important it is to slip and score !? Christinesteinstudio Measure twice cut once Casapangea make more pieces Kathrynburnsclay Throw more pieces away. Pam E Tester tiles are worth the wait and extra effort! There are no short cuts in pottery making. Favorites These last few are a few that stuck out to ME. This part could be a lot longer because there were so many responses that I really loved. But here are 3 of my favorites. Claybylaura Relax and learn from your mistakes! I’ve learned to enjoy the process as much as the finished product. As a beginner, I wanted to keep everything I made. Now, if the end-result of my effort is flawed and not worth keeping (even after firing), I try to learn from the experience and let go (trash) of the bad result. Goddessoffire The path you take is right one for you. No matter what path you take. And a similar idea was shared by Littlepotteryshop When I first started out I would look at my more accomplished classmates’ work and question my own. I’ve learned to never compare your work or your path in life to anyone else’s. Be inspired, take chances, and take your time and things will evolve beautifully just as they are meant to! I like the idea that even though we are all working with clay, we are all different. Sometimes I feel like everyone else is telling us, hey, you have to do this or that. You have to have a bunch of instagram followers, you have to fire to a certain temperature, you have to throw 1000 pots per day, you have to use certain glazes, you have to focus on one thing, you have to charge a certain amount for your work, you have to spend more time with your family, you have to do this for the rest of your life, you have to do certain events, you have to get into galleries and the list goes on. Most of the time people are just offering friendly advice which is actually really nice of them. The problem is that they don t see things from your perspective. They usually don t know your situation or your background or your dreams. That s why it s important to be careful about comparing yourself to other people. It s okay to do things your way. I ve just listened to the audiobook Start with Why by Simon Sinek. One of the things I took away from it was that you have to figure out what you actually want. For example, you may want to get your work into galleries. But why? Do you want to get your work in front of others? Do you want validation that your work is good? Do you want to sell more wor
21 minutes | 2 years ago
013 – What Clay Do You Use?
Resources Clay companies mentioned: Standard Ceramic Laguna Clay Sheffield Pottery New Mexico Clay Amaco Aardvark Clay Highwater Clays Valentine Clays Plainsman Clays Continental Clay Keane Ceramics Potclays Transcript Welcome to episode 13. Now we are getting down to the nuts and bolts. Or should I say the alumina and silica? Because this episode is all about clay. What clay do you use and why do you use it? There was a lot of discussion on this topic which is unsurprising. If you have a bunch of people that are passionate about clay, one of the best topics to talk about is probably clay! Hopefully this episode will give you some things to think about if you want to try a new clay or just need a change. And remember, if there is something you want to remember or explore, you can find the show notes for this episode, and every episode, at expertclay.com. Just click on podcast in the menu and find the right episode. One cool thing about the show notes is that all the names are actually links to the social media account of the person that left the comment so you can get in touch with somebody if you have questions or want to start a secret bmix fanclub or something. So let s get to the discussion. Most of the comments are grouped by the manufacturer of the clays mentioned. I saved a few of my favorite responses for the end. I ll also share 5 things to consider when choosing a clay. Standard Ceramics EricaBodinePottery Standard Ceramics 112 Speckled Brown. I love how I can push this clay body to limits other clays won’t tolerate. Need a piece finished in a short time? This clay will make you happy. I love the results the manganese gives. I had someone ask me once if I put glitter in my clay. ?? Elanpottery Standard 182 I love the white canvas it provides while still being sturdy for functional ware and easy to throw with. Rdceramics Standard 182 no grog. It’s very nice to throw with, good for carving and is a great canvas for my glaze selection Whimandvigor Love Standard’s 153. It’s an absolute workhorse: works for throwing and handbuilding, fires beautifully, reclaims well. Stiff.clay.studio I flip flop between Standard 181 and Loafers Glory. Both take glaze like a dream and are delightful to throw with. I’ve even accidentally mixed them together in a slop bucket and the reclaim was fabulous too! SharonMerchantivy My favorite is Standard 378 because of the richness the color and the speckles add to my glazes after firing. Unfortunately, I don’t have a local supplier now that I’ve moved to MS and am about to start the search for a different clay. Laguna Mudandyarn I’m a HUGE fan of Laguna Clay’s speckled stoneware! I just love letting a good chunk of the natural clay show on pots so you can feel the texture and see the beauty of it! HomemadeTastesBetterOnHandmade Was using primarily Laguna BMix/Wood, but since our studio has become a Laguna Clay distributor, it’s been hard to resist trying other clays. Currently using Laguna/Miller 850 in production, and testing out darker clays, too. Also trying BMix/grog for some wood ash firings. Claybylaura I use a low fire white Laguna Clay right now. I like playing with Amaco underglaze and Glaze combinations on the textured surface of my pieces with a ‘bright’ color palette. These all seem to play nice together. ( I switched from a different low fire clay about a year ago when I started having problems with glaze popping off a finished piece — even long after flring). Cedarhillchick Cone 10 B-Mix. It is good for hand building, looks great fired in a gas kiln or wood fired kiln. Also like Ann’s wood & soda clay from NM Clay. Laurieandwilliam ^6 B mix, red clay, Speckled Buff. All laguna, beautiful throwing properties. Those 3 cover pretty much any mood I’m in! Gnome_island_studios My all time favorite sculpture clay was Coconut Crackle from #leslieceramics but they discontinued it. Sad. So now BMix and Cassius Basaltic. Fiddlequick The community studio i use just discontinued what i use (B Clay) so now trying Dover with sand. We’ll see. Kt_ceramics I use Bmix (no grog). I like the smoothness. The grog hurts my hands too and a small allergic reaction Pathwaypottery B mix, cone 5. I like how it fires almost white. It is easy and consistent. Studio4art We work with children in a hands on art studio. We use b-mix ?5. It is smooth, and easy to manipulate for our creators as young as 2, and the white body takes underglazes well. ChadanTomlinCreations I love working with cone 5 bmix. I just love how smooth and buttery is throws. I haven’t really experimented with many other clay though. But I don’t see myself switching from bmix any time soon. Sheffield Pottery Judypeterson 63B from Sheffield Pottery for the last 20 years! Cone 6 New Mexico Clay Muddypawspottery I use two different clays …a white one that is a great throwing body called wh8 from New Mexico clay and a black clay called chocolate that they started to make after I sent them samples of a discontinued clay I loved and needed. It’s so smooth and once I add my slip I can draw on these pieces like I do with my white clay. Both stand up well to the dry Arizona climate and attachments do esp well with the wh8. I’ve used other companies clay but New Mexico clay is the best and they have superior customer service as well. Amaco Britnyballpottery When I had an actual studio in undergrad I mixed my own clay. Porcelain with just a little bit of grog for stability. Now that I have my own home studio and lack the ability to mix my own I’ve been buying Amaco white stoneware Aardvark TheHipsterLemon Love the beautiful black body provided by aardvark’s Cassius, absolutely gorgeous clay body. Octopusceramics Mid fire Nara porcelain ?? it’s so beautifully white without feeling or acting like a finicky porcelain Annameiceramics Coleman porcelain cone 10 reduction. I like how celadon glazes turn beautifully. Mas.paloma Coleman ?10 (fired at ?6), Cassius Ballistic (favorite, but stains too much – anyone have any tips for removing/finger guards?) and trying out Nara5 tomorrow! Highwater kristihillstudiosI love dark, iron rich clay bodies. Right now my two favorites are Ellen Buff and Brownstone from Highwater. Madmadepottery I have tried 7 of Highwater clays. Currently I’m obsessed with orange stone and half and half because they have a firing range of cone 6-10. I can fire them in my electric kiln (cone 6) at home, or at a local art school in the gas reduction kiln (cone 10) I guess I like having options! I used to use speckled brownstone but was cautioned that the manganese particles could be bad for your health. Valentines Clay (UK) Merskata Audrey Blackman porcelain, it is good for throwing. Plainsman Stonecropstudio Fairly new to pottery world. Am using P300 cone 6 “porcelain” produced by Plainsman in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Fine textured and fluid to throw, fires to a lovely white that takes underglaze colours brilliantly. What would I change? It’s expansion rate is pretty high; I’m always anxious about possible crazing in glazes. Other Ceramica_carol_tsai Here in Brazil this is a big drama. Clay body offered here have low quality. Ketner I love our studio recycle. It is such a beautiful color and the grog causes the glaze to be speckled. It is also pretty easy to throw. I’d change the overall regularity. The recycle can sometimes have chunks and lumps in it. Mike W Since i have chosen to do “Alternative Firing”.. My choice of clay is White Stoneware. The clay is great for Raku, Horsehair, Blackware, Saggar and Barrel Fired ceramics. Maryan P Right now I use a cone 6-9 white stoneware paper clay from Spain. It’s buttery, strong, and very forgiving. Fires beautifully. Shows color well. Easy to mend if mishaps occur. Cathy G I have been making pottery and taking classes for a year and I have used hazelnut,brown,raku stoneware,b-mix,and porcelain. Most of these have been set by the teacher for the class, but I have chosen porcelain over other clay twice now. I love the way you can smooth and fold around,stretch to breaking and challenge it to behave and not crack. I hand build and I like to push limits. Here is my teapot at bisque. Noahkildoo_ceramics I like to use native Pennsylvania clay, I love the grit and sand of throwing natural clay. Marianwilliamspottery BRT for handbuilding- can’t fault it; white raku for sculptures; Lumina porcelain is the most amazing clay-a dream to throw! Ritalayman I’m new at pottery. The last clay I bought was a tan speckled. It’s beautiful but is hard to throw (at least for me). I plan on using porcelain next. Earthartam I use many different kinds, mostly from Georgie’s in Portland OR, because I like variety. LadyTokioBlue I love the red and white Clay’s from school (because I am still looking for a shop to buy clay from.) I like the red more actually, it stays hydrated longer and it is just smoother all around to wedge. BrettRobertsCeramics I have used continental mid fire white and have recently started using standard creamy white stoneware cone six. Teaching high school I like to have a versatile clay for my students that I also like aesthetically. I like the lighter color clays for the color response for the students but I often find myself wanting to go drastically different such as terra-cottas or cinnamon colored clays. There is just simply too many options in the world of clay Artbygretamichelle I’m a porcelain and stoneware gal. Mostly porcelain. It started out as a challenge accepted kind of thing. I read when I started out that porcelain was this diva clay which got my back up. Now however, we have come to love each other: the smoothness, the way it throws or handbuilds, the way it accepts surface treatments and glazes…beautiful. I use DL porc
14 minutes | 2 years ago
012 – Who Has Influenced Your Work?
In this episode we will discover who has had the greatest influence in our work. Resources Sign up to be a featured maker! Jim Rohn quotes Transcript Thank you for listening. This is episode number 12. In this episode, many of you shared who has had the biggest influence on your work. This is an interesting question to me because most of us are influenced by so many different people. There were a few responses about the influence of nature and family. A couple people noted the influence of teachers or instructors. Most of the responses mentioned other potters as a dominant influence. We ll hear those comments and at the end I ll share a few of my favorite responses and try to pick just one person as the biggest influence for my own work. Before we get started, I just want to apologize again for any mispronunciations that I have surely made and will make. If I mess up your name, let me know. Now, let s get to the responses. Nature Mimiho_cat, Dowidat.ceramics, and Tselut_official all said that nature is their biggest influence. Teerraku The universe Family Jeikobu_jeikobu My mom. Teachers / Professors Studio2ceramics Our college ceramics professor has had so much influence on our work. His compassion and generosity is something we want to always express in clay. Octopusceramics Definitely my art teachers, mainly the one I have now at the studio I go to! Now that I’m on Instagram too, there are so many potters that inspire me every day Other Potters A majority of the responses mentioned other ceramic artists and potters. Claybylaura It’s hard to pick just one. I’ve had some incredible teachers and influencers along the way. Most recently, @amysanderspottery opened my eyes and taught me incredible hand building techniques that I use in my current creations. She is a warm, funny and very giving instructor in addition to being a fantastic clay role model! Judykepes As a kid it was Durer, as a young adult I worked for Richard Shaw and studied with Ron Nagle both of whom influenced my world view not just my art. Huge debt of gratitude to them. Jude_prevost_ceramics I have had many teachers who influenced me and watched a wide variety of ceramic artists for inspiration… My husband brings me textures and tools he creates at work that have a big influence on what I decide to create… But I took a workshop a few years ago from #judyweeden and as a handbuilder her tips and info were priceless. She taught me about timing, about leather, soft leather and how to join pieces at any stage… That by far was the biggest influence on how I treat the clay and how I work with each piece Mudsmoke Deborah Shapiro is a legend. Claritatrucco To me @tortus Jpiercepottery Without a doubt @jenallenceramics is the person that has influenced me the most! Gnome_island_studios I’m learning a lot from my fellow sculptors @redbrickceramics This weekend @tom_michelson gave me a lot to ponder. @joethrows helped me save a piece recently. In the past @medicatedlimbs and @artknok taught me a bunch, as did @ryanmccullen Sallyannesadler Soji Hamada. Marianne de Trey. Bernard Leach. Peter Lane. John Takehara. And Lucie Rie. Woodywood250 Susie bowman! Skunke1 Jean-nicolas gerrard Laura S It’s hard to pick just one. I’ve had some incredible teachers and influencers along the way. Most recently, @amysanderspottery opened my eyes and taught me incredible hand building techniques that I use in my current creations. She is a warm, funny and very giving instructor in addition to being a fantastic clay role model! Anna R I think Lucie Rie and Diana Fayt. The first for shape the second for decoration. Maggie T ron meyers Other Tracymurphyceramicartist Myself. I’m the only one I do this for. Anyguelmann As a child and teen, my mom, the artistic polymath. As an adult, working at @etsy and watching incredible Etsy sellers make a living off of their creativity and talent. Pathwaypottery To be honest I’ve learned more from YouTube than I did at school. I didn’t realize how much I hadn’t been taught until I got out on my own. Favorites Ginger barr heafey I am surprised by my own answer…my husband. He gives an honest critique, is encouraging, and appreciates my labor of love. Thanks for making me think about this! You re welcome Ginger. I m glad that you shared your answer with us. And I have to agree. After thinking about it, one of my biggest influences is my wife. She says she doesn t have a creative bone in her body. And maybe she doesn t influence my actual pots that much. But her overall influence is amazing. She supports me and my work, in many ways. She is always encouraging but isn t afraid to be honest if she doesn t like something. She takes care of the family finances so I can focus on my business finances. She takes care of the kids and the housework so I have time to work on my pots after my day job if I want. I haven t talked her into actually helping make pots or mixing glazes or loading the kiln but she will share ideas for new work or tell me why she likes or doesn t like pots that I make or we see from other potters. She even helps me run the booth at some shows. So thanks to my wife and Ginger s husband and all the other supportive partners out there. Glaze_thepotterystudio Hands Down, my family and life all around me. Just can( t) pick one. ? so many influences floating all around us! I think this is my favorite response because it s closest to what I would say. It is natural for the people that you are closest to, to influence you the most. It has even been said by Jim Rohn that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. I m not sure of the specifics but this idea seems to make a lot of sense. Growing up I spent a lot of time with my parents. And considering my very DNA came from theirs, they have had a tremendous influence on me. Both have been very supportive of my own creative endeavours and provided me with plenty of opportunities. My dad had a pole barn while I was growing up and it was filled with woodworking tools and materials. My brother and I got to go out there a lot and build things and destroy stuff and just explore a lot of things. My mom was always engaged in some kind of creative activity from oil painting and stained glass to basket weaving and quilting. They were both always working on something and I think that has shaped my own idea of self worth being related to creating things. So in a foundational sort of way, my parents and other family members have set me on a path to create and eventually I found my way to clay. All the teachers I ve had have influenced me to varying degrees. I m sure my ceramics professor at Huntington University has influenced my work more than I can even imagine. Professor Coffman taught me how to throw, mix clay and glazes and fire kilns. It would be interesting to see if my work would be much different if someone else had taught me with their own spin on the basics. As for directly influencing my work, I d have to say that other potters have had a lot of influence. As I ve mentioned before I ve incorporated into my own work some things that I appreciate in work by potters that live near me. Listen to episode 5 if you want to hear more about that. I m also inspired by plenty of potters online. Sometimes it s not even an exact technique or a certain design element. Sometimes I just look at all the amazing work on Instagram and Pinterest and think, Look at the detail on the bottom of that mug, I should put a little more effort into mine instead of just a plain clay foot. If I had to pick just one person with the most influence, at this point, I would have to flip a coin with Dick Lehman on one side and Justin Rothshank on the other. You may not be able to tell at first glance if you looked at my work alongside Dick or Justin s. At least I hope it s not too obvious. work by Justin Rothshank via rothshank.com But I probably wouldn t be making antique world map mugs or maybe not even using decals at all if it weren t for Justin. I learned the technique from him years ago during classes and workshops and then I ve had a chance to see how far he has taken the technique in his own work. He didn t teach me just the technique, he has inspired me to think about how the decals can be part of the whole surface, all the way around. I also like his loose throwing style. I still throw relatively tight forms to begin with but I like to add a little wonk to make each piece a little different. work by Dick Lehman via michianapotterytour.com Dick has had a similar influence. I ve started to experiment with a little more texture on my pots after seeing some of his techniques. He has also inspired me to develop some glaze combinations that work well on texture and really add a lot of interest to the surface. Some of his wood and soda fired pots are just unbelievable. I don t fire in these environments a lot but I like to put glazes together that will add a certain randomness to the surface. I also am fascinated with the way he can tell a story with his work and include such organic forms and gesture. I still like I m focusing most of my attention on the details of function so I haven t advanced that far yet. But I do think about it a lot. So, these two guys have been the biggest influence on my work so far. But with technology, I feel like there have been, and will be, many potters that influence my work that I haven t even met in person. Too many to name right now. Maybe we ll have to have a topic about your favorite potters of instagram. And speaking of influence, if you didn t listen to the last episode, I have a couple ways that you may be able to connect with some other potters and clay artists. On the Expert Clay blog we will start a featured maker series. If you are interested in sharing about yourself and your work send a note to email@example.com so I know you re interested and I ll send you the
12 minutes | 3 years ago
011 – Meeting Other Potters and Ceramic Artists
Resources bclayjamaica.wordpress.com Online Groups of Potters and Ceramic Artists Pottery Making Info’s extensive list Facebook: pottery heads, Ceramics Worldwide, Potters Network, Clay buddies, Clay Prints (There are many more groups on Facebook which can be found using the search box.) Ceramic Arts Daily/Network Message Board Transcript Welcome. After a small delay, we are back with episode 11. It s about meeting other potters. Thanks for giving us a listen. Pottery can be an isolated activity. But I ve found it s a lot more fun with friends! Being around other potters can also spark new ideas, challenge you, and just give you someone that you can talk to. This particular MudTalk Monday discussion didn t produce as many comments so it may be a little shorter. I m also not going to sort the comments into categories like other episodes. At the end I will share my favorite responses and a few ideas to help you meet other potters and ceramic artists for those of you that want to meet more members of the awesome clay community. Let s get started. Rootandrocks I am focused in ceramics in a school that supports me but does not have a ceramics department. Whenever I meet another ceramicist it is exciting to find out about their inspirations, techniques. I love to compare notes and generally geek out about clay. The few people that work in clay at my school band together to share our love for it. Flowerpottery I find the ceramics community in general to be so generous with information and technique. It’s rare that you meet someone who is not willing to share info. Far too many generous people to name. It’s one of the things that makes our community so great. Bluelotuspottery I have not met many in person but I have meet many many online. clay buddies has been a godsend to me. And I look forward to meeting some of them in person in the future. I am also getting to know many on instagram. Flowergurl4eva I met Hollis Engley, and Mitch Lyons. Both were encouraging, and not afraid to share. Hollis invited my hubby and I into his studio, and showed us part of his creative process. Mitch said come up and visit sometime. They were both genuine. Cal_pot I got drunk with Wayne Higby #goals Honnoria At the airport in Las Vegas I thought I saw Brian Hopkins and asked if it was him. We had a very nice conversation. When we arrived in Buffalo he helped me with my VERY LARGE box. 50# of stuff in that box. It was great having a friendly helpful face there in the middle of the night. Judy F All the clay artists I have met enjoy exchanging techniques and glazing info. We love to pick each other’s brains and solve problems. Marsmelk Our Baltimore Clayworks teacher Sam Wallace took six of his long-term students on a visit to his native Jamaica in 2015. Visited potters Isaiah The Flower Pot Man and David Pinto. Great trip! More here: bclayjamaica.wordpress.com Ideas to meet other potters We re going to do something a little different here at the end. I ll share some of my favorite responses AS the ideas to meet other potters. Piperpottery Instagram and #etsymudteam– I realize these are in-person meetings, but I don’t have a huge local pottery community so the virtual communities I’m a part of have really helped me out in terms of slogging thru the less inspiring times in life. The contacts I’ve made on Instagram are also helping me grow as a potter. Idea 1: Meet Potters and Ceramic Artists Online This is probably the easiest thing to do. Technology can bring us together like never before. You can often find groups of potters on many social media platforms. You can also find potters through hashtags or looking at who other potters are following. I ll share some links in the show notes if you want to find potters online. Milagrosrviale Once I went as tourist to Jerusalem, and I visited a potter there, he worked with Terra sigillata. I wanted to know everything and he shared all his techniques w me. I was very happy that he wouldn’t mind sharing his knowledge. Idea 2: Look up potters for your next trip If you are traveling to a new destination you may be able to look up some potters or ceramic artists in the area. You could search for community centers in the towns you will be visiting or ask in some of the online groups mentioned earlier to see if anyone lives or has knowledge of potters in the area. Bdeterling I attended Alabama Clay Conference when I was in grad school. Just like NCECA but on a smaller, much more intimate scale. It was a lot easier to make connections for me. Idea 3: NCECA and Other Conferences There are plenty of clay centered conferences around the world. NCECA is the largest that I know of and it happens every year in a different place in the US. I haven t made it to one yet but I hope to get there soon. There are so many clay related activities, exhibitions and presentations, you are bound to connect with some like-minded potters. There are also many smaller conferences out there. You probably won t find as many potters but you may make some deeper connections. Wildfirepotterypenn In the fall of 2015, I had the privilege of meeting Jack Troy and Carolanne Currier & got a tour from them of their studios. Their generosity and sharing of information, process, & facilities was incredible. Idea 4: Take a Workshop Workshops are a great way to gain some skills or inspiration. And you often get to meet plenty of other potters. Not just the workshop host but the other attendees as well. I ve taken a few workshops myself over the years and I could spend days talking about the things I ve learned and the interesting people that I ve met. But we ll save that for another time. Viv.ceramics When I was in high school Judi Tavill was my favorite artist and I’ve been following her ever since(3+ years)!! (I have a whole email chain to prove it) The crazy part is SHE came up to ME during the Bollywood dance at nceca and I recognized her after a minute! She’s hilarious! I posted a pic on my account When I was in high school @jtceramics was my favorite artist and I’ve been following her ever since!! (I have a whole email chain to prove it) The crazy part is SHE came up to ME and I recognized her after a minute! Thanks for your unique advice Judi! #nceca17 #portland #clay #ceramics #nceca #artists #bollywooddance A post shared by Vivianne Siqueiros Ceramics (@viv.ceramics) on Mar 26, 2017 at 7:16pm PDT Idea 5: Contact Someone Whose Work You Admire You probably have favorite potters or ceramic artists that make work you really love. You may not be able to meet them face to face but there s nothing stopping you from emailing them or messaging them. Tell them what you love about their work and see if they will answer a question for you. Even as a small time potter, I ve been called and emailed, mostly about my glazes. I love talking about that kind of stuff so I welcome any questions or comments. A majority of the potters I ve met seem to feel the same way. Not everyone will strike up a conversation, some may not even respond but don t take it personally. Potters are busy people. Hopefully some of these ideas will inspire you to meet some new clay friends. I was recently at a pottery potluck where I got to meet a bunch of new potters and see some people that I hadn t seen for a while. One of the local potters was hosting a wood fire workshop and had three guest artists and 4 workshop attendees. It was great meeting people in real life that I ve followed on instagram for a while. It was also amazing to see some of their work in person. And it was a lot of fun hearing about how they make their pots and crazy stories and wood firing pro tips from Brett and Tim. Plus it is always great to share some good food and stand around a wood kiln. And speaking of meeting new clay friends, I ve got some ideas for the Expert Clay blog that I could use your help with. In the future, I hope to have a featured artist series. You would send a couple paragraphs about you and your work with a couple photos. Tell your story and include some links to your website, social accounts and where your work can be purchased. Then I ll share it on the blog, social media and other related channels to promote you. The other idea I hope to get started is an Expert Insight series. For this, I m picturing a paragraph about one part of the process that you really enjoy or which makes your work unique. Include a photo or two. Maybe one of the process and one of a finished piece? Include some links and I ll share it everywhere I can. If you are interested in participating, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. I ll figure out the details and let you know how to submit your stuff. And don t be shy, if you have a story about meeting another potter or any of the other topics from past episodes go to expertclay.com/mtp and share your thoughts with us. I love to hear stories, thoughts and opinions from other clay people and I know others do as well. Our next episode will be about the person that has influenced you the most. Until then, stay muddy. The post 011 – Meeting Other Potters and Ceramic Artists appeared first on Expert Clay.
17 minutes | 3 years ago
010 – What Are You Most Proud Of?
Resources Expert Clay Social Media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr Share your thoughts with us! Transcript Episode 10! We made it to the double digits! When I started this podcast I wasn t even sure I would do a second episode, much less put together 10 so I feel like this is a small accomplishment. Thanks so much for subscribing, downloading and listening. And thanks to those of you who have sent in a message! In this episode we are going to hear about what you are most proud of as a potter or ceramic artist. There were a nice variety of answers, some that I hadn t even considered. First we ll hear from those that are proud of their progress and learning, then from those who take pride in their finished work. We will also hear a few responses about starting a business or making the leap and then the rest of the things that people are proud of. At the end I ll share a couple of my favorite responses and tell a little bit about what I take pride in. Let s start with the folks who are proud of their progress and learning. Progress and Learning Mgwalsho I’m most proud of my learning. I am a brand new Potter and I’m proud of how fast I have learned. I also am proud of my creative glaze techniques and how fast I can produce a quality piece of art. Artbygretamichelle How far I’ve come and how much I’ve learnt in such a short time. I started in 2012, moving from painting to clay. Now I work with porcelain and soda fire in the kiln I converted myself. Pineapple.pottery Being self taught comes with a LOT of mistakes and a steep learning curve, and I’m just at the beginning but am proud I have just kept looking forward! Claybylaura I’m pleased that the learning never stops. As a potter, there is always something new — a technique, glaze combination or shape to try. Leka_visualartist I am proud (to) keep learning after 21 years of study Winesellersgirl I learned how to make a plate!! Muddyduckpottery Taking risks, learning from failures and mistakes, being able to dust off and try again. Ceramicsbyjames People are starting to become impressed with my work before they realize my age. Bluelizardman21 I just started lessons (almost age 65) and my first pot was a rush! Loving learning this physical art form! Sunshine0902 Tried throwing on the wheel for first time last year and since then i am in love with it. Bought wheel , clay and tools and i have to say this is my calling i feel natural making pots and i am proud of my ability to create something beautiful from mud ? Lynn F T How far I’ve come… Kerry D My progress from throwing to glazing! Still so much to learn and loving it! ? I love the enthusiasm and energy of people that are learning something new. Now let s hear about those who are most proud of their finished work. Finished Work Potterybyyvonne I’m not sure it is one piece of pottery. I make my own line of work, but I also work with customers to create their perfect piece. I get great satisfaction out of creating that perfect mug, lotion bottle, bowl, or dog dish that make people smile each day they use it. Thordargreybeard Of making things that will last, that may one day be items displayed in my children’s homes. Haiybai making my biggest project yet :)).. took me 3 entire weeks just to make the slabs ?? Matkipottery I love how happy a good piece makes me feel! But I’m most proud of the pieces that others have loved…. There were a few responses about starting or continuing a pottery business. I referenced making the leap earlier which, to me, means quitting your normal job to pursue a creative career like working with clay. Business or Making the Leap _avonlea__ Leaving my retail job and getting a new job as tech at portland community college for the ceramic department. As well as becoming an apprentice. Octopusceramics I’m proud that I’m setting up my own pottery business at such a young age, and that I’ve been able to achieve over 7,000 followers on Instagram in less than 200 days! Sallyannesadler Opening a studio at 53. Art.craft.home I’m most proud of the 5 year plan that turned into 10 years but resulted in the building of my very own studio. Mimiepoterie Of rerouting my life and becoming who I always aspired to be. I feel so happy and complete when I create clay forms. Earthartam Just entered my 18th year supporting myself with my pottery. Lucky and blessed! Avrilsartworks Learning how to survive on very little ?? Benjamin W Making a living as a studio artist, 16 years of hard work and struggle along with a ton of perseverance. And now we ll hear some other things that people are proud of that don t quite fit into the other categories. Other Things to Be Proud Of Marianwilliamspottery Most proud? Maybe my passion to keep trying, learning, making, working,creating and loving it so. Bhugs11 Trying … and not getting upset when a loved piece breaks. ? Laurielandrypottery Kohler inviting me to exhibit. Studiobri The fact that I can give back. Art Therapy in the studio is gratifying. ? Dtaylorsatm Just as applause is exciting for an actor, I love these words when sharing my pottery creations, “Oh, I love that, how much?” Lazarito_64 Been able to make vases on the wheel. Theclayrabbit My proudest day was two days ago when I revisited a gallery that has some of my work, I took a selection of new work in a big box ? incase he wanted to see and the lovely guy said ‘Can I have ALL of them?’ X 11 Sculptures ? yes, my proudest day so far ?????? CJniehaus I’m most grateful for evolving and making those changes through clay. I’ve been in clay for many years, but I was stuck for a while in my ideas, thoughts and practices. As a non traditional MFA student, I was able to see more possibilities and grow in ways I couldn’t do on my own. I’m not quite to my destination yet, but I’m excited by the glimpses I see as I move forward! Thekingandtheflower I am happy to have found a woman that I can share my love for clay with, and I am especially proud of watching her grow as an artist. She constantly steps out of her comfort zone to expand her skills at my encouragement while at the same she challenges me when I’m not doing the best I can. She keeps me honest in my art, making sure I’m not being lazy or sloppy, encouraging me to be diligent with my talent. _lizi_lu The commitment. …………………It’s like being an athlete. You could be naturally inclined to something, good at it, but even that natural athlete has to practice their sport. And I’m proud of all the practice I put into pottery. Alison.skate.pots I have not started selling my pots yet. A few years ago, when my daughters were 10yrs and 13yrs old and wanted more pocket money, I helped them create a ceramic business selling Christmas baubles, which they made throughout the year in our garage. For 3 years they sold out (to customers in Australia and overseas) and made themselves a very nifty 5 grand each year. They then donated some of the proceeds to The Hunger Project. I was pretty proud of that. Being teens, they’ve moved on to other interests now. Marcia G-K Taking criticism from my teacher seriously. That’s often hard to do, but so worth it in the long run. Martha H Ceramic Artist! I feel potters are always making the same things but a ceramic porcelain artist uses the clay like a painter uses a brush … Cathy G I’m proud I am able to listen,see, hear ideas from magazines,books,galleries,fellow students,Pinterest and then absorb and process it into creations of my own ideas that are not copies of another’s, but truly my own. Favorites These last few responses were some of my personal favorites. L Mosley pots still making pots – 50 years now Even though this response is only 6 words, I think it is pretty powerful. 5 decades! The thing I like about this response is that it could be about any of us eventually. No matter if you make pots full time to put food on the table or if you only get to it every other weekend or when you sign up for a class. I was recently talking to Dick Lehman about someone he knows that is retiring and I asked him if he would ever retire from making pots. Basically, he said that making pots is what he loves to do and there isn t anything else he wants to try that would require him to stop making pots. In this stage of his career his schedule can be more flexible so if he wants to take a week-long trip or pursue other interests for a little while, he can. And being a potter allows him to pursue other interests such as photography and writing. I think one of the great things about pottery is there is always something new to try or learn. It s not something that you ll completely figure out and be finished with. So if our health allows us, we can keep making pots for decades. Kt_ceramics I am so proud of learning how to throw. I am still learning (can’t seem to get even walls up yet) but the fact that I am able to center a hunk of clay on a moving disk is so amazing to me. Never before did I think I will be able to do that. And I’ve fallen in love with it. I’m also proud of being able to glaze. That is by far THE coolest thing I’ve done as an artist. I am so excited to continue to learn more about ceramics! Kt Ceramics, I m proud of you too. It is awesome to hear about people that are excited about learning new things and have a passion for clay. I agree that centering clay on a spinning disk is pretty amazing. And I m also proud of all the things I ve learned while working with clay. Even though I ll never finish learning everything about pottery I m excited to learn as much as I can. It is also great to see great responses from so many different potters including the 50 year veterans and the beginners as well. Our last response is from: ChristineCherry_
17 minutes | 3 years ago
009 – Your Favorite Part of the Process
What is your favorite part about making pottery? Throwing or building? Carving? Glazing? Firing? With so many different ways to make pots there were some great responses and insights into what part other potters like best and why they like it. Resources Pottery Shirts! (scroll down to see the new design) Photos from the 2017 Notre Dame Wood Firing Transcript Here we are, episode 9! In this episode we are going to hear about your favorite part of the pottery making process. Working with clay, especially making functional pots, requires certain steps. But I bet if you really looked at the details, every potter has their own unique way of doing things and it was interesting to hear why people liked a certain part of the process. To start with we ll hear from potters that couldn t pick just one part of the process. Next, we ll hear why a majority of people like the throwing or forming part of the process. Then we ll hear about trimming, carving, glazing and decorating. At the end we ll hear about opening the kiln and a few very specific or different parts of the process. Everything Let s start with the people that love everything about making pottery. Lucia_c It’s all so beautiful the shaping the trimming the glazing.. each part is magic Chcceramics I love making.. but I always feel as though my favorite part changes with my mood. Learning and teaching are pretty steadfast though…. Pitchpinepottery Throwing, watching the clay change color as it dries, trimming, carving, opening the kiln to a glaze firing. The entire process holds promise, mystery and magic! Karen Sullivan can’t pick just one favorite part of the process. Each part of the process is my favorite. But my least favorite is wedging! Jamie Schuler The entire process, because nothing is more satisfying than to start from scratch and end up with something that has been created by both earth and being at the same time. Throwing or Forming Melissayungbluth Building. The very first part of the process. I zen out the best at that stage. Dowidat.ceramics Creating at the wheel that first process of getting the creative juices going!! It’s a zen moment for (me) to be in my head. Mrs.mabry1130 My favorite part of the process is definitely shaping the clay after it’s got its height because you get to play with it a little. If you don’t like it, you can change it. And the meaning behind it goes far beyond just shaping it. Carolclarkson Throwing!! I love the moist clay on my fingertips taking on a new shape ..amazing . Kim_keylan Throwing, it’s my little zen meditation. Me, clay, wheel and nothing. 2frogsstudio After I have centered and opened and bring it to a cylinder, the possibilities open to me to shape it is the magical moment. It’s also the hardest part too. It’s up to me to bring out the beautiful form or to destroy it to nothingness. But the cylinder and its infinite possibilities… Anotherseattleartist Throwing for sure. Followed closely by opening a glaze or luster kiln ? Muddyduckpottery I love throwing. But I can’t repeat too many forms at a time, or I get bored Gingerbarrheafey Throwing a ball of clay into a shape and then trimming the pot. Period. Dislike glazing tremendously. Mhewryk32 Throwing! Love the feel of it and all the techniques behind it. Love how much faster you can accomplish certain forms compared to how long it would take to hand build the same form. omelettrees.studio At least for the half of us, the throwing is the favourite part of the process. Cleaning up the vessel with the metal kidney right at the end to form a clean shape is completed with a fair amount of satisfaction, so much so the only real trimming needed after that is simply to turn out a foot at the bottom. Here’s one made earlier today, just about to be cut and lifted from the wheel. (embed:) Pathwaypottery The creating! Martha H Working in porcelain which is so finicky you must work fast concept in mind …and because of it’s memory it is challenging( it’s just so silky and it’s like touching your soul) but oh so satisfying. Jim M Adding coil upon coil is my fav part of the process:-) Jane N creating the vessel. That initial getting clay centered and coning and getting the initial shape. That feel of the clay in my fingers, and using my arms and hands to make something. Just so satisfying. Trimming and Carving Mageluj My favorite moment is when I trim or draw on a leather hard piece. It’s meditative. Mellumbceramics Definitely turning or trimming… especially when it’s a super smooth clay body. It’s addictive! tangible_goodsThere is something so satisfying about trimming when the clay is just right. Mrserinb24 Trimming! I love to take a rough bowl and carve and trim until it’s just perfect! Im_glazed_ceramics Tooling for sure. It’s like cutting away all the unwanted clay of a piece and bringing out it’s true beauty Betsyhcroft I love trimming. It’s like shaving away excess weight. Laurielandrypottery Carving with the wire stylus. It is my Zen. Janaevalle Trimming and texture Anniebilities_pottery Mixing clay on the wheel and trimming away the slip to reveal the marble design.. my fav Rachel Kirby Turning – so you start with something half decent but by the time you’ve trimmed it (in my case this takes a while :-)) it turns into something more beautiful Glazing and Decorating Tmleventry I love glazing and adding new designs to pieces! Indiagavarri I love to paint each piece!! ? Lori W Decorating! Especially slip-trailing. So luscious, Reg F . as an amateur I am probably not “qualified” to take part – never the less – I love the painting part and feel that not enough potters see pottery as suitable canvas… Laura S I love applying texture to a freshly rolled slab of clay! Random patterns often reveal a beautiful surprise once a hand-built piece is cut out and assembled. Kiln Opening Jerichostudiopottery Opening my kiln to find the glazes have outshone my hopes and expectations of what they will become. Palmtreepots When that kiln door is open and it becomes Christmas time all over again Pineapple.pottery Because I’m pretty new to this with no wheel or room to make own glazes it’s still opening a lustre fire. Close second (soon to become first) is seeing the underglaze change colour into what I wanted on painting as i figure out how they act compared to paint. (Very different I’ve found!) Theclayrabbit Opening the glaze kiln….???????(Well, MOST of the time! Occasionally it’s a shock!)? Veronstanza Cuando las cosas salen del horno y nada se quebró … se siente bien eso ? Which translates roughly to When things come out of the kiln and nothing broke … it feels good Yes, the MudTalk Podcast is now bilingual! Sorry to all of you Spanish speakers for my terrible pronunciation. Other Terraforms Teaching/problem-solving with others. So much fun. Artbygretamichelle Right now my favorite part is applying terra sig to my pots knowing that when they get into the gas and they get the soda they transform. Tomorrow something else may grab me as I explore new techniques and new ways to speak through the clay. Tiltedkilnworks I’m a handbuilder. So when I cut open a closed form and it breathes a breath. My piece comes alive. It’s surreal ? Stonecropstudio Although I’m not a big producer I love seeing the pieces line up at the end of each procedure. I guess it’s the old printmaker in me working in editions! Thats_my_art_teacher Signing the pot! It lets my hands know they’re done! My Favorite Responses Winkingcat I like the progression of clay work. I like the feeling of raw clay being kneaded, the zen of watching a shape take form on the wheel, the form being perfected as its trimmed, (loading) the kiln and wondering what bisque will survive, choosing a specific glaze for each item as if you’re dressing it up, and the great crescendo of opening the glaze kiln, and the delight of people seeing your work. I do it for the wheel, I am blessed to be a part of the rest! Thanks for the great descriptions WinkingCat! I love how you express your feelings for each part of the process. I really like how you refer to working with clay as a progression. There are so many separate little processes that go together Maggie T Clay invokes creative thought . When you start with a cut of clay and finish with a vessel that serves you, it is an accomplish(ment). Using my imagination to create is my favorite part. All else is learned thanks to all who have gone before us. Potters who stand out are those we wish we could pick their brains to see how they come up with all. Maggie, this response made me consider my own process. Sometimes I get stuck in production mode and just want to finish pots to fill an order or refill my inventory. I forget one of the things that I love about working with clay, which is using my imagination. Even when I m making multiples I can imagine new glazes or changing the angle of a rim slightly or try some slightly different texture. Or sometimes I just need a little time to explore. LittleRiverNCpottery I love (to) unload the glaze firing. It’s all about the journey and once it’s all done you get to look back and see where you want to go next! I love the way LittleRiverNCPottery thinks about unloading the kiln. Not only do you get that sense of satisfaction when all the work of this process comes together in something tangible, but you get to look back and see what worked or what didn t, and then do it even better next time. And finally, Noahkildoo_ceramics Watching the soda hit pots that are 2400 degrees This response is a little more specific than some of the other responses. Not everyone fires their pots to 2400 degrees. Even fewer use soda when they fire. But this is one reason I love pottery so much. There ar
11 minutes | 3 years ago
008 – What Question Would You Ask Other Potters and Ceramic Artists?
Resources Pottery Making Info (for new MudTalk Mondays): Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr Transcript You are listening to episode 8 of the MudTalk Podcast. This episode is a little different from other episodes so far. It will be a little shorter than normal but I think it will lead to a lot of discussions in the future. For this topic, I left it up to you to ask the questions. I wanted to know what you would ask other potters or ceramic artists. I thought it would be a great way to get some ideas for future MudTalk Mondays and make sure we re discussing topics that you REALLY want to discuss. There were a lot of great responses. Everything from, how do I get started? all the way to how do I price my pots and make a living? As usual, when I was reading through the comments some patterns started to emerge. So we are going to start with the beginner questions and then hear some of the more technical questions. After that, we ll look at some of the questions about the business side of working with clay and then we ll hear a few miscellaneous questions. At the end I ll give a preview of upcoming MudTalk topics so you can send in a message that could be on a future podcast or get a response ready for the MudTalk Monday social media posts. So let s hear some questions that you would love to ask other potters or ceramic artists. Beginners There were a few people that just wanted to know how to get started. Monstriss As someone who only did grade eight art and did a semester in Pottery, where do I start with literally nothing? Shshshelby I’m so interested and have nothing to start with – where do I begin and with what kind of products? I ll give a brief answer here because I love when people try something new, especially if it s working with clay. One thing I love about making pottery is that you can start small. All you really need to get started is clay. As you progress you can start adding tools and equipment and try new techniques. The complicated part comes when you are ready to fire and glaze your work. For a longer, in depth answer, I have a new course coming out soon at Expert Clay for complete beginners that want to know how to get started. Technical Questions There were a number of technical questions about specific parts of the process. Mimiepoterie Clay sculpture incorporating a metal rod. What type of metal do you use to avoid melting in kiln? Marianwilliamspottery Use of oxides- how, when, effects, application etc Instalesswespottery How to build a high-fire capable kiln at home, or how to fire functional pots from home efficiently and ideally without spending a fortune. Pamelabarclaysatx Favorite handmade or repurposed pottery tools. Noahkildoo_ceramics How do frequent soda firers get that pitted texture in the soda? Is it a clay high in alumina or some other refractory? Lannieraecreative I want to transfer my photos and art onto my ceramic pieces – I don’t want to do it post glaze firing. I want it to be fired on and remain as functional stoneware. Do I need special paper / printing done? Risabeeseattle Kiln use, maintenance and firing techniques. I’m a new potter, and am buying my first kiln. I have never fired one before and I’m… nervous. ? Forgetful_yogi Finding the right base clear glaze for mason stains in cone 6 oxidation ?. Particularly reds and pinks…. And printing and applying laser printed decals! Theclayrabbit Great idea this thread! I would LOVE to find information on COLD FINISHES FOR SCULPTURES because I’ve tried looking for books on it and online for this topic and there’s nothing much out there … and I’m always searching for lovely MATT finishes firing and non firing with methods of application that are user friendly ? _shandiReynolds_ What’s the best way to pull up walls? I can pull them up to an extent but I can’t seem to get it Jane N what brushes does one use when they want to draw figures onto bisque fired pots. I never seem to get the correct brush size or type and my strokes just come out looking yucky and not what I want Business There were also a number of questions about selling pottery and running a business. Newspinontradition How do you balance your time making work with time spent on the rest of the tasks necessary when making a living in clay…(i.e. shipping, marketing, accounting, photographing etc.) ? Chrissybrownsculpture How do you price your work? Lisabevanspottery I’m interested in how other clay artists plan… month to month, the whole year? Pinezenpottery How to price fairly to both potter and consumer. I am really struggling with this–especially as brand new baby potter. ?. DerekOrourkeCeramics How do you make a living from pottery?!?!? ?? JessTabasco How do I start a career after college? Dowidat.ceramics How to market online making up bio’s that don’t sound forced or fake. I love talking and discussing but when it gets to writing I have trouble. Stonecropstudio Who is my market and how do I find them? Pricing is also a puzzle! NicolaHartStudios I need help with trying to calculate how much I should be selling my work for, when everything is one of a kind and it seems impossible to calculate time. Carolbarclay6 Best practices for on-line marketing . Other There were also plenty of other questions that didn t fit into the categories already mentioned. Oteplyakov Would it be the same joy to make a copy of an ancient vase or sculpture as you have making a new one Grace.your.table I love learning ideas of how other potters arrange and organize their studios. It always inspires new ideas for me! ? ? Dtaylorsatm Plz recommend a easy to understand book, video, etc on use of glazes. ? Claybylaura What type/style of pottery to you buy from another potter? 2frogsstudio I’m in my second career in ceramics. Definitely not the hobby potter route. Is an MFA a must have? Why or why not? Ladytokioblue Who exposed you to pottery/clay/ceramics and why have you stuck with it? Ladytokioblue Also how do you keep from getting hand or wrist pain from repetitive motion? Anita M How do you feel about sharing glaze recipes? Do you think it’s important to share and possibly allow others build on your work to further everyone’s knowledge base or is it better to not share and encourage them to learn how to get to that stage and build upon their own discoveries? How important is recipe sharing in our field? And finally, Michelle W How do you organize your work week? Do you have specific throwing days? Glazing days? Or does it change from week to week? I would love to (be) able to know how to organize my schedule so with festival, market, and commission pieces all running I don’t get backed up and have to work super late nights for a week straight… Any tips on time management?? Thank you to those who asked all these great questions. Do you think you could answer some of these questions? Do you need a place that will help you find the kind of people that want to hear the answer? Check out expertclay.com which helps connect clay experts and people who want to learn from them. Instead of picking my favorite responses this time or trying to answer some of the questions already asked, I m going to give you some of the upcoming topics for this podcast so you have a chance to share your own answer. Maybe even hear it on the podcast. Upcoming MudTalk Topics Recorded episodes: 9 – Favorite part of the process Episodes to record: 10-What you are most proud of, 11-Meeting other potters, 12-Your biggest influence, 13-What Clay body and why?, 14-What would you tell yourself when you were a beginner?, 15-How do you price your work? If you want to contribute to any of these future episodes, go to expertclay.com/mtp to record or write a message. And be sure to follow Pottery Making Info on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr to join the discussion on future MudTalk Mondays. These could include: What life lesson has clay taught you? What motivates you to keep making pots? What is the best pottery-related purchase you ve made in the past two years? etc. As for the future of this show well, who really knows the future?! But I plan to start releasing a new podcast episode every other week instead of every week like I ve done until now. Two weeks should give me enough time to organize, record and edit a decent episode. Plus, I ll be adding more content to the blog and sending more emails to everyone on the email list. Thank you so much for listening. I really appreciate it! Remember, if you haven t already, check out expertclay.com to see the show notes for this podcast, send a comment to be on the show and connect with other potters and ceramic artists who you could teach or learn from. Until next time, question everything and stay muddy. The post 008 – What Question Would You Ask Other Potters and Ceramic Artists? appeared first on Expert Clay.
23 minutes | 3 years ago
007 – The Hardest Thing About Being a Potter or Ceramic Artist
Being a potter or ceramic artist is not easy. But everyone is different and has their own issues and struggles. Listen to this episode (or read below) to see if there are other people that are struggling with the same things that you are. Resources The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) (affiliate link) How to make the most of your time in the studio (Article and Free Download) Transcript First off, I wanted to say thank you very much for listening. I really do appreciate it. Especially if you ve listened to previous episodes and have come back for more. If this is your first time listening, welcome! Just before I started recording this episode I checked the podcast stats and it said that there have been over 1000 downloads! That is amazing to me. That isn t a lot in the grand scheme of things but I feel like I ve barely figured out what I m doing. So thank you for your support. This is episode 7. The question for this episode was: What is the hardest thing about being a potter or ceramic artist? This is a fascinating topic and I can t wait for you to hear some of these great responses. There were so many comments that I couldn t include them all! Maybe because everybody struggles with something? Or maybe it s because it s such a personal topic and that there are no wrong answers? I guess everyone feels like they can relate. Whatever it is, thank you to everyone who took the time to share their thoughts on Instagram and Facebook. The show notes for this episode and all other episodes can be found at expertclay.com. It s free to sign up for the email list to find help with something you are struggling with or help other people with something they are struggling with. At the end of the episode you ll hear how to get a free download with 5 ideas that I have used to make the most of my time in the studio, which has been one of my biggest struggles. As I was reading through these comments I sorted them into categories to make processing them a little easier. First we ll talk about struggles with the process, then time and balance, then running a business and then the physicality of working with clay. We ll also hear some other miscellaneous struggles and I ll share some of my favorite responses. At the end I ll share 10 things that I keep in mind when I struggle with something. So let s get to the responses. Process Making pots is pretty complicated and there is a lot to learn. Some potters struggle with part of the process. Many people, including Zeevar, FrancoiseAndre, ClayWishSweden, Potterinhawaii, Sometimes_sam_sometimes_paige, Jack.degnan, and Amadia14 all mentioned glazing in one way or another. Zeevar I think doing the glaze is hard! Am i right? Francoiseandre @zeevar yes ! Glazing is also for me the hardest thing… Claywishsweden Glazing!!! Potterinhawaii Getting the glaze right your piece can be beautiful but if you mess up the glaze it turns out like (beep)? Sometimes_sam_sometimes_paige Hoping the glaze compliments the form Jack.degnan Not getting enough layers of glaze on my pieces ? Amadia14 I struggle with glaze consistency! Donrankpottery I have a continuing dislike for pulling handles on mugs! Baxenburg Kilns!! And transporting fragile things that haven’t been fired yet because you’ve cleverly decided to make something at home without thinking about how you’re going to get it to the studio in one piece… ! Etgesq shrinkage in the kiln Time / Balance Time management was a popular response. It seems like a lot of potters are part time potters and work a regular job to produce a steady income. I bet if we had a survey, most potters don t make 100% of their income just from selling pots. And with the lengthy process that clay requires, it s going to be tough to keep everything balanced. Time to Make Wildfirepotterypenn I have a full time job outside the studio. Because of this, the hardest thing for me is finding the amount of time I feel is adequate in the studio. RiderCeramics Time! I never have enough time. For instance when I have a show or a deadline for a large amount of work. I am constantly underestimating the time it takes for making,drying, firing, glazing, and firing again. I feel like I never have enough. (Especially now with a baby sidekick. He hasn’t been of any assistance in the studio yet) AND documenting and listing to sell on etsy. That is another full time job in itself. I feel with the amount of time we artists put into our craft we should be millionaires at this point. TariHuffaker Right now it is that i only get to do it one day a week. I have a kick wheel and a small electric kiln but no place to set them up….? but i am so grateful for the one day per week. Viv.ceramics Not having time to work on my own artwork…I’m a BFA student, and I know my skills are developing but I feel like I have lost my developments in my own work…I want it to evolve but I don’t have the time to dedicate to it. Finding Balance Peachbottompottery Wearing so many hat’s! ??? AnnAugustinPottery I’m a full time, solo, potter. The hardest thing for me is balancing the creative side (studio work) with the necessary administrative tasks (marketing, finances, customer service, etc). Fernstreetpottery Balancing my time, pacing myself, taking on too much. Littlepotteryshop I tend to take on more than I can chew because I want to do it all!! Balancing making my own work, teaching 3 days a week, running our retail store, and also taking care of my own personal needs gets exhausting. I really need about 9-10 days in a week to fit it all in! Octopusceramics Having time to make things, while balancing school/extracurriculars/college prep/family time/etc Pitchpinepottery Work-life balance. Working for yourself is incredibly rewarding but also easy to never take a break. Trying to explain why I can’t just “paint a custom order with this exact color swatch for the glaze”. Explaining why the process takes so long. Williambakerpottery Juggling ? William, I m pretty sure you mean doing all the different things a potter has to do but if you have a video of yourself juggling mugs or clay or tools, we would love to see it! Time for Other Things Some people are so focused on the clay that it s hard to make time for other things. JeannieBaker63 I tend to lose track of time when I’m working with clay. The hardest thing is making time for all the things I don’t want to do, and walking away from the workbench. Timseeclay Making time for other things in my life. I feel I could make pots in the studio for months on end if I didn’t need to eat. I have a Wife, family, cat, a house and gardens that I love too and they all need attention. Anotherseattleartist Actually taking days off for self care. And then feeling guilty when I do take a day off. “Being self employed is great! You can work any 60 hours per week you want!” I’m trying to get on a schedule where I give myself at least 1 day off a week but it’s hard! And taxes. 4 years into self employment and they are still terrifying and I’m still only mostly hoping I’m doing them right The Business There were a lot of responses about business being the biggest struggle. Let s start with promotion. Promotion LaurieLandryPottery Promoting my own work. Pathwaypottery Marketing myself! CatherineDanielCeramics Getting enough people to actually SEE what I make!? Salzanos I just want to create and find it hard to promote my creations. Actually promotion is a full time job and if finances allowed, someone with that talent should do it ? Salzanos, I agree. If you can make it work, it would be ideal to pass off certain things to other people and focus on the things you enjoy or do well. Selling There were also plenty of responses from people who have a hard time with sales. Bianca_colangelo Selling enough pots to afford a place to make pots. Studio2ceramics Art fairs. Getting into them. Designing the booth. Sitting there and talking to a bazillion strangers. Watching them walk by. Ugh. Art fairs. Marijanel This was such a good question and reading the responses made me feel like I’m not alone. For me, right now, I have decisions to make…do I wholesale into stores/gift shops (I have 5 interested) and have to make/sell volume because I’m sharing 30-50% with consignment stores or do I only do direct sales and make the full amount but perhaps sell less pieces? These kind of big decisions that define a businesses goals cloud creativity for me. If my “job” was just playing with clay, that’d be easy…but there’s the whole “what do you do with it after you make it” part of pottery that’s where the income comes from that is a challenge for us creatives. Mepifano Promoting and selling the work is the hardest for me, because most people don’t know about or understand the process of ceramics and therefore can’t appreciate the effort, the craftsmanship and ultimately the “value/price” relation. Woodwardpottery The business side. Accounting, selling, records, ugh! Sunnydieter11 When my family pesters me about selling my pieces but I don’t have the confidence to do so. and… ChrissyBrownSculpture Pricing my work – it’s so difficult to have the confidence to (try to) sell for what people say it’s worth! Physicality There were a few responses about physical ailments. Jerichostudiopottery My aching wrists when I centre big pieces. Skibejones Surgery on both wrists. Lucyfagella I love reading all these comments from people at different stages of their careers! For me the two hardest parts: the physicality of being a potter… In one sense I love it, but as I age I just ache after a long day. If I would learn to pull myself away sooner from making, to do other parts of the job that I don’t enjoy as
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