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Monday, January 28, 2008

Quick Note

I think the problem is solved!
The last few days, my computer has been acting up or as the case may be not acting up to par.
In my efforts to solve this situation, i've removed the chatroom. Sorry about that but am trying to get stuff down to a minimal level.
That's all for tonight, folks.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Kind-a Tickled

Gotta explain right up front - i know the hole is way too small. If you look really hard however you can see it. I was trying to create my first long-necked bottle and i'm tickled pink to say xx--xx Walla! Here it is: xx Ain't that sweet?

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxNext. Let me brag a little. The "critter" teapot came out hunky-dory! xxI am that pleased. xxHe's been sitting around in a bisqued state for quite a long time. 6-8 months. I was afraid to take him further! You just know that i'm dancing an Irish jig about three feet high in the air. Or at least i was yesterday when he came out of the kiln.
This is another of my "favorite" mugs. Unfortunately, he has to return to the fire. Everything in me wants to say: No! No! Leave him as he is. And maybe i will.
But i have a hunch the "perfectionist" in me will succumb. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Ought-a mention here that the method of keeping clay on the bat mentioned a few posts ago doesn't work. It does keep the clay from sliding off the bat - that part works. However, the clay being thrown semi-attaches to the layer of clay beneath, creates holes and air pockets, and there isn't a doubt that this isn't going to fire well. Sorry if i've misled anyone - truly thought i had a solution to a slippery problem. Back to the drawing board on this one.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxAnd now to the chatroom topic. Something that regularly happens in my life is: i get so enthused about a theory or an idea or a possibility that the "obvious" quite escapes my attention!
In the chatroom case, the obvious would be that in order to chat one has to be in attendance constantly. I didn't quite foresee that outcome!
So here's my next plan of action. I'll leave the chatroom up for awhile (am thinking seriously of removing it), and if any two people happen to simultaneously arrive at the same time and want to talk - go for it!
Or maybe if everyone wants to, we could set a time (once a week) when we'd all get together and discuss pottery issues -- What do you think?

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxThat about covers everything and brings us up to date. Have a piece firing in the kiln, pots thrown this morning ought-a be dry enough to do something with, and there's trimming of yesterday's pots still to do!

Oh yes! If you haven't seen Tim See's excellent video on creating long-necked bottles and are having trouble with this, here's the link:

Happy Mudding

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Chat Room

Decided to try and start the chat room (on the right side of this page) about pottery and art related topics. If you have a topic you'd like to discuss, sign in and let's chat. This is my first attempt at such an endeavor. So i really don't know what i'm doing. But i thought it would be fun if we could all get together sometimes and chat!

I think it may be easiest to log on using the anonymous feature and then just sign our names. It's 11:59 at night here and i've been trying to set this up for hours . . . so am pretty much exhausted. It may be easy to create an identity but i just didn't want to fool with that tonight.

Am curious as the dickens to see what y'all think of this new chat room. The possibilities are really exciting! xx So let's talk!

Let me know what times to look for you and i'll try to be sure i'm here to greet you!
Happy Chatting

P.S. Tomorrow morning i'm going to sleep in! Will check chat-room as soon as i'm up and about.

Another Marketing Snippet

Below is a quote lifted directly from Ron Philbeck's site:
It is one of his methods (philosophies) of marketing.
"Still though I have had a desire to draw on pots for a number of reasons. I'm not sure that one of the reasons is a good one to admit but here it is: People/customers are drawn first to pots with an image/pattern. They see that first. Most anyhow. Then maybe they see the form. So I have thought I'd do better financially if I made pots with images. Yuck. Okay I'm human. The hard part is doing this in a way that one can live with. Making pots that feed my soul and still sell. Being happy with the deco. , form, firing etc. That should be the main goal. And really I have proven that I can do what I want and sell pots. I rarely do things for the sake of others. I make what I like and then educate my customers to why it's good. Then they get it and they come back for more."
Plus (reading the whole Jan. 17th post, re: Thoughts/Thursday) he also mentions that: "The funny thing is that I sell to very few galleries. Most of my work is sold from home."

Will post more marketing snippets later when and as i find them. Am really determined to learn what works well for others in marketing their work, and what techniques and strategies they use.

In the meantime, have a great and glorious weekend.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


OK. I've been avoiding this. Marketing is the weakest spot in my personality. I'd rather give something away than charge a person for it.

Years ago (when i wintered in Arizona), met a couple who were fellow artists pursuing their dreams of starting a business. I figured they were on an unlevel playing field. Handicapped, you might say. They were not only starting from scratch, they were broke!

It was one of those incidences where there is instant communion of souls. Even tho i'd never laid eyes on these people before, i knew them. Knew their energy, their ideals, their dreams, hopes and fears.

Suddenly, i was deeply committed to their success.

"C'mon," i said. "I have a few tools over in the rv which will help you out."

Inside the rv and finding this which led to the thought of that and while rummaging for just where i'd placed it ("Wait a minute, it's here someplace.") finding a whole bunch more stuff which would help them in their endeavors.

The fellow's comment has stayed in my consciousness for years: "Hold your hosses. You can't afford all this. You're giving away the store."

Yep. I'd rather give it away than charge for it.

Ahhh yes . . . Marketing.

Yesterday was erstwhile(y) pursuing this topic and came across Dick Harrison. He used to be an artist's representative (agent?) selling other folks works and evidently made enough money to live on comfortably.

Here are some of his ideas for profitable marketing:

(1) Consider marketing to or working with interior decorators, architects, designer show-case-home builders and investors, framers and furniture stores. There are the traditional market places such as galleries, gift shops, art fairs, mail-order outlets and entering exhibitions.

(2) Harrison maintains that taste is very personal and that to develop a broad customer base one should keep in mind that people want to live in pleasant surroundings with images that evoke happy memories, pleasant pictures, fellowship, good times, fun, and benevolent nature including flora and fauna of all kinds.
People avoid frightening, controversial, political, demoralizing subjects and jarring images of poverty and social upheaval are not likely to end up on their kitchen table nor their mantlepiece either.

(3) Pictures of people are often avoided unless they are subordinated elements in the composition.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxUh Oh! There goes the marketability of my face mugs!

(4) Color is important. It's a trendy proposition and should be applied concurrently with this years favored color schematics. Geography plays a part in color selections also. Don't apply palm leaves and seashore regala to pottery you intend to sell in Minnesota in the wintertime, nor snow-covered mountain peaks to pottery destined for sale in Florida.

(5) Proportion makes a difference. Keep it appropriate for your area. Gigantic urns are not going to sell well in the north where quite often the rooms are smaller as are the windows.
(He's never been to Jackson, Wyoming!)
There are exceptions, he says. Tall verticles and wide horizontals where the proportion is 3-4 (or more) to one often sell well - they offer an unexpected or surprize element in the design scheme.

(6) Produce pieces which work as pairs or a related series with each segment strong enough to stand alone. ( In the potters forum, others have mentioned this. Said they sold more at art fairs when there were pairs or a series.)

(7) Harrison says to identify and quantify the buyers. Keep current with the tastes and trends in art sales which are likely to appeal to the group you are targeting.

I got a hoot out of this next tip:
(8) Most of us have a compulsion to create beauty that will have meaning for another person(s). Thus, we often create for the high end market. However, functional pottery tends to sell more readily in a "plebian market" (his words, not mine) which provides the bread & butter money which pays the bills.
He suggests that if you see yourself as a great artist whose wares will elicit huge prices at some later date and if you don't want to sully that image by creating functional wares for the "plebian market" then you should adopt a Nom de Brush.

OK folks -- help me decide - what should my nom de brush be?
Perhaps we should have a contest on the best noms des brush?

You can find more of Dick Harrison's marketing ideas at:

Happy Marketing

Monday, January 14, 2008

Free Rice Update

After posting last night, returned to the free rice site. And this morning googled it to see what others think of the program.
It always surprizes me to find that some topic i'm totally ignorant about, has been around awhile, is well-known by other folks and much talked about by a multitude of people! Amazing.

One of my new-found resolutions is: by the end of this year to have donated xx--xx Wait. Wait. My calculator is somewhere close by xx -- xx 728000 grains of rice. That's 2000 grains per day. (Got a headstart last night for i played until i reached 4000.)

One of the topics most talked about (re: free rice) is the scoring. It seems 50 is the highest obtainable. That's from the top of our heads, folks. Not aided by a dictionary. My highest so far is 46, but having reached that, kept sliding backwards. Words like hebetudinous throw me for a loop! And some words are so deceiving. Like sanguineous. Who would-a thought it means bloodthirsty? I've always thought it meant a "wise old fello"!

Found some neat new blogs while researching Free Rice. One of which is:
The fellow, Jeffrey Stock, has quite a sense of humor and i enjoyed several of his columns tremendously.
I love humor. Don't you?

Have a character mug in the kiln undergoing a glaze firing. So have sort-of, kind-a been "working" since early this morning. But now it's well past time to actually get to work and throw some pots. My only excuse for starting so late in the day is that i usually work until 10pm - midnight.
Happy Mudding Folks

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Free Rice

Was over on the forum and a couple of people mentioned this site:
The gist of the site is that for every word one defines correctly (multiple choice), 20 grains of rice is donated by the advertizers listed at the bottom of the box through the United Nations World Food Program to hungry people.
I'm hoping this is true for i played long enough to donate 1000 grains of rice and, of course, will return each day to donate more.

A few months ago, when the new wheel arrived, a situation suddenly arose of trying to keep the clay on the bat.
Dealt with it xx--xx but not effectively.
Some days the clay would center and stay put. Other days the clay would center, then slide right off the bat. Those are the days i'd be chewing nails and swearing a blue streak under my breath.
Could lead to violence you know. Slapping that clay down harder and then harder still on the poor defenseless bat.
Friday was a slip-slide-slidity day.
Yet Friday night brought daylight at the end of the tunnel. And Saturday, there was no trouble a'tall with slidity clay.
Here's my solution . . .
Took a wad of clay and smeared it with a flat-edged rib onto the bat with the wheel speed set on "fast". Continued this process, pushing down and smoothing with the rib, until it was a nice flat moist pancake and was firmly attached.
Then . . .
Centered my clay atop the pancake. Worked like a charm. Don't know why i didn't think of this months ago.
Happy Mudding

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Wonderously Whole


EEE-Haw !!! The bowl above came out of the first glaze fire in perfect condition AND the glaze did exactly what i expected it to do !!! Now you can't beat that with a stick . . . .

This next bowl - again fired well. Am pleased about that.
However . . . .
Am just not certain about the red strips in the bottom. Was trying for an "impressionistic" style and hadn't a clue the red would dominate the overall design.
Does the red bother anyone else as badly as it bothers me?
I cringe at the thought of refiring this puppy.
Still . . . .

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

First Serenade of the New Year

And Yes! This teapot is a serenade. A song in my heart. For it's the first piece of the year x-xtook it out of the kiln just a short bit ago x-x and it's a success story!

It may not be Spode, Dresden, Limoges nor Wedgwood but in my eyes, at this point in time, it's a wonderful piece of pottery to start out the New Year.

And it pours without dripping an unwanted drop!

Now, as usual, i ought-a complain about something. Thus the complaint: my photo does not do the delightful little teapot justice. In real life, it's actually prettier than it appears in the pix!

So without further ado here's my first contribution to the new year . . . .