Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New members

Good morning Potters.
The Potters of the Roan (POTR)were thrilled to welcome in Jenny Sherburne and Michael Kline ( See Michaels Blog on Dashboard) to the group. Their energy and skill will be a great asset for the group. The food was outstanding, POTR's advocating in eating good food and presentation just keeps surpassing itself, of coarse I took a tupperware dish, the contrarion(?sp)in me. Thank you, Lisa for putting the slaw in a real dish.
I have thought about putting together a crafts artisans cookbook. Ree Schonlau, director, Craftsmen Gallery of Omaha in 1982, published a cookbook of Artist from the Craftsmen Gallery, included such names as Betty Woodman, Bryan Temple, Jeff Oestreich, our own Stanley Anderson, and other notables. It was in Black and White, but records an array of forms and foods, from which I still take recipes. Ree titled the book, Earthcooks.
Well time to go to work, I'm a little late this morning, but I am full of energy and ready for the day. Make pots.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I feel like a kid with a new toy, Flash & wiggets have taken over my brain space, what little there is left. I have plastered a couple of the programs on the blog site and they have almost taken over the site,these visuals are very strong in the demand for your attention. I think that these tools will be as common place as anything in the advertising of your business. Just in the time I have been aware, programmers have been so prolific that web sites and these programs can be copied and pasted, some for free and others(more complicated) for a fee. I have added a site for these programs that has a good selection of programs.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

Teapots and pitchers

Just about to finish my pot of coffee and then off to the studio. My son Chase just emailed me with pictures of my granddaughter, stating "that she has been walking on two legs for a week or two." They just grow up way too fast.

I havn't made teapots or pitchers for several years and over the pass two months I have attempted to correct. I just haven't had the right attitude or something and it shows in the work . Thick , heavy, squatty, poor shape and just uninteresting piece of clay work. The teapot showing is one of the latest with a tenmuku glaze that I feel is starting to improve. I enjoy the handle over the top, compared to a side attachment. The over handled has white and black slip underglaze Temples white in a reduction kiln, my wood kiln is down and I am working on it slowly. Drop me an email and I'll send you a copy of the recipe, if you like it.
Pitchers have been so weak that I haven't even photographed them. But, just as I was at a low point,I was finishing parts for teapots and I had about 3-4 pounds of clay left, I just hate to waste a good center, so I ended with a pitcher that was easily thrown and looked strong in form, so it might be that I've come around the bend with a better attitude and maybe something to show.
I have found a couple of new links or blogs (check out the links), that are very informative. I seem to be just discovering the potential of this blogging world . There is so many more potteries out there that never get seen in the magazines, and they are making some extremely nice work. I can now make decisions for myself, concerning interesting work, rather than have one hit wonders dominate and become the fashion of the month.
I'm adding information about how and what I use to make a piece. I would love to see other potters tell a bit about their work, so that we all can look and learn.
Well, I have to get to the shop, have a productive day.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Economic effects

The economic downturns are part of studio life. A conversation with Ken Sedberry evoked the comment that "we have gone through several of these episodes and you've just got to hold on and ride it out." This has been basically true for the previous events in my career also, but the extremely inflated cost of fuel has affected all other areas such as food, health care, and heating.
When fuel cost went up before, I was able to go to home fuel oil and fire my work, but now that cost is higher than the propane I had normally used for my reduction kiln. Kent at Fork Mountain Pottery has burners that use cooking oil or reclaimed oil to fire his work, he says it smells like bar-b-que when he fires and it makes him hungry. wood burners can be very thankful that there are a lot of sources for that fuel.
Fuel cost has over doubled the pass year, and the fact is you will not get to double your product price. In retrospect, I have had to use bartering in the sale of items in my gallery and since fewer buyers are stopping to even look at the work, exposure becomes a major hurdle for creating demand for your work. The national average for food has risen something like 18%, feels like more. A vast majority of us will not be able to attach that rise to our product, in fact I think we will be lowering our prices to attract buyers.
Some studios give a discount for coming to their studio gallery, others have grouped together and formed pottery markets, which are located in one location, so buyers only have to come to one place to look at a large selection of work. I would love to hear from folks about alternative methods.
I'm going to stop here, because of the subject matter I want to pursue: Doing road shows, wholesaling, and galleries.