Thursday, November 15, 2012

Post-Show Review and Such.

Hey! Thanks to everyone who came out to see me at the Zonta Craft Sale this (last) weekend! The weather turned sour Saturday afternoon and remained icy through Sunday, but plenty of souls still braved the elements to support local artisans (and other vendors and such...).

This was definitely one of my better shows in terms of feeling prepared beforehand. Everything went smoothly, and I tried out a new-ish configuration for my booth setup that was kind of exciting.
Setting up the night before.
I normally keep my booth space open, rather than closed, but with the way this show was configured that would have left me no room for getting behind the display to pack up purchases, go through stock, etc. - I would have had to do that in the aisles. So I rocked the "Closed L" display this weekend, which worked out pretty well. I ended up with a bonus table inside of my L-shaped booth area, so I used it as a dedicated wrapping/packaging space which was a welcome change from always doing that stuff from under a table in the back of the booth.
My view throughout the weekend.
I of course had more pots than I possibly could have sold over the course of one weekend (and if I had - how awesome would that have been?!), and the new checker/brickwork pieces were quite popular, if I may say so. I have, of course, plenty of work available now to fill any Christmas orders you lovely people may have.
It also turned out to be, in very subjective terms, a very fun sale for me. Lots of chatting with friendly folks and sharing about my work and techniques and stylistic choices. Above average crowd by that measure, actually.
Had to relocate that large mountain vase to place this large bowl. Still looking for a home for that one.

I've realized I may have to adjust certain aspects of my display with regard to marketing my name and brand and such, specifically when I'm doing shows like this that are not quite on the "fine art and craft" side of things, in that for every artisan (potter, painter, jeweler, photographer, woodworker, baker) there was at least one, maybe two booths of retail/resale vendors. Which is great. It creates an environment full of products at all price points and attracts shoppers who may not come to an exclusively "art" oriented show.


I'm always amazed (aghast? surprised?) when the first question a person asks me, looking at my display, is if I made "all this." No, wait. The question, usually, is: "So where do you get your pots from?" To which I respond I make it myself, and THEY are amazed (aghast? surprised?).  It's just not something I would ever question. My name is on the cards, my name is on the pots. But what I assume is sort of beside the point if it's a matter of uncertainty. I certainly do my best to take these questions courteously and try not to make anyone feel bad for asking the question. But it also begs the question, do people who pick up a bowl, see the price, and put it down again assume that it's handmade or that it comes from some supplier overseas? Because that could make a difference, I guess, in some peoples' minds.

So in the future, Krystal suggested to me (always clever, that one!) that it might not be such a bad idea for sales like this to have some signs that can sit on my booth that say, proudly and boldly, that all pottery herein is one hundred percent handmade, by me, start to finish. 

But anyway: I had a great weekend. I think the turnout (and consequently sales) would have improved if we hadn't had our first taste of winter, but I was glad that things were clear and dry for both setting up and tearing down. Looking on the bright side. And I did well enough (sales) that maybe I can buy some Christmas gifts this year. Bolster the economy and all that.

I'm going to try to get back into the studio sooner than later. I'd like to produce a full kiln of work to fire before Christmas, so if you're looking for something special, just le me know. Bolster MY economy and all that.

In other news, I'm starting to see year-end lists or movies and books and music popping up, so maybe I have to get on the ball and share my favorite pottery-making music releases for 2012. Or something. We'll see.

In the meantime, I'm already anticipating an early 2013 album release from Leagues, who have just released the video for their first single, "Spotlight." They released a too-short EP last year which was just delicious and I can't imagine how their long-awaited debut record won't end up on my "Best of" list next fall. Here's "Spotlight," from Leagues:

That's all for now. See y'all later, and thanks again to everyone who came out last weekend!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Firing preview.

If you were super cool and followed me on Facebook or Twitter you could have seen this, like, 5 hours ago. Your loss. Overall: very good firing. Couple disappointments. 
Discovered one of my kiln shelves is completely wash-free and has been stealing bits of stoneware from the feet of my post. Hadn't really noticed it before, but it's become noticeable. 1.5" chunk pulled out of the foot of a beautiful vase, another one inch wedge pulled out of the foot of a bowl. Have never had this problem before. I guess it's time to re-wash the shelves before my next glaze firings.

Up next: sanding, pricing, packing. 

Come see me this weekend at the Pierre/Fort Pierre Zonta Holiday Craft Show & Sale.
Saturday // 11.10.2012 // 9 AM - 5 PM  ..... Sunday // 11.11.2012 // 9 AM - 3 PM
Held at the Ramkota River Centre.

And stalk me here:

Also, for those interested: Music I've been listening to heavily as of late.
1. The O.C. Supertones. Because they have a new record out today, their first in (7? 8?) years and ska is not dead.
2. sosaveme "The Garden." Because I just can't get over how great this album is. Period.
3. Vintage (or what seems to be getting close to) CCM from the likes of Audio Adrenaline and dc Talk (for example). Sometimes you just need nostalgic, feel-good music with a message, as they like to say. Shuffly mix courtesy of Apple Genius mixes provided plenty of Bleach, Pillar, Third Day and the like. Solid stuff.
4. More and more appreciative of Jack White's "Blunderbuss" the more listens I give it. Funky, experimental, enjoyable.

And of course, the usual array of eclecticism.

Y'all take care.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Glazing, Firing, and Remembering

I'm breaking with tradition to bring an update within only a fortnight.  It still leaves only one post in October, so hopefully you'll forgive me for my diversion from habit.

I've been doing a lot of glazing and firing. Glazed all day last Saturday and had a kiln full of pretty blue bowls by Sunday night. Good, clean firing but nothing really groundbreaking within. Beautiful, but now getting to be predictable results. Well, I guess I shouldn't say that - I did glaze some of my checkered bowls in the rich cobalt glaze, and while getting it to stick to the inside of the bowls was a little off, the exteriors were rather stunning.

Two bisque loads this week - one packed to the gills and one less than quite fully packed. Disappointing, bu the way it has to be sometimes. One day I'll be able to plan ahead to a degree that results in evenly packed and easily loaded kilns. Alas...

Here are some pictures.


I lied. I'm having technical difficulties getting photos from my picture box to my internet box. Sorry. You can always find plenty of pictures and updates over at my Facebook Page. And then if you "Like" my page it's like we're real life friends! How wonderful!


IYFC Blue bowls from this week's glaze firing. 
More from this week's glaze firing.
More from this week's firing.
Bisque. Lots of Bisque.
An experiment. Not really my cup of tea, but maybe somebody likes it?
Blue brickwork/checker bowls. Sorry about the picture quality.
In any event: enjoying finishing up the last couple months' worth of throwing into glazed and fired pots. Not my favorite part of the process, but I am enjoying the results.

Yesterday was All Saints Day (or the Feast of All Saints, for my Catholic friends), the day on which most Christians following the liturgical calendar remember and honor the great host of saints gone before us. Today marks another day of remembrance in our household. It was four years ago today that my Uncle Tim passed away quite suddenly.

Tim was an artist, making his living as a potter but also frequently exploring new territories in paint, charcoal, sculpture, mixed media, or temporal works (i.e. annual igloo builds). I wrote at length several years ago about my experiences working with him (read: About an Uncle), so I won't dwell too long on those thoughts, just to say that this time of year, moreso than others, I'm drawn to exploring his work as inspiration and guide and gold standard, and remember also the great spirit with which he poured his creativity out into the world. I guess today I just want to publicly say that I miss my Uncle.
Tim with one of his large vases.
On that note: This weekend I'll glaze with joy in his honor and try to remember to take each day as a gift worth celebrating.

Y'all have a good weekend.