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  1. All set with this forum. Good luck. I have better things to do.
  2. Lot of verbage. Lets see some pictures. Jim Pics come when the business is ready. I know my talents, and there are about 15 other potters who will back me up on my talents. It is what it is.. i'm vague, I leave it at that these days.
  3. The day I put my work in a gallery is ironically right around the time I stopped doing ceramics. I sold work first time in a gallery. Sure I came from a background of arts and i had high expectations of it all and I knew deep down inside that I would sell work and it if anything it was under priced. It did, put a smile on my face. That's something I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. In six months time, I got myself from the kid who played with ceramics 20 years ago to the man in the studio who got himself involved in things people don't do and showed to myself that my work can sell. It's also a snobs world to some degree in my opinion. Walking around as a child with my parents while their works were in galleries and them all talking about their success, and their schooling etc. It's a different crowd in my opinion. I took my 3 year old niece with me to the gallery opening of my work and didn't say a word to most people. I didn't brag about my work and i still sold it. The work sold itself. It also made me realize in art that if you can cover a large spectrum of the folks with money you will do much better. Why? Because at a studio show i didn't sell anything except for a few small pieces. So I rethought my life the past 8 months on how to build a business where you cover the spectrum of buyers. Have folks come in who want to buy the expensive stuff but can't afford it but leave with something closer to what they can pull out of their pockets. What I did realize back in the day as far as galleries are concerned is that i'm going to own one. I have my heart set on doing some crazy stuff in the near future. It's a great experiment of bringing in customers. 8 months of building and planning it out and messing around with ceramics here and there to figure out some of my style. I'm lucky enough my eye's have seen ceramics all of my life. Some of the best, some of the worst. Some folks just like "hand made" It's not even about the style. It becomes this conversation piece of "oh this little woman makes these mugs on a wheel and sells them" and it's a spectacle to them because they don't understand the pottery wheel. Aesthetic opinion plays a role in my mind on why I grew up with visually knowing what ceramics was to me. My father's work was a little bit of everything and a man who sat and made regular pots for a while for a business as a young man and then got tired of it all and started to push and play and found his style. My style is completely different than his and from a background of him being a "masters" degree RISD graduate and he thinks his opinion is right. Well, It's not about right and wrong and it's about Aesthetic opinions. That's the difficultly of finding the right teachers and also being the right student. If you are the right student to someone you will realize that your teacher found things that they are comfortable with and know how to teach these ways of art. You take what you can take, and if there are areas that brush you off the wrong way attempt to not let it bother you to much. I'm completely happy that I lucked out and got a minimal education in how to do ceramics but saw some of the best around me if not the best work. If you are willing to sit at potters wheel and play around you will find your style and it might be accidental. Build a perfect student and it's just like having a mini me of the teacher. Build a student who adapts and grows and takes pieces of inspiration from all areas. That's when you start to become something in life. When you start do things folks never seen before in life. That's one of the beauties of ceramics. There is still a lot out there that hasn't been done. Ceramics is the easy part of my life. Building motorcycles, and houses, and putting engines in cars that never had that engine. Engineering things folks never did before and figuring out how to do it. I find inspiration and tooling ideas from outside the potter's world. I believe in the businesses that I'm building because I come from a background of so many different things. I've learned to see process in my head and resolutions to process before the act is even done. That's really important to ceramics. That's blurry idea, that light bulb thought, that imagine of where one can take something in life. To be inspired by so many things. If you are in a community studio, or a college studio. They feed off each other, the work doesn't grow to much, especially if the teachers are not that great. To be successful in a ceramics world? I think one's environment, imagination, and desire for visual stimulants plays a major role in building a business. However that's the same with the art world. Push your creativity to edge, find something that you think is interesting and take it as far as it will go and if it gets to weird for folks then dial it back. If you can teach it to someone else in a hour. If you can build a few machines that work. Then you really have something going for you. "potter". It's such a "defined" word. I'm not a "potter" but I can throw really good. fine porcelain, whatever. I can't stand labels. You box yourself in to what you can be in life. You have to cover the whole spectrum of folks with money, or if your clients/customers/ are $20.00 mugs, well i can't imagine the boring nature of it all after a while. It will become a chore. For a person who takes vikes a day in life for probably the rest of my life if you are going to do something hopefully it doesn't become that chore. My other work became a chore, and in the end broke me down and i'm also born with a few imperfections. Such is life. If it becomes a chore and it still does well hire someone else(intern) and get more creative. I didn't jump into the ceramics world to start a business because I knew that would happen from seeing it happen to other folks who ran ceramics/ arts world businesses. It became a chore, they started making the same thing over and over again and saturated the areas to the point they went out of business. What ever you do make sure there is time and energy for growing. I tend to choose my growth as a person before I get myself into selling work. I saw it sell. I saw the folks eyes looking at it and smiling. There are a lot of companies out there that will get successful being creative. Don't stop the creativity even when you find something that works. IF you saturate the area you are in your business will fail. The web helps, do a lot of thinking about it all. Talent is there, the environment where it goes properly is in the mix now. That's the other part of being an artist. If you want a mill space? Get enough space for your other hobbies. They will give your mind a break. I'm sticking a golfing net and putting green in one of my mill spaces. Be just as creative with your work environment and you are with your work. Sometimes it good to walk away and do something completely else, like play the piano. IF you have the space, you might want to consider putting random fun stuff in there. For me it's not 100% about ceramics. It's about a work environment that I want in life. If I'm building a motorcycle, I get to walk away from it. Maybe the motorcycle inspires some ceramics and so on in life. Try to keep it from being a chore, You will go in wanting believe it's not going to be a chore and then it will become one. If it does become one, make sure the things around you allow your mind to walk away from it all. Make sure they make you money. Don't bore your mind with ceramics. Feed it with inspiration. Josh.
  4. Depending on one's focus I actually think the noise helps. Maybe it's just me but I like AC brent wheels because the pitch of the noise allows me to have a feel for the speed of the wheel vs the visual of everything. The less my mind has to focus on one thing the better and if you have ears and they are doing nothing besides listening to music, sometimes it's good to put them to use in my opinion. A lot of women I tend to notice for for the shimpo but I just think it's visual thing because it's white. If brent made white wheels they would probably sell more of them to women. haha. Not to be sexist but that was a few years being in a studio and noticing every new woman go straight for the shimpo.
  5. work tables

    Amen to more workspace, I have things hanging all over, shelving all over the place also. My latest solution to part of my lack of workspace is an new @7' wheeling worktop with a cabinet and several drawers. It is a commercial unit from a chain discount house. The big draw on it is that it is on large casters and will be able to be wheeled into a corner or along and area not in use when it is not in use. I tend to like the metal industrial desks as a base for a lot of things plus they have draws. I had a 450 pound plus 180 pound transmission on one of and I use to use it to build motors on them. They will be going in my studio again. I have a habit of sitting on a desk, or table when I work. I think it's from when I was a child playing with legos. I got 5 of them for free once driving around and noticing them in an industrial area. The draws come in handy to in my opinion.
  6. skip over craigslist.com and go straight to crazedlist.org but you need to use modizilla firefox if you buy used. Ceramics wheels in general are pretty simple but I would stay with the brents in my opinion and i've taken many of them apart. The motors are either AC with brushes or DC brushless. DC brushless are the newer designs and work well but are more expensive. They have bridge rectifiers in them and capacitors. If things go bad it can be something like the capacitor. The DC motor also produces a charge when it's spinning and the capacitor holds that charge. The bridge rectifier allows AC voltage to pass in one section and the DC voltage to pass in another section so that you can use a DC motor. The DC motors are more friendly to powering up and powering down. They tend to heat up less and last longer. AC motors tend to wine a bit and DC motors are a bit quieter. I honestly don't mind either and if anything the older AC dC motors wine/noise helps me because the visual speed of the spinning action I can tell by the sound of the motor. As far as buying in general. The complete opposite is the shimpo wheel. It's quite and I dislike it because it messes with me and attempting to get a feel for the speed of the wheel. It's a personal preference but as far as buying in general and making that investment make sure you understand the wheel.
  7. When the time comes I will ask folks for some help but it's not what they will expect. I stay completely away from everyone. I tend to think this happens when other's get involved: paralysis of analysis
  8. Coming from a family whose father was a ceramics teacher and mother was an art teacher I grew up around it. My mother passed away from cancer many years ago but a lot of her weirdness has brushed off on me in my later years and made me take an interest into the arts again. The thing I notice with ceramics is the majority of it all is the same thing done over and over again. Do I think it's possible to be successful in ceramics/pottery. I do (ego aside) believe it's possible to run a ceramics business but you have to look at it from multiple angles and like others have mentioned you have to do a lot of the dirty work yourself. I grew up around ceramics but didn't take an interest to it and consider it a full time job until about a year ago when I joined a studio and got myself into doing it. Honestly to put things into perspective in my eyes is that it is a dying trade to some degree in the usa, but that opens the door to be successful. However you really have to stand out in a crowd of folks. You have to do things others are not doing and get noticed and get your name out there. Marketing yourself is really important in my opinion. I've been planning this out for a few years now on how i'm going to do it for a living but i also have other ideas planned. I build motorcycles as a hobby and plan on selling a few of them from time to time. I also have been in the construction business for 12 years. I want the peace and quiet of it all and the control. However I do have plans to have a few folks work with me but it might start off as just interns. I've wanted to build a few businesses, to say the very least and the economy hurt me in a few of them and some ex's i wish I never dated. ha. Plan it out, plan it out, and plan it out some more before you invest money into anything. I know all the tools/equipment/marketing schemes I'm going to do to build the business even though I haven't started it yet but i haven't been in very much of a rush to get there just yet because of a few reasons. There is a chance i'm rebuilding a mill with another contractor. if the owner figured out the money issuses i will be comfortable to invest in my business. It's 400,000sqft. If I do it i'm hoping it's the last construction job I do but i'm not counting on it. Honestly if that mill was rebuilt it would change the whole city but that's just my opinion. Unfortunately it's a bad economy and things are not that great around this area. The difference between the sub class and upper class folks becomes larger everyday. I tend to believe things happen for reason. It allows me to keep my sanity. When you have just a highschool degree everyone shuts the door on your face if you look for a new job which i've grown use these days and although the family business is a good business my body is falling apart.. Not so great for ceramics, but i'll block it out and based on some of the idea of my business i plan on having some decent young workers. I sound old but i'm 30 and my body is having some issues with a lot of things. There really has to be a stubbornness around it all. Even with a father who was a college ceramics teacher my stubbornness gets into arguments with him about the whole situation. It will really mess with a person when even my father and his girlfriend who is an art teacher were in ceramics and never really touch it anymore. I tend to feel in my shoes I love doing it, it doesn't feel like work, I miss doing it right now as I type this because I haven't done it in about 8 months but I needed a break from a lot of things. I think in the end you have to ask yourself if you push yourself to build a business can you take those breaks and walk away and still have a business. Is there a vacation? The vacation to me is not having to do construction work. At what costs would you build this business? Will you sleep on a futon in a mill when your not really allowed to be there. Will you get bored with it? How long can you do it and it works and then at some point you say to yourself i'm tired of doing this stuff because it can be repetitive or you need the money to invest into more equipment. Can you make it interesting enough to keep it going? Art in general comes down to one thing in my opinion to be successful. Can you do stuff people have never seen before and make them want it/pay for it? Find what works and repeat it, and work on new concepts. Most artist steal ideas from other artists. Can you be creative and different enough and do this over and over again? Define it as pottery/ceramics, but if you go into the pottery/ceramics business as that person I believe maybe you will be slightly successful but you have to go into wanting to be a lot more than a "potter". Seeing my father as a teacher, my mother as an artist, other potters who built business and had them work and then destroy their relationships. Having a girlfriend who did it with me for a while and she was a beautiful girl but just didn't have that drive, grew up in a rich town, daddy's girl. I should of known better. She was the "potter" but it was two folds where I didn't agree with her other forms of "pot". I dislike that in my opinion and walked away from a studio where I worked because of that connection with thing like drugs. Arts and drugs. It's sad. This is all apart of being successful in my opinion. You have to make yourself a carnival act. You have to get noticed and the quality of your work has to be the best in your opinion and prices have to be right. I've spent a few years planning it out. I'm either creatively genius in my plan or completely faulted, but in the end even folks who are potters and family members have mixed emotions about me and it goes in one ear and out the other ear. That's 5 years of watching someone die from cancer, an ex from quite a few years ago who was an amazing painter who doesn't even paint now, 12 years of a construction business, 6 years building cars in a garage, a few years of arts working some times 2 days without sleep to figure out things and get them correctly and understand how you got from point a to point b and how to repeat it all. A lot of folks who are successful are not going to open their mouths up and help you. I learned that in life, you are competition. I'm vague on here anyways cause this is unfortunately "competition" to some degree but I also believe that at some point all the artists in america are going to learn that if they work together they will work better. Part of what I do outside of ceramics is about that, and i'll just leave that topic alone. The door is open to be successful. It's not a door others will open for you, and if they open it they want a piece of the pie. I know how to get around that and spent a lot of time figuring it it out. That's something you will have to accept and deal with it and use your creativity to figure out how to make it all work. I guess that's just my 2 cents. Plan, plan, plan. I walked away from it for months just to plan it out, because once you get yourself into it you don't want to make to many mistakes. Josh.