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LeeU

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  1. Like
    LeeU reacted to Roberta12 in QotW: Space wise can you afford to have a slab roller?   
    I have a 10x11 maker's space.  But I did work in a small tabletop slab roller which has paid for itself over and over and over.  And it is work space also.  That is where I sit to do hand work.   However, no place for an extruder or a pugger.  Those things happen the old fashioned way.  And I should say, I do not dry all my pots in that 10x11 room, they are shuttled next door to the "spare room" which hurriedly gets purged when company comes!!   
    r.
  2. Like
    LeeU reacted to hitchmss in What Clay To Use For Mold Making   
    You can use any clay you have lying around the studio to make molds from; toss the clay once its been in contact with plaster. Not worth the risk of introducing plaster into the rest of your work.
    If Im making a slip mold Ill try to avoid getting any oils on the plaster, which can cause negative issues when casting (use proper mold release, etc). Oil based clay when it is cold does not give off much of a residue, but the plaster will get hot as it cures, which could drive some of the oils off and into your mold surface. If your object was sculpted in wax/oil based clays then I might consider making a urethane/silicone mother, pouring a plaster master, and making your production mold off the plaster casting.
  3. Like
    LeeU reacted to Stephen in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    point taken! I should have said unintentionally heavy. 
  4. Like
    LeeU reacted to liambesaw in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    Four dimensions of narcissism as a personality variable have been delineated: leadership/authority, superiority/arrogance, self-absorption/self-admiration, and exploitativeness/entitlement. 
     
    I wrote a big long discussion I had with my neighbor and lost it all.  BOOOOO.
    Well, long story short: the difference between narcissistic personality disorder and confidence is pretty obvious by looking at the first paragraph here.  This is the traits of narcissism from wikipedia.
    As an artist you are imparting your persona directly into an object and giving it life.  The object is you, and if you need to sell it, you need to sell yourself.  
    As far as diagnosing a psycholigical disorder via signature size, it's just ridiculous.  Correlation vs. causation at it's worst.  Just look here if you're interested in how it is diagnosed.  I think it's also important to say that actual narcissists are singarly focused on their own success and admiration and have no empathy for others.  I'm sure we all know one or two, and they will burn any bridge they see as beneficial for the short term.  Of course this behavior is beneficial to the narcissist because personal relationships are only there to serve their goal.  In the real world this will quickly earn you a reputation with most as a ########, but if you have skill to back it up, and obtain a following, the stars will align. 
    I do think that celebrity in general is associated with narcissistic traits.  Celebrity and narcissism reinforce each other, so it's only natural.  These are probably the most obvious examples from the study.  Whose work gets into Sotheby's or Christie's?  Really good artists, or celebrity artists?  Im sorry but this study has some really glaring holes on the surface.  The first being diagnosing mental disorders by signature size, the second being only pulling from a self selecting pool of celebrities.
  5. Like
    LeeU reacted to GEP in 1st "real" show, how did you know when?   
    I think it’s ok to talk to exhibitors while they’re working, but only with discretion and sensitivity. Between seasoned festival artists, there is a culture of how we behave in other artist’s booths, i.e. with great respect that our first objective is to sell. So if you are aspiring to be a festival artist, you might as well start learning/practicing this culture. Of course, never get between an artist and a customer. Boy do I hate it when aspiring potters want to talk my ear off, blocking my view of the rest of the booth while customers come and go. But if the booth is quiet and you present yourself profesionally and with respect, I’m happy to talk to you. Have your questions ready, things that require short answers. Your whole approach should convey “I know why you’re here and I won’t waste your time.”
    I disagree that I might not know if a show is going well or not. I always know. I agree that I have my party face on for the most part, but I can distinguish between a customer and an inquiring artist, and treat them individually. Say if I’m having a bad show, I can keep a brave face for customers, but if a artist asks how it’s going, I’ll be honest. 
    One question to never ask ... don’t ask for a sales amount in terms of dollars. The exact dollar amount is none of your business, and irrelevant to you anyways. Professionals understand that, so if you ask that question, you are conveying that your understanding of things is very shallow, and your mindset is nowhere close to being ready for this. When I get asked about sales, my answers come in adjectives. Amazing, good, average, disappointing, etc. Apply the adjective to your own expectations and experiences with selling. The only artists with whom I will share dollar amounts are the ones who I have known for a long time and have developed a lot of trust and respect. 
    I do not want to be offered food or drinks afterwards. That’s asking me for more time, compared to finding me at a quiet moment in my booth. Once a show is over, I do not want to be social anymore. Though I will gladly take your email questions afterwards, as long as you are not expecting me to write long form essay answers, or expecting me to become your mentor on an ongoing basis.
    Between festival artists, when we are in another artist’s booth chatting, and a customer walks in, it is perfectly normal to stop talking in the middle of a sentence, and exit with a small hand wave. Knowing you can come back and finish the conversation later. Or, if the artist across the aisle is in my booth talking, and a customer walks into their booth, I’ll point so the artist can go back. Again, the conversation might stop in the middle of a sentence. 
  6. Like
    LeeU got a reaction from Rae Reich in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    And yet, I go out of my way to make small bowls that often weigh well over a pound...and are only 4-7" and do not have pretty feet!  I mean, they are real clunkers! And I submit are not junk!  So there.  LOL  


  7. Like
    LeeU got a reaction from liambesaw in 1st "real" show, how did you know when?   
    I spent over a year taking advantage of free SCORE webinars and SCORE local live presentations and learned a lot about branding and marketing.  All my presentation materials are in three colors-red, black & white, as is my distinctive logo-which references a box I made. I tell the story of the logo on my website (under About: Flower and Ash). I have go-alongs like display cards, a big canvass tote, a couple of nice looking notebooks with my logo.   Everything is presented as leeuceramics and it has really served me well to take the time to plan it out and wait for the elements to come together without gaps in the continuity. I resisted at first.  "C'mon, it's just merch...it's the work that is important", not the business card design.  But after seeing people's subtle reactions (I've had people ask me where I got the notebook/tote & then buy something after that). The booth banner looks great (as much as I hate booth-sitting & only do it rarely, usually at a non-profit fundraiser where I donate my sales). I used the Business forum here to settle on my business name-got lots of great feedback, pros and cons, and my chosen name has been terrific-people tell me they like the simplicity & they can remember my ceramics web address using Lee U as a tickler. Here's some pics for fun. Dirt cheap-Vista Print. 


  8. Like
    LeeU got a reaction from liambesaw in 1st "real" show, how did you know when?   
    I spent over a year taking advantage of free SCORE webinars and SCORE local live presentations and learned a lot about branding and marketing.  All my presentation materials are in three colors-red, black & white, as is my distinctive logo-which references a box I made. I tell the story of the logo on my website (under About: Flower and Ash). I have go-alongs like display cards, a big canvass tote, a couple of nice looking notebooks with my logo.   Everything is presented as leeuceramics and it has really served me well to take the time to plan it out and wait for the elements to come together without gaps in the continuity. I resisted at first.  "C'mon, it's just merch...it's the work that is important", not the business card design.  But after seeing people's subtle reactions (I've had people ask me where I got the notebook/tote & then buy something after that). The booth banner looks great (as much as I hate booth-sitting & only do it rarely, usually at a non-profit fundraiser where I donate my sales). I used the Business forum here to settle on my business name-got lots of great feedback, pros and cons, and my chosen name has been terrific-people tell me they like the simplicity & they can remember my ceramics web address using Lee U as a tickler. Here's some pics for fun. Dirt cheap-Vista Print. 


  9. Like
    LeeU got a reaction from Rae Reich in John Mason, pioneer of clay, has died   
    One of my mini-heroes (I refuse to have major heroes-too many pitfalls). I had already begun ripping, slamming and otherwise mistreating the clay that some people thought should become nicely thrown bowls with thin walls and those pretty feet when I learned about him & the similars. He/others helped with those pesky validation issues, something I appreciate to this day, even tho I won't be returning to the type of clay work that is in my heart (which is OK-I am loving that I can get to do what I am getting to do!).  The article made me wonder if any ceramists are buried in the Woodstock Artists Cemetary. I'm gonna check that out. 
  10. Like
    LeeU got a reaction from liambesaw in 1st "real" show, how did you know when?   
    I spent over a year taking advantage of free SCORE webinars and SCORE local live presentations and learned a lot about branding and marketing.  All my presentation materials are in three colors-red, black & white, as is my distinctive logo-which references a box I made. I tell the story of the logo on my website (under About: Flower and Ash). I have go-alongs like display cards, a big canvass tote, a couple of nice looking notebooks with my logo.   Everything is presented as leeuceramics and it has really served me well to take the time to plan it out and wait for the elements to come together without gaps in the continuity. I resisted at first.  "C'mon, it's just merch...it's the work that is important", not the business card design.  But after seeing people's subtle reactions (I've had people ask me where I got the notebook/tote & then buy something after that). The booth banner looks great (as much as I hate booth-sitting & only do it rarely, usually at a non-profit fundraiser where I donate my sales). I used the Business forum here to settle on my business name-got lots of great feedback, pros and cons, and my chosen name has been terrific-people tell me they like the simplicity & they can remember my ceramics web address using Lee U as a tickler. Here's some pics for fun. Dirt cheap-Vista Print. 


  11. Like
    LeeU got a reaction from liambesaw in 1st "real" show, how did you know when?   
    I spent over a year taking advantage of free SCORE webinars and SCORE local live presentations and learned a lot about branding and marketing.  All my presentation materials are in three colors-red, black & white, as is my distinctive logo-which references a box I made. I tell the story of the logo on my website (under About: Flower and Ash). I have go-alongs like display cards, a big canvass tote, a couple of nice looking notebooks with my logo.   Everything is presented as leeuceramics and it has really served me well to take the time to plan it out and wait for the elements to come together without gaps in the continuity. I resisted at first.  "C'mon, it's just merch...it's the work that is important", not the business card design.  But after seeing people's subtle reactions (I've had people ask me where I got the notebook/tote & then buy something after that). The booth banner looks great (as much as I hate booth-sitting & only do it rarely, usually at a non-profit fundraiser where I donate my sales). I used the Business forum here to settle on my business name-got lots of great feedback, pros and cons, and my chosen name has been terrific-people tell me they like the simplicity & they can remember my ceramics web address using Lee U as a tickler. Here's some pics for fun. Dirt cheap-Vista Print. 


  12. Like
    LeeU got a reaction from Rae Reich in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    And yet, I go out of my way to make small bowls that often weigh well over a pound...and are only 4-7" and do not have pretty feet!  I mean, they are real clunkers! And I submit are not junk!  So there.  LOL  


  13. Like
    LeeU got a reaction from Rae Reich in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    And yet, I go out of my way to make small bowls that often weigh well over a pound...and are only 4-7" and do not have pretty feet!  I mean, they are real clunkers! And I submit are not junk!  So there.  LOL  


  14. Like
    LeeU reacted to JohnnyK in Article out today   
    Thanks, Gabby, for the link...I think the way Anuradha Roy combines words is like mixing a glaze and with this article she has achieved  her Sea Below Mauritian Sky...
  15. Like
    LeeU reacted to Rae Reich in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    People buy things because they want to have them, for whatever "reasons." The perceived value can have many factors: quality, scarcity, beauty, relevance. Things that have been hyped up by un enduring values lose their appeal as those values inevitably change. 
    There are many* potters whose work, functional and non, are collected for high prices. Some, like the Japanese National Treasures, can command large prices while they are still living. 
    Generally, the more middlemen between the artists and the buyers, the higher the cost, but less of that revenue goes to the artists  (or their heirs).
     
    *But still, quite a small number compared to other sculptural media and 2D.
  16. Like
    LeeU reacted to docweathers in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    My point is that there's a lot more than the art itself the controls the perceived value. Many times I have thrown a pot in my trash barrel because I didn't like it or didn't come out like I hoped to find a similar pot by a famous artist that is selling at a high price.
    This is most apparent in some of the bizarre simplistic paintings that sell for millions of dollars. It's high status to own the painting of a famous artist and there's an implicit assumption that if you are a famous artist you see beyond the rest of us to some higher plane of beauty, which is BS.
    So to sell your pots for more you have to do more than make better pots.
  17. Like
    LeeU got a reaction from liambesaw in 1st "real" show, how did you know when?   
    I spent over a year taking advantage of free SCORE webinars and SCORE local live presentations and learned a lot about branding and marketing.  All my presentation materials are in three colors-red, black & white, as is my distinctive logo-which references a box I made. I tell the story of the logo on my website (under About: Flower and Ash). I have go-alongs like display cards, a big canvass tote, a couple of nice looking notebooks with my logo.   Everything is presented as leeuceramics and it has really served me well to take the time to plan it out and wait for the elements to come together without gaps in the continuity. I resisted at first.  "C'mon, it's just merch...it's the work that is important", not the business card design.  But after seeing people's subtle reactions (I've had people ask me where I got the notebook/tote & then buy something after that). The booth banner looks great (as much as I hate booth-sitting & only do it rarely, usually at a non-profit fundraiser where I donate my sales). I used the Business forum here to settle on my business name-got lots of great feedback, pros and cons, and my chosen name has been terrific-people tell me they like the simplicity & they can remember my ceramics web address using Lee U as a tickler. Here's some pics for fun. Dirt cheap-Vista Print. 


  18. Like
    LeeU reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in 1st "real" show, how did you know when?   
    I don't even want to talk about what I paid for a 50# bag of titanium last year. My consolation is that it should last for a long time. 
    Back to the original question though. Shawn, I think if you want to attempt a show of that size this year, start doing research on fall and winter shows now, with an eye out to test one or two. Spend the spring visiting shows you think might be doable with an eye to next year. It's not unreasonable to do a year of market research (no pun intended) when you're building an ordinary business, and the same principle holds for selling pots. Keep an eye out on the shoppers and their habits while visiting these shows: are they walking around with purchases, or are they just there for the kids activities and the cotton candy? Do the folks there look like they'd be the right demographic to buy your pots? What actually is being purchased there?
    Also keep in mind that any sort of fall/Christmas show will be a different animal than those that happen in the spring and summer months. I find a good rule of thumb when you're starting out is that you'll usually earn 1/2 at a spring show that you will at a fall or Christmas one. 
    You'll be testing things out of course, but try to have a wide range of price points for people to choose from, especially at those 4th quarter shows where people are buying gifts for others.  Plan a little bit of a product line. For a first time out, a good 1/2-2/3 of your stock should be in the "easily purchased" price range, eg $40 or less. This is your bread and butter. That particular show's prospectus does mention that some of their shoppers are looking for higher priced pieces, so be sure to have a handful of luxury pieces with you as well, ones that you're proud of.
  19. Like
    LeeU reacted to hitchmss in 1st "real" show, how did you know when?   
    I think you'll do better at a show like this, which is more in a neighborhood style urban setting than the shows that Ive done, which are still in the heart of the city, but in the same park where 4 other art/craft shows take place every year....I think the patrons I came across at that venue were more there because "...theres another art show to walk around...". Those smaller neighborhood shows tend to have a bigger support for their local community, and I think patrons come out to buy better. I wouldnt count on any great white whales showing up and buying you out, but good solid consistent mug and bowl sales all day at venues like those.
    Looking at the aerial image on their site; I might ask them for a booth location as close to, or in the hub of the town square as you can get. I like it when customers have to go past my booth a number of times while they walk different spurs of the show...being at the end of one of those spurs could be a big down turn in sales. When your booth looks busy (even if people arent buying) other patrons think theres something good to go check out....kind of like sharks in the water...feeding frenzies. When they get halfway down the dead end block, and dont see anyone, they assume there's nothing to see, and turn back. Many may not agree with this statement, and again, its a personal preference, but some of these smaller shows, booth location can be critical.
    The deadline has passed, but if your looking for other nice shows, for that same weekend, check out Dogwood Arts in Knoxille for next year. Nice little show, which is growing well. Fees are going up, but sales last year were great for me. There are a number of other potters at this show though, so there is competition.
  20. Like
    LeeU reacted to hitchmss in 1st "real" show, how did you know when?   
    I had done a few "small" shows prior to jumping into bigger ones. Not quite small like farmers markets etc, but "lesser" shows than the big ones; fall fests at home towns, orchards, that kind of thing; booth fees $150 and under. With the advice of my mentor potter he turned me on to some good shows to try out; thankfully his advice was sound, and I did well at those shows. In the beginning I had what I consider now, to be a dismal amount of inventory to take to a show, but it got me through without every really "running out" of inventory.
    I get asked frequently to do shows that cost $1500-5000 for a 10x10 booth, and that's just not for me. I talk to people who do those kinds of shows, and generally the sales arent worth it. Wholesale shows that cost that much for a booth are a better investment IMO; you may not have the huge sales at the show that you would want, so the show is kind of a "bust" but you pick up enough gallery orders, and hopefully long time clients, that make it a worthwhile venture. The most Ive paid for a booth is Ann Arbor, a double at $1800, which is too much when added into the rest of your expenses; a booth is only one portion of the expenses; I need my profit margin for each show to be above 60% for me to think its worth doing again; If I spend $440 in expenses I need to sell $1100 gross minimum to make it worthwhile; anymore I dont go to shows where I dont anticipate making over $3500 gross for a weekends worth of time. If its a local show, with cheap expenses, or a one day show, that rule gets bent here and there.
    Everyone's needs are different; I talk to other artists who think selling $10k is an ok show; for me that's a great show (as long as I didnt spend $5k to be there). Its a very relative, and personal equation to find what is a good amount of money to make. I have friends who do 50-60 shows a year; small, local, a lot of one day shows. They sell $5-800 at each show, and that's good for them. They keep their expenses low by staying home every night, but IMO they work much harder to net the same as I do, attending 20-22 shows a year...I make and sell more pots, but they set up and tear down booths more frequently.
  21. Like
    LeeU reacted to hitchmss in 1st "real" show, how did you know when?   
    @shawnhar I will be there this year! If you've never been it is a fun festival to be at as far as both sides go (patron and vendor). Good music at the night time, and good atmosphere/location! I hope to meet you there! I should be up on the square where I was last year; my booth doesnt have a sign, but Ill have red and turqoise pots which stand out at a distance. Attached is a photo from last years booth at the show. If Im busy wrapping pots just give me a moment and Ill be happy to chat with you! I was thinking it would be fun to meet in person the folks on this forum...cool that it may happen without much effort!

  22. Like
    LeeU reacted to Bill Kielb in Misleading safety info from manufacturers?   
    Interesting!  as a teenager I remember this
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_mercury
    of course I do remember fallout shelters and the proverbial kiss it goodbye position.
  23. Like
    LeeU got a reaction from Rae Reich in 1st "real" show, how did you know when?   
    I suspect by the time you had everything you needed and some of the "wants" that you might succumb to, the show would be costing you a whole lot more than the entry fee.  Nashville is probably a busy market, thus you'd probably do well, but April is also just around the corner and proper prep is crucial. I do not envy you this decision point!! I like the go-check it out suggestion, as long as you could stand going and seeing all the action that you wouldn't be part of!! On the other hand, entering a show that doesn't happen as you'd like could be a real bummer, even if you learn a lot. Repeating my self--I don't envy where you're at! I'd definitely read Mea's art festival plan.  
     
  24. Like
    LeeU got a reaction from Rae Reich in Misleading safety info from manufacturers?   
    I decided right quick when I got back into clay that I won't make anything for use with food/beverage and will make clear that the piece is either purely decorative or functional only for non-organic items, like just to hold pencils or jewelry.  When I was building my web site and seeking input here via the Business/Marketing forum, I mentioned my aversion to claiming anything to be food safe when I could not guarantee that, and that I wasn't going to be spending money for testing.  As I recall, there was a bit of a push-back that I was being overly cautious and maybe wimping out. Trust me, I've been really happy with my decision.  On some other ceramic glaze groups, many people clearly believe that commercial glazes are safe because the mfg. says so. They get right fiesty about defending and asserting that belief. Often when someone tries to educate by providing more accurate info, it's clear that some people just don't want to hear it...but that is grossly unfair to the customer buying that dinnerware!  
  25. Like
    LeeU got a reaction from Gabby in Article out today   
    Thanks for posting this link. The article was awesome and a new site is now bookmarked for future visits.  
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