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Found 9 results

  1. New Business (What advice would you give yourself when you started doing Ceramics Full-Time) First, thank you all for taking your time reading this post. I appreciate all the advice and wisdom I can gain from a site like this. I am married to a ceramics artist and I would love to be able to aid her in the desire to run her business full time. I have a business finance background and have mostly done customer service, management or operations management in my young career. This post is not about me though, it is about my wife whom is a very talented ceramics artist whom does not set limits on the success that she can have. She will be graduating in May. My questions are: 1. What would be your first step after graduation if you had the choice to do it over again? 2. What would be your first step in starting your business? ​3. Where is the best place to go to get more exposure to her craft? 4. Is there anywhere that gives Ceramic business discounts to run their business? (Wholesale clay etc...) Any information that you can provide would be great. Feel free to read the following piece my wife's college wrote about her. http://ivyleavesjournal.com/jada-keeran Thanks again!
  2. I recently set up an Etsy storefront, and I really would like to visit the etsy sites of other forum members, just to see how they have handled it. I imagine it wouldn't be kosher to post URLs here, but I would be grateful if anyone wanted to message me with their etsy info, so I could take a peek.
  3. 8 years ago a purchased a "Paint your own Pottery" studio with the intention of expanding it into both painting pottery, and a clay studio with pottery wheels, demos, classes, etc. I thought it would be great to be able to make my own pieces, display and sell them in the studio, as well as have the usual clientelle who just came in to paint. But over the years I have been too busy working to get work done! haha. Payroll, bookkeeping, taxes, scheduling employees, working extra shifts, teaching classes, customer service, ordering supplies, etc... plus getting all of our customer's pottery fired and out on time has left me very little time for what I really wanted to do from the begining, which is my own work. Paying off student loans, business loans and rent and utilities for both my home and studio space has me working for almost nothing. Each month I pay my bills and that's about it. And it's become increasingly stressful and less enjoyable over time. So I have decided to sell the paint your own pottery business. I already have someone interested and we are awaiting the landlord's approval at the moment before moving further. I'm selling the business for how much I owe on it and am really happy to just be walking away debt free. Fresh start. I'd love to start up a little home studio. Work a "real" job part time, and make my own pieces part time. I have a small etsy shop currently and I have my first big art sale this September, and would love to start doing both regularly when I am able to produce more work. My question is this: Is having a home studio easier to opperate than a rented studio space? I know by downsizing I'll save on rent and utilities, and not having employees. But, otherwise, is the business basically the same? Insurance, licences and fees, taxes, bookkeeping... How much time do you spend on those vs making work? There is a little negative voice in the back of my mind saying all the things I stress about now are still going to be there. Maybe I have the pottery skills, but not the business skills. I just want pottery to be fun again! And to grow and get better. And maybe, just maybe, actually make a profit.
  4. I am looking for an accountant to help me with business taxes, but I don't want to spend a crazy amount of money. I only make and sell pottery part time so my business is very small. I thought last year I could figure out how to do my own taxes. After all, I'm fairly intelligent and plenty of people seem to think it's no big deal. That was a fiasco! I really need some professional help (not just with the taxes after that mess). What is a reasonable price I should expect to pay to get the business ones done?
  5. Now that it's 2015, it's time to upgrade my way of doing business. I remember reading in one of the CAMs, one of the artists featured had found an accounting program which was more arts/crafts/art fair friendly than QuickBooks. Does anyone happen to know which one that was? I am truly tired of how intuitive QuickBooks is *not*! Dammit, Jim! I'm an artist, not an accountant! Thanks for the input.
  6. The forums here at Ceramic Arts Daily have been a huge help as I try to navigate the intricacies, complexities, joys, and frustrations of running my own pottery business. I figured it was time to actually get acquainted with some of you and begin developing relationships that I feel could really aid me in my pursuit of doing this pottery thing full time. Here's the scoop. I have only thrown/turned pottery for just a little over a year now (see some images of my work below), and would love to go full-time in the next year or two. I realize to some of you, the previous sentence may border on the offensive. I know it takes decades to truly excel at pottery and I have a long way to go. But, when I have had extended time in my studio, I have seen the quality of my pieces grow in leaps and bounds compared to periods when I only had several hours a week to give. In general, I am happy with my pots, but not content. I am consistently working on my lines, weight, function, and originality. I have so many ideas . . . Here's a little background on my business: 1. Officially started in April (Running as Sole Proprietor) 2. Have been selling on Etsy, at some local craft shows, and out of my little shop 3. Put in $500 in seed money in a business account and resolved not to take any more of my personal money to fund the business 4. My business account has paid for my startup/continuing costs and I have earned close to $3000-$4000 or so working very part time since starting in April (Graduated in May, married in June, so my time has been limited) 5. My pieces are in several galleries in the Indiana/Ohio/KY area 6. Just purchased a bigger kiln so I could begin ramping up production Here are my goals for the next year: 1. Earn $10,000 net by end of August 2015 2. Further develop my voice: Specifically focusing on forms and glazing 3. Get out of the local craft fair scene and focus on bigger shows 4. Do all of this while continuing my full-time job (business writer) and without ruining my marriage. ;-) My wife and I sat down last weekend and talked about the business. We decided together that if I could clear $10,000 in profit by the end of next August working very part time, we would consider taking the plunge and going full-time (assuming I could double/triple my profit once I had 40+ hours a week do devote to it) I have so much I could say, but I will try to keep this brief. To make a long story short, I really want to give this thing a go in the next year, and know that you all have knowledge, experience, and information that would take me years to learn on my own. So, here are some of the questions I feel you guys could really help me with (feel free to chime in with any other advice as well) 1. Are my pieces good enough to go full-time (see some sample pictures below)? I know it is very difficult to evaluate pieces without having them in your hand (fit, weight,etc). But, I would appreciate whatever honest feedback you feel you can give from a visual example alone. I have had positive feedback in general from customers, several gallery owners, and ceramics' professors. But, I want to know what you guys think. Keep in mind, I have only been doing it for a year and know I have decades ahead of me to really perfect my pieces. I do not feel I am the next Bernard Leach, I just know I greatly enjoy pottery and at this point couldn't see myself doing anything else for a living long-term. 2. What advice do you have for tweaking my booth setup (included below)? The booth shot below is old, but it is still very similar to the setup I have used the last several shows. My dad and I made the shelving ourselves, out of reclaimed barnwood. I am planning on selling my pop-up canopy and investing in a new lightdome or trimline (Any advice here would be appreciated as well). Anyway, let me know what you guys think, especially in-light of my goal to break into some of the higher end shows this upcoming year. 3. Are there any good shows you would recommend within 5 hours of the Cincinnati, OH area? 4. Have any of you developed wholesale relationships with local farm-to-table restaurants/coffee shops/greenhouses (planters)? If so, how did you go about setting them up and have they been good experiences/profitable? 5. My wife and I are not big spenders. We love our food, that's really the only area where we spend a lot of money. We would be more than happy if the business could produce $36,000 year in net profit. What would I need to gross to do that and is that a doable benchmark once you are up and running full time? 6. What steps should I take to begin preparing for a possible full-time pottery? Thanks so much, I am sure this is more than enough to get the conversation started. I look forward to your input and counsel! P.S. If you want any further images of my work to evaluate, I would be happy to send them over via email/pm (some of my professional shots were too big to upload)
  7. My name is Kristofer Hammer and I am a student of Union College in the USA, and I am applying for the Watson fellowship. This would allow me to study internationally for a year, traveling from various countries for my personal project proposal. My desire is to study Ceramics and the production of ceramics across the globe and I am hoping to not only work alongside artists, but to see how the Clay comes from the earth and into a persons hands. I was hoping that this community would be willing/able in assisting me in my dream, and might be able to provide me with any contact details of artists or art institutions in varying international countires, who may speak with me. My current countries are vast and wide but I am heavily considering Germany, Italy, France, India, China, Nigeria, Egypt, Korea, and England. I hope to hear from this amazing community and thank you for everyones time and consideration! Sincerely, Kristofer Hammer http://www.watsonfellowship.org/site/what/what.html
  8. Hi all Just read this little article and it made me stop and think of my task management as a sole trader potter...... not good! Happy to spend hours in the studio...or... get lost in the business side hardly making a thing for days.....either way the procrastination can set in. How do you keep your focus clear when you are 'making' or 'managing'? Be good to know. http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/productivity/are-you-a-maker-or-a-manager Irene
  9. Hi all Wondering what other potters do with their product 'seconds? I have smashed the pitiable ones, I have given many away to friends until eyes glaze and smiles freeze at another pot I have damaged the maker's mark and sold them cheaply at school fetes and carpark markets well away from my gallery and high end outlets but....after 12 years I'm running out of ideas. I don't mean the really horrible 'seconds' which deserve a new life as mosaic .....but those with a small fault that are still functional but not 'good enough' for the regular outlets where high quality and reputation are essential to good business. Talking faults like.......small 'S' crack under the foot ring, pin hole that won't heal in refire, post fire warp, glaze not the 'right' colour, pre-loved experiments....etc What do you do with your pottery 'seconds'? regards, Irene
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