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#21 Chuck Flagg

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 02:52 PM

I like Brandy use a logo stamp on each of my pieces. My stamp is a hand made bisque fired stamp I made myself. I also sign the bottom of my work Flagg Pottery, Chillicothe, IL. I have done this for 43years. I wanted people to be able first be able to read my writing, second I wanted them to be able to find me if they lost my info, and third I have used my stamp on the side of my pieces which has the old "salt fired pot style imprint of the pottery name and a small "flag" & Est. 1975". The flag symbol playing off my last name.

For years I did date my work, then I experienced what others have said, customers that wanted to know why the pot had and old date, and wondered the reason for it not selling. Now some of my work is showing up on Ebay and the dated work goes for a higher price. As things do come around in circles customers have started wanting me to date my work again! Go figure! So along with my signature I now put the number for the year, currently "11". Putting my name and city on the bottom has helped people find me again , pre-Internet and now people just search for FlaggPottery and you get Flaggpottery.com. I will warn you if you do look for my website you will see it looks pretty wimpy right now, the reason is explained on the main page and updates are in the works. You will see my life has taken a bit of a turn. :-). So I would say sign your work for sure, I hate collecting fellow potters work when I can't read their name because I like to know their story too. Date it if you want to if it feels right. Best of luck with our work.

#22 CeramicShapes

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 08:39 AM

I am of the opinion that you absolutely sign and date every piece you make.......but then again, I make stamps for other potters so my opinion is a little biased!

Speaking of Antiques Roadshow.......I am more confident in their appraisals when they do find a makers mark rather than when they say "in my opinion I do believe that this was made by Joe XXXX".

Also, if you notice, most silversmiths don't put an actual date that a piece was made, rather, they put a symbol. So the outline of a teddy bear indicates that it was made in 2009, a duck outline would be 2010, and a giraffe outline would be 2011.........that way, YOU know when you made it, but someone who turns it over doesn't see that it was made three years ago. And if you publish the symbols on your website, someone from Idaho researching one of your pieces could confirm that you made it in 1968.

I also do a lot of genealogy research and it's very frustrating when you are trying to research something.......you say to yourself, why didn't Grandma just write everyone's name on the back of this picture!

Make it easy for people to confirm that you made a piece and when.





Currently attempting to perfect the process for making detailed ceramic letters and shapes.

#23 Wendy Rosen

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 04:28 PM

I really avoid buying anything that isn't signed or marked. I would feel like I'm cheated out of part of that "added value" that provides me with as much incentive to purchase as the object itself. There's something about the "romantic myth" of buying a piece of a person's lifestyle, culture and love... that's all denied without some reference to a human being... sorry the fingerprint just isn't the same. I want to know 30 years from now, after dementia has set in... I'll need a reminder about that moment I fell in love with that piece. Now, if you don't have a whole bunch of handmade or ceramic items, you might remember, not my case. At every show the art glass says "aren't I beautiful?" ...but the pottery and ceramic art says... "take me home!"
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#24 Big Electric Cat

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 12:08 PM

I use a stylised combination of my initials to sign. Sometimes there isn't room enough for any more than that!
"Free yourself - that leash is long,long,long!"
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#25 Benhim

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 11:35 PM

In college we were required to sign our work to get credit. If a pot was unsigned it would not be counted for a grade. If you don't want to sign, that's fine, there are many potters who prefer to stamp a makers mark. If this is the approach you'd like to use then by all means. Shoji Hamada's work could not likely be faked very well because all of his materials were made onsite and fired onsite. My work today is made primarily with commercial clay that anyone could buy. I see marking, or signing as giving your work an identity, distinguishing it from something made in a factory.

I worked with a potter in a work shop one time that not only signs his work, but identifies his work by time as well. He feels the amount of time he spent making that pot is important, so he signs it, marks down the date and the exact time he finishes his green surface decoration. The rest of his work is just dipping and firing, but he spends the majority of his time carving through a colored slip doing intricate sgrafitto.

I'd point out that Shoji Hamada's contributions to the world of ceramics don't end with his pots. His legacy even extends to me in a very distant way as one of my instructors, instructors was taught at the Leach Pottery in Cornwall which you might know was heavily influenced by Hamada because of the three years he spent there teaching Japanese pottery techniques with his friend and mentor Bernard Leach. My old instructor even had the opportunity to visit the Hamada Pottery himself prior to the earthquake where he got to make and fire a tea bowl in one of the wood fired kilns. My pots in no way compare to the work of a master like Shoji Hamada, but I see his influence in my work, especially what I did in college. I can't tell you how many tea bowls I've made.

BenCo Ceramics


#26 bellonart

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 03:14 AM

On one hand, I like the look of the mysterious chop or initials... but on the other hand, the rubber stamp with the name and city of the pottery makes it easy to remember who made that mug I bought at the renfaire a few years ago. I haven't progressed to the point that I sell my work, so I haven't made a decision on my work, but I realize that I turn over pots to see who made them and am disappointed when I can't tell. (Or it says "Made in China exclusively for Wal-Mart".) And I'm glad of the pots I own that clearly indicate where I got them from. Yeah, it removes the mystique of traditional chops and signatures, but it's doing me, the consumer, a favor when you clearly mark your ware with information that lets me find you again, in addition to doing yourself a favor.

Maybe I'll get a rubber stamp of a QR code and embed a website url along with my information.


Damn, I was holding on to the idea of doing this first...


As far as the signing my work debate... I think you should do what you feel is right. If you want people to like your work simply for the fact that it's good work, then that's a philosophical choice you've made for a reason... and that reason, whatever it may be, must be important otherwise you would have been slapping your name on everything willy-nilly without a second thought. That's my two cents....

#27 DirtRoads

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 09:26 PM

I've recently had a conversation with my wife about the future of my work. Currently, I do not sign my pots. I have never signed my pots... I would like to think that my approach to this topic comes from two distinct, yet contrasting, belief systems. One: I tend to side with the philosophy of Shoji Hamada (who never signed his pots) that the work itself, when hand-made, is naturally and utterly signed by the maker at each stage of it's production... and from a more humble perspective, that my work has not yet matured to a point where I feel comfortable signing my name. I have always believed that people should buy my pottery because they like it, not because it has my signature on it... and only once have I encountered a person who did not purchase my work strictly because it was not signed. I have often joked with my students (I'm a ceramics teacher) that I do not sign my work because I often envisioned people trying to hock my wares at the antiques roadshow, claiming they had a "Martin" original because of the signature... knowing full well that it was a fake... because I "never" signed my pots.
My wife thinks this line of reasoning doesn't fly anymore, and that I must start signing my work... and all that supportive "you're good enough" mumbo jumbo...

So... My question to all of you is... "how do you approach signing your work?" and when did you start? if you always have, how has your signature changed... what do you do, symbol or hand-sign? What is your "philosophy" about this topic?

I know its something that everybody approaches differently... I'm just curious... and think that it's a good topic for conversation from the beginner to the professional... let me hear what you think...

and I appreciate anything that you have to say.






#28 DirtRoads

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 09:33 PM

My experience has been that customers do not like buying a piece that is not signed. Quite a few have refused to buy unsigned pieces and have waited for replacements. In the beginning I did not sign my work but now make it a point to sign every piece by scratching on the back before a piece dries. I just sign with my "brand name" and then "by (first initial of my name, last name)". If I forget to sign I use a fine point permanent marker (customers don't like this as much so I really try to check all work for signatures now)

No date but it is something to consider. Some customers have asked for dates, as well as my first name instead of just an initial.

#29 teardrop

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 09:09 AM

My experience has been that customers do not like buying a piece that is not signed. Quite a few have refused to buy unsigned pieces and have waited for replacements. In the beginning I did not sign my work but now make it a point to sign every piece by scratching on the back before a piece dries. I just sign with my "brand name" and then "by (first initial of my name, last name)". If I forget to sign I use a fine point permanent marker (customers don't like this as much so I really try to check all work for signatures now)

No date but it is something to consider. Some customers have asked for dates, as well as my first name instead of just an initial.



I sign my peices with my first name and the year it was made.

Think about the future. Some of your work will outlast you on this planet. It is a part of what you will leave behind to an extent....and for those down the road... the markings may make the difference between something cherished and a "WTF is this?".

I lost my son in May. he was 21 and an up-and-coming glass blower (and AstroPhysics major). His early works are not signed but as he progressed and started to sell peices (he was 21, so the peices are mostly pipes and water bubblers/bongs ...LOL) he was signing everything with a logo he had created via a titanium pen. The works that were signed were easy to ID...others took some of his friends to ID. I probably have 30 peices...1/2 of which are not marked.

signing is good. Do it for others...not yourself.

onward, through the fog....

teardrop
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. Dr. Seuss US author & illustrator (1904 - 1991)

#30 Pres

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 10:02 AM


My experience has been that customers do not like buying a piece that is not signed. Quite a few have refused to buy unsigned pieces and have waited for replacements. In the beginning I did not sign my work but now make it a point to sign every piece by scratching on the back before a piece dries. I just sign with my "brand name" and then "by (first initial of my name, last name)". If I forget to sign I use a fine point permanent marker (customers don't like this as much so I really try to check all work for signatures now)

No date but it is something to consider. Some customers have asked for dates, as well as my first name instead of just an initial.



I sign my peices with my first name and the year it was made.

Think about the future. Some of your work will outlast you on this planet. It is a part of what you will leave behind to an extent....and for those down the road... the markings may make the difference between something cherished and a "WTF is this?".

I lost my son in May. he was 21 and an up-and-coming glass blower (and AstroPhysics major). His early works are not signed but as he progressed and started to sell peices (he was 21, so the peices are mostly pipes and water bubblers/bongs ...LOL) he was signing everything with a logo he had created via a titanium pen. The works that were signed were easy to ID...others took some of his friends to ID. I probably have 30 peices...1/2 of which are not marked.

signing is good. Do it for others...not yourself.

onward, through the fog....

teardrop


Sorry for your loss, children should not go before their parents-the grief is too great and the order not the way of things. My condolences. -Pres

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#31 teardrop

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 10:27 AM

Sorry for my tone here @ times, folks. I don't want to blame every weird thing I do on the loss of my son...but >>>>very few things make any sense<<< and some of the stuff I see folks whining and going on about that make NO difference in the scheme of things can tottally set me off these days.

Clay is a huge part of my therapy. I do it for fun and for the fact that you have to immerse yourself into it....and by doing so...it takes my head away from the never-ending pain of simply being on this planet without him here...

hug em tight. Sign your work. When yer gone it is all that is left other than the memories.

teardrop
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. Dr. Seuss US author & illustrator (1904 - 1991)

#32 Arnold Howard

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 12:38 PM

Clay is a huge part of my therapy. I do it for fun and for the fact that you have to immerse yourself into it....and by doing so...it takes my head away from the never-ending pain of simply being on this planet without him here...

hug em tight. Sign your work. When yer gone it is all that is left other than the memories.

teardrop


I am *very* sorry about your loss. Perhaps I met your son at a Glass Art Society convention.

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com

#33 gary_varner

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 01:08 PM


My experience has been that customers do not like buying a piece that is not signed. Quite a few have refused to buy unsigned pieces and have waited for replacements. In the beginning I did not sign my work but now make it a point to sign every piece by scratching on the back before a piece dries. I just sign with my "brand name" and then "by (first initial of my name, last name)". If I forget to sign I use a fine point permanent marker (customers don't like this as much so I really try to check all work for signatures now)

No date but it is something to consider. Some customers have asked for dates, as well as my first name instead of just an initial.



I sign my peices with my first name and the year it was made.

Think about the future. Some of your work will outlast you on this planet. It is a part of what you will leave behind to an extent....and for those down the road... the markings may make the difference between something cherished and a "WTF is this?".

I lost my son in May. he was 21 and an up-and-coming glass blower (and AstroPhysics major). His early works are not signed but as he progressed and started to sell peices (he was 21, so the peices are mostly pipes and water bubblers/bongs ...LOL) he was signing everything with a logo he had created via a titanium pen. The works that were signed were easy to ID...others took some of his friends to ID. I probably have 30 peices...1/2 of which are not marked.

signing is good. Do it for others...not yourself.

onward, through the fog....

teardrop



I am sorry for your loss. My daughter passed away at 26 two years ago and while I would like to tell you that the pain goes away--it doesn't. I miss her terribly but the memories and photos are a real joy. Like you though jumping into pottery gives me something to do and many of my pieces are made for her as I incorporate little symbols and designs that meant something to her.

Best wishes to you, all we can do is muddle through.

Gary

#34 TJR

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 08:42 PM

Hey, there.
The sign or not sign issue is a huge one. I just read an old article in Clay Times about Ron Meyers[March/April 2005]. He doesn't sign his work. Did Peter Voulkos sign his pieces? I used to have a bisque chop with my initials. Some potteries have the pottery chop and the makers chop. Some production potters use a stamp as it is expedient and faster than signing every piece. I have signed my work with my first initial and my last name for the longest time. I brush decorate all my work, so it is logical to sign with a brush. Some small pots get a stamp. People like a signature and I feel that it makes the work more artistic. I am not an anonymous craftsman, so I sign.
TJR.

#35 teardrop

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 03:46 PM

My daughter passed away at 26 two years ago and while I would like to tell you that the pain goes away--it doesn't. I miss her terribly but the memories and photos are a real joy. Like you though jumping into pottery gives me something to do and many of my pieces are made for her as I incorporate little symbols and designs that meant something to her.

Best wishes to you, all we can do is muddle through.

Gary


My thoughts are with you and yours, gary. Life is so unfair...

I would be amiss if I didn't steer you to this site as I find that I can, sadly, relate to >much< of what is written here . http://www.grievingdads.com/

The entry "Bad Day" lays out precisely where I am right now in my life. If I could turn it off I would...but I can't. http://www.grievingdads.com/2012/01/

teardrop
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. Dr. Seuss US author & illustrator (1904 - 1991)

#36 Mark C.

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 04:05 PM

I learned to sign in high school-my signature has evolved over the past 38 years and more pots than i can recall.
now i sigh with a studio signature LHP about 1/2 the time my 1st 4 letters of my last name about 40% Cort for cortright
and things that get sponge rubber bottom or spoonrests never-thats about 10% of the work
I feel not signing is like painting or photos without signatures-I'm proud of my work no matter what the medium
and it needs to be signed.
Mark
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#37 crkceramics

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 08:41 AM

I sign all my work, used to date it too but stopped as right now I give my stuff away as gifts (haven't the nerve to try selling yet); giving someone a gift with an old date on it seemed odd.

But I have to say that how I sign has evolved ... so I know that 2003-2004 has CR and the date. 2005 CR only, 2006 added a cat symbol. Got married in May 2007 so all made since then has been CK and the cat symbol. Time to change it up again so moving to CRK :-) Maybe in a few years I'll start circling my initials :-)

I like the idea of putting your website, or where it was made as well, if ever I get the nerve to start selling I may go that route!

#38 Jules

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 01:53 PM

IMHO, never sign paintings on the front, looks totally tacky. Always sign framed prints in light pencil if there's a white border. Watermark online photos. And deffo stamp ceramics with even just as small as tiny symbol or initials and the year if there's a place where it's not intrusive to the design.

#39 Mark C.

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:36 PM

One thing not brought up is that prices vary a lot depending on where the pots come from
Pottery has a better perceived value on the east coast than out here in the west
That means pots sell for more in the east than the west

The other is how they are made-wood and salt pots have more work (time) into them
production pots are priced lower-
Another is say- pots sold by me say at Park City show cost more than my local fair-my galleries cost more as others want some of the $
Mathematical formulas hold no place for me in this-I cannot and do not want to try to calculate material time costs-I'll just use that time to make more mugs
I do try to have a close to the same pricing all around for same items but it does vary some
Mark
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#40 Ivar

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 04:26 AM

I use stamp logo with my initials to sign my work. We had to sign everything in highschool, so it is normal thing form em to sign my work. But I do not sign/stamp everything. If I make a piece that I am not happy with, then it is left unsigned, because I use those pieces as a reminder of what went wrong, and learn from them..they are not going to be given to anyone, they stay in my studio.
My work is developing and changing, so I think it is important to have a mark, maybe one day when I grow up and becaome worldwide famous (beeing ironic) people will compare my work and development through years, and how will they know that it is mine if it is not marked?

No, really, I think you should put your sign/stam/mark...to proudly say: I made this! It is important, and you have to respect your work so other people can respect it too.




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