Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Stephen

Whats In A Name

Recommended Posts

I just finished reading a thread from a few months ago and it came up again why folks like me do not use their full names.

 

Just a word why I'm just Stephen. First off I am not doing this to not have accountability for what I say. I truly do try with every single of the few hundred post I've made to be respectful, kind and hopefully helpful in some way.

 

I also do my very best to not post about things I don't know about, or at least I think I know about. Since I'm just a struggling novice five year potter that means its usually about business (since I ran a smallish non-pottery business for a decade) and equipment which I have spent waaay to much $$ on and did research on and have some studio time with.

 

I am a 55 year old computer programmer and Stephen is my real name. I am married to the most wonderful and talented artist who has been making beautiful work for going on twenty years and five years ago now we embarked on making pottery not just her serious hobby but our livelihoods. Actually earning a living making and selling pottery. She quit a dozen year graphic design gig three years ago and I left my 10 year programming job last July. Its been a daunting task that we are committed too.

 

This is an industry forum where thousands and thousands of both amateurs AND world renown professional potters interact daily, either directly or by reading. The lurkers probably include many, many serious heavy hitters and many of the ones that do give their names are department heads at prestigious educational institutions, pros with 30, 40 year artist careers, teachers with decades of helping students realize their talent and everything in between.

 

I have struggled often with putting the rest of my info here. Once I do that that it is no longer is just Stephen tossing in his two cents on a subject or asking for help with freely given background.

 

...but Stephen Doe with ABC Pottery, married to artist Jane Doe.

 

I know it may seem like an easy thing to do but WOW. Now anytime someone surfs on our little pottery or one of us up come my post. Did I say it right? Did I come off as a moron, arrogant, obnoxious, smug etc?

 

I mean really, me even talking in the conversation with this group on the surface is silly and humbling. I seriously don't even know if I could really participate if I had to justify my right to with my identity because in reality If I was in a room with most of you I would simply be humbled, respectful and most of all quiet.

Chris Campbell likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice post, Stephen (if that is your real name :)). I get what you're saying, but I really do think it's in your best interest to use this forum, or any online presence, to help make your business known. Social media like this forum is THE way to advertise nowadays. Put your name out there. If you're a halfway nice person, which you do appear to be, it will draw people to you.

 

I have my name on here because it's good for my business for people to know who I am. I love helping people, but it also brings me a fair amount of business. I get calls weekly from potential customers who found me on this forum. Because of that I am always very careful about what I say and how I say it when answering questions here. I do have some strong opinions about certain things and certain brands of kilns that I repair, but I do business with lots of people and lots of vendors, so I have to either stay out of some conversations or attempt to make my point without naming names. I'm sure that I've offended people, but I'm sure I offend people in real life sometimes, too. It's a balancing act, for sure, but it's not all that difficult to not come off as a ########. Think about it, and put yourself out there when you're ready.

Stephen likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well Stephen,

I think you get to post in whatever way is comfortable for you. You have never used this forum to posture, pose or preach that I have ever seen and using your real name and contact info is a personal decision. There is a world of difference between preferring privacy and being an Internet Troll.

 

As to offending people ... A good, kind friend has always said he would hate to go through his whole life without offending someone.

flowerdry and Stephen like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a balancing act, for sure, but it's not all that difficult to not come off as a ########.

 

Wow, I intentionally used a word that wasn't offensive, but apparently the forum is super sensitive. I didn't know 'j3rk' was such a bad word!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

It's a balancing act, for sure, but it's not all that difficult to not come off as a ########.

 

Wow, I intentionally used a word that wasn't offensive, but apparently the forum is super sensitive. I didn't know 'j3rk' was such a bad word!

 

 

lol, I was trying to figure out what an eight letter naughty word would be. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stephen, welcome to the next step of forum participation. . . recognizing that there are areas you should post in, and areas you are not comfortable offering information as you need it as much as giving it. I am much the same way in so many areas. When it comes to chemistry and physics of clay and glazes, I admit to being befuddled. Everyone here pretty well knows that! That is why I leave the heavy thinking to those so inclined to delve into the sorcery of that sort. Myself, I have some experience with a wide variety of equipment. Can fire an electric kiln reasonably well, and troubleshoot problems when given enough information on it. Throw and handbuild what I want without a whole lot of trouble. Can use some software and drawing and sketching to help me with ideas on paper in 2D, and 3D on paper and in software. As far as business sense, I also leave that to others.

 

The reason I am saying all of this is that most of us realize our strengths and weaknesses and post accordingly. There are a few that may stretch their knowledge, but usually not many. As far as problems on the forum if one makes a miss post or other stuff. Most folks here are very forgiving, but will correct you when you are. . . .really wrong. 

 

Moderators here have simple jobs, watch for spam, give input, keep things happy, watch for mishaps in postings like duplicates, misspellings in titles and other anomalies. We do on occasions have to deal with disputes, but most often that is easily taken care of. We look forward to folks who have things to contribute, comment on what they read, use the like this buttons, and enjoy the health and well being of a great group of people.

 

If more anonymity is your style, so be it. I was reluctant in the beginning to "put myself out there", but over time believed that some of what I said needed explanation of where I came from. So instead of referring every time I posted to my my past experience, I found that having a profile would clear some things up, as would having shots in the gallery. I still don't do facebook, or twitter or other social media, but do do a blog as it is still a way to teach.

 

So welcome, and hope you have many years of posterity, and can contribute well from your knowledge base to those of us on the forum.

 

 

best,

Pres.. . . . .short for Preston

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stephen, if all you want to put out there is your first name, well, I'm just peachy with that! At least I can honestly say I'm on a first name basis with you!! Teeheee!! :lol:

 

Years ago, all I ever used in public forums or social media, was my "screen" name of "Serrin" And then, somewhere along the line, I grew up and decided, what the heck, they're going to find out my real name in my profile anyhow. Besides, it made me feel rather silly to use a pretend name. (that's where the "growing up" part comes in. ;) ) There are still people to this day, with whom I've remained friends with from those early years, that insist upon calling me "Serrin" I don't feel any more, nor less, exposed in using my real name. And like Neil said, someday, it might serve me well to have had my real name out there all along.

 

But that's a personal choice, and each of us has to make it, based on our own, individual experiences. I hope for you that somewhere down this long road, you feel comfortable enough with us, that you tell us who you really are! Then we can say we knew you when you were just Stephen! :lol:

 

Side note to Min: You need to hang out with me for awhile. I can teach you all sorts of naughty eight letter words! LOL! :P

Stephen likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Pres, Chris and Amy for the kind words and Chris ur right it is invariable that offence, whether it is intended or not, is going to happen in this world if we are engaged.

 

Thanks Neil and I do think u are right. This forum, because it is an Industry forum, is a great place to talk pottery, make friends and network for ones pottery business. I know that I immediately think of you when thinking of adding a second kiln and I am sure most of the regulars on this board do as well.

 

Glaze Nerd I strongly recommend reconsidering mixing glazes for your therapy unless ur working on anger management :-)

 

Ya know I have been thinking about my post and come to the conclusion that I'm full of it. I obviously do want to be able to post without accountability. Not sure why I didn't really see that before. By being anon I can simply walk up (figuratively speaking) to anyone here and start talking about whatever with no blowback or normal humility. It is an intoxicating situation because it gives me so much freedom and I guess it's loosing that freedom that I struggle with really. In my mind because I haven't lied or even stretched the truth about who I am, where I am at in pottery or my background I had convinced myself that it was just good business to keep this forum and my offline life separate.

 

I actually didn't start out on this board with this intention but less than a week into finding this board I got into a huge blowup with a potter out of Georgia. I'll not name him but I should as he was absolutely horrible to me and to my wife. Just the meanest nastiest person I think I have ever encountered on any board. This man uses his real name so he didn't give a crap about blowback and eventually he caused enough dust up around here that he moved on. It got out of hand because as a new member I didn't know I could delete a thread and he was just piling on nasty comment after nasty comment and had a couple of other members chiming in. He eventually even suggested I come to Georgia so we could actually fight. Very weird, unsettling experience. My wife has yet to come near this board after that awful weekend. Any way I digress...

 

As strange as it sounds, it also means the end of any type of humbleness about my work. The work I do that goes into inventory I feel great about or I wouldn't be selling it. My lack of years means a larger percentage goes into recycle but the work I sell, I sell proudly and hope our customers enjoy it and are proud to own it.

 

Of course anon also means missing out on developing some possibly life long friendships as well. I like this board and the people here a lot. It has become an important part of my craft and I would like to keep it so and also would like to actually get to know a few of you in the real world as many of you seem like wonderful people.

 

I guess at the end of the day the pros outweigh the cons and sometime in the near future I will flesh out my profile and post a few pieces of my work AND add my real name to my post...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stephen really it comes down to what is your comfort zone.

Since this place is whatever you choose it to be.I personally do not care what you go by.

I abbreviated my last name  but included it on my bottom line myself.

I can say for me its not about business for me here-I think its more giving back from the potholes I stepped in along the way.

It seems that at a certain age one gets to its a give back deal.

I can also say I have met a few folks from this board at shows I'm at but its never about business for me.

Most here these days are mellow and I have not seen what you described in a very long time.I hope to never see it here again.I have had a few issues  myself here but its been many years

Its another reason I've stayed at this so long-no grief .

Its pretty much an open discussion of ideas and what works for some and what does not for others. Its never my way or the highway. In ceramics there are so many factors so being open is key.

I have had a few call me and talk story as well from this board-varouis subject from kiln building to gas firing and a few about the reason I joined in the 1st place to ask about any potters who had my surgery called a PRC on wrist.

I'll call you Stephen until you change it to Oldlady

Stephen likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

It's a balancing act, for sure, but it's not all that difficult to not come off as a ########.

 

Wow, I intentionally used a word that wasn't offensive, but apparently the forum is super sensitive. I didn't know 'j3rk' was such a bad word!

 

 

lol, I was trying to figure out what an eight letter naughty word would be. 

 

 

 

Me too!

 

 

Irene

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Stephen

 Glaze Nerd I strongly recommend reconsidering mixing glazes for your therapy unless ur working on anger management :-)

Actually Stephen, my troubles started six years ago when I decided to tackle crystalline glaze. After throwing away over a ton of porcelain due to failed tests: I sunk into a deep depression. I thought about drinking, but it has been over 40 years since my last bender. Then one day while standing over my glaze table; I eyed my jar of lithium carbonate. Short story long: I have been going to LA (not Los Angeles) but lithium anonymous. I do not go outside anymore, the cardinals remind me of reduction red copper, the bluebirds remind me of my favorite cobalt carbonate recipe. For awhile I thought I had hand tremors before I realized that I had left the blender on my work bench running. My therapist recommended exercise and a low carb diet. So now I slab roll all day: my right arm is looking mighty fine. I go through 100lbs of porcelain a week: I have gotten use to the taste now with a little salt. Low calorie, low carb: I am slimming down nicely.

Nerd

terrim8, Stephen and flowerdry like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

Stephen

 Glaze Nerd I strongly recommend reconsidering mixing glazes for your therapy unless ur working on anger management :-)

 

Actually Stephen, my troubles started six years ago when I decided to tackle crystalline glaze. After throwing away over a ton of porcelain due to failed tests: I sunk into a deep depression. I thought about drinking, but it has been over 40 years since my last bender. Then one day while standing over my glaze table; I eyed my jar of lithium carbonate. Short story long: I have been going to LA (not Los Angeles) but lithium anonymous. I do not go outside anymore, the cardinals remind me of reduction red copper, the bluebirds remind me of my favorite cobalt carbonate recipe. For awhile I thought I had hand tremors before I realized that I had left the blender on my work bench running. My therapist recommended exercise and a low carb diet. So now I slab roll all day: my right arm is looking mighty fine. I go through 100lbs of porcelain a week: I have gotten use to the taste now with a little salt. Low calorie, low carb: I am slimming down nicely.

Nerd

Thanks for the out loud laughter!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just never use my full name online unless absolutely required or for business transactions, and Facebook. It's nothing to do with accountability; I'm a retired psychotherapist and maintaining some online privacy is just sensible. It's more a habit now, but I think it also adds a little bit of a hedge against online harassment - not that I'd expect that sort of thing here. But it does happen - I had an acquaintance who got involved in an escalating dispute in a previously benign forum. She'd used her real name and had also shared her email with another, who shared it in turn, and she ended up receiving a lot of unwelcome attention outside the forum. I'm not overanxious or very consistent about it though - I posted my Pinterest URL in a thread here somewhere, and I use my real name there.

 

If some of you didn't use your real names it'd be an awful shame, too - how would I have discovered Chris Campbell's absolutely wonderful blog otherwise? (Thanks for that, Chris!)

 

That said, I didn't intend to do more than lurk here  - I just tossed my mother's maiden name in. I still very rarely post, but it looks so nekkid and chilly up there. I could at least have come up with something with personality, right?

Something fitting - WobblePot, or Princess Cracksalot, or WarpSpeed, or, as of this morning, ItWasGoingToBeARabbit. 

Stephen likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Stephen, In a community like this one (which is exceptionally well run), I tend to look more at an individual's profile content rather than agonizing over the name they choose to use when posting. As you have already noticed in this thread, there are some real characters here who not only contribute but make us smile and laugh...that combination of rich content along with the geeky, glaze calculating, head-spinning complex stuff keeps many of us coming back for more.  Personally, I think we all have to be a little goofy to have this love affair with clay, but I'll wear my goofy hat any day if I can just be around the friends and contacts that I have made here.

Whenever you are ready, let the group know about your business and pull back the curtain on the name...but that is entirely your call.  I doubt seriously that you'll be criticized for just being Stephen.

 

IMHO,
Paul :rolleyes:

 

P.S. @neilestrick There is ceramic/clay related lingo that might make for good personal insults...imagine being called a 'peep hole' or 'wet-mopper' or 'sigulata terra-ist'. Oh, the horrors!!

Stephen and alabama like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paul:

Glaze chemistry is not that tough once you realize Einstein had it wrong. Pi does not equal MC/2, Pi equal crust + filling.

Nerd

>> by the way, living in farm country I have never seen a square root, most of them are round and tubular.

ChenowethArts likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A friend of mine has an ongoing resentment with Facebook's no alias policy, because they work with at-risk youth trying to leave the drug and/or prostitution trade, and the kids do try to investigate this person. So do the pimps/gang members that the kids are trying to get away from. My friend posted this infographic today, and I thought of this thread. Some people do have legitimate safety issues in their lives that need to be respected. I, fortunately, am not one of them now, but it hasn't been the case my whole life. And even saying "I'm hiding for my own, or my family's safety" can be a flag to a determined stalker with enough prior information.

post-63667-0-15065600-1460417113_thumb.png

post-63667-0-15065600-1460417113_thumb.png

Joe_L likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely what Diesel says. And not to mention several layers of abuse of online information by commercial companies, advertisers, internet service providers, hackers and state agencies so that even people who don't have those problems to deal with may have other reasons to try and preserve some privacy. So as long as people are respectful and behave decently on the group - if not, then that's what moderators are for (and many thanks to them for their efforts).

 

Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

stephen, i hardly have anything to say but i say it often.   :rolleyes:

 

years ago, i knew even less about computers and the internet than i do now. somehow a young englishman sent me a pornographic email with his photo.  do not even know how i got it but i know i never want to get another one.

 

and mark, he cannot have my name, i am the only Oldlady. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. I don't think names matter if somone is nasty it's usually more about who they are than it is about us.

I'm on the shy side, I read often but rarely post unless I feel I can contribute something different than what's already been posted. This is my personality and no one here has ever made me feel bad about that. Honestly I feel like what's happened to you was an unfortunate turn of events and I'm glad you haven't allowed it to keep you away. I hope in time your wife too will see that and come back as well.

I've learned a lot from reading what others have shared so I'm greatful there are less shy people here who do share and that has nothing to do with how they identify them self.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×