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Qotw: Is It "hands Off!" In Your Studio?

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#1 Evelyne Schoenmann

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 10:37 AM

Good morning, afternoon, evening forum friends!

 

I am happy to announce a new question by our member Nerd:

 

 "WHEN YOU VISIT MY STUDIO, ABSOLUTELY DO NOT TOUCH MY ________!

(but he didn't tell us what exactly we may not touch in his studio).... Hmmmm.... Nerd?!!

 

How about in your own studio? List the top five things visitors aren't allowed to touch. For me it's:

 

1) the brick on the floor on the left side of my wheel. It's perfectly aligned with my left foot.

2) the switch for the spinning direction of the wheel

3) the scissors! (I hope my husband is reading this thread!!)

4) the top shelf of my cabinet (it's hanging loose....)

5) the washing machine (does that count?)

 

Have a wonderful week everybody!

 

Evelyne


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#2 GiselleNo5

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 11:24 AM

When people come to visit I pretty much make a nice spot for them to sit at the table near the door where I store my finished pottery and I hope they don't move around. If they come walking through I tell them very clearly what they may and may not touch and I guide them away from my tables of work as if they forgot their seeing eye dog. LOL

 

DO NOT TOUCH MY:

1. Freshly thrown pots. 

2. Bone dry pots. 

3. Tools, especially if they put them away in the wrong place. (!!!!!!) 

4. Throwing brick on the left side of the wheel. 

5. This isn't in my studio but I hate it when people touch or move things around on my desk, which I do use for business. 

 

Stories:

 

1. A few weeks ago I was in the middle of a marathon throwing session. I had thrown maybe two dozen mugs. They were sitting on newspaper on my wedging table. My husband came in to see what I was up to. "These are really nice, babe!" he said, as he shifted suddenly to the right and hit one of the freshly thrown, floppy pots with his forearm. It was thrown so out of whack that I couldn't fix it so I just went with it and long story short there is a single square mug in the last batch and HE KNOWS WHAT HE DID. LOL I was mad when he did it but I forgave him and also apologized for being so grumpy about it. 

 

2. We went on a two-day anniversary trip. My two youngest sisters are in their early twenties, still live at home with my parents, and have no kids. The second-youngest very kindly babysat our little boy here and at their house for us. The very youngest deep cleaned our house while we were gone. I came home to a spotless house. But the happiness faded as I looked over at my desk. She had cleaned my desk. Normally it's covered in a series of piles. Sketches of pottery designs, business receipts that I need to enter in my bookkeeping program, important mail. I hate it being cluttered but cleaning it off always seems to be last on my list. Well she had turned all the small piles into one big towering pile so she could clean. It almost killed me but I never said anything, I just thanked her for all her hard work. The rest of the house did look amazing. 

 

3. I made my son a stegosaurus piggy bank years ago, when he was three. It was before I had learned to throw so it was two big pinch bowls joined together and I added head, tail, feet, and huge spikes on its back. I kept it high up and away from curious little hands as it dried, but one day I was moving things around in the studio and set it down lower. He walked in, headed straight over to it, and picked it up by its' spikes, asking, "IS THIS FOR ME, MAMA?!" He has never ever done that before or since so I know that it was just an irresistible temptation to see a dinosaur that he KNEW I made just for him sitting at his eye level. Fortunately the spikes were so thick and attached so well, and it was fully dry, so the dino survived until a couple days later when I dropped boxes on him from a great height and smashed him to smithereens. 


I create order from chaos. And also, chaos from order.

 

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#3 Evelyne Schoenmann

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 11:46 AM

Oh Giselle, that is (sorry) hilarious! We are really angry at the moment when it happens (the accidentally smashing, the picking up too soon, the whatever...), but after a certain time we laugh, don't we?! Thanks for the stories. I love them!


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#4 SydneyGee

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 12:32 PM

I don't have a personal studio, but there are BASIC rules that are made clear for the ceramics studio students to follow. But alas, many get broken...

 

1. Don't touch my bone-dry/bisque! It looks similar, and if you break it I will get red in the face, look you sternly in the eye and say I forgive you through gritted teeth. If you need to move something, call out to see if it is someone's in the studio, or get the professor to move them.

 

2. Don't sit down at my wheel if I have gotten up to leave for a period of time! My pots are there, my tools, my supplies, my sketches, it is clearly being used! If you need another chair, then get one, there are plenty and wheels/seats are never filled. It makes awkward confrontation when I have to stand there and wait for you to notice me and realize that you're in my spot.  :mellow: 

 

3. Don't touch my tool box. Common sense.

 

4. Don't touch/take my ceramic cookies. I made them. They are decorated with my art. I know they are mine. Don't touch.

 

5. Don't touch, ME. You would not believe the people who bump me to get past. I am tiny, and there is plenty of space around me at all times to move throughout the very large studio. Don't touch my hair. Don't touch my arm. I am extremely easily startled and I do jump and flinch if touched, which often times results in a messed up design, pot, or even broken pottery.

 

There are several repeat offenders in the studio. I tend to go in everyday after work, and I have the same set of students that despite being reminded, still break these rules. The sitting in the chair honestly gets me the worst, I can forgive a broken pot, I can forgive stealing a cookie, but do not prevent me from working. :P


 

 

 

Might as well admit it, i'm addicted to clay....


#5 MatthewV

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 01:51 PM

I have had people pick up green ware. It makes me jump a little. (Don't pick up green ware.)

 

I have had people touch freshly thrown pieces. Nothing bad happened.

 

I have had students take tools from my space. Nothing bad happened.

 

I keep my trimming tools hidden away. I still lend them to people sometimes.

 

 

So... I don't really care what you touch.


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#6 GiselleNo5

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 02:14 PM

 

5. Don't touch, ME. You would not believe the people who bump me to get past. I am tiny, and there is plenty of space around me at all times to move throughout the very large studio. Don't touch my hair. Don't touch my arm. I am extremely easily startled and I do jump and flinch if touched, which often times results in a messed up design, pot, or even broken pottery.

 

There are several repeat offenders in the studio. I tend to go in everyday after work, and I have the same set of students that despite being reminded, still break these rules. The sitting in the chair honestly gets me the worst, I can forgive a broken pot, I can forgive stealing a cookie, but do not prevent me from working. :P

 

Good thing I don't work in a community studio! LOL I would definitely not sit behind a wheel that was clearly in use. Some people are oblivious.

 

But oh my word, I'm such a toucher. I touch everybody. If I'm going behind someone and I think I might bump into them I say, "I'm behind you!" and touch their back or arm lightly. I used to work in a restaurant and I've had people back into me with a tray of food or bar drinks as they turned away from the counter so it's now thoroughly ingrained to vocally and physically announce my presence. I'm also very bad about if someone is wearing pretty earrings, I will compliment them and brush them gently with one finger. I don't grab the person's face or anything but I touch before I think. Apparently I'm four years old. ;)

 

But once I get to know people I can usually tell if they don't like the touching and I won't hug them on greeting or goodbye. (Notice, Sydney, that I did not hug you on this visit. That was specifically because I thought you did not prefer it. I'm very pleased with myself that I was right!) Even some of my very close friends do not like to be hugged and once I figure it out or they finally tell me, I don't do it any more. 


I create order from chaos. And also, chaos from order.

 

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#7 Denice

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 03:23 PM

I guess I am the old grouch in the group, I don't want them to touch anything.  My studio is organized but tightly packed, I am afraid that if someone grabs the wrong pot I will have a landslide.  Visitors in my studio make me nervous, they wander around with their mouths hanging open as if they are on a alien planet.  If they point out a particular pot that they like, I will pick it up and hand it to them.   Denice



#8 SydneyGee

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 03:49 PM

 

 

5. Don't touch, ME. You would not believe the people who bump me to get past. I am tiny, and there is plenty of space around me at all times to move throughout the very large studio. Don't touch my hair. Don't touch my arm. I am extremely easily startled and I do jump and flinch if touched, which often times results in a messed up design, pot, or even broken pottery.

 

There are several repeat offenders in the studio. I tend to go in everyday after work, and I have the same set of students that despite being reminded, still break these rules. The sitting in the chair honestly gets me the worst, I can forgive a broken pot, I can forgive stealing a cookie, but do not prevent me from working. :P

 

But oh my word, I'm such a toucher. I touch everybody. If I'm going behind someone and I think I might bump into them I say, "I'm behind you!" and touch their back or arm lightly. I used to work in a restaurant and I've had people back into me with a tray of food or bar drinks as they turned away from the counter so it's now thoroughly ingrained to vocally and physically announce my presence. I'm also very bad about if someone is wearing pretty earrings, I will compliment them and brush them gently with one finger. I don't grab the person's face or anything but I touch before I think. Apparently I'm four years old. ;)

 

Announcing you are there and then touching is fine. I worked as a barista and having a hot drinks spilled all over you from a lack of presence notice has taught me that. However, touching first then speaking is going to make me jump and have a heart attack. I wish I were not so frightened, but I just am!  :wacko:

 

I am slowly opening up to hugs, I realize not everyone is trying to bear-hug me and crush my ribs.

 

In the lab the peeves are mostly coming from young men who have no concern whatsoever for their surroundings and could not care less about the class. Sometimes I want to take them aside, and very calmly say "Drop the class" :) Because when you not only take over half the table with your stuff and leave it messy and steal things, something needs to be said.

 

 

 

@MatthewV it is nice to see someone is calm about the matter!


 

 

 

Might as well admit it, i'm addicted to clay....


#9 glazenerd

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 04:56 PM

1. My wife: YOU DO NOT TOUCH: all I am going to say about that...

2. The steel box on the top shelf:    it contains cadmium, selenium, vanadium: and some other toxins that YOU DO NOT TOUCH>

3. My 2 test kilns. The control panels are dismounted to keep heat off of them. Bare wires are showing so YOU DO NOT TOUCH>

4. A 4 x 4 greenware tile sitting in the corner of my tool cabinet: very first one I made, so DO NOT TOUCH>

5. My compressor, which is set to the perfect amount of air flow for my sprayer, so DO NOT TOUCH>

 

You can touch the wheel, sit at the wheel, there is clay sitting there: go for it.

Slab roll until your heart is content; try not to roll your fingers.

Plenty of brushes laying around, glaze something- be my guest.

 

My new favorite joke for visitors sitting at the wheel for the first time. 1. place 2lbs of clay in the middle of the wheel. 2. apply ample amounts of water and smooth with your hands on the low speed: get it good and sloppy. 3. remove hands and put pedal in full throttle to check center. 4. clean slime off that just sprayed you.  .......  chuckles thinking about the last visitor..

 

Giselle: I would like to adopt your little sister ( the one who cleans so well). I will sign over my estate to her, free room and board, free meals: all for cleaning my studio on a weekly basis....

Matthew: I like the slide of hand: sure you can touch my tools, but I keep my tools hidden.. love it.

Denice: some things I am liberal about, some things I am very conservative about.

Evelyne/Sydney: and they sell these foot bricks where?

 

Nerd



#10 Diesel Clay

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 06:39 PM

I don't have issues with people touching any particular item in my studio, I just have issues with people in my studio. It's small, and not really set up to share. I'm not worried about breakage or smushed pots, or people robbing my tools: I just find I need the space to think.

My kids are allowed in only if I'm present, and they have permission. This is mostly for safety: Skyler smashed my jar of cobalt oxide when he was a toddler, and there has been a kid ban ever since. He wasn't long on soft boundaries at the time, and he didn't understand "you can only touch this stuff over here" for a long time. Now that he gets the soft boundaries, he's not interested.

My husband is allowed pretty much any time he wants, but he only comes occasionally to keep me company as I work. I've offered to share space with him, because he gets it, but he doesn't want to. He's in that space where he's afraid to begin.

This picture from Maurice Sendak pretty much sums up how I feel. It's taped to the door of my little room.

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#11 Pres

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 06:57 PM

Ha! No one goes into my studio! This is not because I have a closed shop rule, It is because half the time they can't get in the door, as I will have moved something around to do something else, and the door is blocked! At other times, they can't stand to be in the studio because I turn the TV up so I can hear it, as I often take the hearing aids out to listen to it. Between the two, people don't visit.

 

Now when I was teaching, I always set a starting demonstration aside for students to look at it, I encouraged them to touch it, feel the wall thickness of the wet clay, and even lift the bat it was setting on to tell how the weight was from thrown to trimmed, to leather hard to dry to bisqued, to glaze pot. Crazy enough never lost a piece to student. . . sloppiness. At the same time I only kept about 10% of my thrown pieces to finish as most demos were cut for inspection right after throwing. Tools, I used the same as the students. equipment the same as them also.  Completely finished work was given to administrators, adult students as door prizes for the adult class, and as an occasional commemorative pot of a retiring teacher.

 

 

best,

Pres


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#12 Pugaboo

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 07:55 PM

My studio is MINE
M I N E
Enter at your own peril.

That said the Pugs are always welcome and they do touch things, most of the time to no detriment but sometimes to great hilarity. Ooooo Mommy that's sticky get it off get it off! Hee hee hee

Don't touch my tables
Don't touch my desk
Don't touch my tools on the table they are the current ones I am using for this project
Don't touch my labeled plastic shoe boxes full of nicely sorted and organized tools and if you did just touch you better put it back in exactly the same spot it was... EXACTLY
Don't touch my glaze table there is organization there as to what needs doing next
Don't touch my sketchbook or I will break your fingers... it's more than just a sketchbook it's my brain on paper
Don't touch the work sitting on the wire shelves some are soft and wet, some are bone dry and fragile
Do NOT EVER move my finished pieces around on the shelves, inventory is a ###### and she has blonde hair
Do not even breathe on my kilns... in fact don't even get close enough to think about breathing on my kilns
Do not touch my nicely organized and stacked Stilts, bead racks, wires and kiln furniture I might just have to hurt you

Other than that touch what you want I don't care.

T
Oh and if you MUST enter the studio, stand by the door with your hands in your pockets... you have 2 minutes then I'm going to kick you out... you know who you are.
The world is but a canvas to the imagination - Henry David Thoreau

#13 LeeU

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 08:56 PM

In my studio, it is cramped enough that most people refrain from just reaching out for things and tend to ask if they can pick up a piece, or what a tool is for, pointing first.  I show people how to hold and handle greenware, and let them handle tools. bisqued ware, and such, but I do steer them away from my wet and dry green porcelain pieces that have thin ripped/torn edges as they crumble if you even breath on them too hard LOL! 


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#14 Roberta12

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 09:20 PM

Like most of us on the forum, I have a small space.  So small in fact that I cover the bed in the bedroom next to my little studio with an old blanket and that turns into my drying room.  The bed, dresser, shelves are covered with drying pots.  But I do have 2 stools tucked under a table for visitors.  My husband comes down to chat with me at times.  I have the neighbor kids in there occasionally, my granddaughter, sometimes a friend who makes jewelry comes in to work with some porcelain for pendants.  And right now I have a friend that is coming in to help with some things in exchange for pots.  I sit at my wheel and throw while she is there and she works on the slab roller.  When kids are there, I do put up my bison tools and sharp knives.  And truly the only things that are hands off are dry greenware.  I just point out that pots at that stage are more fragile than eggs.  no one touches. 

 

r.



#15 Roberta12

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 09:23 PM

Oh, I did have a couple of experiences a few years back with a neighbor who thought he could wander into the shop (where the kiln, spray booth, and glazes are) and just pick stuff up.  Whether I was home or not.  So I started locking the shop if I wasn't out there.  It was scary.  But he moved.  :unsure: thank goodness.



#16 Min

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 09:57 PM

Can’t really say I’ve ever had any problems with others in my workspace. If someone wants to be "hands on", well there are batts to scrape, shelves to wipe down, kilns to be unloaded, clay to be pugged, glazes to be sieved, floors to be mopped, oh and they could make me a cup of tea  ;).  It’s a work space, I don’t encourage visitors. Think the biggest threat is me, trying not to trip over my dog who loves to spend the day in the shop.



#17 Mark C.

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 11:44 PM

I no longer get many visitors.I send them elsewhere for my work. I used to have tons of folks as I had 19 years of studio sales here and the one thing I always had to say when rolling out the car kiln is not to touch the fiber inside the door as folks always wanted to poke at it (hey now its a craze-pokeyman)

I had my last studio sale in 1992 so the customer base has learned to get my work at my local 6 local outlets.

My space is small and does not handle many humans as it a small working studio. Not room for anything except more pots.

The other question outside in kiln area was always how do you keep it dry in here??

well thats another subject.


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#18 GiselleNo5

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 12:13 AM

1. My wife: YOU DO NOT TOUCH: all I am going to say about that...

...

 

Giselle: I would like to adopt your little sister ( the one who cleans so well). I will sign over my estate to her, free room and board, free meals: all for cleaning my studio on a weekly basis....

 

 

Nerd

 

BAHAHAHAHAHAHA Yeah hands off my husband too. And my kid. Didn't think to add that boundary but it cracked me up. 

 

I'll let her know, she is looking for work and she is a thorough cleaner! She'll be right over. ;) 
 

My studio is MINE
M I N E
Enter at your own peril.

That said the Pugs are always welcome and they do touch things, most of the time to no detriment but sometimes to great hilarity. Ooooo Mommy that's sticky get it off get it off! Hee hee hee

Don't touch my tables
Don't touch my desk
Don't touch my tools on the table they are the current ones I am using for this project
Don't touch my labeled plastic shoe boxes full of nicely sorted and organized tools and if you did just touch you better put it back in exactly the same spot it was... EXACTLY
Don't touch my glaze table there is organization there as to what needs doing next
Don't touch my sketchbook or I will break your fingers... it's more than just a sketchbook it's my brain on paper
Don't touch the work sitting on the wire shelves some are soft and wet, some are bone dry and fragile
Do NOT EVER move my finished pieces around on the shelves, inventory is a ###### and she has blonde hair
Do not even breathe on my kilns... in fact don't even get close enough to think about breathing on my kilns
Do not touch my nicely organized and stacked Stilts, bead racks, wires and kiln furniture I might just have to hurt you

Other than that touch what you want I don't care.

T
Oh and if you MUST enter the studio, stand by the door with your hands in your pockets... you have 2 minutes then I'm going to kick you out... you know who you are.

 

I love this so much. I cackled with delight. I'm happy that I'm not the only one who is this way about my studio. 

Honestly most visitors don't touch or ask to touch. Some people make me nervous though. My nephew (age 7) is very interested but also very unpredictable so I'm on edge whenever he walks in the door. Mostly I tell him to stay outside the door and watch but I feel so meeeeeeean. My son learned the soft boundaries a long time ago and never touches much. OH! One time he dipped a finger in the seal that I had peeled from a glaze lid and TASTED IT. He spit it out immediately and we rinsed his mouth over and over. He said he thought it was peach yogurt. I said, I don't care if it's ambrosia, you don't eat out of the trash ever and especially not in the studio. Gave me a heart attack.

And if you come over to try the wheel and you don't clean up after yourself .... you'll never be invited back. 


I create order from chaos. And also, chaos from order.

 

https://www.giselleno5ceramics.com/

GiselleNo5.etsy.com

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#19 Chilly

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 12:22 PM

As "my" studio is part of "my" greenhouse, and there are only two of us living here, and few visitors get as far as the garden, I have no problems with touchers.

 

BUT

 

We have, just today, introduced a new rule at the centre, and it's "don't touch the electricity".  Got in there this morning and was told "the kil (sic) was switched off because it was making a funny smell".  Duh, yes, that's what it does.  Took me 10 minutes to explain that we set the kiln to go on Friday evening, so the "funny smell" doesn't upset the other users of the craft room - which only gets used during the week, not the weekend.  Why don't people understand when I tell them it goes on with a timer, that it also turns itself off.   Grrrrrr.

 

So now, the kiln room door has a new sign.    """YES, this kiln makes a funny smell.  Do NOT switch it off."""


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#20 SydneyGee

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 12:46 PM

BAHAHAHAHAHAHA Yeah hands off my husband too. And my kid. Didn't think to add that boundary but it cracked me up. 

 

I'll let her know, she is looking for work and she is a thorough cleaner! She'll be right over. ;)

 

Well.... Owen hugged me. :P

 

 

 

I do, however, have one thing I encourage everyone to touch.... my finished and glazed pots! Those must be handled to be fully appreciated. :lol:


 

 

 

Might as well admit it, i'm addicted to clay....






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