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Evelyne Schoenmann

Qotw: Do You Feel You Have To Buy Work From Potters You Visit?

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Good day my friends

 

Yesterday was x-ray day at the hospital and, woohoo, I can get rid of the fancy special shoe and can start learning to walk again on my own feet, like a toddler...

 

We have a new guest in the forum! Welcome to Joe-L! His question for us is about something I guess we all experienced already:

 

 "If you visit another potter who you don't know, do you feel under pressure (perhaps self-imposed) to buy some of their work? Would this differ depending what country you're in?"

 

A definite YES here. How about you all?

 

Hugs to my forum community friends and thank you, Joe, for the question!

 

Evelyne

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Mark C.    1,797

Never under pressure-as a matter of fact I will be visiting some potters in Cambodia in a few days and due to trip logistics I plan on not picking up any pottery.

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Pres    896

I have gone into a lot of studios over the years, not really introducing myself as I was usually on vacation with my family. I never felt under pressure looking around the studio, or the gallery, like any other tourist/gawker.  Often I have found a style or work that strikes me in the way it is made, decorated or glazed, and if I could afford it I would purchase. Often I would not find anything that really interested me also, being cordial have left without a purchase. There have been times when I have been at a studio where I could not afford a piece representative of the work I liked. I would not purchase something I could afford if it was not representative of the work, and walk out empty handed. 

 

All of this is basically gallery visits, open studio etc. To visit a potter personally, sit down and chat, have a personal tour etc. I would be so inclined to purchase something. I may even be so presumptive as to take a fine piece of my own work as a gift.

 

 

best,

Pres 

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

It depends. If it is a potter I have sought out, then yes. If I am with an organized tour group that I am leading, then no. Many of the group will buy pieces.

Marcia

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

Never under pressure-as a matter of fact I will be visiting some potters in Cambodia in a few days and due to trip logistics I plan on not picking up any pottery.

Mark,

I visited 48 pottery villages in the 80s and visited many potters there. I shipped home 87 pieces including some that had 12 cups. It was hard to resist.

 

Marcia

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glazenerd    816

There are many potters on this forum, that if I visited I would buy their work. Then again, I would be going to their studios for that sole purpose. Of course I would be carrying my fine point Sharpie with the demand of a signature and date. Would I feel pressured to buy something? No.

 

Nerd

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GEP    863

I agree with the distinction made by Pres. If the studio has regular hours open to the public, or if it's an open studio event, there's no obligation to buy anything. If your visit is by appointment and you want the potter to give you a tour and spend an hour talking about their work, then buying a nice pot (or pots) is a reasonable expectation.

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Chris Campbell    1,082

I have had potters visit my studio with and without buying.

Quite frankly, I would hate to have them think they had to buy something just because we spent time together. I hope they get as much out of seeing my workspace as I get from them sharing their thoughts, ideas and processes.

When I visit others I often buy since I probably would not be visiting if I was not interested in them and their work.

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Kellykopp    24

I was vacationing last year in NC, stopped by a shop by the road on a whim "just to see". It was obvious the shop was his livelihood as I browsed. We got talking and there were pieces that I admired. He kindly offered to show me how he foil sagger fired, and we ended up spending most of the day together. He didn't have to do this kindness for me; he lost a valuable day's working time. I loved the piece he did, and purchased it. It is on my studio wall, as a reminder of a NC artist/potter's kindness to me, and a reminder for me to be just as kind to others. As an added thank you to him, since he did horsehair firing as well, I had some tails I was never going to use and I sent them to him. It was a day I will never forget.

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Pugaboo    438

I would feel like I should...

If it's an open studio day held only once or twice a year.

I made an appt with a potter I do not know to visit their studio.

 

I would NOT feel obligated....

If they were a friend and we just made plans to hang out or mess about in their studio.

There were signs along the road "pottery for sale".... I see these all the time around here and to me that takes it from invading private space to stopping in a public shop.

 

I would NOT feel obligated to buy but WOULD make a point of buying something if I visited many of the forum studios simply because I am in awe of the work being done and would like a little piece to bring home with me.

 

So I guess the answer is... it depends!

 

T

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LeeU    328

Do I feel as though I "...have to...", no, not at all.

 

If I want to, and have the spendoolies, I will. If the work doesn't resonate (a lot) with me, I won't. If I would like to own a piece but am out of money for the month, I would pay sincere verbal homage and let it go at that. 

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Joe_L    37

When on a pre-arranged tour I've purchased something, especially if the work resonates with me - once even making a point of going back the next day to buy the thing that was burning a hole in the back of my mind overnight! I have certainly felt no obligation when visiting casually as a passer-by, but it's not so clear if I strike up a more friendly potter-potter chat.

 

Can I turn the question round - what would you feel if someone came to your studio and took the time to strike up a more potter-y conversation and left without purchase?

 

Joe

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GEP    863

For me, the same distinction I noted above would apply. If my doors were already open to the public, such as my annual open studio, I don't mind chatting with people and having them leave without a purchase. That's my job.

 

I actually don't take appointments anymore, for people I don't know. The last time I did, it was a sort-of bad experience. My personal friends can come over to shop, if they need something specific. For everyone else, I ask them to pick up the pot(s) they want at my next show.

 

So the situation where a person I don't know visits during private hours, takes up a significant amount of time, then leaves, isn't allowed by me anymore. So I guess that tells you where I stand on that.

 

Edit to add: There is an inertia factor that I deal with everyday. It's tough to get started when facing the amount of physical work ahead. (I'm procrastinating right now!) Once I get started, it's tough to stop. If I get interrupted, getting started a second time is even harder. I'm trying to keep up with a demanding amount of output, so having a visitor is like throwing a wrench into the engine.

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Chris Campbell    1,082

I agree with Mea ...

I would not have an unknown potter visiting anymore ... I too have had a couple bad experiences with that.

But if an invited potter visits I certainly do not expect them to 'pay their way' by buying something.

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curt    117

I would visit you, Nerd, but then I am mostly insane, so all good. (just saving you from having to ask the question).

 

In short, like many others I would not feel compelled to purchase. However, if a potter invites me in and shares freely, I feel a bit of quid pro quo in support for what they do would be appropriate.

 

This topic reminds me of a kind of related issue, maybe has been or could be a QOTW: "As a potter, do you collect pottery?"

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glazenerd    816

 

"As a potter, do you collect pottery?"

Yes, on a limited basis. I tend to buy oils more so.

Door is open come by anytime. Wife and I have had Aussie on the visit list for some time; hopefully that dream will come true.

 

Nerd

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Joe_L    37

But if an invited potter visits I certainly do not expect them to 'pay their way' by buying something.

They could always leave a little present  :D 

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