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Being new to ceramics (first time I touched clay was this past January), I want opinions. I sculpt very large sculptures and attach them to vessels. I recently had a very experienced ceramicist tell me that I am "wrong" for coining my work as a mug. Link to photo of one https://www.instagram.com/p/BWBiI6oD9kQ/

I feel that people can see what it is and can make their own assumptions and how they plan to use it.

Am I wrong for projecting it as a mug? I need input from the community.

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I think whoever tell you something is wrong should mind their own business. There is no right or wrong, just different ways of doing and seeing things.

I think the question is how do you consider your work yourself? Do you see this as functional ware made to be used as a mug, or do you see it like art pieces? 

 

While I think the intent of the maker needs to be somewhat understood, in the end the user will decide how to react to the piece IMHO

 

Edit: Welcome to the forum PotteryMarq :)

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Thank you so much!!! I look at them as mugs with elaborate sculptures attached to them. Each one I make is food safe and useable (although they are quite big) ðŸ˜

I appreciate it. I just wanted to confirm and see what others thoughts were.

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If I were looking to buy online and could not pick it up, I would want to know whether it is fully functional as a mug--i.e will hold licquid, is comfortable to hold, and easy to use. It is perfectly clear that the piece is sculptural, but if I were anticipating being able to drink from it I'd want to know if that was a reasonable expectation.

 

I think what something is called, labeled, or titled, is not necessairily useful, because while that label/title has meaning for the artist, plus whatever meaning the viewer draws from the name of a piece, the name may not indicate the actual functionality...be it a vessel, a wall hanging or a mug. I, for example, did not know what a "Krampus" was...when I looked it up, the work was "expanded" for me.

 

So back to the beginning---if I am looking to buy something i'd want to have some description of its parameters. (And in the case of the mug, even a little bit of the history, for people like me who are totally out of the loop!).  

 

Welcome to the Forums! 

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Thank you all. This is exactly what I was looking for. I wanted broad based opinions and I appreciate it very much.

Lee - I am a huge Krampus fan and had not realized that people may not know what Krampus is - good point.

Also, regarding the functionality of the sculptured mug, I post several angles of each piece so a patron will have a good idea of the scope of the sculpture. Is that not enough for them to make a decision whether they would like it or not?

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I also have no idea what  a Krampus is. 

 

I looked at your instagram feed, the videos are quite good to see the volume and how it takes up space. However, I can't quite get a sens of the scale and how big is it.

I don't know what kind of picture you have of the finished products so it's hard to say but I find that overall, taking photos of a piece surrounded by other objects make it easier to understand the size (and can also help set up the atmosphere)

And I agree with LeeU, having some description could really help people relate to the object

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That is true - I have issues with trying to communicate size. They are fairly large vessels and, when people see them in person, they always comment on much better they look in person. I will play around with placing familiar objects next to them. 😀

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Welcome to the Forum, PotteryMarq!

 

I looked at the picture you sent the link to and I had the impression to see one of those Gargoyles (or Krampus), and behind it the mug! That's a strong picture. You know, it's always the same question: is it art (non-functional) or is it craft (functional)? It seems you merge both and that's interesting. If you say it's functional then it has to be in a usable size, means you have to be able to drink out of a mug. If it's too big to drink out of it, well, is it art then?

 

You say you are working with clay only for half a year? Congratulations, you seem to be a natural. I hope you stay on in the forum.

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Hi Evelyne! The point you bring up is probably the best defined. I listed all my stuff under the art category now, but I did add tags that my vessels can be used for.

Thank you for your kind words. I am a pretty bold person - it really shows up in my work. I recently became disabled and went back to college. I needed a fine art class and decided to try ceramics. That was it. I am hooked. :)

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Whether you call it a cat or a tiger is up to you.  The difference becomes important if you want it as a house pet.

 

Same applies to pottery/ceramics/art.  If it holds liquid and you can raise it to your mouth and drink from it, and it doesn't have a saucer, then mug sounds about right.

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The Business, Marketing and Accounting forum is also a good place for similar questions. One more comment I offer--having been to your site and clicked through to your Etsy store--is that it would be helpful to include the measurements of each piece. I neglected that early on and found out that sticking a quarter in the shot or just saying something was tiny or very large did not even come close to cutting it for prospective buyers. Everybody wanted to know the dimensions. As with other details, to some degree, the more the better. And one last tip---it was suggested to me to keep my descriptive text the same on each site when using multiple stes. So if I have something on my web site and the same item in Etsy (I don't-it's just an example) the descriptions should match. That way, wherever a possible customer encounters the product, they will get all the info they need in that one place, and not miss something because it is stated on a different site.  

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I have the 500 bowls book and realize some of them do not seem very functional. But anyone who labels an artists work for them is pretentious. The maker can make whatever the f they want.  "art is what you can get away with" -Warhol 

but I would like to add "art is what the maker feels is an expression in creative form"  

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