Posted 09 January 2012 - 07:05 AM
Wow, there are a lot of production pottery studios. Go along to a local art and craft show and you will probably find several production potters to talk with. I always enjoy finding potters out there and have an extra chair with me at shows. I was a production potter for years and had a shop and did the art shows as well. Check the site artfestival.com with the Howard Alan crowd because they feature the artists that do their shows and have a ton of photos. You can look through their show lists and get names that way as well. North Carolina is full of production potters with Seagrove being a destination with maybe a 100 potters not far from one another. Recently though some of the long time potters are closing doors and doing something else as the sales have fallen drastically (for me as well - that is why I am back in school) - but potters who are part of a couple or those who do art pots for galleries seem to be faring better as well as those production potters who have long running shops and have gathered a big list of fans through teaching and a decent web site. But we need to consider that pottery in general in the US has become a dying art and is sowly going by the wayside. The quest for hand made and the mystery and desire for the individuality embodied in a hand thrown piece has largely hit the dust as the imports have totally taken over for most of the country. It is no one's fault - just was part of a movement that is pretty much over. And since we don't honor our artists or support them (especially politically at the moment) who knows what will happen. My feeling is that as soon as all us old hippies and many of the baby boomers pass on the entire scene will fall apart. Some years ago (2005) when my business was coming to pieces I went along to the NCECA in Baltimore and decided to check the board for employment which was usually packed with business cards and possibilities for openings in schools or teaching positions and/or apprenticeships, etc., and discovered it to be almost empty with one offer of an art teacher position at an obscure college. I was depressed anyway over what was happening to me and that reality was especially awful. So, I recommend that when you come upon a potter whose work you respect and like, purchase it, because he or she is not likely to be around much longer. And if you are of the age and inclination to be a potter for a life's work you need to seriously consider getting training in something that will earn the money and do the pots part time rather than the other way around because the interest is just not there unless you want to go oveseas. People over there appreciate artists and support them. This is my experience and my opinion.