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Are we living in the past


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#21 JBaymore

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:14 AM

The traffic was less in that area than in the rest of the show. For some reason people perceived that the local artists were of lesser quality than the others.


Pres,

You know what the definition of "expert" is in the business consulting world?

<scroll down>

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-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

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Anyone more than 100 miles from home with a briefcase.

Posted Image

best,

..........................john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#22 trina

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 04:42 PM

I use the phrase <Slow Manufacturing> taking a cue from the Slow Food Movement. I also stress <Buy Local> on my little stand up 8 x 11 menu holder of info/prices on my tables at the local Mount Vernon Saturday Farmer's Market. I live in Skagit County, Washington State, and sit on the board of Salish Sea Chapter of Slow Food. FYI, I've also been co-opted onto the board of the Potters Council after someone resigned, but you know all about that. Thank you for your vote. Hope to meet you at NCECA I will be in the Potters Council booth in the mornings -- come chat with me.

Back to business, I was taken aback one day when a lady asked me where my factory was located. I explained that -- as the crow flies -- I was up The Hill -- an old residential area in Mount Vernon, behind us no more than 1/4 mile, and she was welcomed to come see my workshop. So, Local and Slow took on a new meaning for her; dear reader she became a customer. I also know that folks are using the term Urban Crafter too. There are many ways of defining what one does. We all have a deep interest in appealing and selling to a very tricksy demographic these days. Just be true to yourself, and what you do. But for heaven's sake, be an intelligent maker to the best of your abilities. I've never had anyone say to my face: I'll get it cheaper at W******, or wherever. My best advice would be to smile and say: "I hear you. But here's my card in case you want to buy something really special for a special occasion from a local person." There's plenty of ways of saying it to meet the moment. This is what I say to the group I'll label "Old Dears" who've down-sized from 3000 square feet to something the size of a bed-sit, and we all have had them browsing around, and say to me as they look over the ware: "I don't want anymore knick-knacks, I've given them all away." LOL. We'll all be there eventually. So be gentle.

If you haven't had the pleasure of fronting your work in a genuinely public venue solo, then you haven't lived. Some of you've had the filter of a gallery/rep forever, your Statement on a bit of paper, etc. Some of us have both options. Meeting the public regularly keeps things very, very fresh.


Hi i really am loving reading these posts....this one reminded me of the couple that came into my studio.... just LOVED that painting but ummm too bad it just wont match with the sofa in the living room... sorry of topic will continue reading T

#23 Anne Castano

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 06:40 AM

Hello all

I have posted the first part of my response on my blog and I only got to respond to one comment so far! This will be a work in progress for me, it will take ages for me to work through all of the amazing ideas and suggestions.

THANK YOU for bringing this alive for me, your contributions have got the ball rolling I just need to keep up the momentum now. Hopefully if I stir it up enough we will have a full scale revolution on our hands!

I will post any further responses here. Feel free to insult me if you don't agree with what I have said.

Anne

#24 Anne Castano

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 12:22 PM

I agree with this from Teardrop
'As a complete noob who is well-described in the above condescention;) ...I just wanted to say that it truly only matters to me that people enjoy what I do enough to buy it and take it home. If that person is you...great. If not....move along quietly, please'

In the UK ceramics industry and all of craft is facing a time of turbulence if you type 'Ceramics' into google trends you can see it has been in global decline for years at least in how much it has been mentioned on the web. So any one new should be encouraged we need to recruit as meny newbies as possible.

With regards to leaning towards the local it is worth considering that in the UK

70% of makers do not export their wares, and many are focussed on local trade as a way forward for ceramics and craft. This approach could be shutting off opportunities for better sales and a wider reach. Given that growth is occurring in the East and things are pretty slow here, it is essential that makers start to export. BUT it is also worth considering that buying hand made tactile items often requires a thorough handling and examination, marketing would have to incredibly well photographed and descriptive language should be used in order to attempt to secure to a sale to a new buyer over the WWW.




I have created a new blog post that continues the debate if you would like to take a look, please leave a comment and follow me if you can!


[/blog]


#25 teardrop

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 08:21 AM

So any one new should be encouraged we need to recruit as meny newbies as possible.


I agree.....but as a newbie reading along and I can attest that there are some folks here who simply believe that, until you are either as proficient as THEY are...or until you've attended multiple workshops/seminars/conferences taught by this famous potter or that famous potter...you just haven't "paid your dues' and shouldn't consider yourself a potter...nor should you dare to even think about entering the marketplace with your unskilled klunkery....

hardly "encouraging"....but then again....some of these folks aren't having any FUN doing what they do and seem to feel no one else should as well...so whose problem is that...truly?

I love seeing the excitement that folks put into their posts when they bring home a new kiln or wheel on a whim. So much more refreshing than hearing how trapped someone with tons of education/experience feels after hanging around for years after the fun has ended for them in all of this.

good luck on the blog

teadrop
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. Dr. Seuss US author & illustrator (1904 - 1991)

#26 AmeriSwede

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 06:16 AM

... I love seeing the excitement that folks put into their posts when they bring home a new kiln or wheel on a whim. So much more refreshing than hearing how trapped someone with tons of education/experience feels after hanging around for years after the fun has ended for them in all of this...


I would agree with that as well. Fortunately we don't have much in the way of those vastly educated/experienced individuals still hanging around after their fun has ended! Though I have heard them in the real world, what a drag!

At 60 and educated/experienced, I'm still finding so much more I wish to learn and experience with the passing days. Creativity is synonymous with humanity, in my opinion, and burns hot in me. I personally feel I've learned more in the past 10 years than the previous 20, even speaking a new language. An additional element to vie with my limited time, I'll begin sustainable beekeeping this summer, having just built a large hive last week. Once I make space for a cow, my life will be 'milk & honey'... and well ... more art. Posted Image

----Rick


------Rick



Above all, it is a matter of loving art, not understanding it. (Fernand Leger
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#27 INYA

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 01:52 AM

OMG, I live in such a different world!
Ceramics is not a profession for me, it`s my love and I have to do all sorts of commercial things (graphic design, commercial gift manufacturing...) to stay alive and do what I love in the spare time.
I know about four potters in my country and I think I know them all ;), and about 20 people working with ceramics.
With 2 million inhabitants even "Buy local" is not a solution (ok maybe 2 million with swiss GDP)

Love this site though!
.......................

skratblog.blogspot.com
www.skrat.eu

#28 clayartz

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 06:15 PM

Yes I can concur with that whether it be pottery, sculpture or other user interactive ceramics like unique hand made lamp bases or jewellery.


Love your post John, but disagree about the need for $$$$ money. This could be a simpler grass roots effort.

I think we should hitch on to the "Buy Local" trend right now while it is growing in the public mind. Locally produced, human made pots are a perfect fit for it.
Serve that locally grown food on a locally made plate.
The people who can afford to buy fresh, local produce are the same economic group who can afford to buy a real pot.

I'm thinking large and small package stickers, bumper stickers, t-shirts with a unified slogan ... It can be as simple as BUY LOCAL POTTERY.

Yes, it is something ACerS & Potters Council might be able to do but I would like to hear from our Members ... would you buy and use these stickers and tees?



#29 Evelyne Schoenmann

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 08:25 AM

Hi

My name is Anne Castano I am new to Ceramic Arts Daily and though I would share a link to my blog where I am kicking up a stink and trying to generate debate about contemporary ceramics. My latest post raises some points regarding the role of the ceramic artist/ceramist/potter/maker in contemporary society from a British view point. I know that the American market is different and would be interested to hear any views on the influence Leach has hade on ceramics both in the UK and abroad.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

Anne


I can give a view of the Swiss side here. People in Switzerland are used to pay more money for everything, so they would also pay more money for ceramic objects, but only if they are displayed in, say, a gallery or in an expensive shop. Swiss people think that objects that are expensive are in principle of high quality and they then aren't suspicious anymore. Sad to say: you only have to display mediocre ceramics in a gallery, put a high price on it and people will buy it, thinking it's high standard. On the other hand, ceramists in Switzerland are very envious and try with all their might to push another ceramist down whenever the situation arises. I'd love to life in the States and work together with US (or UK - sorry Anne) ceramists.

Greetings from otherwise beautiful Switzerland

Evelyne

Evelyne Schoenmann
Studio: schoenmann ceramics
In love with alternative firing methods
www.schoenmann-ceramics.ch


#30 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 09:20 AM

OMG, I live in such a different world!
Ceramics is not a profession for me, it`s my love and I have to do all sorts of commercial things (graphic design, commercial gift manufacturing...) to stay alive and do what I love in the spare time.
I know about four potters in my country and I think I know them all ;), and about 20 people working with Ceramics.
With 2 million inhabitants even "Buy local" is not a solution (ok maybe 2 million with swiss GDP)

Love this site though!

I was in Switzerland 2 years ago and visited a potter near Bern. I didn't realize she was so rare. Actually, the headquarters of the International Academy of Ceramics is in Zurich. I think there must be more Ceramics people there.
Marcia



#31 Evelyne Schoenmann

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 09:43 AM


OMG, I live in such a different world!
Ceramics is not a profession for me, it`s my love and I have to do all sorts of commercial things (graphic design, commercial gift manufacturing...) to stay alive and do what I love in the spare time.
I know about four potters in my country and I think I know them all ;), and about 20 people working with Ceramics.
With 2 million inhabitants even "Buy local" is not a solution (ok maybe 2 million with swiss GDP)

Love this site though!

I was in Switzerland 2 years ago and visited a potter near Bern. I didn't realize she was so rare. Actually, the headquarters of the International Academy of Ceramics is in Zurich. I think there must be more Ceramics people there.
Marcia



Marcia, if you are referring to INYA's post: she's living in Slovenia/Europe. Slovenia is a very beautiful, but not so big country, with a border to Italy (near Trieste). Slovenia has a Ceramics Trienniale (UNICUM) by the way.
In Switzerland there are more than 20 potters alright. Don't know how many of them are really everyday potters, but much more than 100 I guess.
Greetings
Evelyne

Evelyne Schoenmann
Studio: schoenmann ceramics
In love with alternative firing methods
www.schoenmann-ceramics.ch


#32 Kabe

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 08:38 PM

Love your post John, but disagree about the need for $$$$$$$ money. This could be a simpler grass roots effort.

I think we should hitch on to the "Buy Local" trend right now while it is growing in the public mind. Locally produced, human made pots are a perfect fit for it.
Serve that locally grown food on a locally made plate.
The people who can afford to buy fresh, local produce are the same economic group who can afford to buy a real pot.

I'm thinking large and small package stickers, bumper stickers, t-shirts with a unified slogan ... It can be as simple as BUY LOCAL POTTERY.

Yes, it is something ACerS & Potters Council might be able to do but I would like to hear from our Members ... would you buy and use these stickers and tees?



I think this is a great disscusion. I want to add a small thought on Buy Local. Our annual Farmers market will be starting soon here in North MO. where farmers bring thier stuff to be sold to a local mall area and set up. Produce, some craft stuff, food and cheese. I am going to try to set up a way for them to display their produce in some of my bowls, maybe see if some large bread making bowls could be be peddled by the bread lady or by a group selling organic flour. My large bowl comes with all the ingredience to make some bread,a package deal. Some deviled egg trays with the egg salesman. maybe some pie plates with a pie in it. Salsa bowls, Casserol dishes you get the idea. I am thinking that the market could be like a mini gallery. I get my stuff shown, hopefully sell a pot or two, they get a chance to make a little profit from my work just for using it. "Where did you get that Bowl?" " Oh I got it at the farmers market." Word of mouth can be good. I would have to keep track of who has what, but a digital camera would simplify some of that. I am hoping that I can find a way to have product there but I don,t have to set up a spot myself. I'm sure you could lose a bowl or two but you could figure in giving some work to the venders for selling your work, they would be the ones hauling it around. I believe you get back what you put out. If I put out trust and I will get trust back. Still in the idea stage but it seems good on paper. I think this would help to promote ceramics locally. Maybe someone else can up their summer sales through a farmers market. I think I have Chris to thank for the idea the seed was planted through her Local Marketing push. Ain't clay fun Kabe

#33 INYA

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 02:18 AM



OMG, I live in such a different world!
Ceramics is not a profession for me, it`s my love and I have to do all sorts of commercial things (graphic design, commercial gift manufacturing...) to stay alive and do what I love in the spare time.
I know about four potters in my country and I think I know them all ;), and about 20 people working with Ceramics.
With 2 million inhabitants even "Buy local" is not a solution (ok maybe 2 million with swiss GDP)

Love this site though!

I was in Switzerland 2 years ago and visited a potter near Bern. I didn't realize she was so rare. Actually, the headquarters of the International Academy of Ceramics is in Zurich. I think there must be more Ceramics people there.
Marcia



Marcia, if you are referring to INYA's post: she's living in Slovenia/Europe. Slovenia is a very beautiful, but not so big country, with a border to Italy (near Trieste). Slovenia has a Ceramics Trienniale (UNICUM) by the way.
In Switzerland there are more than 20 potters alright. Don't know how many of them are really everyday potters, but much more than 100 I guess.
Greetings
Evelyne


Yes, Slovenia has Ceramics Triennale, my acquaintance was excluded few years ago because he used laser print technique. They did not know the technique so they rejected him (he is a ceramic professor on state university). Old farts!
I guess they did not expect it to become so popular these days :)
.......................

skratblog.blogspot.com
www.skrat.eu

#34 Pres

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:03 AM


The traffic was less in that area than in the rest of the show. For some reason people perceived that the local artists were of lesser quality than the others.


Pres,

You know what the definition of "expert" is in the business consulting world?

<scroll down>

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Anyone more than 100 miles from home with a briefcase.

Posted Image

best,

..........................john


Excellent quote John-having worked for a school district for over 30 years I saw this every time a new initiative came around. I also saw it when computers came into the schools-local people knew nothing-It had to be someone from Philly, or Pittsburgh or Washington D.C. Local experts were unheard of and knew nothing.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#35 OffCenter

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:50 AM

It's just another tempest in a teapot. This same sort of thing was being debated when I potted back in the 70's. Back then a lot of people were predicting the demise of pottery making within the decade. It never has been and never will be something that is important to the average joe and just as in the past when you say you're a potter you'll get a blank stare or at best, "You mean you make cups and things on one of those spinning things?". And, yes, people who've taken a 4-week throwing class at a local community center will be displaying their god-awful, clunky crap and people will be buying it because they like the bright pink glaze or because a mug with a handle that looks like a worm in agony is three dollars cheaper than a mug that some potter took the proverbial 30 years to make. But there are people out there, other than potters, who do love good pottery and collect it and people who just want a great coffee mug. And the colleges and universities are still turning out potters determined to do something extraordinary. (Actually, if there is anything we should be concerned about it is the fact that some universities are dropping pottery because of the expense.) Trying to hitch a ride on the "Buy Local" movement is silly. (I say this while the biggest pottery show in Georgia is going on right now, 6 miles from my house!) I want to sell pots in New York, San Francisco, Portland, etc, not at my local farmer's market and if I want a mug, I want it to be a Steven Hill or Mike Jabbur mug, not necessarily a locally made mug. The important thing is that we keep on keeping on and appreciate all the magnificent things potters are doing.

Jim
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#36 INYA

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:46 PM

I agree wih Offcenter, but don`t you think that buying localy can also mean "from the same continent"

I know buying local food means about 300 km from home but I guess pottery is a little different since you don`t buy it every day and use it much longer
.......................

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www.skrat.eu

#37 JBaymore

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 09:24 AM



The traffic was less in that area than in the rest of the show. For some reason people perceived that the local artists were of lesser quality than the others.


Pres,

You know what the definition of "expert" is in the business consulting world?

<scroll down>

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Anyone more than 100 miles from home with a briefcase.

Posted Image

best,

..........................john


Excellent quote John-having worked for a school district for over 30 years I saw this every time a new initiative came around. I also saw it when computers came into the schools-local people knew nothing-It had to be someone from Philly, or Pittsburgh or Washington D.C. Local experts were unheard of and knew nothing.



Pres,

Another aspect of this same kind of thing that I and my faculty colleagues at the college find quite amusing is when we have a visiting artist come in and do a workshop and they share something with the students. A day later the students are coming to us raving about this "new idea" or "new technique" or "new approach" or "new philosophy" that the person shared at the workshop.


We just quietly chuckle to ourselves.... because invariably about 99% of the time.... it is stuff that we have been presenting in our classes all along. Sometimes exactly in the same way or manner of delivery. Sometimes over and over by every one of the faculty they have had. But when it is "the expert" coming in from somewhere else......... they suddenly "get it". Posted Image

Really it doesn't matter where they "get it".................. just that they eventually DO. Posted Image

best,

.......................john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#38 Bobg

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:09 AM

I think we should hitch on to the "Buy Local" trend right now while it is growing in the public mind. Locally produced, human made pots are a perfect fit for it.
Serve that locally grown food on a locally made plate.
The people who can afford to buy fresh, local produce are the same economic group who can afford to buy a real pot.

I'm thinking large and small package stickers, bumper stickers, t-shirts with a unified slogan ... It can be as simple as BUY LOCAL POTTERY.

Yes, it is something ACerS & Potters Council might be able to do but I would like to hear from our Members ... would you buy and use these stickers and tees?


I participate over the summers at a local farmers market where I'm one of three that sell pottery. Local is the big push her, it has to be produced locally and can't be bought from a wholesaler. Every customer that comes to my booth and picks up a piece and looks at the bottom for a stamp or signature most all the time asks if it's locally made and where. When you tell them where and by who they always buy, it may not be a high dollar sale, but you sell something.

Bobg

#39 Chris Campbell

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 01:46 PM

There really is no predicting these trends ... maybe ten years ago a local breadmaker set up at market and was kind of stuck in the back, shuffled off to the side, you had to look for them ... returned every Saturday with lots of fresh bread and free samples ... now they are showcased up front along with local honey, local pastries, local eggs, local herbs, local flowers .... this is in the part of the market where the rule is everything has to be grown in state and most all of these farmers are probably within fifty miles of the market ... but still the "Local" section gets bigger and busier. I would love to see a local potter up front and center in the mix!

Chris Campbell
Contemporary Fine Colored Porcelain
http://www.ccpottery.com/

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#40 Pres

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 04:08 PM




The traffic was less in that area than in the rest of the show. For some reason people perceived that the local artists were of lesser quality than the others.


Pres,

You know what the definition of "expert" is in the business consulting world?

<scroll down>

-

-Sad John, more sad is even though your name seemed familiar, it was not until I googled it did I find that I have been looking at your work in books and magazines for years-too bad you students don't. I would not put the label of fame on anyone, but it is nice to see successful reputable folks putting in their time to host or post here. Thanks.

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Anyone more than 100 miles from home with a briefcase.

Posted Image

best,

..........................john


Excellent quote John-having worked for a school district for over 30 years I saw this every time a new initiative came around. I also saw it when computers came into the schools-local people knew nothing-It had to be someone from Philly, or Pittsburgh or Washington D.C. Local experts were unheard of and knew nothing.



Pres,

Another aspect of this same kind of thing that I and my faculty colleagues at the college find quite amusing is when we have a visiting artist come in and do a workshop and they share something with the students. A day later the students are coming to us raving about this "new idea" or "new technique" or "new approach" or "new philosophy" that the person shared at the workshop.


We just quietly chuckle to ourselves.... because invariably about 99% of the time.... it is stuff that we have been presenting in our classes all along. Sometimes exactly in the same way or manner of delivery. Sometimes over and over by every one of the faculty they have had. But when it is "the expert" coming in from somewhere else......... they suddenly "get it". Posted Image

Really it doesn't matter where they "get it".................. just that they eventually DO. Posted Image

best,

.......................john


Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/





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