Jump to content
Pres

QotW: In terms of your pottery work, where do you seen yourself five years from now?

Recommended Posts

GEP,  just yesterday queried in the QotW pool: In terms of your pottery work, where do you seen yourself five years from now? 

I think this is an appropriate question for many of us, and especially for those at the beginning or at the end of their careers. I have had a long enjoyable time with clay, from college til now totals over 50 years. I taught ceramics in HS for over 34 years, and have been working in my own shop as a dedicated hobbyist for the last 30 years. I say hobbyist, as I really don't make enough on pots to even begin to consider it as a profession, just enough to keep the hobby from disrupting the household budget, and buy me a few ceramic related toys over the years.

Five years away, I hope to be doing what I am doing now, maybe more or less. I have orders from places that carry into next year, and commitments that will probably last for the next five. So what could change? Visits by old arthur have been more frequent and severe, latest wrist assessment was severe of the left wrist. Thing is, it hurts less if I'm using it, especially after throwing. Use it or Lose it becomes more true the older we get. I hope not to have it or anything else get the best of me, my Dad is 92, so there is hope!

 

best,

Pres

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like you I just hope to be working in my studio at the same pace I am working now.     I didn't have much hope of that until I got a report back from the doctor that my MS has had minimal progression is the last ten years.    I still have the wrists and knee problems  that potters get but I can muddle through them.   I have to see the hand doctor next week,  keeping my fingers crossed I don't need surgery.    Denice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moved from the QotW pool:

Benzine

  • Socratic Potter
  •  
  • Benzine
  • Members
  •  957
  • 2,903 posts
  • LocationThe Hawkeye State
  •  
  On 5/5/2019 at 4:48 PM, GEP said:

I've got a suggestion for a QOTW. It's a subject I've been thinking about a lot lately.

In terms of your pottery work, where do you seen yourself five years from now?

I'd like to finally be selling my work.  I've been working with clay for over fifteen years, but just as part of my teaching, and as more of a hobby.  I have sold a few pieces here and there, but most that I make has been gifts and such. 

So I would like to dive more into it, as a business.  I will still continue to teach, it will just be something extra, kind of like an additional retirement fund, that I will continue to invest in, when I retire...  Which according to my math, is still many years off...

 

Great question, by the way Mea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a slow down plan

My slow down plan has been in effect for about 5 years now-I cut out  5 shows in that time. One gallery went out of business  and I did not replace-one wholesale place cut their orders in 1/2.

Thats the good news on slowing my pace but I have picked up 3 grocery store wholesale orders  two years ago. Thats been a lot of success  money wise but that means more work has happened. I no longer will take new wholesale orders.

In 5 years I plan on doing way less production-and it may be next to none by then. Its hard for me to let go as I like certain parts still like talking to customers . Shows are hardest and the most profitable-I have 3 traveling still and 2 local ones left. These will be pared down in upcoming years.

I may still have a few wholesale acounts and one local show in 5 years we shall see.Pottery keeps me moving (I have 4 tons to move today with a helper) it also takes it toll so its a love hate thing on the body.

I'm throwing less this past year but I also broke nmy arm and had two months off from throwing. In 5 years my plan is alot less for sure.

Right now I could quit (retire completly)but I like this business and am not good at relaxing.The hard part is the happy meduim.

Edited by Mark C.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I posed this question because I am a big believer in long-range goals. My whole career trajectory has been based on one long range goal after another:

Get a full-time job as a graphic designer ... become a freelance graphic designer ... buy a house ... build a pottery studio in my house and launch a part-time pottery business ... quit the design business and do pottery full-time .... renovate my studio and buy a second kiln, which caused a big increase in output ... buy a minivan, which caused a big increase in shows and sales .... 

In recent years, my goals were all about improving efficiencies and productivity, ie making more more money with fewer pots and less labor. 

I”m now in my 9th year of full-time pottery. I would’t trade this experience for anything. It has been as satisfying as I hoped for. But as Mark noted, it is a grind and takes a toll on your body. So I am also thinking about winding down. 

In five years, I’d like to be living a much less labor intensive lifestyle. I don’t really want to live in a house with a yard anymore (especially on a spring day like today when I had to mow a tall and wet lawn). I’d like to live in a small, low-maintenance dwelling, which means no more pottery studio. I won’t need to earn a full-time income at that point, but I’ll probably work part-time to earn some extra income, and to stay busy. I also plan to travel, and pursue some recreational interests that I haven’t had time for while running a pottery business. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Assuming the body/brain hold steady I plan on doing larger, more sculptural pieces, that still offer an element of functionality-I love containers and bases for things. My life has taken so many twists & turns-some fairly unpleasant- that the very notion of "seeing myself" in the future is centered on still being around and being grateful for it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gep said ( I also plan to travel, and pursue some recreational interests that I haven’t had time for while running a pottery business. )

This is possiable as well as a pottery career . I have traveled alot on this planet as well as enjoyed lots of other activities. It can work if you schedule the times off well.

Its worked for me since I got the travel bug in the middle 80s.

Edited by Mark C.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Mark C. said:

Right now I could quit (retrire completly)but I like this business and am not good at relaxing.The hard partis the happy meduim.

There will be plenty of time to retire when you're dead.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, liambesaw said:

There will be plenty of time to retire when you're dead.  

I spent the last 45 years telling myself that, not sure I agree these days.

like most here, my life was the typical series of following schedules to earn a living. Planning, plotting, and projecting the path ahead. I find myself curious about not going to bed in order to get up at regulated time. I am curious to know what it is like not to meet deadlines, keep appointments, and plan for months ahead. Not sure I even know what "living for the day" means. I have held many titles over the last 45 years, most of which have little meaning: I find "couch tater" appealing lately.

T

Edited by glazenerd
Correcting auto correct.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Westinghouse sent my Pop to retirement workshops (circa 1990), scared the effluent out'm! ...the stats - what happens when folk retire - don't look good. I've been aroun' enough myself to see a lil' bit, particularly in mid level public service (education) an' on the union side o' th' steel industry*, where retirement plan headlines often feature take it easy, nothin', couch, etc. for so many who have worked very hard for a long long time.

Hence, my theory is that we "juice up" for what's on our calendar; when working, that was (for me) ~5:30 to ~2:00 + M-F go time, add in other stuff, e.g. pt, family events, home projects, competitions, etc. From there, if there ain' items/events to juice up for, what happens (if y'need it spelled out, y'not gettin' it)? There's gotta be a big juice up just about every day, an' several small ones as well.

That said, retirement can be, perhaps should be - awesome! I recommend it. I truly hope e'body who get this far will have the choice to retire (not everyone gets to retire!) and will carefully ponder what all gets them excited, then go and rock it hard and regular; don' forget to find a way to contribute to your community as well, it is very important.

What Liam wrote, true 'nough, however, I feel very sad on readin' that.

 

*In the plant I worked in, union workers had to park waaay over there, hence at minimum four or more miles o' walkin' ebery work day. Top o'that, add hours of on the feet time and lots of movement. So many don't replace just the movement - even v e r y s l o w movement - on retirement. Sad. Keep it movin'. We're never "done" - til' done.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just trying to say that mark loves what he does every day, and has made a life of it.  As a Potter he has a pretty special opportunity to "retire" from maybe the grind of soap dishes and coffee mugs, and just make what he likes instead.  

I mean... Pottery is what a lot of the retired folks here have decided to focus on in retirement, so I stand by it, there's plenty of time to retire when you expire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Mark C. said:

Gep said ( I also plan to travel, and pursue some recreational interests that I haven’t had time for while running a pottery business. )

This is possiable as well as a pottery career . I have traveled alot on this planet as well as enjoyed lots of other activities. It can work if you schedule the times off well.

Its worked for me since I got the travel bug in the middle 80s.

I’ve been taking more and better vacations in recent years. But the type of post-retirement traveling I have in mind would involve being gone for months are even a year. Too long absences to maintain the momentum of a pottery business. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have been traveling for 1 month trips for the past 3 years (this year was my wifes new hip surgery so we had a rehab break).

You could take a year off shows with not much worry as well.

I feel  with shows  a year off is very doable-the wholesale orders are not as flexible .My Grocery store wholesale is diffently hard to be gone with. I have had friends take in the work to the markets when I'm traveling .I like to be gone  in dead of winter months.

Edited by Mark C.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Liam:

i agree, Mark has an inspiring success story in the pottery biz. After 45 years in carpentry, I am aware of the time, energy, and sacrifices he made to build it. Pottery is unique; full time, part time, weekenders, full time hobby, to monthly dabble. My only intention starting out was to "play" with crystalline glaze, until I accidentally fell down this very deep rabbit hole. Rabbit holes are also unique, but also common in pottery. To answer the QotW: I do not want to make any pottery plans: because it is the only area of my life that is not. I find the unplanned happy accidents of discovery a relief from a lifetime of calculations.

T

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if i am still around in 5 years, i will be 83.   i have a small pension and social security.   the control of neither is entirely in my hands so the future is very hard to see clearly.   i would like to  put a small apartment upstairs over my studio to turn into an Airbnb.   i can hope to do that but need cash to build it.   maybe i can get on wheel of fortune and luck out.   that's the only way i see to get the $50, 000 to do it. 

so, if i am still around, i hope i can still enjoy the sunshine every time i see it and the beauty of the natural world as well as making useful things in clay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.