Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

what is the best studio advice you have received?

Recommended Posts

sometimes when i read the questions from new members i wonder if they have ever read any pottery books, talked to experienced potters, taken classes or in any way prepared themselves for the roller coaster they got on when they first touched clay. some of you are kind enough and patient enough to answer even the most elementary questions. i think i have lost my patience with the impersonal internet questions that cover the same ground over and over. if that questioner were right there in front of me, i would be much more involved and able to answer the most basic question politely and in detail but the written question makes me want to ask the writer if they know that what they are asking is already answered somewhere in the archives. look there first.


maybe i am just getting old and grumpy. or maybe i am just stalling about getting out to the studio and mixing up the glazes i need for an upcoming show.



Funny this should come up this morning as I have been thinking about the forum as I did other chores ... reflecting on how well this forum has worked out. We do have a place where newbie questions are answered with respectfully presented information. None of the "Why don't you check the archives first" stuff that is often seen on other forums.


When I was on the Board of the Potters Council, we saw the need for a "newbie friendly" forum and thanks to ACerS and the Potters Council this is what became of the idea. Biggest thanks to ALL of the people who ask and answer questions. We are slowly but surely building up a base of experienced potters who are not necessarily 'Names' but have years and years of solid, on the ground experience to share. Slowly but surely lurkers are coming out with their first posting to ask or answer a question. Subjects that would have flamed other forums to a standstill have been dealt with easily and openly without harsh words.


I hope I never get tired of answering questions ... the only reason I am where I am in pottery is because other people took the time to answer mine. The only dumb question is the one you don't ask because you are afraid to, or don't want to look clueless or whatever.


So here is where I welcome lurkers to post, newbies to ask and all to answer. The WELCOME mat is always out.


Oh yes, on topic ... the best advice I ever got on any subject was to ask the question.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am one of Chris's "lurker newbies" but learning so much from these forums...I spend way too much time reading you guys...however, once I get into my shop I feel more confident and willing to experiment. I am sure it's because my working time is so isolated...it's just me out there with my mud ! After reading the lessons and advice that you all are so generous in sharing I feel like I am not alone on this creatively fun road I have chosen to take. Thank you all!!! Please keep sharing and do not ever think you are not being heard....I HEAR you and DEPEND on you to teach me. Hopefully one day I will be giving the advice from experience that you all do.

Oh, and my favorite mantra? "Fake it 'till you make it"

Thanks !! Kristi

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris, your 'newbie friendly' forum is a godsend. Its been a big confidence booster to know that if I am stuck, I can ask questions. This alone encourages me to forge ahead with new techniques. Living in a rather remote village in South Africa, I was persuaded to start teaching 4 years ago and wouldn't have dreamt of it if there was no-one to turn to for advice. So thank you for being there and for creating a welcoming vibe where one can ask questions without fear of being mocked!

My best advice was given to me by a young man who I started on the clay path when he was 7 years old. Now selling his work in New York, I told him that I was sometimes uninspired and couldn't start work. He said 'Just go to your studio and start tidying up and you will get inspired'. Out of the mouth of babes! Well, it works for me. I go to the studio and as you know, there is always some mundane maintenance to do. It seems having your mind relaxed and without pressure to perform, ideas start flowing quickly and clearly. I really recommend it and if all else fails, your studio will bein better shape!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



I mostly lurk but thought I'd pop in on this thread. A very wise potter and friend told me to never fall in love with anything I create wink.gif



For me, it was "when given lemons make lemonade.'

The point of this comment was when something you make does not turn out as expected, look for something new in it and consider other possibilities. Doing this has kept me fresh in my approach.


Another one was "if you don't know what to do copy the next guy." This advice has also helped me to learn that my creation will never be the exact same as "the other guy" as I will put a new spin on it and it will definitely be different.






Best Advice....hard to pin point just one....from a friend who also introduced me to pottery, "set aside an evening during the week after work and a morning during the weekend to play with clay".



Thanks for sharing that! I haven't touched clay in about 7 years, but have the itch and just ordered some videos through Ceramics Art Daily. I am going to begin with donating time one evening and one weekend morning planning and dreaming of a space to work in... set a goal and work toward it! Thank you God for inspiration!


... and on the subject... "grumpy" everyone has a bad day... I'm sorry this was yours. I am grateful to the many generous potters I know....


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JBaymore

I was advised to keep 1 piece every year that you just could not part with, as a result I have many pieces from over the years .



You are proactively preparing for your retrospective exhibition. ;)





Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  


Important Information

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