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How long is your typical studio workday? | Q.O.W. for 11/27/2012

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#1 JBaymore



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Posted 27 November 2012 - 10:17 AM

How long is your typical studio workday?

When you get into the studio......... how long do you typically tend to be able to work? Is it short bursts as a part-time potter? Are you a full-time "Matrathon Man (or Woman)"? Is it all over the place? Does it vary by seasons?

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#2 JLowes


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Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:29 AM

As a part-timer, my typical studio time is from 8 or 9 PM to 10:30 to 11:00 PM, and then only one or two times per week. I do take a class for social networking with fellow part-timers, so when the 8-week class session is in I get from about 6 PM to 9:30 PM at least one day per week.

When the weekend rolls around I have glazing, loading and firing, or raku firing time which will use up to 6 or 8 hours on one day. When I took a staycation recently, I was able to spend two 10 hour days out of five making and replenishing stock for an upcoming show. With the cooperation of my lovely bride of over thirty years, I get bisque firing done during the week so I can glaze and fire on a weekend.

When I retire from construction management in two or three years, my plan is to spend 4 or 5 hours per day in the studio; maybe more if the marketing/sales aspect develops well. Currently I have ramped up from one or two art festival/ art center sales per year to four. For 2013 I have three Spring shows and two Fall shows lined up. I will have a busy Winter in the studio as the Spring shows are every other weekend and will allow littel time for making new stock between.


#3 Mark C.

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 12:26 AM

A full timer-I usually get out to the studio by 8-30-9 and end the day around 6ish. I take a few breaks -read the mail-long lunch/expresso -afternoon coffee whatever. Once a week on glaze day the time is a bit more. I try to fire glaze fires on weekends and thats a 12-14 hour day-the work tends to go in 7 days a week in cycles. I have tried ( and succeeded) to make more weekend time to spend with my wife the last few years as she is on a 9-5 state job schedule with her weekends off.My fall season is the busiest and tends to get more time into the studio and more 7 days a week. I have started the past few years to take some summer time off to enjoy our short ocean season. Christmas day Is the beginning of at least 5-6 weeks off to do accounting-tax prep for Tax person-file the years paperwork and finish all bookkeeping inside work I have been putting off. Then back to a more relaxed (less time) in the studio doing a few spring shows and keeping the galleries full. This cycle has be repeating for many years now.
The big thing for me was about 5 -7 years ago my wife asked me why I was working so hard-seems its in my DNA as I'm told I'm a type A person. I own everything in my life so it was not for money-it took a few years to answer her question and that simple question has made me slow down some in ceramics and spend more time doing the other passions I have in life.Now I'm down to 8 shows a year and 4 outlets for pottery.
At one time I did 15 shows a year with 6 outlets.
You can make some serious money in clay but it takes serious work
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#4 Denice


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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:53 AM

I try to spend a half of day in my studio but if I am involved in a new project I may be out there for 12 hours straight. I tend to spend a little less time in the spring and summer because of gardening chores. My husband spends his weekends restoring old cars so I work in my shop, these are usually 8 hour days. Some times we spend so much time in our shops we wonder why we built a house to take care of. We should have built a bigger shop and put a kitchenette and bed in it. Denice

#5 Lucille Oka

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:05 PM

I am project driven. I work until the project is completed and stopping only when I must. I also get a little annoyed that I have to stop and go to sleep. Part of the 'fun' is the completion, especially if the project is huge. It is very much like a 1000 piece jig saw puzzle where finishing is winning.
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#6 atanzey



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Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:59 AM

Funny this would come up - last evening I set a goal of six mugs, and achieved it. Now, this won't sound like a great event for many of you, but after a 9 hour workday, sometimes I'm hard pressed to concentrate for even an hour at the wheel. Sometimes I'm not centered enough to center, if you will. So I was really excited to reach the goal, including pulling the handles, in less than an hour.


#7 Wil



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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:08 PM

I am retired, and between "other college classes" and the studio hours are not recorded or ground in stone. I have my pugger, blender, table, wheel, and the kiln with me right here and I just go from project to project. When the clay is stiff, pug it, when it is too wet, put it with the dry. I am currently involved with some rather large items and it will be tasking now because I am still working on finding my "white" body clay for ^6. I am doing fine with a lot of the forms, but my examples are just photos or drawing of what the anthropologists believe they looked like. I do need the white clay. Then I will make a mad dash to the south west and get a few hundred pounds of "Rocky Mountain Bee Plant" for the rest of the project.

As for the original question, I will work from the time I get up until I have to take a shower and go to bed. This is relaxing.


#8 TJR


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Posted 01 January 2013 - 02:03 PM

I teach high school art full time, but I have a killer studio in my back yard.It is fully heated with in floor electric heat. There is pressure to get in there as I am paying for the heat! It is minus 25 Celsius outside right now , and it is 15 degrees above in the studio. I am currently on a two week Christmas break from teaching, so I get a lot of throwing done. When I am teaching, I grocery shop on Saturday, and throw on Sunday. When I am on a roll, I can make 60 mugs at a sitting. But then I have to trim them and pull handles. I could probably make 100 mugs at a sitting, but then it is work and not fun.
I am not a full time potter, but I do two open studio sales at Christmas, and two in the spring. I go to four craft fairs-not the four day ones, the weekend 1-2 day ones. I sell everything I make and supply a couple of galleries, wholesale and consignment. I avoid consignment, as galleries tend to go bust with my work sitting in there. I tend to work more in the winter, and the summers up here are beautiful, so we hit the beach. It is my intention to retire in two years and make pots full time. But, I will also have a pension.

#9 Brian Reed

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 02:51 PM

I have a full time demanding job in high tech, which I can work as many hours as there are in a day if I let that happen. I learned a few years ago that there is always something that will need to get done if you let it consume that time. It is a hard lesson to learn, but one that I needed to make to keep my sanity. Once I started really throwing in my own studio and making it a real part time job It gave me some balance. At my busiest I tend to work at my real job for most of the front part of the week, Monday-Wednesday, Like 12 hour days and such. Then Thursday and Friday I will try to get home by 3-4ish to I can get some pottery done. I will thrown for 5-6 hours on Thursday, and then the same on Friday with some trimming and handle pulling and such. I also try and get some bisque firing completed at the same time. Then reserve Saturday for glazing and preparing the kilns. as well as some more throwing if I can squeeze it in. Then Sunday is all about the high fire. Like I said this is when I am busy.

Workind a demanding job like mine you need to keep perspective on the things you really want to be doing. I try to only get invloved in things at work that are really important and not get sucked into everyone elses drama and deadlines. Perhaps it is holding me back at my job right now, but I honestly do not care.

I did 4 short shows last year, and I intend on doing about 6 this year, only 1-2 day shows. I would also like to get some wholesale going and have a plan on getting my name out there and hope I can make that happen. I also intend on getting a social Clay Club going in my area which will not take much time except for the big event on May whish will force me to stop throwing for a week or two.

I long for the day that I can be a full time potter, perhaps I will get fired and can make a go if it. :)
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#10 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:29 AM

I am so far only a hobby potter, I wish I could do more but time does not allow me. I only get on the wheel 1 -3 times per week for anywhere between 1-4 hrs. I don't have a day job. I used to own a successful business but decided a few years ago to stop it, and put my focus on family because I got too obsessed with goals. I have to take care of my 4 kids (ranging between 14 and 3 yrs old) and my house which doesn't clean itself. My husband and I discussed me going to school to be a middle or high school art teacher when the youngster goes to school full time. Part of me wishes I could just be a potter but I don't think its realistic to be that good before he goes to school.

I do make a little side cash doing numerology and reiki, but that's just enough to support my yarn/ starbucks habbit. ha ha!

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#11 Chris Campbell

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:36 AM

Well, you have three years before the littlest is in full time grade one? Then give yourself a full year to make and improve. You might be surprised at how good you get! Keeping in mind the competition for dwindling teaching jobs in schools is fierce.
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#12 Pres


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:50 PM

How long is your typical studio workday?

When you get into the studio......... how long do you typically tend to be able to work? Is it short bursts as a part-time potter? Are you a full-time "Matrathon Man (or Woman)"? Is it all over the place? Does it vary by seasons?

Check out joining the Potters Council ( www.potterscouncil.org ) for more networking possibilities, peer mentoring opportunities, discounts on books, magazines, and DVDs, health insurance, credit card merchant programs, and many other member benefits.

Hmm as I am retired now, I get out to the shop infreuently as many other things with the wife take president. However, a usual work day is at least 6 hrs long. Many times it will be 8. During the teaching years when I was doing shows, I would be out in the shop at first break of Spring everyday. After getting home, I would start work in the shop until dinner was ready, and then get back out until what I thought was 10 ish, and usually ended up being 1 or 2 am. This went on until July 10th as the Penn State festival was around the 15th. Sadly/Happily those days ended about 8 years later when I started teaching graduate courses for a local college.

Nowadays, I have to have a project to move me. Most of my pots I make now are because I want to, not out of a need to sell or make money. I have several projects in the gestation stages, and have started into prototypes for some of them. New glazes to be worked on, and ideas about slab form/molds for a series of jars and lamps. Once a project is in final stages I will be in the shop for hours with no breaks until completed. A project usually entails a series of pots, not just one.
Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . . http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/

#13 Benzine


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:28 PM

I've got a couple different studios, if you count my classroom. I work there, when I've got some free time, at the beginning or end of the school day, which hasn't happened in a while. With my studio at home, I haven't worked on there, on art, since the summer. But I do have some windows, with fresh panes and new glazing and paint! This past summer, when I was working in my home studio, I put in an hour or two in the afternoon, and another couple in the evening.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

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