Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Nelly

Where do you sign you name?

Recommended Posts

Nelly    16

Dear All,

 

Until recently I have been using the end of a pencil (the eraser tip) to put a round circle on my pots. That is my mark. Simple and no-one really knows who made it.

 

Now I want to branch out and either start to sign my pieces or get a chop.

 

I have made chops but find them finicky to get them just right and to show my initials.

 

I have one I got while in China but it can be cumbersome and does not always fit on the ring of the foot.

 

I have seen people smear some slip and write their names through the bottom of the pots base.

 

I have read that the finishing of the pot (including the signature) should add and not take away from the aesthetic.

 

How do you sign you work?? Do you date it?? Do you use initials or a design??

 

I am thinking about branching out and getting a real chop made that is sturdy and done with some sort of metal to really impress the clay??

 

How do you let people know who made the pot or is it really of any great importance in the end??

 

I remember when I asked a well known potter why he didn't sign my pot that I purchased from him and he said "look, my hands are all over this pot--that is my signature." It made sense to me and I walked away.

 

How important is your signature to you as an artist?

 

Nelly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mregecko    18

In my opinion, this varies depending on the style of the artist and the style of their art.

 

If we're talking organic chawans, then I think the mark should be similar organic... A scrawled signature, a distinguishable mark, but nothing too fancy.

 

If someone's work is more formal / precise, then I think maybe a definitive stamp or chop would look more appropriate.

 

For my own work, I sketched a design that I liked with my initials and sent it off to http://www.jetstamps.com/ . I've been very happy with the stamp I got, it consistently produces a crisp design that fits my aesthetic.

 

But yeah... I guess my answer is "it depends" (on your aesthetic).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Benzine    609

For wheel thrown pieces, I sign on the bottom center, with the logo/ signature I used for all my artwork. For sculptural work, if I can't sign the bottom, due to the work's size/ shape, I'll sign somewhere towards the bottom, that isn't terribly noticeable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chris Campbell    1,083

As a business type person ... It drives me crazy when people use cute or obscure methods of signing their pots. Really, is your work so amazingly unique that anyone who buys a piece will remember you forever? Seriously ... Legible signature so I can find you again .. Reorders = llights on, bills paid.

I love pots and potters yet fully 1/3 of my collection have extremely poor signage and I hate to admit how many I own where i have no idea of who made them or where to get more.

I have a brass stamp of my signature that goes on the from or bottom of each piece. I never put the date on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bill T.    4

I started out signing on bottoms the name of my pottery. Then I got fussed at. A lot of my former students said they wanted a piece that I made and signed with my name. Since I have hundreds of former students in the county I couldn't pass this up. I sign taylor on the bottom with a needle tool in a type of scripted print and lower case and sometimes the year date for a special piece. I kid with customers and tell them "Look at the bottom, it doesn't say Made in C...."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nelly    16

In my opinion, this varies depending on the style of the artist and the style of their art.

 

If we're talking organic chawans, then I think the mark should be similar organic... A scrawled signature, a distinguishable mark, but nothing too fancy.

 

If someone's work is more formal / precise, then I think maybe a definitive stamp or chop would look more appropriate.

 

For my own work, I sketched a design that I liked with my initials and sent it off to http://www.jetstamps.com/ . I've been very happy with the stamp I got, it consistently produces a crisp design that fits my aesthetic.

 

But yeah... I guess my answer is "it depends" (on your aesthetic).

 

 

Dear Mregecko,

 

Thank you for that site. It looks good. And yes, what I want is for it to be crisp. Thank you for your time in sending me this site and letting me know your success with the products.

 

Nelly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nelly    16

I use an antique set of brass letter and number stamps to impress the design number and date on the model, and then usually just sign my first name. I also have a small rubber dog paw stamp I impress that design in the clay with.

 

 

That sounds nice too. I am sure the imprint has a nice quality to it.

 

Nelly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nelly    16

As a business type person ... It drives me crazy when people use cute or obscure methods of signing their pots. Really, is your work so amazingly unique that anyone who buys a piece will remember you forever? Seriously ... Legible signature so I can find you again .. Reorders = llights on, bills paid.

I love pots and potters yet fully 1/3 of my collection have extremely poor signage and I hate to admit how many I own where i have no idea of who made them or where to get more.

I have a brass stamp of my signature that goes on the from or bottom of each piece. I never put the date on.

 

 

Dear Chris,

 

I agree. I am at the stage where I want my name on what leaves my studio. I also want it clearly legible. I agree, the obscure symbols can make a person wonder and have to look for the source.

 

Nelly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Benzine    609

My signature is an obscure symbol, though it does technically say my name.

 

I'm not a businessman, so I am not concerned with someone tracking me down, because they liked something I made. Now, when my work becomes all the rage, I guess the unreadable signature, will have to go unattributed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have only just started producing work so have not been signing yet as they are all poor quality. Just designed and ordered a lovely stamp from http://www.4clay.com/ very good service. Not recieved it yet. Although it was sent from America to UK only on Thursday. £43/$65 I thought was very reasonable as hopefully it will last quite a few years.

 

Here is my design, the bridge had to be simplified as the design is only 1.5"

 

17187_145871638923732_1564659405_n.jpg

 

 

Here is the design 4clay made from the image above, I will update with a picture of the stamp in clay once I have got the stamp.

 

2073h2r.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SShirley    9

I try to print my name, first and last, legibly on the bottom of each piece, with a ball stylus, or use a nice stamp that I got from Jet Stamps. On bigger pieces, like plates, I try to add the name of my town. Not the date, but when first starting out I did put the date. A couple of months ago a lady emailed me and said she thought she had one of my mugs. It said "sylvia92" on the bottom. She bought it at a yard sale in San Francisco, and it had been her favorite mug for years. I live in Kansas, so I told her I did not think it could possibly be mine, there are a number of other potters with the same first name, some who live in California. She sent me a picture of the bottom, and sure enough, it was my signature. I can't imagine how she found me with just that much info, but she did. The mug broke and she wanted another one.

 

Also, I had a pretty nice pot sitting on my shelf for five years without a signature. Many, many people looked at the piece and almost bought it until they noticed it wasn't signed, then put it back and bought something else that they didn't like as much but had a signature. Finally one lady came in with a sharpie marker and asked me to sign the bottom, then bought it. So signatures do matter to customers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Claypple    29

I have a line of people at work who are waiting for my vases or bowls.

Simply because one of them believes she would be able to sell it at a higher price when I dye.

(Not that I am planning to for at least 30 years; and NO, it won't go up in price after that biggrin.gif).

They all want a signature! Crazy.

 

So, I checked websites http://www.jetstamps.com and http://www.4clay.com and the latter looks like a more advanced in technology.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nelly    16

 

 

Picture of my set of brass letters and numbers forward and mirrored. I really like the style of the numbers 2,3 and 7 a lot.

A quarter is in the photo for scale. They must have been for an offset/ linotype printing press originally, but I've never seen solid brass ones, normally they were always a lead alloy.

 

 

 

 

 

ZUYoCBV.pngQjGKniZ.png

 

 

 

Dear RD,

 

Those are absolutely beautiful. I like the 5 and 9 as well. Nice find. I am sure it really adds to your pieces to have your pieces signed using these letters. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing them with me.

 

Nelly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Min    777

I had a stamp made from jetstamps.com also, just my surname on it. It works if the clay is at just the right stage of dryness and produces a nice fine crisp lline.

 

I made the mistake of ordering it in a fairly small font and if the clay is a little to damp then quite often I have clay tear out between the loops in the "e", "o"and "y". I don't remember the size font I ordered but the stamp is about 1 1/4" in length and contains 7 letters, if ordering again I would get the next size up. The other thing with custom stamps is do you get them big enough to be noticable on a large platter or small enough to look right on a mug bottom, kinda pricy buying different sizes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TJR    359

I had a chop with the initials TR on it,and the symbol of the pottery where I worked. I began signing my name in cobalt carb., as I was decorating with cobalt anyway. People seem to appreciate a legible, hand painted signature, like on a painting. It seems to add more value to the work.

TJR.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nelly    16

 

Dear RD,

 

Those are absolutely beautiful. I like the 5 and 9 as well. Nice find. I am sure it really adds to your pieces to have your pieces signed using these letters. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing them with me.

 

Nelly

 

 

Thanks Nelly,

I use the brass letters and numbers just to impress the design number and date of completion on the top rear of the original model similar to how they did in the 1800s with architectural terracotta my work is based on, so it follows that concept there, and I write in my name.

 

2Bx0kCrl.jpg

 

After a mold is made all of that is permanently in the mold and all casts taken from the mold. On the back of each cast before they harden all of my casts are numbered so I write in the number of the cast, the date and sign it.

 

 

Dear Randall,

 

Now to me, that way of signing your name has definite style. It is class act. Thank you for sharing. I may see if I can find some of this sort of font in trying to get a stamp created. Your design is quite lovely though.

 

Nelly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JBaymore    1,432
The other thing with custom stamps is do you get them big enough to be noticable on a large platter or small enough to look right on a mug bottom, kinda pricy buying different sizes.

 

Having the signature "in scale" and feeling "correct" for the particular work, and clearly legible would seem to be worth the expense in the "big picture".

 

best,

 

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nelly    16

I try to print my name, first and last, legibly on the bottom of each piece, with a ball stylus, or use a nice stamp that I got from Jet Stamps. On bigger pieces, like plates, I try to add the name of my town. Not the date, but when first starting out I did put the date. A couple of months ago a lady emailed me and said she thought she had one of my mugs. It said "sylvia92" on the bottom. She bought it at a yard sale in San Francisco, and it had been her favorite mug for years. I live in Kansas, so I told her I did not think it could possibly be mine, there are a number of other potters with the same first name, some who live in California. She sent me a picture of the bottom, and sure enough, it was my signature. I can't imagine how she found me with just that much info, but she did. The mug broke and she wanted another one.

 

Also, I had a pretty nice pot sitting on my shelf for five years without a signature. Many, many people looked at the piece and almost bought it until they noticed it wasn't signed, then put it back and bought something else that they didn't like as much but had a signature. Finally one lady came in with a sharpie marker and asked me to sign the bottom, then bought it. So signatures do matter to customers.

 

 

Dear SShirley,

 

Yes, I think they do matter. I remember once going to a sale of a local well known potter and I bought a fairly large vase. It was not one of his best pieces he said but was happy I made the purchase. When I looked at the bottom, I said "but you didn't sign it." He took out a big magic marker and wrote his name and "cheap ah." It made up both laugh. I still love the pot.

 

Nelly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AtomicAxe    19

on my sculptural work, I just sign the work in the clay towards the bottom (if not the foot if able to) and the year. Thrown stuff mostly gets an initial chuck impression and a tiny signature. Lately I haven't been signing anything small, but that is just slacking on my part since I'm running glazing tests and don't expect anything to turn out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nelly    16

on my sculptural work, I just sign the work in the clay towards the bottom (if not the foot if able to) and the year. Thrown stuff mostly gets an initial chuck impression and a tiny signature. Lately I haven't been signing anything small, but that is just slacking on my part since I'm running glazing tests and don't expect anything to turn out.

 

 

Dear AtomicAxe,

 

I too have been slacking but think now it is time. Now I want people to know who has made the piece they are getting. I put out 16 bowls in an empty bowls program at Christmas and some had my eraser mark and some didn't. This year, I will not let this happen. As has been mentioned, an obscure mark is not enough. I need to come forth with my identify as an artist and be proud. I will get a proper stamp made. Thank you for the suggestion regarding the engraving route.

 

Nelly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
weeble    5

I made my own chop out of plaster, then pressed a lump of clay in to make a stamp. That goes on the bottom of the pot, along with a code number so I can identify the pot later. The 'chop' is just a fish with a couple musical notes, but the business is called "Whistling Fish Pottery" so I think it works. A lot of people have commented that they like my chop. I use the month, year, then number pot made that month. So this one was made Feb 2010 and was the third pot of the month.

 

7857085.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a small graphic stamp made for me by Mel Jacobson years ago when he was teaching a workshop that I attended and we became good friends. At the time I was signing using my first initial and last name. His comment to me was it doesn't have to say your name per say, if the work is good enough the simple stamp will say it is you. Of course, this is coming from Mel who is very successful.

 

This has always been a little perplexing to me because needless to say, this is all well and good, but I am not as well known as Mel.

 

This all said, I did go on and when making clay pot cookers, I signed my initials and sometimes my initials and the stamp on the lower outside foot of the piece.

 

I am now doing sculpture. These pieces are not large, maybe 10" tall and do not lend themselves to a signature per say. I have gone back to Mel's stamp and use this as a stamp of signature as well as an adornment.

 

As you can see, this is an ongoing perplexing issue for me as well.

 

Sandra

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On earthenware bisque, I use underglaze pencil on the side of the piece with a coat of clear over it. I'll put my full surname on pieces large enough to fit it, McG on smaller stuff. Assuming most people are right-handed, I sign on the side of a mug they will see most often.

On leatherhard stoneware, use a regular pencil to incise the signature, again up the side of the piece. A pencil makes a deeper, easier-to-control-and-see, mark than the cheesy little line of the needle tool. Break off any burrs when it gets dry. If you glaze too thick, finger-wipe over it.

My first teacher had us do the humble potter thing; sign the bottom with name of maker and name of kiln. My second teacher said, 'screw that, I'm an artist, I'll sign up the side' or words to that effect (hi, Curtis).

I quit dating things way too many years ago (lots of juried shows had 'made in the last two years' conditions which were annoying) and now that I'm involved in a retrospective project (hi, Gail), I'm suffering for it, triangulating among old installation shots of shows in the '90s to figure out when things were made.

Now that I think of it, I should have used a personal numbering system, useful to me, obscure to anyone I don't tell about it, e.g. year one=first clay class (1972) and so on. Drat, good idea, 40 years too late.

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  

×