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How Much Pots Would A Potter Pot If A Potter Could Pot Pots?

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#1 David F.

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 04:25 PM

How much does one need to produce to call him/herself a "production potter"?


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#2 Chris Campbell

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 09:44 PM

If I understand your question, you are asking when you know you are a production potter rather than any other type of potter.

 

In my opinion only, it's when you go to work and make the pottery that needs to be made whether you feel like it or not.

Whether its a thousand pots or ten, you make pots that are for sale to others on a schedule that doesn't stop until the orders are filled or your quota is met.

Sounds romantic doesn't it? :D


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#3 TJR

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 07:50 AM

David;

I think the term "production potter", is also a method of working. For instance, when I go in the studio, I only make one thing at a time, but I make a lot of them. I weigh out the clay for mugs, sit down at my wheel, and make 60 mugs. Lots of potters can and do make 100 mugs at a time. I have worked in production studios as an apprentice, and decided that I didn't want to work that hard.

I still decide what I want to make, and make only jugs, but last night, I only made four. I also mess around with glaze testing and decoration. If I was solely producing, or soul lessly making production, I would find what sells, and crank it out.

Not interested in doing that. Ash trays sell, but I don't make them.

I do have a day job, where I teach highschool art. This also feeds my soul, and I don't have to make a living selling pottery.

TJR.



#4 GEP

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 09:03 AM

To me a "production potter" is not about how many pots you make. It is a person who does not make pots solely for their own personal fulfillment, but rather (or also) to fulfill the obligations of a business.

 

This does not mean production potters don't enjoy their work. I am currently working on spring wholesale orders, all with deadlines coming up soon. And three shows to do this month. Every day I think "how great is my job!"


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#5 DirtRoads

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 11:18 AM

Is there a difference between a "studio potter" and a "production potter"?



#6 Chris Campbell

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 01:00 PM

Is there a difference between a "studio potter" and a "production potter"?

 

Studio potter defines where a potter works from - their own studio space ... be it at home, away from home, shared studio space etc. They would cover the entire range of pottery endeavors, not just production. For instance some could be working on commissioned work that is not for general sale. Others could focus on serving the decorating, film or construction industries. Some could be involved in public works or animation models ... a thousand different things.

 

So while a studio potter might also be a production potter, they are not limited to that definition.


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#7 Mark C.

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 04:39 PM

For me I think of myself as a Studio Potter

I work for myself

I do  art shows 

I do consignment 

I do wholesale

I sell from studio

I used to do commission work

 

I make lots of pots on some days

Other days I do other things

some think of me as a production potter as I throw a lot if need be but I think of myself as a studio potter

today I threw 50 sponge holders and finished them as well as a few dozen bowls and trimmed yesterdays bowls and fiinished that work

today I unload a 35 cubic foot bisque wax it and relaod and fire it tonight  for another bisque as its hot (pots are drying in sun)

I have a big show next weekend

Chris summed it up well in above post

Mark


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#8 LawPots

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 04:54 PM

To me there's some marketing going on here.  A studio potter is a Leach or Robineau style potter.  The potter makes the pots, decorates the pots, glazes the pots, fires the pots, and markets/sells the pots.  There is a requirement, in my mind, that studio potters are also producing high-quality work suitable for a gallery or commission. Studio pottery is a label for marketing ceramics to distinguish it from ceramics made in a factory, and distinguish it from the now practically extinct country pottery.  So, studio pottery is pottery marketed as art (including everyday art) by the person who made the pottery alone or with assistance from apprentices. 

 

Why am I focused on market?  Compare Chris' definition to the 19th cent. southern potter making crocks and jugs, or someone like Isaac Button.  Those people marketed their ware to country people for everyday use, but they also did all the work themselves in shops and buildings that they owned. That's not studio pottery, even though its made under similar conditions as studio pottery.    



#9 clay lover

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 07:48 AM

So if I make it all myself, at my home and care if it is well made and make it when I would rather be going to the movies to meet a deadline, and also care if it is saleable, which am I?

 

Around here, the term production potter is considered a bit of an insult, .  if you make more than one of something, you are not an 'artist', you are an 'ashtray maker'.  This opinion is often held by those with no selling success. :P



#10 Chris Campbell

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 10:02 AM

Production potter an insult? Maybe with the same people who put down those who mention the words profit, marketing, or call pottery a product.
I am proud to know many high production potters who wares are lovely because they care about design, execution and surface. Just because they can throw a hundred while I might be futzing around with ten, doesn't lessen the beauty of each one.
Being hemmed in by definitions is for Muggles. : - )

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#11 clay lover

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 10:32 AM

Chris, I share your opinion, but it's not the common one in this little corner of the world.



#12 GEP

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 10:51 AM

Oh I wish I could remember the name of the potter in a youtube video, who was working on a large corporate order that he does every year. The order consisted of 150 planters, with the client's logo stamped on it. He said that sometimes people ask him "do you get tired of throwing the same pot over and over?" His reply, with an incredulous laugh, "No! Because I love to throw this planter!" I identify with this sentiment a lot. I know a lot of potters who have totally embraced the "long hours lots of repetition" format, and that much of their work is still considered collectible art. But still, I agree with claylover that these potters are a subculture of a subculture, and that it's very common for potters to think derogatory things about production work. It doesn't bother me too much, I don't think it's about me. It makes me want to ask "do you love your own work?"
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#13 JBaymore

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 12:14 PM

I've unfortunately also caught the tendency out of some folks to use "production potter" with at least a hint of pejorative quality.

 

I think that they often use that term when they are not willing to straight out say someone makes not-so-good pots.  Somehow it seems "softer" to them than the head on harsh comment.  In that way it is a "dodge"...... and it paints with a terribly wide inaccurate brush....and does the good production potters a serious dis-service. 

 

That is the context in which I tend to hear it.  So I get your drift, claylover.  We are back to the "Real potters fire to cone 14 with clay they they hand dug out of the pit and processed using a mule powered pug mill, threw on their wooden handwheel, and fired in a 10,000,000 cubic foot anagama that they built themselves over a 10 year period, and fire for for 387 days" thing.

 

There's poor quality "production pots".... and poor quality "art pots".  There's good quality "production pots" and good quality "art pots".  Good pots is good pots.

 

best,

 

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


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#14 clay lover

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 01:53 PM

It's used by hobbyists,  who make a few pots and use the idea that they are 'Artists' who only do a few 'special ' pieces, as a cover for not being able or willing to do the WORK of making more.  That would make them a  'production' potter.  And that would not sound so good.

 

If you are serious about what you do and are also productive and have good sales, you are not considered as 'talented'



#15 bciskepottery

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 09:36 PM

Oh I wish I could remember the name of the potter in a youtube video, who was working on a large corporate order that he does every year. The order consisted of 150 planters, with the client's logo stamped on it. He said that sometimes people ask him "do you get tired of throwing the same pot over and over?" His reply, with an incredulous laugh, "No! Because I love to throw this planter!" I identify with this sentiment a lot. I know a lot of potters who have totally embraced the "long hours lots of repetition" format, and that much of their work is still considered collectible art. But still, I agree with claylover that these potters are a subculture of a subculture, and that it's very common for potters to think derogatory things about production work. It doesn't bother me too much, I don't think it's about me. It makes me want to ask "do you love your own work?"


Guy Wolf


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#16 JBaymore

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 08:58 AM

Guy is a fantastic potter.  His first training.......  with Mrs. Isobela Karl at High Mowing School (she's a force of nature.... in her 90's and still teaching).... happened just up the hilliside here from where the smoke drifts from my climbing kiln.

 

New book out on him recently.

 

best,

 

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


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#17 Babs

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 09:46 PM

How we love to shove people into boxes and put labels on them, and then stop thinking, if we started! :(



#18 David F.

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 10:08 PM

I brought this topic up because I see / hear people refer to themselves as one of the types of potters. I was lucky enough to get to work for a man that called himself a production potter in the early nineties. I do not produce anywhere near the volume he did, but I approach my work in a "production" way. weigh out x number of balls of clay for bowls, mugs, pitchers, etc to be used in that sitting. Even when I make Face Jugs I make 4-6 at a time.  Would make more if I could add facial features and handles fast enough.

 

I was curious about what others think when you hear "studio" or "production" or what ever.  I think John summed it up pretty good...Good pots is good pots.


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#19 Stephen

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 12:18 PM

20 pots a day, five days a week at $30 average per pot is $156,000 worth of pottery a year. I would offer that for a good potter the issue is marketing not production.  



#20 JBaymore

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 01:14 PM

20 pots a day, five days a week at $30 average per pot is $156,000 worth of pottery a year. I would offer that for a good potter the issue is marketing not production.

 

Cutting to the chase. Only 100 relatively inexpensive ($60 retail) pots a week, consistently.

 

Food for thought.

 

best,

 

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


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