Well, we've tried to enforce physically marking their stuff, but in a lot of cases it doesn't work all right. Ideally I'm trying to invent some foolproof universal solution on this issue, which suit all sorts of our guests.
We have a number of look-alike mugs, plates and pots being made here every week on one hand. And digital database of our guests with their names, contacts and other stuff on the other hand.
So the problem is to connect particular mug taken out from kiln with particular individual who made it. For several reasons: sometimes author simply couldn't recognize his piece, 'cause he is newbie, sometimes we want to call a person to invite him for glazing, when his bisque is ready, 'cause it's good for business.
95% of our guests are first-time newbies to ceramics. There are dudes, who visit us single time just to throw a mug, a gift for their girlfriend with heart-shaped mark if any. They say marking it 'Peter Smith 05.05.2014' is beyond their concept. There are James Jameson and John Johnson, who both want to mark their stuff 'JJ' and nothing else because 'I mark stuff JJ all my life'. There are people who easily ruin their pot, just holding it in hand. There are 8yo kids, who want to mark their mug 'Pikachu' today, with fancy star the other day and do not want to mark at all tomorrow because 'Me do not want that's why'. And this kid is listed under his mom's entry in our database and that's too much to modify it with his stars and zigzags every time he comes.
So now we enforce them to sign those post-its with their contacts and little drawing of their mug. It's working but looks a bit lame. And I have a feeling there could be a different approach. Sort of barcode-printer connected with photocamera, barcode scanner with display and everything paired with some database maybe.
Or maybe I'm just giving this thing too much attention