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TortoiseAvenger

Ways To Sign Your Pieces?

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So you can take the needle tool and sign your name or initials... but to me, this often looks clunky. I'd like a more elegant solution.

 

What about having a rubber stamp made and dipping it in an oxide wash, then stamping the piece? This would be great for a logo...

 

Any other ideas?

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Patris    0

This won't apply to most people, but I am lucky enough to have two round initials (p and o), so I use the corner of a trimming tool and make two concentric circles, then add a stem to the inner one so the p is inside the o. It's clean and stylized, and looks particularly nice when I glaze the inside of the foot ring.

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Benzine    610

There are nearly unlimited ways to sign your wares.  You can inscribe your signature, as you mentioned.  If you don't like the look, try it when the clay is at a different dryness.  Alternately, Pres has many times stated that he uses a thin plastic bag over the clay, then signs, which prevents burs.  

 

Beyond that, many ceramicists make stamps they use to press into wet clay, sometimes along with a hand signature.  Also as you mentioned, you could stamp on a stain.  Others will sign with the stain and a brush, or even underglaze and a brush.

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Min    783

I had a stamp made at Jet stamps, they use acetal, a hard plastic, which makes a very crisp, burr free impression in the clay. They have a fast turnaround time and can help with design if necessary.

http://www.jetstamps.com/ 

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CLN studios    2

If your trying to stamp on bisque with a stamp it comes out blotted and un-readable, because the oxide beads up on the rubber. But you can get a old ink pad, clean it. and saturate it with the oxide, this usualy works.

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Pugaboo    438

I had a pewter stamp made for soft clay impressions but I also had a rubber stamp made at the same time and when I forget or can't because the piece is difficult to handle when soft enough for the pewter stamp I use the rubber one. I got an old ink stamping pad and brush underglaze on the pad and spritz with a bit of water dab my rubber stamp and stamp the piece. It works beautifully clean sharp image and fires perfectly as well.

 

Oh and I don't use my name to sign I use pugaboo which has been the name of my art studio for many Many years and happens to work well with Pugaboo Pottery as well. I use a little running pug as my simple rubber stamp signature design and if I can use the big pewter stamp it also has the words Pugaboo Pottery written around the running Pug.

 

Terry

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Stellaria    35

I carved a wooden stamp of a Celtic raven and use that most of the time. (Studio name is Bran Ti, which is Brythonic - precursor to Cornish and Welsh - for Raven House.) Sometimes there is no place to use it, so I sign my name with a dull pencil or iron oxide / rutile wash depending on the stage the piece is at. I'm a forgetful person :)

http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/gallery/image/4092-bran-ti-raven/

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Joseph F    865

Do you guys find that people prefer stamped signatures or carved. I am trying to decide how to sign my future pots as I get ready to start selling them. Right now I just carve my last name into the bottom. I don't particularly like it and I think I would rather stamp a symbol, however my father states that no one will know who made the pot later on if your kids pass it on or something. This has some merit but I am just not sure what I want to do. 

 

Any opinions?

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Babs    386

If making a lot of pots tiem may become an issue, some only sign pots significant to them. Stamping may be quicker, or signing, can do it with a biro at trimming stage may sui t you. Pretty personal decision.

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Joseph F    865

Time is definitely an issue because my last name is Rosenblatt. Not the easiest to carve nicely. lol. Was thinking about getting a stamp made of a rose leaf or something, since that is what Rosenblatt stands for. It would be a nice little elegant stamp, maybe a rose leaf with my initials under it or something.

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Benzine    610

Time is definitely an issue because my last name is Rosenblatt. Not the easiest to carve nicely. lol. Was thinking about getting a stamp made of a rose leaf or something, since that is what Rosenblatt stands for. It would be a nice little elegant stamp, maybe a rose leaf with my initials under it or something.

That would be interesting, though why not go with the "Piranha Plant"/ "Audrey 2" in your avatar?

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Joseph F    865

 

Time is definitely an issue because my last name is Rosenblatt. Not the easiest to carve nicely. lol. Was thinking about getting a stamp made of a rose leaf or something, since that is what Rosenblatt stands for. It would be a nice little elegant stamp, maybe a rose leaf with my initials under it or something.

That would be interesting, though why not go with the "Piranha Plant"/ "Audrey 2" in your avatar?

 

LOL. I made that a while back for my niece she is big into plants vs zombies. She painted it for her birthday. That would be one interesting stamp.   :D Not even sure why its my avatar, I was just looking for a picture of something to put up and it was on my desktop.

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nicolesy    3

LOL. I made that a while back for my niece she is big into plants vs zombies. She painted it for her birthday. That would be one interesting stamp.   :D Not even sure why its my avatar, I was just looking for a picture of something to put up and it was on my desktop.

Ha! I love it! I'm addicted to that game, too.

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drmyrtle    51

My glyph has a system to it that I don't expect anyone to understand. After being dissatisfied with name writing and scratching, I melded my two initials together (MW), and began making creatures out of the resultant squiggle. For each year of the rat, ox, tiger, etc. a modified creature becomes my glyph (applied with the smooth end of something handy). This way, I can tell what year it was made in, and the technique and glazes usually identify which community space I was working in at the time. It's super fast to apply.

 

Quirky, but fun inside story. I highly doubt art historians will care in the future ;).

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Joseph F    865

@ drmyrtle: That's interesting. I was thinking about making the R in my name have a leaf off it to the left. So Rosenblatt, with a leaf off the R as a stamp. But bleh, I dunno. A part of me wants to use my favorite poker hand as my stamp. 97 spades. 

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Do you all date your work?  I have been in the habit of putting the year on my pieces next to my signature.  Now, as I am gearing up to make a go at selling my pots, I wonder if dating presents a problem if you have work that doesn't sell immediately. 

Are people less likely to buy a pot made a few years ago?

 

thoughts?

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Joseph F    865

I never thought about that. People might flip it over and see 2002 and be like WOW this has never sold and put it down. I don't have the experience to weigh in as I am just getting started but that is a super good question.

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dhPotter    148

A sculpture teacher at Mississippi College, Sam Gore, turned one of my pots over to see how it was signed.  I had only put my stamp on it.  He said a stamp is fine but you also need to sign it.  Said a lot of people will think a machine made the piece and then stamped it.  Your signature makes it human.

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drmyrtle    51

R in my name have a leaf off it to the left. So Rosenblatt, with a leaf off the R as a stamp. But bleh, I dunno. A part of me wants to use my favorite poker hand as my stamp. 97 spades.

 

As someone on this brilliant forum stated, no matter your intended purpose (art, craft, selling, smashing, etc.) your work is your voice. The glyph you use, no matter what you choose, is also your voice, as it represents a way to claim your piece/voice after it has left your possession.

 

Are you using your poker face to mark your work, or are you marking it with a symbol that represents a part of you not described in words? Some people write out their name because they want others to know exactly who made it. As in handwriting analysis, there isn't a right or wrong, there's just you.

 

As for dating, seems to me the same issues apply: who is the date for... You or the buyer? Your style will evolve for better or worse ;), so alone identifies some time qualities. I skirt the issue with numbers, and am probably representing how I've changed as the years go by, rather than strictly noting the year of my pots.

 

Production marks tell the production story without listing an actual date, too. Think of delft or wedge wood marks.

 

I think you just need to decide what you are saying.

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Joseph F    865

Awesome response drmyrtle. I think I will just keep signing my stuff and I think I will come up with some way to mark my pots so I remember when I made them.

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Stellaria    35

I have heard that very thing from a lot of people. "Don't put a date on your pots; people won't buy your older work if they know it's older."

I may start dating gifts, though.

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CarlCravens    58

David Hendley wrote an article about this, second from the top...

 

http://www.farmpots.com/pub.htm

 

His basic take is... people should be able to tell who made the pot without having to know the meaning of secret glyphs.  He stamps his pots with the name and town of his pottery (an old tradition in US pottery, he says), and signs it as well, so that people don't assume it was machine-made because of the stamp.

 

And he points out something I've experienced... I have pots which I have purchased direct from the potter, and I can't tell you the name of the person who made it.  One of my favorite jars has an "A" in a circle stamped in the side, but I've lost the business card and can't remember who he was.  Had a great conversation, and I know his pottery is in Kansas, but I don't remember who he is.  I have a nice mug from a Renaissance festival... only mark on it is a little paw print on the bottom.  Have no idea who made it.

 

If you want repeat business, your "mark" needs to convey clear information... you don't want only the "insiders" who have memorized chops and other marks to find you again.

 

Yeah, Hendley's pots don't have the "mysterious romance" of nothing but a symbol stamped on the pot... but it's clear who made it and easy to hunt him down if you want to buy more.

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