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rayaldridge

Signature Stamps

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;) A dull pencil... a ball point pen.

 

best,

 

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

I was reading your post and thinking, crap all I use is a dull old pencil, I wonder what fancy pants tool he is talking about.   :)

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I always use my sgraffito tool to sign my pots. I like that I can get a bit of a calligraphic look to the strokes. Of course I also have a short name, and I sign a stylized version, not with my actual cursive signature. But I like it. I used to have a finer loop tool that was even better.

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I've posted a snapshot of the stamp I'm using on my gallery page.  It's a stylized RA, but observers will be forgiven if they think it says AP. However, note that P does not have two legs.

 

 

post-65900-0-97513400-1425674649_thumb.jpg

post-65900-0-97513400-1425674649_thumb.jpg

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I was this with a gallery owner and she strongly encouraged me to continue to sign my work.  She said her clients felt signed work (not stamped with a logo etc) with a legible name was more valuable and more of a keepsake.  She said it also enables them to come back and ask for more of my work, so as much as I like the ease of stamping a board of mugs, now I take the time to sign as much as I can.  I am definitely going to look into the iron oxide pen idea.  

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Signing with iron oxide and a drafting pen works well but you have to do a little practice on surfaces similar to the bottom of your pot.You will also have to fiddle with the iron oxide mix a bit. In my experience you need a strong mix with a little glycerin added. To control the flow rate you will also have to fiddle with the distance between the two blades of the drafting pen. I find that having the blades very narrow and signing very quickly works best.... With practice.

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What about potters from generations past that have not signed their pots in any way. I understand Warren McKenzie does not sign his pots.  Does this make it any less desirable?  I am not sure.  I choose to stamp my work, with a stamp I made myself.  It fits well within my aesthetic and it has never been a question.  When I am gone, or even while I am still here, I am not sure it matters that people know who made my pot.  They like it or not, they choose to use it or display it, or even toss it out.... 

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Warren does not sign most work-My piece's are blank-

The question of who made it is an individual question-with your stamp that is makers make weather you want it to be or not.

The whole question of a mark is personal.

I was exposed to signing in 1969 the bottom of your pot and it stuck.I like the idea of knowing the pots I have are made by others and I know who they where some by the marks.

I still can choose to toss them or use them.-the fact is that most people who use/ buy my work want it signed . This is true with many people and will always be true in a general sense. 

I know  a potter who never signs work and that fine too.

its up to the individual. Most sign work in some fashion. 

Mark

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Well, sorry to revive a dead thread, but in the interests of honesty, I have to confess that I've once again changed my mind. 

 

Partly it was due to thinking about all the excellent points made by others in the thread regarding signatures, partly it was dissatisfaction with the quality of the stamp I was using, and partly it was due to the fact that my current favorite glaze is opaque, thick, and somewhat fluid.  That completely obscured the stamp, if I wasn't careful.  I still think a good stamp, well-placed, is a little prettier than a signature, but...

 

For most of my career, I either signed my work "Ray Aldridge" or "RHA" and added the year.  To differentiate my current work from my past work, I've decided to sign my pots "Ray A" which fits into some of my small turned feet better than a full signature, and is less ambivalent than initials.

 

I also decided to stop dating my pots.  Some of my current work is sculptural, and may not sell for a while, and I don't want customers worrying that they're getting old pots.

 

Anyway, thanks much for the input, everyone.  I always appreciate it, even if I'm being hardheaded at the time.  And sometimes I do admit error.

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As Ray mentioned, stamping or signing the bottom doesn't work for me because the glaze obscures it.

 

Right now I'm signing my things "GM" and the year on the foot ring. When I remember, I carve it into the leather hard clay. If I miss that stage I do my initials and year in a very light glaze or oxide in the glaze fire. I don't like the sharp edges of the signature when I carve it, so I sand or sponge the sharp edges off when the piece is dry. I plan to make myself a stamp of the initials and year and then get a slightly curved rubber stamp with my business name so I can stamp the foot ring of my pieces. I can't do super fine detail when I'm making a stamp by hand, otherwise I would just make that myself too. Rubber stamps work well and are inexpensive. I use stampcouture.etsy.com for custom text stamps. 

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