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      Ceramic Arts Network is looking for two new forum moderators for the Clay and Glaze Chemistry and Equipment Use and Repair sections of the Ceramic Arts Network Community Forum. We are looking for somebody who is an active participant (i.e. somebody who participates on a daily basis, or near daily) on the forum. Moderators must be willing to monitor the forum on a daily basis to remove spam, make sure members are adhering to the Forum Terms of Use, and make sure posts are in the appropriate categories. In addition to moderating their primary sections, Moderators must work as a team with other moderators to monitor the areas of the forum that do not have dedicated moderators (Educational Approaches and Resources, Aesthetic Approaches and Philosophy, etc.). Moderators must have a solid understanding of the area of the forum they are going to moderate (i.e. the Clay and Glaze Chemistry moderator must be somebody who mixes, tests, and has a decent understanding of materials). Moderators must be diplomatic communicators, be receptive to others’ ideas, and be able to see things from multiple perspectives. This is a volunteer position that comes with an honorary annual ICAN Gold membership. If you are interested, please send an email outlining your experience and qualifications to jharnetty@ceramics.org.

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I've sat at quite a few markets to sell my wheel thrown pieces and have heard a few rude, uninformed remarks, the one that sticks in my mind the most was two ladies stopping by my booth, one lady was interested in looking at my wares, the other said " oh my daughter did stuff like this in kindergarten".  I was the only one in the booth so it was likely I was the potter.  Now I've been doing this for a while and my work is better than any kindergartner could do.  Nor do I know of any kindergartners who is strong enough to center 1 pound of clay let alone 2 or more pounds of clay.  I just kinda casually acknowledged her comment and her friend kinda ignored her statement, a bit embarrassed.  

Whatever if they think that is all that goes into creating pottery then so be it, they can have their child make it for them. LOL

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I feel that I have to comment here since I started this post. Not all Canadians are polite. This is a difficult stereotype to live up to. Not all Americans carry guns either.

American stereotypes are easy to not live up to :-)

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I've owned a couple of shops and sold my own stuff and others and I've done a few shows now, too. Most people are delightful when they come into your shop, as opposed to shows where people tend to be either evasive or feel freer to say rude things. I think when people are just walking by at a show, they don't even register that the artist is there as they comment away. In my shops, they have to make a commitment to come in, so they are more polite. I don't remember anyone being as rude as the lady TJR mentioned in my shop, but yes, at a show. But sometimes it's good to hear unfiltered opinions about my work. I try to not take it as an indictment of my character, and more as their opinion.

 

I teach high school, too, TJR, and yes, you learn to blow off thoughtless statements. :)

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I know I can hear a thousand compliments but the rude customer is the one that I spend the most time thinking about. I tend to think that when someone is being rude or unkind, more often than not, it is just a reaction to self-anger or perceived inadequacy, be it conscious or not. Could simply be a person is having a bad day and displacing onto you. 

 

Then there are the people who are just plain nasty, they have unfortunate personalities and are not worth getting upset about. These are the people who take joy in other peoples discomfort. 

 

Rude people drain my energy, I let them do this, it’s something I’m working on getting better at dealing with. 

kswan likes this

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TJR

I do not own any guns-not even a Be gun

I di own 3- or 4 spearguns if that counts?

I have not used one in a decade or two-I shoot photos underwater now instead of spearing the fish.

 

As a side note rude folks are all over this planet and some seem to always show up in my booth wherever it is.

I have even refused service to a few over my career but thats another topic.

janiebgood likes this

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I find it interesting to work at our cooperative gallery and listen to the comments of customers. Most are favorable but there is the occasional know-it-all who wants to criticize a technique just to show off how much they think they know.  

 

Had a couple come in and go through every painting and print in the place looking for something for their bathroom.  then they came back a week later with a towel looking at everything to see if it matched the towel color.  It had to be a vertical piece and also they wanted cheap.  I suggested they buy a $4 greeting card with a print of the item they were considering and take it home to get an idea if it would work in the larger size.   But they didn't even want to spend that $4. Couldn't believe they were wasting so much time for a $45 bathroom decoration.   Pretty funny.  rakuku

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I find it interesting to work at our cooperative gallery and listen to the comments of customers. Most are favorable but there is the occasional know-it-all who wants to criticize a technique just to show off how much they think they know.  

 

Had a couple come in and go through every painting and print in the place looking for something for their bathroom.  then they came back a week later with a towel looking at everything to see if it matched the towel color.  It had to be a vertical piece and also they wanted cheap.  I suggested they buy a $4 greeting card with a print of the item they were considering and take it home to get an idea if it would work in the larger size.   But they didn't even want to spend that $4. Couldn't believe they were wasting so much time for a $45 bathroom decoration.   Pretty funny.  rakuku

 

It's important to poop in peace and color harmony.

 

Funny story though. 

karenk likes this

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Marc:

 

Try building houses and people are spending 300-400K. Got to the point in the initial meeting, if I sensed they were whiners or needy: just to tell them I was too busy. My favorite line now is: "if you want cheap, go to Walmart."

 

Nerd

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Nerd

People crumble with 10,ooo decisions in home building and as you know as it nears the end there are more choices and more decisions.

paint colors trim counters fixtures/plumb/electrical/and we have yet to get outside for those decisions.

I know that industry well-its not for the weak of heart-I know many a contractor in this field. Been part of building a few homes myself back in the day.

I'm sticking to the easy life of ceramics where its all light and works every time.

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Do you have a sales experience where the person felt it was O.K to find fault? Let's here your stories. Try to err on the positive side if possible.

TJR.

 

My wife feels no remorse at sharing with me every fault of what I make :)  But I take it in stride; if I think it is off the mark I ignore it.

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Do you have a sales experience where the person felt it was O.K to find fault? Let's here your stories. Try to err on the positive side if possible.

TJR.

 

My wife feels no remorse at sharing with me every fault of what I make :)  But I take it in stride; if I think it is off the mark I ignore it.

 

 

 

Ditto, my wife is my best judge, I get 100% honest feedback, and very odd looks followed by "no". If I like it, I keep working on it though!

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As a side note rude folks are all over this planet and some seem to always show up in my booth wherever it is.

I have even refused service to a few over my career but thats another topic.

 

I would like to read that topic...

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so

 

 

I'm sticking to the easy life of ceramics where its all light and works every time.

Wow you better write the book on this one, or are you still on holidays??

Babs-'m still on Holiday which means pruning fruit orchard ,replacing solar water panel on roof,fence repair taxes/data entry,water system upgrades-all the easy stuff

I meant that light and easy works every time as a joke for those who think this will be a piece of cake when they get into this or those who think this will be easy straight away.

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Yeh Mark, got the joke!!!!

Watch that the branch you are hanging from is not the one you are pruning, just saying :D

meant to be doing taxes here also, but..partner away, in the pottery shed, tomorrow for taxes.........

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We have had a strand lately discussing the size of mugs, and the particulars of folks that use them. I have found that a variety of sizes preferences exist among coffee and tea drinkers. Seems that this also happens when it comes to those that serve coffee in restaurants. Some using the generic white mugs, and others using something similar a little larger. I have seen that "mom & pops" usually have a hodgepodge of mugs, and often these are of a larger size with preferences from wait staff talking about need to refill less, sometimes holding heat better, and less work all in all. So where does this rudeness of the "too big line come from"? I believe it is basically from those who are so naive about pottery when looking at it in a booth where they come to deal one on one with the artist that they don't know how to just quietly walk away without making comment. So they look around, with the artist there, knowing he is hoping for a sale, knowing that they don't want something or need anything he has, but not knowing how to say something positive like "nice work" or "beautiful colors" thinking he will expect them to buy having said something positive. So what do they do. . . they pick a negative, and one that is really so irrelevant or uninformed that it is disdainfully rude.

 

I think much of this comes from folks that buy in stores like Walmart or Target, or higher up Macy's etc. They pick what works for them, but don't deal directly with the artist only the bored retailer that is all too ready to help them make a decision or to push for a sale. Then they go to a craft show/sale and expect the same overly ambitious obnoxiously helpful sales person to be the same. The last thought is of those that have been jaded by festivals where art work supposedly made by the artist turns out to be hacked from somewhere like China or Mexico.  Oh well, such is commerce.

 

 

best,

Pres

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my favorite comment is when a person asks if I sell on line.  I usually just direct them to my website where they can purchase a limited selection of work.  but I want to say, " as you can see I have all of my work on display for you here, and you won't have to pay any shipping" 

;)

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Pres:

 

Being a tile guy, I rarely get involved with functional ware. I did however make myself 4 coffee mugs- 3lbs of clay each. Hand built out of rolled 3/4" clay, with a manly man handle. Almost 5" at the base, because I am not known to sit things down gently. The only time I really used a premix- coyote food safe. Only have to fill it once, and the extra thickness adds a bit of insulation. With a population of 330 million, there are customers for every variation one could imagine.

 

Nerd

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Actually what she said was;"Your mugs are TOO BIG.'She said it about three times. She said;"You can't even see the bottom of them."

I ignored her. The mugs were walking off the shelves. People requested a bigger size mug. They are one pound. A regular size, not too huge. Why do people come into my studio and feel that it is O.K. to complain, to criticize, to find fault? Why didn't she say;"Your eyes are too blue? Or your hair is too wavy?"

I am not going to change my work for her. Why say anything if you can't be positive?

Do you have a sales experience where the person felt it was O.K to find fault? Let's here your stories. Try to err on the positive side if possible.

TJR.

I have so many of these, we get about 5 or 6 a week. Do you know there are internet sites that coach people on how to get free stuff by complaining? We found them we we started to get a series of complaint emails all worded the same asking for the same consideration. Since we mostly sell online, and we encounter hundred and sometimes thousands of people a month this customer service challenge happens much more often for us.

 

We had a kiln over fire a couple of weeks back and the glaze melted into the engraving on several mugs. This lady's mug was lost and we wrote her a note explaining the situation. She wrote back upset, and insisted we refund her money and make her mug anyway. I wrote her thinking she would pay when the mug was made... No, no, no... She wanted the mug for free! I don't think so. I told her she could have the refund OR the mug, but not both. She opted for the mug, but wrote me another note blasting me for being a bad business man and disrespectful toward my customers.

 

There are some people, thank God they are few and rare, who you just can't seem to be able to please. There are also some people who are intentionally trying to scam you. We found a website providing instructions to consumers on how to get free stuff through complaining! In my mind this is simply theft. We looked into it after receiving a handful of emails demanding refunds and free product all worded similarly. 

 

So now, we have a firm consistent policy... 

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I did my first juried craft fair this past December. I had a little table with my stuff, some people looked right past it, others gave a compliment and moved on, others bought a few items. One woman picked up many of my mugs, and told me that earthenware was always so heavy, why were my mugs so heavy? I started to say that they were stoneware, not earthenware, but she cut me off saying, "Whatever, they're just too heavy." (They weigh 1.25 lbs) Then her daughter proudly told me that she just bought an enormous mug at the drugstore for $4 before they moved on to the next table. Hearing these similar stories, it makes me feel more amused than offended, as it obviously can get much worse from the "customer is always right" crowd.

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Something just struck me about this topic.  Most of us, I think, the majority I hope, go by the philosophy that if you don't have anything good to say, well, just don't say anything.  I'm no psychologist, so I don't know why this is, but I can attest to the fact that there are some folks who reverse that rule, and only speak their minds if they can be critical and negative. I grew up with someone like that, and the depth of that trait was sometimes truly astounding, and really very sad.  For that person especially.

TwinRocks and LeeU like this

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