Jump to content


Member Since 06 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 12:59 PM

#87678 97 Degrees F

Posted by JBaymore on 23 June 2015 - 10:19 AM

First the "setup" for this story..............


One year a good while ago I was invited to be involved in a major event in Japan that had 85 invited ceramic artists from around the world exhibiting and demonstrating.  They set up a domed sports stadium as the venue, and the central field area was transformed into a huge "studio" layout with wheels, work tables, clay machinery, huge supplies of three different clay bodies, and so on  A separate section was set up with walls and dividers as an exhibition area.  There were enclosed areas for lecture/slide shows.  This was a situation to which the Japanese public were invited to come watch us all work, see the exhibition, present lectures, and so on.... and something like 65,000 people did (yeah.... only in Japan!).


The issue that relates a bit to this thread is that it was an ENCLOSED domed sports stadium.  And it was the rainy season in Japan.  And it was in the 95 F+ range for temps.  No AC in the building.  Rained the entire time we were working there (2 weeks) except the last day (when they finally could open the dome).  There were TONS and tons of ceramic objects "drying" in that enclosed space.  There were LOTS of hot sweating people in that enclosed space. 


I had my pile of working clay sitting in a large open heap on the floor next to my work table.  It was kept simply in a pile on the floor........ no plastic or anything else covering it, 24/7.  It was as wet on the last day of the event as on the first day.  Maybe wetter.  All of the work only started to actually dry on that last day once the dome opened.


Oh... and all of us working there.... were as wet as the work.  Your clothes were constantly sodden with sweat....... all day.


Working in Japan in the summer... the humidity can be a real processing "slow down" aspect.





#87518 Lessons From Another Potter

Posted by JBaymore on 20 June 2015 - 11:46 AM

The key there is the word "wholesale".


The shop bought and paid for them.  The potter is paid. 


If you are trying to "market" to them to get them to buy more stuff... that is one thing.  But if it is an established account....... they know where to find you.


Someplace you will have an invoice filed if you ever needed to know that you last sold them 100 mugs, 50 small bowls and a partridge in a pear tree.


CONSIGNMENT is a different ball of wax (and a rip-off for the artists........ interest free loan of the value of your work).





#87299 "would You Be Willing To Accept Less For It?"

Posted by JBaymore on 17 June 2015 - 10:34 AM

Next time someone ask for a discount, just say, it took me X years to make this mug. (x = number of years you have been a potter). It is priced pretty reasonable.


"Sixty years and 15 seconds".  <<<<< Famous HAMADA Shoji quote

#87260 "i'm In A Spot Now Where Demand Exceeds Supply"

Posted by JBaymore on 16 June 2015 - 02:40 PM

The standard business practice is....... price goes up until supply and demand level off.





#87259 Feel Like I Am Hitting A Brick Wall - Perhaps You Have Experienced This?

Posted by JBaymore on 16 June 2015 - 02:33 PM

I have listened to a lot of stories about big ticket work actually having a better money vs time spent ratio.


In my experience..... that is the case.  BUT... and it is a big "but".......... the market for that higher priced work does two big things.  First, it shrinks.  And secondly, the evaluative skills for establishing the quality of the work increases geometrically with the price.


You can't successfully sell a $20 cup for $200.  Someone who can and will gladly pay $200 for a cup (they are out there) .... knows good cups that are worth a premium.  They can spot them.  You can't pull the wool over their eyes.  You can try.... but you won't succeed.


Usually there is the factor of "time put in at the craft" that makes the difference in the price points attainable.


To make $1000 ... you can make 1000 pieces at $1 each, 100 pieces at $10 each, 10 pieces at $100 each, or 1 piece at $1000 each.


A number of factors come into play in thinking about this whole 'what to make' concept.  Such as:


Which of these approaches to making $1000 has the least direct expenses involved?


Which of these approaches to making $1000 requires the greatest investment in facility space, equipment, and in the depreciation of that equipment in use?


Which of these approaches to making $1000 has the highest end sale price to labor ratio?


Which of these approaches to making $1000 causes the largest wear and tear on the maker's body?


Which of these approaches to making $1000 causes the most "distress" to the makers 'soul'?


Which of these approaches to making $1000 do I have the skills to produce?


Which of these approaches to making $1000 do I have the skills to market?


Which of these approaches to making $1000 fits my view of how I wish to interact with the buying 'world'.


Which of these approaches to making $1000 matches how I wish my ceramic legacy to figure into 'history'?



A very important point to look at is CAN YOU SELL a $1000 piece?  What does that work look like?  Who is the market?  Do you have the skills to make work that commands that kind of price?  Can you find enough people to buy that work?


The market pyramid narrows fast.  The competition expands fast.





#87251 Feel Like I Am Hitting A Brick Wall - Perhaps You Have Experienced This?

Posted by JBaymore on 16 June 2015 - 11:31 AM

Realizing that running a business can be hard usually happened when consultants ran ouf of bookings from their warm circle and needed to branch out and look for clients who were not family and friends. That is when a good percentage would quit.  



This is exactly the same thing that happens with ceramics as a business.  Use your experiences from the "past life" to help inform what you do in the clay field.  Running a BUSINESS involves just about the same stuff whether it is widgets or pots.


Think of yourself has having TWO jobs.  One is being a potter. 


The other is selling a product you buy from a potter.  You are a wholesaler, or a retailer, or both.


Each one of those jobs requires a different mindset and skills.


The education and skills needed for each job need to be attended to and constantly improved.





#87245 Feel Like I Am Hitting A Brick Wall - Perhaps You Have Experienced This?

Posted by JBaymore on 16 June 2015 - 10:17 AM

..............."grit and perseverance are far more important than talent."


Mea's info is spot on.


Last woman or man standing.  When all the others have given up and fallen by the wayside... if you are still there..... you have "floated to the top".


“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”  <Calvin Coolidge>



Another useful thing to remember is the phrase (don't know who coined it) "Life is short, clay is long."  Mastering the craft (heck... even getting a good handle on it) is not fast.  Make sure your expectations are in line with the reality.  If not........ easy to get discouraged.





#86940 Shows And Contests

Posted by JBaymore on 11 June 2015 - 09:47 AM

I think this centralized venue has not been mentioned yet:  https://www.callforentry.org/





#86899 Qotw: Do You Know Movies, Books, Poems Featuring Potters?

Posted by JBaymore on 10 June 2015 - 12:16 PM

Robin is one of the GREAT ones.  And that was a fantastic presentation to see in person.  This kind of stuff is just ONE reason to go to the annual NCECA conferences.





#86834 Qotw: How Important Is Membership To Ceramic Associations To You?

Posted by JBaymore on 09 June 2015 - 10:38 AM

"Benefits" come in many forms.  Having a plethora of those "benefits" helps an organization to attract more people who find something of value in joining that organization.  Some benefits are tangible (I get a subscription or a T shirt or something)... and some are intangible, like networking. 


Networking in the arts field is just as important as it is in other professional fields of employment.  Opportunities come from people, and people make up organizations.  So involvement in organizations helps you meet a more diverse and larger range of people.


The more "circles" you travel in... the more potential opportunities might arise from those people.


(Or the more people you can tick off....... the other side of the coin. ;) )


Been involved in many associations over the years.  All were, or are, important to the path my life has followed.  From some I gained some education, from some I gained discounts, from some I gained credibility and professional certification, from some I found opportunities, from some I had fun, from some I gained the personal satisfaction from "giving back".





#86771 Should I Start Pottery Or Not? Advice Please.....

Posted by JBaymore on 08 June 2015 - 06:06 PM

Welcome to the forum.


As has been said...... start out easy and slowly.  Don't put the cart ahead of the horse.  The view from "inside" might be different than the view from "outside".  After you've take a FEW classes...... then you'll know if the investment of a wheel and kiln makes any sense for your situation.


And by the way.......... asking for "objective" advice here from this group is like walking into a bar full of alcoholics and asking if they thought you should start drinking.  ;)





#85805 Life Expectancy Of Ceramics

Posted by JBaymore on 01 June 2015 - 11:23 AM

 Many of the pots in museums we hold so dearly as "great" may have been the discards and throw-aways.


I've often wondered about the museum curator's lovely designation of Korean "Yellow Celadon".  Potters trying to get the wonderful celadon color get that yellow when the kiln is not reduced enough at the right time.  Likely there are dead Korean potters spinning in their graves.  ;)





#85795 Who Is Looking For A Walker?

Posted by JBaymore on 01 June 2015 - 09:52 AM

I was thinking this posting was relating to "getting older".  ;)


I'm getting up there .... but...... nope... don't need a "walker" yet.





#84420 Some Restrictions On Posting To Stop Spam?

Posted by JBaymore on 30 May 2015 - 09:00 AM

As Sherman has already explained.... we (CAD) have a "high profile" on the search engines like Google.  That makes placing SPAM onto this site VERY attractive economically.  So this will be a constant battle.


Stuff IS also going on 'in the background' (Admin level) to fight this folks.  But the tools to do this kind of stuff (and a lot of other crap) can be downloaded/shared on the net if you know where to look...... this is not highly "esoteric" stuff.  The "bad guys" are always pushing the safeguards. 


Heck....... have you heard of a major bank/business/government that has not recently had its supposedly secure systems hacked into?  This is why I personally have NO DESIRE to store anything "in the cloud"....... no matter how many assurances there are that stuff is "safe".





#83635 Translation Software Suggestions?

Posted by JBaymore on 29 May 2015 - 09:34 AM

Massive SPAM attack.  A lot of that was Korean.