Jump to content


Member Since 06 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Today, 04:52 PM

#88822 Going Price Of Mugs

Posted by JBaymore on 13 July 2015 - 09:45 AM

I just checked an old sales book and my mugs in the early 70's where $2.50.
One thng about price is where in this country you are located?. Ceramics varies by location I have found.
In the east it costs more than the Pacific Northwest as an example.
The going price of mugs is always going up or at least thats my experience.
Ray the one on the left also appeals to me better than your favorite-go figure as they say.


I just ran the "Dollar then / Dollar now" calculator on this pricing for the year 1970.  $2.50 in 1970 Dollars would be a mug price of only $15.50 today.  So we HAVE progressed as to the general valuation of our work compared to then.  Nice to know.





#88525 "would You Be Willing To Accept Less For It?"

Posted by JBaymore on 08 July 2015 - 10:30 AM



Nope... not a formal business education (as in major or study in college)....... but as a professional artist that mainly wants to work in the studio (that's one reason I have always been adjunct professor.... do not WANT the full time/tenure track stuff) early on I realized that I needed to seek out BUSINESS knowledge if I wanted to be here when I am as old as I am now.  So I'm self taught and seminars and workshops.


Tom Peters >>>>>> http://tompeters.com/about/toms-bio/


Loved his books "In Search of Excellence", "Thriving on Chaos", and "The Pursuit of Wow".





#88508 Does Anyone Have A Good Cv How To?

Posted by JBaymore on 07 July 2015 - 09:38 PM

Resume formats are different than CVs.   CVs appear to be more the prevue of the "academic world".... and tend to be quite "chronological" and facts versus maybe more of a 'skills and accomplishments pertaining to the new opportunity' thing that resumes can tend to be.


When I need a resume or a CV...... they all are most often redone for each specific situation.  I keep a file of general types that are sorted by target reason for needing them.  Then when I need to send one off... I tweak it as needed.


For example, when I am dealing with something like a show or teaching thing or residency or whatever that is say, Japan related, then the items that are included on that document are specifically selected from my background to pertain closely to THAT.... leaving things off that really would not be of any benefit to showing in that context.


For something like an academic position...... the focus is there on more academic accomplishments / experiences.   


As the significance of accomplishments increases in your career..... items that you might have included as maybe a student or early career artist don't get included.


The order in which items are listed changes with the target also.  A late career artist with lots of excellent professional experiences might list education last....whereas a new college grad might list that stuff first.


If I am looking at a new gallery opportunity or solo show..... then other significant galleries that already handle my work, major exhibitions, and museum collections in which I am included figure prominently early in the sequence.


There is no one right way (except NEVER lie!!!!!!! ).  Think about the target audience...... write to that.


And in the arts, Diesel,... it is about the IMAGES more than the written words.  Invest heavily in the images you send.  The best possible you can get to capture your work to the max.  They have to "pop".  Some work does not "pop" in a photo even if Ansel Adams shoots it; don't waste time on that work.  That work you show in person.  If the work "fits" what the place is looking for.... they will overlook a lot in the CV / resume department.





#88494 "would You Be Willing To Accept Less For It?"

Posted by JBaymore on 07 July 2015 - 07:15 PM

 I guess too, it's like what Zig Ziggler once said, "people by what they want, when they want it more than the money it cost to buy it." Something like that. 


Ah.... someone else with some sales/business training. 


Another one of my favorites.......


"Sell on quality, not on price"  Tom Peters





#88466 Quality Of Work Sold?

Posted by JBaymore on 07 July 2015 - 10:29 AM

I think too many potters are convinced to start selling before they are even close to understanding anything much.

Make a few pots and someone will try to get you to justify your efforts by trying to put a $$$ price on it. "What are you going to do with all this stuff?" "You should sell some, it's really nice." "I would pay for that!" Then you get bad pots shoved out into the world.

When I voiced this opinion that no one should sell any work their first couple years, I was accused of being afraid of the competition. No, I was afraid of what I was looking at ... a platter's glaze had crawled so much there was none left on the food surface ... or a raku fired pot sold as dinnerware ... Dishes so heavy and badly formed they could be weapons.

There is nothing wrong with waiting until your work is up to your standards and resisting other people's need to attach their outcome to your effort.



Amen and Amen and Amen!  THANKS for being brave enough to say it first.  I thought about it... and said to myself.... "Nah...... can o worms."  I chickened out.  (Bad on me.)


And now of course .....we'll be called "elitist".


This kind of "beginner's work", when presented to the public, creates an impression,... and that impression of what "hand-crafted ceramics" is damages the field for all.  Short term gain for long term loss.


As an educator... I believe in education.


BUT...... free enterprise.  So...........................





#88421 Quality Of Work Sold?

Posted by JBaymore on 06 July 2015 - 07:58 PM

 Do you feel micro dimples or pinholes degrade your work, or do you sell it anyways?


The aesthetic I am after for a lot of my work includes rocks breaking out of the surface of the clay, crawling, pinholing, crazing, fire erosion, rough ash deposits, and other such stuff.  And yes... on "functional work" (whatever that actually means).


It is all high-touch, heavily controlled, and deliberate.


Totally different view than you will likely hear out of most here. ;)


Pinholes when you are NOT looking for them, crazing when you are NOT looking for it, cracks when you are not looking for them, crawling when you are not looking for it ....... that is a totally different story.


FIRST you have to gain solid control...... before you can let it go.


You are on the right road as expressed above. 


Too many see work that is of a high level but allows for serendipity...and mistakenly assume that it is lack of control.  It is ultimate control. 


Missing that... they often think that "anything goes".  Big mistake.


Example... want to throw good loose pots?  Learn to throw like a robot making lathe turned metal parts first.  Then you can make good loose pots.





#88348 The Better Mouse Trap

Posted by JBaymore on 05 July 2015 - 04:31 PM

Gophers around here usually get lead poisoning.  ;)





#88336 Qotw: Would You Fire Your (Smaller) Work In A Trash Bin Kiln?

Posted by JBaymore on 05 July 2015 - 02:28 PM

My post of end of last week is gone. Boo. That shouldn't happen just by switching servers :angry:


Evelyne (and everyone),


So here is how that happens.  When the servers change it takes some TIME for the rest of the "net" to get the messages about that change.  So (just making an example) maybe in Ohio and the Midwest.... the other parts of the net THERE know within a few minutes. But on the West coast..... well maybe it takes a day.  And in Poland... it takes 2 days.  And on the East coast it takes 3 days.


So it YOU happen to be looking at or posting something to the forums, and you are in a place that has not yet updated the server location information.... your post goes to the OLD server location information and shows up in the OLD forums.  When you look... you see it right there because you are looking at the OLD forums... not the new ones.  Anyone else that happens to be in a place that the info is not updated is also seeing your post in the old forum.  BUT the folks that are in a place that has the NEW forum location info....are looking at the NEW forum.....and they never even see your posting.  Because they can not see the old forum stuff anymore.


Then when YOUR part of the world catches up, you no longer see the posts that you thought were there all along.


At least that is my understanding of about how this stuff happens.





#88261 Members With Etsy Stores?

Posted by JBaymore on 04 July 2015 - 10:40 AM


But what I understood about John's words is that the Baymore standard is not about the degree of handmade-ness. It means "do things the way you think is right, then be honest about it to your customers."


Yes....GEP has it about right ......... my core point is about "truth in advertising".  Be honest about the nature of your work.


The "standard" in the one posting above that I did was simply an EXAMPLE of one section of a possible definition for a specific show/venue that COULD be used ....and was not intended itself to be any kind of a completed 'yard-stick' to measure "hand-crafted-ness".   So please do not call THAT the "Baymore Standard" (appreciate the flattery though  :P ).  The point I was making was that it is POSSIBLE to draw up a set of pretty tight specifications if you want to do that.  What those specifications ARE is up to the individual or group defining the specifications.


An important point in all this for me is.........


IF ... and that is a BIG "if" there............  there are some standards set either implicitly or by inference that the customers who might purchase your work will or easily CAN believe ...... then I believe that as a professional the onus of responsibility is to make sure that if your work does not clearly fit those expectations pretty darn tightly .......... you communicate facts so that everyone is on the same playing field and level of understanding. 


Then people can buy or not buy as they see fit.  If they actually care how or where the object is made, they can then make an educated decision based on the veracity of the information presented.


There is such as thing as an "untruth by omission".  It is a subtle way of avoiding the truth.  And sometimes allows us to rationalize the situation.


Let's say I design a particular piece, (and it is a nice piece too ;) ), ship it off to one of the many ceramic production facilities in (let's stop solely bashing PRo China) southeat asia, where they make the master and working molds, factory workers using serious ceramic manufacturing machinery slipcast or jigger/jolly or pressure cast or hydraulic press the forms, the automated machines that handle the process and even glazing do their thing, and the pieces are then fired in continuous roller hearth tunnel kilns that get auto-loaded by robots, and then the work is crated and shipped back to me here in the USA.


Here come the important parts of this situation that I have to look at, at least to me.


WHY did I take this particular approach?  Was it that the production facility can do something that is totally unique and highly skilled that is impossible in other ways to achieve an artistic end?  Sculptors use casting houses all the time to pour bronzes...a highly technical process.  Or was it because the production facility can produce them very cheaply and in high volume?  As we all know, true single artist, hand processing of every step of the process is NOT about low costs. 


Very importantly, what do I then do with the work produced by this approach? 


If I then sell them as "handmade" by John Baymore, studio ceramic artist....... well.... for my personal ethical standards, that is "untruth by omission".  If I sell them as "designed by John Baymore, ceramic artist".... with a "southeast asia mfg. tag........ that is FAR closer to the truth of the situation and would be fine (depending on the venue I sold them in). 


If, before everyone became aware of the volume production work, I ship one of the production run off to the "Strictly Functional Pottery National" competition ......... I think that I would be deliberately implying a certain genesis for the nature of the work....and would not be very truthful.   If I shipped the ORIGINAL piece that served as the prototype for the production work off to SFPN .... that would be fine.


If I flat out told people they are hand thrown verbally or with hang tags........ well....... you know what that is. :angry:


If I placed a bunch of them in a shop in some local community that communicates to the public that it sells "handcrafted" work from studio artists who live in the state...... that would be a deliberate omission of what should be important facts in that particular context...... calling it 'what-it-is'... a deliberate lie by omission.


If I placed them in some store that sells "designer" type work, then that is the perfect and truthful venue fit for the objects.


Unfortunately there is no "legal" definition for the term "handmade".  That makes this a very difficult subject.  If a venue simply says "handmade" as a standard of some sort for the work ......... it leaves a hole big enough to squeeze a Brontosaurus thru.




If anyone has not seen what contemporary ceramic production is really all about......... and the level of "hand-crafted-ness' that might be involved ... please take a look at these videos:








Long but interesting......... https://www.youtube....h?v=uMD9T6O6bWk






#88222 Members With Etsy Stores?

Posted by JBaymore on 03 July 2015 - 01:59 PM

.... and then, after WE artists minutely dissect the parameters of acceptable human made work, the buyer buys because they like it, they want it, the price is right, it says good things about them, it's a perfect gift .....

"Sizzle" ... not burger forming and cooking methodology.



Not ALL buyers approach things that way.  Some do care about the genesis.  Selling your work CAN BE about market segmentation. 


I personally don't make for "everyman or "everywoman".  Or even try to.  I make for those that appreciate the work for what it is. 


Lamborgini does not make a car to compete with the Ford Fiesta.  Is there a broader market for Ford Fiesta's.... of course.  Lamborgini I am sure knows this... and keeps making and marketing what they make.


And the "sizzle" in the whole artisanal food movement IS about the way the food is prepared and what it is made form. 


It is all about what market you want to go after.


I'm after people who appreciate the genesis of the work.   Others may be after something else. 


I am back to "truth in advertising"..... be clear about your work if you are selling in a venue that imparts to the consumer the impression of "handcraft".  Otherwise... we should be seeing Noritake and Pfaltzgraph entering work in the "Strictly Functional Pottery National".... they make some NICE pieces that are eminently functional.





#88221 Members With Etsy Stores?

Posted by JBaymore on 03 July 2015 - 01:51 PM

 A fellow named Howard Kottler made a piece that was featured, a cast brownstone beside a cast paper bag filled with cast peanuts titled "The Old Bag Next Door Is Nuts." Oh, the furor!



I LOVE that piece!!!!!





#88213 Members With Etsy Stores?

Posted by JBaymore on 03 July 2015 - 12:37 PM

My experience of it is that Etsy is a tool, and like any tool you need to know how to use it properly, and you need to have an idea of what you want to accomplish with it to get the most out of it.


Great "Diesel" powered post above this one B) .  Had to quote the tool line and add a thought............


Make sure that if you (the generic "you" there) need a screwdriver, you are not using a hammer.





#88207 Members With Etsy Stores?

Posted by JBaymore on 03 July 2015 - 10:41 AM

Can o' worms!


Actually Chris, when if comes to a single media, I think that you CAN deal with specifying pretty tightly what YOU want to handle as what YOU will call "handmade".  Since YOU are the boss in the matter, you call the shots.  You simply list exactly what processes are acceptable for the show/fair/venue. 


As in...................


Ceramic work submitted for this show/fair/venue must be produced as follows:


By a single artist who handles all of the steps of the process from forming to decorating to glazing to firing.


Exclusively by the methods of coiling, pinching, slab building, wheel throwing, handwork plastic clay press molding, or hand carving.


(Forming methods specifically excluded include slip casting, pressure slip casting, jiggering, jollying, hydraulic pressing and 3-D computer printing methods.)


And so on.


Yes... the jurors/organizers will sometimes have some issue identifying if pieces are actually compliant.... but that is the reason they are getting paid to do the job.  And sometimes they WILL get it wrong.  Such is life.


If this kind of stuff is presented totally up-front, then the public and other artists know exactly what to expect.  And yes... this kind of specificity WILL potential exclude some people who might sit on the "edges", production-wise....... that "is what it is".  Sorry.  As they say.... 'my football.... my rules'.  Some consumers will care....... some won't.


My "issues" with  all this "what is handmade" stuff revolve around what I term "Truth in advertising". 


I don't care how a well designed object is made as long as I am not being mislead as to the genesis of that object in one way or another.  If people openly specify how work is made.... I can decide for myself if I consider that what I personally define as a "handmade" piece, and if I think that FOR ME the pricing is appropriate to that work.


The problems come when the venue does not require that information.  And/or when the producer of the objects is concealing or lying about the nature of the work.


A great example of this is one very well known ceramic artist with US national acclaim.  A large portion of their heavy production work is jiggered/jolllyed.   It is regularly sold in "handcraft galleries" along side hand thrown and other such works.  The hang tags and the info on the pieces does not indicate that forming methods for those pieces.  The price points are not typically lower than other hand thrown work.  For a long time I made a point of going into the shops that handled their work and asked the salespeople about the particular pieces.  100% of the time I got told how the pieces were hand thrown on the potters wheel!  I then took the time to explain to the salesperson how that work actually was made.  They usually were quite surprised.  But if I went back later... the work was still there and still making people THINK they knew how it was made.


The pieces in question there are beautiful.  But from MY definition (and I bet many other people's) they are not "handmade".  They are "limited manufacturing" or something like that.  SO for me,...... I would not be paying truly "handcrafted" pricing for them.  And I would not tell anyone they are "thrown".  I would say that they are great serving pieces....like much of the work from places like Noritake.


When what are euphemistically termed "assisted technologies" in the ceramics field are used specifically to increase production rates and/or reduce price points...... and the work is then offered for sale in venues that the consumer would expect a high involvement of "the skilled hand" to be involved........ then I think the work has moved outside the realm of "handcrafted".  For ME.


For example "slip casting" or "hydraulic pressing" can be used for many end-goal reasons.  One or them is to allow the forms to then be manipulated in such ways that it is the best ways to create certain end forms.  Things getting cut up and reassembed.... multiples arranged in arrays or installations....and so on.  The other end of the spectrum is to use those forming methods to produce multiples at a high rate with less skilled handwork either as a goal to increase production or lower price points to increase market share.  For ME....... the first is "handmade".... the second is "assisted technology".





#88177 Quick Question: Progressing From Test Glaze Batches To Production Batches

Posted by JBaymore on 02 July 2015 - 05:34 PM

Ok so everyone talks about "insight". What is reason for knowing all the details of a glaze? What in its calc tells you it may be a problem? Does one have to know chemistry to understand too much of this or too little of that? Help.


Go to the Digitalfire website and download the demo copy of Insight.    http://digitalfire.com/       Follow the tutorials to get going with it.  Use the Digital fire public pages to help.  Using it you will begin to understand what such an approach can do for you.


An example....... industry has studied what makes "good glaze" a lot.  From that scientific research they can say for example that at cone X a durable etch resistant glass should contain a certain amount (in molecular terms) of silica.  You put in your glaze recipe and it turns up to be WAY low compared to the recommendation.  You then can decide if you want to fix it... or move on to another recipe.


Some colors develop simply when the right ratio of certain molecules are present along with certain colorants (this is how they develop stuff like the colorants known as Mason Stains).


There are tons of ways that it can help you aesthetically, legally, and so on.





#88165 Changes In Studio Pottery Glazes Over The Last 40 Years

Posted by JBaymore on 02 July 2015 - 01:38 PM

I've been using about the same 9-10 glazes... with maybe a couple additions/alterations ...... for about 37 years now, ever since moving to my present studio location in southern NH.  Most won't believe this, but I believe that I am just getting to know them. 


I don't plan to change "with the times".  I make what I make.  My audience is people who appreciate what I make.


There are two general categories of ways to make work.  1.)  Make what you make and then find the audience.  2.) Find what the audience wants and make that.  I'm of the former school.


Something that is clearly apparent to me is the busy-ness and frenetic qualities to a huge portion of today's ceramic work.  30 years or so ago.... the work tended to be more "quiet".  The modern trend is likely a reflection of our culture's overloaded, frenetic, media-driven, attention-span-deficit kind of lifestyle.  We are bombarded with images, information, and distractions from all points these days.  To get our attention....... clay work sort of has to be "in-your-face".


The concept of surface embellishment and the layering and overlapping of surface enrichment elements is all the rage now.  (Makes "crazy" Oribe ware from Japan in the late 16 century look absolutely "quiet!)  Book upon book...article upon article...workshop upon workshop.   Sometimes it seems that form has taken a total back seat to the surface in a big way.  I see lots of skillful surface graphics and techniques.... on some pretty marginal forms.


Often, in the case of functional work, all the surface craziness is so overpowering and strong that it does not leave any room for the FOOD to be presented on the pieces.  They fight with each other.


Personally I am not a big fan of this overall trend.  I prefer contemplative and subtle pieces that meld form AND surface.  That it takes time to get to know.  That draw you in.


Call me a dinosaur. :ph34r: