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Member Since 08 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:29 PM

#93884 Professional Courtesy

Posted by GEP on 07 October 2015 - 10:04 AM

This type of discounting falls into my overall sense of "boundaries" when it comes to pricing. If someone wants to offer artist-to-artist discounts, that's fine. But please don't expect every artist to do it. Let every artist decide for themselves.

When I want to buy another artist's work at a show, they will often offer me a discount. I will say "I insist that you charge me full price." Then sometimes that artist will insist back, and we'll settle on a smaller discount. I would never act like a discount is required.

I do not give artists a discount, but I will forgo sales tax if they are paying cash. Most artists are paying cash from their own sales till.

When I was doing wholesale trade shows, it was common for artists to walk around shopping towards the end of the show. These artists expected you to sell them your work at wholesale price. I refused, and got lots of raised eyebrows. I didn't care. A 10% discount might be reasonable, but a 50% discount is not reasonable. Just another reason to not like trade shows.

Trading is another story. I love trading with other artists.

#93683 Rain, Rain, Rain

Posted by GEP on 03 October 2015 - 01:11 PM

In recent years, my plan is to schedule enough shows that one or two can be impacted by weather, and cash flow will still be where I need it to be. Then if I have a year when no shows are impacted by weather, it's a bonus.

Feeling very lucky right now that the show I was supposed to be doing today is going to be held next Saturday, rather than cancelled. And lucky that I had next Saturday free.

#93451 Good Rubber Stamps

Posted by GEP on 29 September 2015 - 06:40 PM

The t-shirt for electric kiln owners would be the letters "CPLT" in big red digital letters on a black t-shirt.

#93245 Display Question

Posted by GEP on 25 September 2015 - 09:33 PM

Don't really have anything to add to all the great advice you've gotten already, just came here to say "good luck" and "nice sgraffito!"

#93108 Qotw: Have You Ever Taken A Video About Yourself, Showing How You Work?

Posted by GEP on 23 September 2015 - 11:18 AM

I am confused how you got a post to appear in the middle of the topic. I must have somehow missed it.

Lisa joined the forum yesterday and made her first post in the morning. It didn't appear for a few hours because it was waiting for moderator approval. (This is how we prevent spam from reaching the forum now.)

This should be a reminder to everyone that this is a PUBLIC forum. If you make a comment about somebody's work, you shouldn't be surprised if that person reads it and responds.

Lisa, welcome to the forum! Thank you for coming here to provide more info about your work and the video.

#92886 Show Us Your Teapots

Posted by GEP on 19 September 2015 - 09:49 AM


Don't forget about side handles! These are sturdy, comfortable, don't get in the way. Only downside is that left-handers can't use this.

Surely you make a few left-handers? Lefties are aesthetes, too!



This summer, a customer gave me a great idea, which is to make just one lefty version. It will probably take forever to sell it, but left-handers will know I don't discriminate. And if I happen to sell it, it will really make a left-handers day!

#92845 Show Us Your Teapots

Posted by GEP on 18 September 2015 - 12:41 PM

Don't forget about side handles! These are sturdy, comfortable, don't get in the way. Only downside is that left-handers can't use this.


Attached Files

#92736 The Art Festival Plan

Posted by GEP on 17 September 2015 - 09:34 AM

Hi everybody, 


The second installment of The Art Festival Plan is now up on my blog. This one covers the subjects of inventory and pricing. Enjoy!



#92349 Inexpensive Label Source

Posted by GEP on 10 September 2015 - 08:59 AM

I get my 2-part carbonless receipts printed at u-printing. They have great prices. Your labels are making my brain gears spin. That is so much cheaper than custom printed bags! I need to ask myself, how much time do I want to spend putting labels on bags? I might try it just to find out how hard it is.

#91973 Liability Shift On Cc Coming Oct 1, 2015

Posted by GEP on 04 September 2015 - 01:22 PM

I just got this note from Intuit GoPayment:


"It is our priority to ensure that you have a smooth transition towards adopting EMV and we’re here to help you through that process. Rest assured that you have taken the first step towards being EMV compliant and that we have your order.

Unfortunately, the new mobile EMV readers are delayed; therefore we are providing you with a six-month extension on the October 1, 2015, EMV liability shift. Through March 31, 2016, we will assume the liability for counterfeit or stolen card-present fraud that occurs when you unknowingly process a counterfeit or stolen EMV chip card using your current magnetic stripe reader."



I had a feeling their chip reader would not be ready on time. Oh well, at least the liability shift is being pushed back for me too.


Any word on the other processors' chip readers, like Square or Amazon or PayPal?

#91802 Liability Shift On Cc Coming Oct 1, 2015

Posted by GEP on 01 September 2015 - 11:32 AM

So far I've only been able to use my chip card at one retailer: Target. I do not need to enter a PIN at Target. I just insert my card into the chip reader, then remove it when the reader tells me to. So I'm not sure that PINs are going to be required.

#91498 Blog Advice?

Posted by GEP on 27 August 2015 - 08:51 AM

My two cents ... I would publish the full posts on that opening page, rather than making visitors click once more to get a full post. I visited your site a few times before I clicked on one of your posts, because the first impression I got was "I don't time for an extra click right now, I'll have to come back later." At least publish the full post of the most recent post, then ask readers to click for the older posts.

Also, I would edit your photos more selectively, they seem a little repetitive. One or two photos per post will have the most impact.

#90770 Pie Dish Dilemna - Rough, Porous Clay

Posted by GEP on 13 August 2015 - 08:32 AM

For any ceramic piece that is meant for functional use, nothing should be shedding from the pot. Also, the clay does not need to be rough and porous to work as bakeware, so that statement makes me skeptical too. The contact you made with her also raises red flags (she didn't seem to understand, and you haven't been able to reach her since), that sounds like a person who is communicating poorly on purpose. I would not continue to use the piece. I would also try to return it, if you think it will be worth the hassle.

#90397 Successful "first Year" Show?

Posted by GEP on 07 August 2015 - 10:04 AM

The first show I did by myself (meaning, outside of my pottery friend group from the community center, I had done some group shows with them previously) was a "wine and art" festival. It was a 2-day show, I spent $250 for the booth, and grossed about $575. $325 profit. I was over the moon!! Of course, back then I had a good-paying full-time job, so money was not the goal. 

#90395 The Art Festival Plan

Posted by GEP on 07 August 2015 - 09:51 AM

Mea, I've found your blog so, so helpful over the last year as I've tried to get my own business off the ground.  This post especially was packed full of wonderfully candid, practical advice.  I can't tell you how much I've appreciated it.


I was wondering if you'd give any different or additional advice to someone right at the beginning of their career?  Someone who hasn't gotten into any big name shows yet, and is just trying to get used to the rhythm of making art shows a part of their life?  I ask because I remember you specifically advising against "music and art" festivals, yet that seems to be a large chunk of what is available to me right now.


I'm really looking forward to the rest of the series, and everything else you blog about in the future.  Thanks so much for being so open and generous.


I did several "music and art" festivals in my early years of selling (this is how I learned they aren't great for art sales). However, if you are in your first year, I recommend doing shows that are most convenient for you now. Don't expect big sales, but instead use them to figure out your process for doing shows. There's a lot of process! Planning inventory, packing, setting up, salesmanship, processing sales, packing down, fitting everything into you car, etc. I think Stephen expressed the right attitude above. The first year or two is for figuring things out. Gain as much experience as you can. 


Also, I mentioned in the blog post that I am lucky to live close to many great shows. But I've met many festival artists who don't, but it doesn't stop them. You might be surprised how far artists are willing to drive for a great show. Here in the mid-atlantic, I've met scores of artists who drove from the midwest, or florida, or maine. The farthest I've driven is 4 hours, many artists would call that nothing. In other words, when you are ready for bigger shows, then "road warrior" will become part of your job description.