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Member Since 08 Apr 2010
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#122795 Pottery Display Rack

Posted by GEP on 23 February 2017 - 10:37 AM

My new shelves, going to work for the first time. So far, I am endlessly pleased about them.


Attached File  new-shelves800px.jpg   170.76KB   0 downloads

#122690 Shipping For Show Across Country

Posted by GEP on 22 February 2017 - 08:49 AM

I've never done it myself, but I've been in shows where the artists come from across the country and many of them need to ship their display/work. All the shows seem to recommend Art in Motion (http://www.artmoves.biz).

I know you will need to purchase a shipping crate, and learn how to pack it. I bet Art in Motion can give you advice on that.

Good luck!

#122619 Pottery Booth Help! What Do You Display Your Pottery On? Shelves Or Tables?

Posted by GEP on 20 February 2017 - 10:32 PM

If this is your first big outdoor show, then I second what Diesel said about first figuring out if you like doing them, or not, before you invest too much.

Try to create different LEVELS in your display, which can be done with shelves, or by using pedestals and risers on tables.

Here's my blog post where I give out all of my advice about tents, cars, tables, etc. You'll see that my main priority is to make everything lightweight and easy to transport:


#122564 Looking For Suggestions

Posted by GEP on 20 February 2017 - 11:56 AM

Students with a disability (or their minor parents/guardians or school counselor) must inform the instructor if the student needs/expects accommodations.  And he/she should have that discussion with you at the start of the class term. 

Having been through a similar situation as scottiebie, I agree with this wholeheartedly. But I think there are laws that allow people to keep their medical conditions private. Correct me if I'm wrong, this was the impression I got in my case. Anyways, a teacher should be trusted to keep the information private if that's what the student wants. And this allows the teacher to prepare for the extra work and considerations that are going to be required, and to enlist a helper (trained or experienced in therapy) if that will be needed. A student who chooses to keep their condition from the teacher should not be surprised when the class doesn't meet their needs. I'm saying this in an "it would be nice" sense. Not sure if there are enough resources or expertise to do things this way.

#122562 Question About Led Track Lighting For Show Booth

Posted by GEP on 20 February 2017 - 11:25 AM

I bought LED bulbs for my track lighting last year. I chose 3000K bulbs. I would describe them as "slightly warm" and I think they flatter my pottery nicely. The bulbs I was using before that were 3500K CFL bulbs. Those were also a nice color but sometimes I felt they were slightly too blue. I would go with something in the 3000K to 3500K range.

I wrote a blog post about my new bulbs, you can see a picture of how the light looks when aimed at my pots.


#122317 2 Questions?

Posted by GEP on 14 February 2017 - 06:10 PM

I pay between $175 and $1600 for a booth at an art show. A typical show costs between $600 and $700.

As for one-day shows, my feelings about one-day shows are probably different than most. I would much rather have 2 or 3 days of selling for every time I set up and take down my display. So I rarely do them and will only do them if they are ROCKETS.

#122310 How Much Do You Charge For A Mug?

Posted by GEP on 14 February 2017 - 05:20 PM

Chris and Diesel, the two of you might be talking about two different items that can both be called espresso mugs.

I firmly believe that everybody has the right to price things based on their own needs and values, and for their own situation (location, audience, experience level, size of following, etc). Sure there is lots of underpriced pottery, but in my sphere I see more overpriced pottery than underpriced. There are forces that pressure potters into both mistakes. When I discuss pricing, I try to steer people towards real world trials and results, rather than theory or pressure.

#122217 What Glaze Colors Are Best Sellers?

Posted by GEP on 13 February 2017 - 08:57 AM

All of these colors can be great sellers depending on how you use them. If your pots are of overall good quality and attractiveness, you can use any color you want. What sells the best is to make pots in an aesthetic that YOU believe in.

#122215 How Much Should I Have Made For My First Art Show?

Posted by GEP on 13 February 2017 - 08:41 AM

If it's your first fair, the answer is "as much as you can." After you see what happens, you can start tailoring your strategy for future fairs.

All of the items that you mentioned are good ideas. Try to cover a wide range of price points with you items.

I find that it's not productive to force people to buy sets. Offer pots individually and allow them to put together sets if they want.

#122175 Do You Have Seasonal Lines?

Posted by GEP on 12 February 2017 - 01:49 PM

It takes a lot of trial and error. Sometimes I think I have a great idea and nobody wants to buy it! So relunctantly I have to let it go. The Individual Pie Dish was an example of that. Sometimes I have a design that is surprisingly popular. But maybe it's complicated to make, or prone to failure. It has to go. Compost Pail comes to mind. They were space hogs in the kiln, and I had to source the charcoal filters, which turned out to be a real pain. So I stopped making them. Then the fad ended shortly after that anyways.

In terms of items that survive, again it takes time to know for sure. But some items eventually prove themselves to be constant good sellers, a design that I'm really proud of, and not fussy to make. Those are the keepers. The number builds over time.

On a larger issue, my pots are all glazed in a very neutral palette of grays. I've often hear polite suggestions that I should add some color. But I have no interest in that so i won't go there. The polite suggestors don't realize that I sell pots as fast as I make them already, so I don't need their business. People who share my aesthetic values really appreciate that I've committed to it, and they buy a lot! So sticking to your venn diagram attracts a better class of customers too.

#122171 Do You Have Seasonal Lines?

Posted by GEP on 12 February 2017 - 12:52 PM

For me, I use a venn diagram. Things I want to make, and things that sell. I try to stay within the overlap area. I don't feel constrained by this, there's a lot to explore in that overlap area.

I also think that no matter how much you like to make a certain item, you can grow to hate it if you have to make too many of them. That's an important factor for staying in business long term. Having enough variation so you don't get bored. Having enough leverage to say no when needed.

#122099 Ok To Wash Clay Clothes In Washing Machine?

Posted by GEP on 11 February 2017 - 10:07 AM

Hi Curt,
My concern was less the machine than the plumbing pipes. Even if the clay doesn't clog the machine, isn't the water expelled into the pipes where it could settle and cause a clog?

In my early days of having a studio in my basement, I managed to clog my drain pipe twice. It wasn't in my traps or laundry machines. The clog was somewhere between my house and the street. Some of it was from washing my clay-covered hands and tools, but I think most of it was from mopping my floors and putting dirty mop water down the sink. I was used to working in a community studio where washing large amounts of crud down the sink didn't seem to matter. But my residential drain was different. My house is 80 yrs old, who knows what condition the drain pipe is in. Your drain might be newer and more capable.

I think it's a matter of volume. I still wash my pottery clothes at home because my clothes don't get terribly dirty. But I wash my hands and tools in buckets, and finish washing things in the sink when they are "bucket-clean" already. Twice a year I take all the towels to a big laundromat. All of my floor mopping water gets tossed outside, and those buckets rinsed with the outside hose. So my drain can handle some amount of clay, but I know there's a limit.

I wouldn't worry about it too much. If you start noticing all of your drains slowing or backing up, a plumber can clear this up quickly. And then you'll know the limits of what you can do, and can change your habits. I haven't had any problems with my drain for over 10 years now.

#122040 Qotw: Do You Feel You Have To Buy Work From Potters You Visit?

Posted by GEP on 10 February 2017 - 12:14 PM

For me, the same distinction I noted above would apply. If my doors were already open to the public, such as my annual open studio, I don't mind chatting with people and having them leave without a purchase. That's my job.

I actually don't take appointments anymore, for people I don't know. The last time I did, it was a sort-of bad experience. My personal friends can come over to shop, if they need something specific. For everyone else, I ask them to pick up the pot(s) they want at my next show.

So the situation where a person I don't know visits during private hours, takes up a significant amount of time, then leaves, isn't allowed by me anymore. So I guess that tells you where I stand on that.

Edit to add: There is an inertia factor that I deal with everyday. It's tough to get started when facing the amount of physical work ahead. (I'm procrastinating right now!) Once I get started, it's tough to stop. If I get interrupted, getting started a second time is even harder. I'm trying to keep up with a demanding amount of output, so having a visitor is like throwing a wrench into the engine.

#121986 Do You Have Seasonal Lines?

Posted by GEP on 09 February 2017 - 01:35 PM

For me, it wouldn't make sense to do this. If an item doesn't sell out during its season, it has to be stored until the following year. My studio doesn't have space for storing inventory long term. And I don't want to tie up my labor/materials in work that I can't sell until next year.

#121942 Qotw: Do You Feel You Have To Buy Work From Potters You Visit?

Posted by GEP on 08 February 2017 - 07:10 PM

I agree with the distinction made by Pres. If the studio has regular hours open to the public, or if it's an open studio event, there's no obligation to buy anything. If your visit is by appointment and you want the potter to give you a tour and spend an hour talking about their work, then buying a nice pot (or pots) is a reasonable expectation.