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Pugaboo

Member Since 15 Feb 2013
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 10:18 PM
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#70262 Overcoming Insecurity

Posted by Pugaboo on 19 November 2014 - 11:09 PM

I make my own transfers as well. I have 30+ years of artwork that I have converted to digital files so I can print my own stuff and put on pots. With the pen and inks I am even doing some color wash affects on some pieces since I only have the capability of doing black and white transfers.

I also second the small stuff. I LOVE doing sculptures and really fancy boxes BUT I need to price them starting at $100 and most people have this thing about spending more than a $20 bill on stuff around here. So I do loads of spoon rests, pendants, small pencil boxes, etc. The little stuff can add up quick when it sells AND it's cheaper to make since it takes less materials AND it's easier on the body.

I also have a severely messed up back, 2 surgeries, permanent damage, can't ride in a car for more than 5 minutes and if I do I can't feel my left foot and the sciatic nerve kicks in, bla bla bla. Lol grocery shopping can be a rather interesting prospect around here since the nearest store is 20 minutes away. With a messed up back I have just learned to do things the way I can and not worry that I do them in a strange way. I have to stand to do just about everything can't sit for more than a few minutes. When I throw it has to be a VERY GOOD DAY and I can't need to do anything the next day since I know I will be paying the price. It's why I do a variety of things pinch, slab, coil, extruder and wheel and I let my body tell me what it can handle that day. Heck I just realized my life can at times sound like a really bad country song.. Waa waa waa. My art is my sanctuary AND my business. I work through my issues with my art then sell them off to other people now THAT sounds like cheating. I also live in terror of not selling and have reacuring nightmares involving the words... Do you want fries with that? I work all the time in the studio and when something hurts too much to do that day I work on another project.

Don't let your limitations... Well.... Limit you, make them work FOR You.

I would also try the weebly free website it's very easy to learn and have helped friends get a website set up using it. You might also consider Wordpress which is a blog format and also free, you can put your stuff out there talk about your journey and get feedback. It sounds like you are feeling very isolated but you are not, there is a whole world of people out there and the Internet makes it so much easier to connect. My best friend lives on the other side of the country from me but it doesn't matter she is just one email or text away.

Keep your head up and keep doing what you are doing don't give up on your work or yourself.
Terry


#69189 Potter's Block.

Posted by Pugaboo on 02 November 2014 - 10:43 PM

Try pinterest. Type in ceramic bowls, pots, boxes, whatever intrigues you. The variety and wealth of creativity out there is amazing. So you make bowls.... Have you ever tried a double walled bowl? Or a pierced bowl? Or a bowl that isn't really a bowl but a little sculpture containing a lake with a little cabin along the side. Try joining two bowls together then cut a hole or carve out areas to make a hanging lantern. You can do a lot with a bowl shape as your start.

If you want to try something entirely new build something out of a pinch pot or by using slabs or coils. Heck don't try and make anything just get the clay moving and shaping and see what happens at some point you might go hey that looks like a ...... Or I bet if I add a .... Here I could make a ...

Sometimes trying or forcing the issue is the worst thing you can do. Do what everybody already thinks we do... Go PLAY with Clay.

Terry


#69169 What Else Is Going On (Or Playing) While You Work?

Posted by Pugaboo on 02 November 2014 - 06:54 PM

I prefer the quiet. My studio is a TV free zone. I have a stereo but never hooked it up after the move. It's my sanctuary. My creative thoughts are so loud in my head it's like I'm speaking out loud... Oh wait maybe I am. Is talking to yourself while you work a danger sign? Maybe I should claim I am speaking to the dogs... They'll never say else wise.

Terry


#69163 Festival Survival

Posted by Pugaboo on 02 November 2014 - 06:12 PM

I had an interesting day yesterday to say the least. I had a festival in North Georgia. I also had snow, wind, and cold. YAY

Setup was set to start at 7:30 am. I am usually one of the first to arrive since I like to take my time and not risk hurting my back. I decided to show up at 8:30 instead. You have no idea what a huge decision this was for me... I am always early for everything, I still can't believe I managed it. 😜

Secretly I am hoping the show promoter will tell me it's been cancelled when I pull up. I arrive and am told cheerfully that the show would go on that we were tougher than a little bit of weather. Hmmm Weather Advisory anyone? Pulling into the site the first view to greet me is a lone tent upside down in the middle of the field. It looked like a squashed spider with crooked spindly legs sticking out in every direction. The legs had a nice chunky profile though where the PVC weights were still attached and visible between the flapping shreds of the tent top. Has no one around here heard of the weather channel except me? 20-25mph sustained winds with 40mph gusts, rain, sleet, snow and Max temperature of 40-45. Woo hoo lazy sunbathing weather, oh wait I can't get a tan for the life of me so I guess I'll just do the festival instead.

I decide to set up my display but not to put up my tent, easy ups are not known for liking wind. I just didn't feel like practicing my tent flying skills. Lazy thing aren't I? I had brought extra weights. I usually have 4 25lb wrap around sand bag style weights that I use but I had raided the gym on my way through the garage and grabbed 2 25lb and 2 30lb kettle bell weights to add to this. I also grabbed my spiral anchors and an extra pack of ratchet straps. I was really worried about bending the frame trying to keep everything on the ground.

While setting up my displays I had to clamp the fabric covers down since they were flapping around like crazy. I zip tied all the wooden crates together and then to my tables. Whatever would I do without zip ties, wish I knew who invented them so I could send them a thank you note. I had to put pieces of wood under the table legs as the ground was wet and soft and they started sinking before I even had pots on them. Oh and why do they never sink equally? It's always to one side or the other, something really weird about that let me tell you. I zip tied my plate racks and sculptures to the crates and taped the plates to the racks. While I was doing this other artists would stop and ask, "aren't you worried about the rain?" My answer, "Nope pots don't care if they get wet and I have a rain coat and umbrella for me." They would answer, "oh" and wander off. Lol I guess my answer wasn't the one they wanted to hear.

From the looks of it about 1/3 to 1/2 of the artists didn't even show up. My husband said oh you mean the smart ones stayed home. Ummm... I set up what does that say about me? He just gave me a look. I guess he doesn't want cooked food this week huh. Mr. supportive stayed home with the dogs which is just as well having to listen to even one more person whine about the cold might have done me in.

The day progressed, the sun came out which was a blessing and made me even happier I didn't put up my canopy as it warmed up my space quite nicely. The wind was relentless and so was the cold. There was a handful of people braving the elements. I sold some items but nothing big. They didn't want to carry anything and expose their hands to the cold. If it was small enough to fit in their pocket they were interested but just barely. Spoon rests sold, colorful fall leaves did not. Personally I think Polar Bears have no need of leaves but find spoon rests useful for their big bear spoons. The show had the capability of be a great one if the weather had just cooperated. Thank goodness for spoon rests... Seriously spoon rests saved my rump.

By the end of the day I had the pleasure of watching another tent flip over, covered my show fees, supply fees, got paid for creation time, and made a little bit of profit as long as I don't pay myself for the time spent selling. I'm such a good volunteer I really must ask me to help out again! The booth behind me sold nothing, the booth next to me sold nothing, the booth on the other side never showed up. The booth diagonally behind me was a potter and he sold some. I'm thinking around $200 but it could have been more or less. The woman selling hats and scarves 2 booths down made a killing. Gee I wonder why? Any ideas??? Maybe I should have knitted little caps and scarves for my Pug sculptures and mugs then I might have sold some.

Towards the end of the show I am sitting there wrapped up in five layers of clothes fantasizing about Oldlady's closet full of wool sweaters. Weird but true, I actually got to debating with my self as to just how many layers of wool sweaters it would take to turn one into the Michelin man and have to be rolled away. Thank you oldlady for mentioning your lovely closet stuffed full of warm and toasty wool sweaters, I being a past Florida girl probably own 2, but at least it gave me something to take my mind off the loss of feeling in my extremities.

Anyhowwww sitting there wondering why I hadn't thought to bring a blanket a guy walks up and goes... "How can you be so calm? It's irritating!"

"Ummm excuse me do I know you?"

He points off in the other direction and I guess he can see me from his booth or something. I ask, "What is there to be stressed about? I can't control the weather, once I decided to do the show the only thing to worry about was tent or no tent, that decided there's nothing left to do but hope for the best." I told him the stress goes away when there are no options to choose from. He grumbled something and stalked away. Oh well another unhappy noncustomer. I really must work on my people skills.

The day continues, the clouds build, the temperatures plummet, the handful of wanderers stagger frigidly off to their cars and hey what do you know it's 5pm and I didn't blow away. YIPEE, success I am soooo good at this. lol The show promotor comes by and hands out checks for the $25 deposit we sent with our applications. Those of us still standing at the end of the day earned our deposits back. Woo hoo! I'm rich whatever shall I do with all the money!

The only thing good about tear down was that for the first time in 8 hours I wasn't shivering. Oh and the fact that it was really quick since I had no tent to take down... Really must think on this use of no tent policy of mine for the future just imagine all the stuff I could leave at home. On the other hands the medical bills to care for my skin cancer might eat into that joy some so I guess maybe it's best to just stick with a tent and take a bit longer to tear down.

Show survived, pots packed, car heater running full blast, I looked at my husband, grinned and said, "Gosh the life of an artist is so glamorous, so easy, no responsibilities, do what I want, not a worry in sight, it just doesn't get better than this."

He just rolled his eyes and said, "I think you froze more than your toes."

😄😁😃

Terry


#68908 The Versatile Studio

Posted by Pugaboo on 30 October 2014 - 08:25 AM

Beautiful work Marcia. Like your flexible working studio too.

Terry


#68833 What % Of The Sale Price Do You Receive?

Posted by Pugaboo on 28 October 2014 - 09:46 PM

My consignments run from 20% - 40%. The 20% requires I work the sales counter 5 hours a month otherwise it's 30%. A couple of 30% places, one that's 40% and another that asked me to give her the price I needed and she would mark it up however much she thought she could get for it, this place is an exclusive Pet Only gift shop and she gets my Pug and dog art and nobody else but I sell these. Weirdly enough the 40% place is the most prestigious but I sell the least there. The 30% places I do quite well at.

One of the things I do do is try and give each venue slightly different stuff. What I mean is: 1 shop sells just my country bracelets, another my beaded necklaces, or my boxes, or my paintings, etc. This has been working for me and the galleries and shops seem to like it as well. This also helps to negate the percentage differences, someone isn't going into one place and seeing a box for $25 and another place where the same box is $50. I figured out what I think I need to make a profit added a bit of Cush, rounded, added the % and tweaked the price to decide on a price. (Yes oldlady I am increasing my prices on a few of the smaller items so there will be more Cush for me!) Oh and they all have to agree to let me do local festivals and sell my stuff online as well.

I have talked with one place that only does wholesale and wants whatever bought to be sold ONLY through them. I told them I could work with that. I need to get a few unique samples made up and see if any of them are of interest.

I also agree local is best. I have one place I am pulling my stuff out of because it is just too hard to monitor and special trips to do so cost too much in gas and time.

Do I know what I am doing? Heck no, I'm winging it but I've yet to find anartists idiot guide to make a living. I do know I have to be flexible and multi pronged in my approach. LOL I'll let you know if I ever truly feel like I have it all figured out.

Terry


#68762 Craft Shows... Tips For Success

Posted by Pugaboo on 27 October 2014 - 10:28 PM

I have done festivals a couple of different ways. At first I did them with my husband, an easy choice there right? So always had someone to help man the booth during bathroom breaks and a bonus was I made him handle the money while I chatted and bagged this worked well for us. Then the times they did change and I changed my medium and have started over with pottery by myself.

The first pottery festival for me was a group booth with a few potters from the group studio last year. My teacher invites a couple potters each time to join him. It worked well for me as I did not have enough stock to fill a booth by myself, let me stick my toe in the water to see if what I do would sell, and a big one here... it meant I did not have to buy a tent to test this theory out. It went okay I sold some, learned some about displaying my work, talked to people, etc.

After this festival I shared a booth with another women she had jewelry and paintings at another festival. She did not spend much time in the booth, and I sold her stuff as well as mine. This was okay except for she did not have prices on some items and I had to go ask her how much something was to sell it. I sold well at this show and was content that I had learned some additional things.

The third festival I planned to do by myself. I had sold enough at the previous 2 to be able to afford a white easy up tent set up. I wasn't nervous about the display as I knew what I wanted to do, I was nervous about doing the sales all by myself, money, cc, wrapping, bagging, and chatting. I'm not exactly known for being graceful and it does take some technique to do all that smoothly. A friends husband volunteered to help out. He spent most of the show and was helpful. In exchange I displayed and sold a few of her items. I did pretty good sales wise, she did not. I felt bad her husband gave up several days for basically nothing.

After that I decided it was time to put on my big girl pants and sign up for and do some festivals by myself. I have and it's been successful for me. I have come to realize I am a bit of a control freak and actually look forward to the shows with no one to interfere with how I want things done. I learned this lesson by once again doing the studio group booth. It was a success sales wise for myself and a couple others, one person only sold 1 piece and I felt bad. The money handling just didn't work out the table was at the opposite end of a double booth from my stuff and I had so many customers lined up that after a couple hours I just stopped walking down to the opposite end and started collecting and running my own sales. I kept track of what sold and let them know but for me running back and forth just didn't work. Would I do a group studio booth again? Probably, but the sales table needs to be more centrally located or something and the money collection really needs to be more organized. It was really stressful for me and have found even though doing a festival by myself is a lot of work it's actually less stressful. No group decisions, no worry about stepping on someone's toes, no feeling guilty if I sell and they don't, etc etc etc.

I have learned that during set up I meet and greet my neighbors and offer to help them set up their tent if they help set up mine. Makes that part easier on both of us. It also opens the door to have someone watch my booth for a few minutes if I need to use the bathroom and I do the same for them. I try not to leave my booth at all and bring my own food, small light snack type items that I can easily put aside if someone comes in the booth. I wear my money bag on me so don't have to worry about someone to watch the money and my cell phone is my credit card machine so I am very mobile and can walk into the booth and help people easily. I have a small table set up towards the back of the booth prepped with bags, paper, stapler, bag tags, etc. When someone comes up with a sale I write up the receipt, wrap, bag and chat then tell them their total and run the sale. Money is handled and I hand them their bag with any change due. So far this is working but I should state in all honesty I only do small local fairs and this whole system could collapse under a large show like Ann Arbor or Art, Beats and Eats. But then I like my small local shows and really can't be away from home overnight anyway so it's probably not ever going to be an issue.

I guess I would say in summation that starting out it was helpful to share a booth once or twice to get to feeling comfortable and earn the money to buy my own set up. Then I think having a booth to myself is better i can control every aspect of my "shop" and I think that is very important. I have a look I want to convey and having half the tent doing something else doesn't do it for me. I have gotten used to running sales cash and credit cards all by myself, I simplified this by including sales tax in my prices and rounding my prices to the nearest dollar. I also set up an item catalog on my phone so just tap each item they buy and it all automatically adds itself up YAY. The biggest challenge for me has been the confidence to know I can do it alone.

Terry


#67066 Everything In This Photo Sold At 1 Day Festival... Why?

Posted by Pugaboo on 01 October 2014 - 09:12 PM

Babs - I use mostly different colors of hemp, but also use leather and suede. Currently I am working on perfecting my own beads to use for the closure so I can stop using commercial ones. I'm attaching a picture of some of the bracelets for those wondering and haven't been to my gallery.

Attached Files




#65498 Collaborative Work

Posted by Pugaboo on 02 September 2014 - 04:48 PM

Old lady and I collaborated on a small dish and thought it would be interesting to post it on the forum. She made the dish and the relief design, bisqued it before sending it to me. I painted the design adding color and texture to the piece, then glazed with a clear glaze and fired it. It was fun working with her on this. She started the vision and I completed it, kind of a neat way of trying something new for both of us.

Have any of you ever collaborated on a piece with another potter? If so did you learn something new? Did you enjoy the experience and would you do it again?

Terry

Attached Files




#65389 How Do You Select The Equipment You Want To Purchase?

Posted by Pugaboo on 30 August 2014 - 06:32 PM

For me setting up a studio and deciding which major pieces of equipment were needed was helped by my husband and my other art revenues. Before I bought any of what I have though I weighed the cost versus the gains. I researched each piece of equipment to the best of my ability if you search you can read a lot on that here on the forum.

If I got a kiln would it help make me a better potter? I could have let the studio I belong to continue to fire my work and never learn what I need to about firing work, never have control over the schedule, etc. I had power limitations, a 50 amp max so that's where I started, I have serious back issues so ended something I could reach into with shelves and ware that wasn't too big or deep. I looked at all the brands, really wanted an L&L but Olympic kilns are made a couple hours from me, the owner is friends with people in the studio, and I got to tour the plan and try out all the different sizes and styles. I have not yet had to replace anything so can't say whether I regret not getting the L&L or not but my kiln has been great for the 1 1/2 years I've own it. It's the perfect size for me I can fill fairly quickly learn, adjust and fire some more.
Next purchase was a slab roller, I looked at how much hand building I do and whether it would speed up production and give me better quality slabs. Looked at several online, used the one at the studio and ended up getting the Clay King version. I have no regrets and am really pleased with it. My husband still covets my big control wheel in it says none of his stuff has a wheel like that.
I build boxes lots of boxes in all shapes and sizes. I have also find people really like little collector boxes so looked at an extruder, would it make me better faster more efficient. The answer was yes. I bought a Scott Creek Aluminum extruder without ever having used an extruder. It's a great buy I think I chose wisely. I am looking at getting the expansion box with future revenues since I really want the hexagon box plate.
At this point I was happy with my setup then my husband announces I can't be a real potter without a wheel and he is going to get me one for Christmas last year. Told me to research it and pick the one I wanted or he would just pick one. So researched and ended up with a Bailey. I love it. I did try out several different brands at the studio and decided on the one I preferred then in research discovered I couldn't afford it but found the Baileys and they are REALLY similar and had all the features I liked plus a couple more like the claning slot that I have come to really like that the other one didn't.
I haven't even considered a pugmill so that basically completes my major equipment. Medium level stuff I am waiting to earn the money to afford are as I said the expansion box for my Scott Creek, an Airpen Pro, and a silk screen set up. I like to do surface decoration so the last 2 would make me more efficient and expand my repetroi in clay. I have just started buying the stuff to experiment with mixing my own glazes, drill mixer, 5 gal 80 mesh screen, buckets, gram scale, an a small quantity of dry chemicals.
I approached each buy from a do I really need it, can I really afford it, and taking those 2 things into account which one can I get that will do what I need. Used really wasn't an option small town, limited mobility issues made getting new the best choice for me.

Terry


#62673 Does Your Dominant Hand Dictate Form Or Are You Ambidextrous.

Posted by Pugaboo on 17 July 2014 - 09:32 PM

Shhhhh that's our secret revenge we're hoping all you righties will wander out into the woods start up your chainsaws and never return. We shall just shake our heads and say, "Well if only they had taken the time to learn with their other hand like us "normal" people." Then sadly turn away to hide the grin on our faces that we are now the majority and can finally design a decent pair of scissors, move all those attached pens at the bank to the other side, remove those awful pencil sharpeners from schools, make cars have the key on the other side, set computer mouses on the right track and never again be embarrassed when somebody says you are writing in the spiral notebook backwards!


#62644 Glaze Making Issue

Posted by Pugaboo on 17 July 2014 - 05:52 PM

You can also buy a Talisman test sieve, it's small, comes in different mesh sizes and fits inside a small plastic container from the paint aisle. You can use a rib or a brush to work it through. I bought mine for making small batches of colored slip up so I can mix the mason stain in evenly but now that I am starting to test glazes find they work for that too. I don't have a stick blender yet will have to see if I can find a cheap one but until then the sieve seems to be working.

Terry


#60625 10 Cool Trends In Contemporary Ceramics

Posted by Pugaboo on 11 June 2014 - 04:25 PM

That article just tells me I'm trying to hard. Trying to make usable items USABLE. Make items that are beautiful. Make items that show a high level of technique. Trying to get better with each piece I make.

I guess I should toss some clay on the floor and let my dogs drag it around and fire it then I too can be in a national museum.

Sorry if that sounds negative. I just tossed a bunch of items in the recycle bucket because they just weren't doing anything for me. Also have spent the day second guessing my choices to try and jury into a local higher end gallery tomorrow and the whole process has me stressed out. All this reminds me why I no longer do high end art fairs and such it's better to do small local and not have a heart attack from the stress of it all.

If anyone has work shown in the article I do not mean you lol. I hope you continue to follow your artistic muse successfully. I just recall from past nose in the air venues, questions like what is the meaning behind this particular painting. Hmmmm it's pretty? I liked the colors? The location was awesome! But no they want ehem... The juxtaposition of the many complex forms captured in mid movement convey a dream like quality of the tortured psyche. Blek artistic dribble.

I like to say I no longer do art I do craft and it's way less stressful because I can make what I like and not have to have a reason for doing so.

Terry


#58241 Can I Start With A Block Of Clay?

Posted by Pugaboo on 09 May 2014 - 08:03 AM

I vote for playing with air dry clay. You can hand build, sculpt, coil a piece then just let it sit until it dries then paint it or whatever you want to do. If you don't want to go that way look around for a local arts group, studio, art center, etc and see if you can pay them to fire your pieces but find a place to fire BEFORE buying your clay so you can get the correct clay. Most places only fire to a certain cone and you need to make sure the clay you get meets their criteria. The studio I am a member at actually requires you to buy your clay through them so they know it's the correct cone, they had an issue with someone in the past stating it was a cone 6 clay when it was low fire... Not pretty inside that kiln afterwards. Buying through them also includes glaze and firing costs. So check around and I bet you can find a place as long as you meet their criteria.

Terry


#58124 Do You Use Reflecting On Historical Work To Improve Your Own Work? How Do You...

Posted by Pugaboo on 07 May 2014 - 10:33 PM

The first coil pot I made was inspired by Roman amphora. I saw tons of them all over the place on my trips to Italy and the shape just stuck with me its pretty much perfect as far as I am concerned. I am fascinated by ancient pottery and have tons of books, gone to many galleries and watch all the archeology shows I can on tv. You watch these shows and people all seem to get super excited about gold and jewels whereas for me it always the bits and pieces of pottery they uncover. Maybe it's the puzzle lover in me but I would love to be able to reassemble a piece of pottery or sculpture that has been buried for centuries just to see if I could and what it would look like once it's reassembled. I got to watch them make pottery in Egypt and Peru where they used ancient tools to do so and it was an amazing thing to experience.

Terry