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Mark C.

Member Since 09 Jan 2012
Offline Last Active Today, 01:12 AM

Topics I've Started

New Work -A Bit Different For Me

02 March 2015 - 09:40 PM

I unloaded a few gas fired glaze kilns today-all porcelain . 

I have a friend who was very specific on his plate colors-that is he wanted it all-as its a gift I granted his wish.

I made 7 plates for him and they all came out perfect-Its what I call landscape as its many glazes.

This busy looking combos is becoming more popular is certain areas I have notices so I'm making more mugs and smalls in this combo-its just a lot of glaze work.



A Good Reason For A Good Tax Accountant

28 February 2015 - 04:17 PM

Well today I picked up our return from our Tax accountant-looks like this year he had to fill out 20 tax forms for us.

This is a new grand total of forms and am I glad I did not have to wade thru this maze of current tax junk.20 forms I'm still amazed at this number.

This total is both state and federal-the feds only had 13 forms. The usual quarterly payments are now due.

Having a good account is another key element for self employed artists.

If you are mailing in one EASY form then this is not for you but when life is more complex tax wise then it really matters.

How long woul it take me to wade thru 20 forms and get it right??

Well untill I need the easy single form I will not find out.

When my last account retired two years ago I thought I would after 25 years of working with here never find another great one but the kiln gods smiled on me and we have found a good one again.

Throwing/selling pots

power wheel/power slab rollor

Car kiln/extruders

geat account

all necessity items for me.


2014 Wrap Up-Great Year

09 February 2015 - 01:07 PM

I'm just putting the finishing touches on my tax prep for account appointment next week.

Looks like 2014 was one of the best years I have ever had in ceramics

Double edged at best-as my quarterly payments will rise a bit

This comes at a time I'm cutting back a tad (or so I thought) a few less shows

All categories are up-  consignment -wholesale- in state shows-out of state shows.

I'm doing less shows so it more sales per location and raising my prices which accounts for the most of this.

A general high demand for work and improving economy also contributes to this uptick.

This week I go back into studio for another year of clay work as my 6 week break from clay is over.

Now I wish I could say I have had my feet up this whole time but after putting in a rain catchment system for garden water in drought times and installing a new forced air heater system (95.5 effecent) under house and am just wrapping up a hot water circulation system for less water use-and orchard pruning that is not the case.

This year I will do the exact same shows (I'm going to tell my customers at one show its my last year there)Next year I'll cut one to 2 shows after the years notice for customers.

I want to slowly downsize and in doing this I'm finding making more money is often the outcome when cutting expenses. Finding your sweet spot is the goal.

The last time I cut some shows I made more as well-its always a guessing game between expenses and profit.

One thing for sure after over 40 years in clay sales Its always a learning experience.

Now I really need to get some clay work done as I'm very low on stock .


Selling Online-How Many Contacts To Close The Deal-For Me Its 7

20 January 2015 - 09:43 PM

I have always thought it takes 6-8 e-mails to finish the deal.
I have just made a sale and sure enough I just counted 7 back and forth e-mails two phone calls and its a done deal.
The box is shipped and the payment was done on my smart phone with amazon reader.
hers how it seems to go always
1st contact via my web site-asking about specific mug colors and shipping costs-no zip code given (EVER) even though they always ask about shipping costs-this drives me crazy
2nd Me giving size of mug info and pricing info and asking for clarification.
3rd-price ok If I have to wait if you do not have all colors ok as well
4th I found the mugs here is a photo of them
5th-Great I'll take them here is where I live(address) telephone#
6th Here is the total cost with shipping now that I have the zip code I can run it thru my ups software.
6-A-she called I was on a walk missed call
7-I missed your call-I'll call you
7-A called got visa #-done deal
8- does not count but I emailed a note that it shipped and I put a sponge holder in as a gift
9 -Thanks for the gift super-see you in the fall-thanks for the pots for my sisters birthday.
So my average is 7 e-mails to move out pottery via the web-this is the norm for me  no matter if its a dinnerware set or a spoon rest and thats if the buyers are on it not space muffins-which I had recently (another story)
I do not try to sell on the web via my web site but sell to my existing customer base from shows (this customer above who bought some mugs) sees me every year at a show in her town. I have been going over 20 years now. I will see her in the fall again as well.So its really a continuation of the same same business.I end up shipping many boxes out via UPS every year to existing customers.My shipping costs this year where $1.200.00 so thats a fair amount of small boxes heading out.
If I tried to make a living doing this on the web I would drown myself within a a few months of jump in front of a whale.
Thats my story of net sales-its not pretty but I'm a nice guy up to a point with customers .
I really push art fair sales with some consign and some wholesale to round out the sales.
Hopefully somebody can make a sale in only 2 e-mails??
Ok this is off topic but mail related
Speaking of mail you ever get any junk mail?
I have found that if they pay the postage you can mail them a pet rock and they pay the bill -seems you never get any mail again from them after getting a pet rock
Heres a recent outgoing pet rock duct taped the letter to rock-weighed a ton-I love dropping these into a mail box-thunk
You can include watering and feeding instructions inside the envelope as well. This rock was born on the riverbed nearby.

Happy Holidays To All

24 December 2014 - 02:22 AM

I'll be busy closing and packing my booth up and taking signage down in town tomorrow eve so I'll post my wish you well for the holidays and have a Merry Christmas tonight.Hope your clay dreams all come true.