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About Leigh@CAC

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  • Birthday August 18

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  • Location
    Work in Port Chester NY, live in Ossining
  • Interests
    ceramics - sculpture and pottery
    nature/plants/pollination, etc
    writing about ceramics
    good books (i was an english literature major too)
    good film and good TV
  1. LGHT Everyone has different ideas on what the purpose of a forum is... but I agree with Sherman that one can offer their opinion on matters without using abusive language or a belittling tone. If you think that calling someone "silly" "Natzi" or "anal retentive" isn't harassing or abusive, then perhaps you have a higher tolerance to such name calling. Basically, if you keep it up, you will no longer be allowed to post anything. Furthermore, as everyone is in different stages in their artistic career, no questions are "stupid." I can't imagine that you know everything there is to know, and like everyone would like to have a place where you could ask questions without worry of what other people might think. Copyright issues are a big deal out in the real world, so maybe this question came from someone who has had experience with it - so your lack of experience is more of what is shining through on this point. If you have something to say that, that's fine - just make sure you say something with out judging or name calling. K? Leigh Taylor Mickleson
  2. Hello again If you are in a community of artists wherever it is that you live, here is a great way to save some money on photography, and our artists and students here at CAC do it often. Most professional photographers have a "set up fee" which covers the time to set up the equipment required for the work, whether it is at the photographers studio, or at another location, plus an hourly rate. And now adays, there is a fee for the digital post work - converting files from RAW to high and low res digital jpegs. The set up fee can range in price, but it's usually expensive. What some of our artists do here is they get the photographer scheduled, and then several artists bring in their work to be photographed. This way the set up fee is shared among the artists, and then each individual artist pays according to how much time the photographer spent with their work. And, if you have photoshop on your computer, and know how to resize images, etc, then you can always ask for the RAW files on CD, which cuts out that post work, which saves even more money. This shared session works especially well if all the artists involved have work that is all similarlly sized, because then the photographer doesn't have to take a lot of time readjusting the lights, etc. Every penny counts with professional photography! Just a thought. All it takes is someone to schedule the photograher, then to send out an email to artists that you have a photographer coming or scheduled (somewhere), and invite them to join in the shoot to share costs. It is a win win if you don't have a photo booth as part of your studio set up. I guess this is Part 2 of Polishing your Image Leigh Taylor Mickelson Program Director Clay Art Center
  3. Hi "crom" - i agree with mea that the answer depends on your situation. Lots of people have gotten the education they need to start a career by attending intensive 1-2 week workshops at places such as Penland, Archie Bray or by taking classes at community clay art centers, like Clay Art Center, where I work. There are art centers all over the country, but finding a place that concentrates on ceramics, or has a very strong ceramics offering with experienced and educated teachers is key. Anyone can take clay classes, but if you want to advance your career, you need to find the classes and workshops that will advance you to the next level, and then the next level, and then the next level. If you are young, and have money and time to go get a degree in ceramics, this is probably the fastest way to get to the next level, and get pointed into a direction for a post-college career. It would be by far the more intensive option, and you would have access to all the information you would want or need (plus extra) and after 2-3 years you can move into a career. I know several successful potters, however, who did not need a university-level education to become a "potter." if you want to teach, then yes, a degree is necessary. If all you want to do is make and sell your work, i think you could get your higher learning education by hand picking upper-level intense workshops around the country, and have full access to a studio where you can practise and perfect your work. The most important thing to being a successful potter, is not only learning how to DO it, it is learning you to find your own voice - how to make pots that are your own, and a reflection of you as a person and a potter. This is the thing that takes the most time, and a university level education doesn't guaruntee that this will come any easier! It is a personal journey, and it takes everyone a different amount of time. Good luck, and let me know if you want more info, based on your situation. As to how to find a good university program, the information is out there - Ceramics Monthly highlights programs in specific issues, and you could find all those issues for a good start. Leigh Taylor Mickelson
  4. Hi Mad Mudder - as a sculptor myself, i know it is hard to handle friends who are interested in your work but can't afford it. if you are selling your work through a venue (the garden place) and the venue charges a retail price, which tacks on 50% to your artist price, you could offer your piece to your friend at a wholesale price, which is what you would make anyway. I would only do this for my friends, because you don't want real collectors thinking they can always come to you and get your artwork for half price. If you are not selling through a gallery, and are already selling your pieces to the world at the "artist price," you might consider raising your prices to be what they would be in a gallery setting, so your work is selling for their true value (which is what they would sell for in a retail setting.) If you give your friend a "deal" then you can feel like you are helping her out, and at the same time you would get paid what you normally get paid for your work.... DON'T GIVE YOUR WORK AWAY!!! And if you sell your work to her for less than it is worse, it could put a wedge in your friendship... Leigh
  5. Just my 2 cents. $12-14 for a handcrafted mug is very very cheap - i haven't seen a mug that inexpensive in a long time, except at Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel. I haven't seen mugs going for cheaper than 20, and most are over 30, and ones that have lots of carving or drawing are always typically around $50. In a gallery, that is. Yes, it seems like a lot, but this is the norm for emerging as well as established talent. So really, it feels like you are already selling your mugs at wholesale, and that you should double your price at fairs, etc, and charge the gallery the $12/mug. You should be selling your pieces for the same price at your own studio and at fairs as they will be priced in shops. The shops will certainly sell them for $25 or higher, so you should too! Hope this helps! Leigh
  6. You could also use this term for educational offerings in the clay world. We at Clay Art Center (non profit ceramic art center in Port Chester, NY) have a gallery and studio spaces, but our bread and butter comes from our clay classes and workshops. We have a huge percentage of return students, however, we always need to attract new people, so each month we offer a one-time 3-hour weekend afternoon class called "Check It Out." The idea for this class is to give folks who might be interested in clay a one-time hands on experience, and the hope is that they will like it and have enough fun that they will sign up for a weekly class. We often run these classes (we charge $50/person) at break-even or even at a loss, just so we have the opportunity to introduce our establishment to a new person. We also hold Open Houses, with free hands-on clay experiences to bring new children and families into our doors. Similarly we hold parent/child workshops called "Helping Hands" with the same pretence. If any of you teach classes out there in your studios, you might think about offering this type of "loss leader" to bring in new people. A good percentage of them will be back for more!! Leigh Taylor Mickelson Program Director Clay Art Center www.clayartcenter.org
  7. I just created my website with Other People's Pixels and was very impressed with how easy it was. I have been trying to get around to getting myself a website for years now, and I put this website together in just the better part of an afternoon! A great way to get it done. Thanks for the suggestion!!
  8. Hello All! My name is Leigh Taylor Mickelson and I have been asked to moderate the business forum! While I have 12+ years of experience as an arts administrator (9 years at Baltimore Clayworks and 3+ years as Program Director at Clay Art Center in Port Chester, NY), this is my first time moderating a forum. Actually, it's my first time participating in one. So I thought this would be a fun new challenge, and perhaps I can help answer some questions out there. Be patient with me as I learn how to post and comment!! So for the past 12 years, I have run exhibitions, workshops and other educational programs for two highly esteemed ceramic art centers. I learned on the job and I can honestly say now that I have a very good sense of how things work out there. I have played a large role in helping young (and not so young) artists establish their careers, and that has been the most rewarding part of my job. Being at a ceramic art center that offers classes for beginners as well as workshops for pre-professional and working artists, I find great joys in helping aspiring artists work to make their mark on an ever growing field. And the first lesson in Polishing Your Image, in order to get those beautiful works of yours out there into the clay world, is to GET GOOD IMAGES. If you look, you will see that everyone's career as a clay artist - out there in the world of galleries and juried shows - starts with good images. This does not mean setting up a sheet in your living room, placing your pot on your couch and taking a few good shots... Or placing your beatiful shino vase just out of the kiln into the newly cut grass... (yes, I still get these!) This means that if you don't happen have any background photography knowledge (I definitely don't), you will need to hire a professional photographer who has a studio and fork out some significant dough, and get quality high resolution digital images of your works. Take a Ceramics Monthly magazine with you, and show your photographer what you want your images to look like -- you only see the best images in there.... So, if you are in a place in your growth as an artist that you feel your work can compete for juried exhibitions, then you owe it to yourself to take this step. And if you are not sure your work is ready for this step, then ask someone who is further on in their career for an honest critique. We are always glad to help. I can say for sure, that when I spent those extra dollars to get a better photograper for my own work, I all of the sudden started getting accepted into juried shows. Believe me, this helps A LOT. Yes, the work has to be evolved as well, but a good image makes a big difference. OK - so that is my first bit. I will look forward to chatting with you all out there. Leigh Taylor Mickelson Program Director Clay Art Center www.clayartcenter.org www.leightaylormickelson.org (my brand new website that I just launched - finally taking my own advice and got myself my own website. I think I am often better at promoting other artists than I am promoting myself!! Tell me what you think!)
  9. Leigh@CAC

    LTM - New Work

    here are some images of my newest work, all of which was on display at Sherrie Gallerie in Columbus OH in March 2010.
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