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About GEP

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    full time potter / past forum moderator

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  • Location
    Silver Spring, MD
  • Interests
    biking, jogging, cooking and eating, veggie gardening, baseball (Orioles)

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  1. I read a blog post by potters who did a show last weekend, including some video of the event. I’m guessing it’s the same show that @neilestrick is talking about. It looks very organized and safe from a public health standpoint. It also looks like a ghost town. All things considered, I wouldn’t spend $400 on these events right now either.
  2. $400 seems high for all of the restrictions that customers will be under. Is this event being run by a for-profit operation? If yes, then I would pass. For-profit shows need to prioritize their own bottom line first. There are plenty of non-profit and local government shows that don't need to turn a profit. I would trust them more to look after everyone's best interests. Some of the for-profit operations have been doing some really shady things this summer. I guess they feel like they need to, but we artists don't need to help them.
  3. Whenever someone asks me if my work is “lead-free” I know they aren’t very knowledgeable. My answer is “oh, lead has been gone from American handmade ceramics for decades. But that doesn’t mean that all handmade pottery is safe. There are other chemicals that some potters still use (Barium, for example) which can be unsafe if the glazes are not formulated or fired correctly. So it’s important to ask the potter if you’re not sure. If you don’t get a confident “yes” from the potter, then you should assume it’s not foodworthy. Or, use it at your own risk. For anything that’s made outside of the US, all bets are off.”
  4. There was a thread in a facebook group about this topic. I found this to be the most relevant answer. This is an artist whom I’ve met. She makes excellent work (jewelry) and is a well-developed businessperson. “I was signed up for 2-3 shows per weekend every single weekend (hadn't decided which yet) so have been in a ton of virtual shows. I've sold one piece so far from these events.” There were over 50 comments in the thread, most of the rest of them amounted to “total waste of time.” There was only one virtual show mentioned by two artists (State College, PA) where they reported sales between $500-$1000. This is nothing close to what artists can make when that show is live and in person. I follow this show on social media and they were promoting it like crazy! And their local audience is very dedicated to the show’s success. So they were able to make some lemonade, but apparently most shows have not managed to do so. I think the type of person who likes to shop at shows does not overlap much with people who like to shop online. The type of work is also different. If you want sales from both audiences, you need to cultivate them separately.
  5. I don’t have a claybody recommendation. But when I make coasters,. I roll out the slab at the beginning of my work day, then come back 3 or 4 hours later to make the coasters. A few hours of drying will remove the sticky/mushy factor from most clays. The amount of time is individual, depends on your climate. And I think a low-fire single firing will work.
  6. Do you mean the weight had not dropped and the cone in the setter had not started to bend, but the button still popped out?
  7. A quick update to this thread: I am in the middle of another one of these “home delivery” sales. Heading out to start deliveries this morning, This time I used a route optimizing website (RouteXL.com) to plot my routes. This saved so much time! It only takes about 10 minutes to generate one of these routes. Not only does it find the shortest route, it also tells me what time I will arrive at each location, which then lets me tell the customers what time to expect me. I found a few websites that seemed like they would work,, but this one was the most user friendly, and didn’t require me to register an account. I can only plot up to 20 addresses at a time, but that’s ok because my longest route this week is 18 addresses. Thank you to @dhPotter for sparking the idea, and to @neilestrick for pointing out that these websites already exist.
  8. I don’t agree with your assertion that Disney files baseless lawsuits. And that you seem to think those who get sued are innocent victims. They’re not. And you used the “fair use” clauses as if they offer broad immunity. I’m just trying to clarify that they don’t, because too many artists have this misconception. Edit to add: too many artists like to spread an attitude of being resentful towards those who have copyrights that are worth defending, It’s the wrong way to look at it, The Copyright Law is our friend. It exists to protect us, not to stifle us.
  9. They also attract mice and bugs, because the starch is edible to them. It’s one of those things you shouldn’t buy in bulk because it’s cheaper. Just buy what you need. During my last online sale, one customer bought 6 pots, so she got two large-ish boxes and a lot of peanuts. She asked me what to do with the peanuts. I told her they would dissolve but I had never done it myself (every peanut that enters my house leaves in another pottery shipment). Good to know that they really do dissolve.
  10. These terms are not “get out of jail free” cards. Their applicability is very limited. I seriously doubt Disney is going after true fair use cases. They wouldn’t waste their time. Do you know of any case where Disney sued someone and lost? It doesn’t happen because the law is on their side. Stop making them the devil in this fight. They have the right to defend their property. Other businesses can easily avoid this fight by using their own original ideas.
  11. I’m going to take the intellectual property owner’s side when it comes to copyright enforcement. Disney has every right to aggressively enforce their copyrights. NO small business or artist has the right to turn a profit off of the wild popularity of Disney characters. Especially given that the selling is done to (or through) little kids, which adds another layer of unethical. That includes the daycare. Especially when it comes to those calling themselves “artists.” Using copyrighted material is dishonest, cheesy, and shows a total lack of original ideas. No sympathy for those who get nailed for crossing the line. Anyone who wants to be a professional artist needs to learn where the lines are drawn, and to respect the lines. In my experience, there are two kinds of professional artists. Those who have had their work ripped off by another, and those who haven’t yet experienced it. When it happens to you, you’ll see why it’s important.
  12. I like this idea a lot. OP could aim to make an item that is meant for display on a shelf, rather than one that is food safe and functional. Meant to express love, rather than expertise. The idea of someone making me drink coffee from a mug that is entwined with another mug that is also full of coffee makes marriage seem like a questionable idea :-). But if it was a metaphor displayed on a shelf, that actually makes more sense.
  13. @IHaveToKeepThisQuiet, luckily for you, Minnesota is loaded with potters. Please be willing to pay a generous asking price. Also, please do not express anything to the potter like “I think I could do this myself ... “
  14. I've started thinking about how to handle my own holiday open studio. It is normally on the second weekend of December, which is pretty late in the season. If all the fall shows get cancelled, I could move it to November, and conceivably have it outdoors. I would make it a one day event (instead of two), and set up tables in my back yard and space them far apart so customers can distance themselves. Masks would be required. It would be credit card only, and chip cards only. Customers would have to dip their own card. Apple Pay would also work. I'm torn about checks. I have good customers who always pay by check. I suppose a check isn't as filthy as cash, and hasn't been circulating in the environment for years. Customers could bag their own purchases, or simple carry them away unwrapped. A wrapping/bagging station would be set up for them, again allowing for social distancing. This would be followed by putting the remaining pots online for another "free home delivery" sale for those who did not want to attend the event.
  15. Today, the first of my fall shows decided to cancel. It would have been early October. As of now, I still have two other fall shows. One of them said they will make a final decision in September, and they aren't asking for booth fees until then. I've decided not to apply for any more, doesn't seem worth it. I agree with @DirtRoads, I'd rather the shows be cancelled, than have us all in harm's way. For the artists and the customers.
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