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GEP

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  1. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Rae Reich in Online selling snafu, looking for suggestions   
    I’m very interested to see how the Square/Weebly integration is going to work. If you get some results, please report back!
    This is an interesting idea. I’m going to mull it over. It seems like a lot of intense babysitting while the sale is ongoing, but once a year it might be doable. I wouldn’t do it on instagram though, Instagram is fun, but I don’t think my customer base is there. 
  2. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Rae Reich in Online selling snafu, looking for suggestions   
    This is a good idea, warning people in advance.
  3. Like
    GEP reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in Any potters left? Not so many here now   
    Welcome to my next novel! Thank you in advance for reading
    In my area I'm seeing a lot of the older production potters retire, but they're being replaced by some young new eager folks in their 20's, and there's a middle contingent of people who have started building businesses in the last 5-10 years or so (ahem).  
    There are some marked stylistic differences along generational lines. A lot of the newer folks are making work that reminds me a lot of mid century modern sensibilities in that they're embracing the materials (hello speckled clay!) but they haven't had a chance to work out good handles yet, and sometimes I wonder about their chemistry choices. They tend to be very well presented, with well thought out and creative displays, logos and nice business cards. They promote a lot on Instagram and other social media, using it very deftly. They're also collaborating a lot with other businesses and taking advantage of networking opportunities outside an arts or crafts arena. Local fancy coffee shop opens? Of course they need a couple dozen Modernist handmade mugs to go with that!  There's someone down at this cute little workspace who can fill that order for you, probably for a good price! The newer kids are still building their audiences and working out of cooperative studios, so their output, and therefore takehome,  isn't necessarially huge. They do pots as a side gig, or as part of another form of practice. Most aspire to eventually quit their day jobs and do pots instead. They're still figuring a lot of things out, but they're out there doing it. 
    The middle ground are folks that have been working for 5 years or more, and have developed a more personal voice. The diversity of work in this group is quite wonderful, from clean elegant minimalist lines, to individually modeled animal mugs that come with adoption certificates, to gold lustre embellished porcelain vases with elaborate cutouts, to some serious horror vaccui and lush colour-overloaded fabric imprint work..it goes on. This group has found their audience, and they are catering to them shamelessly. This group has active social media presences and often have newsletters, although usage of the latter may vary. Branding is in various states of completion with some having tighter presentations than others. They all have websites, but tend to sell more in person. They've got divirsified income streams: some wholesale, some consignment, some online, a lot of the show circuit. Surprisingly, not too many teach: no time or not enough space. They will say no to the weird requests that are clearly out of their range (No, I will not paint an infinity sign and the word "tag" in the bottom of a one of a kind mug!), and they will charge prices that represent their professional skill without apology. No more making 2 dozen cups with the coffee shop's logo on it for $250. Many of us got a leg up from a particular craft show that, during the last boom, acted as an incubator and community builder. A lot of creative businesses were able to get going, and a very "community over competition" environment came out of that time and place. We have spent the last few years finding and nurturing our audiences, most have quit the day jobs they didn't want, and incomes are getting into the "paying the bills" range. Nothing too extravagant, but we can say we pay taxes.  Some of the folks who are more in the 10 year range are trying to limit the number of shows that they do in a year, as the overhead can really eat into your profit margins, and they're straight up a lot of physical labour. The in person shows have allowed them to build their audiences, but doing every last 2 day weekend market no longer appeals. It has taken a lot of hard work and a long time to get to this point. 
    The older folks are definitely identifiable: They tend to have either a blue/green pallette or a brown/amber one. You can find all your garlic graters, utensil jars and brie bakers with these good folks, probably for a lot less money than the 40 year olds are charging, if the 40 year olds even have that item. They also have a handful of "statement" pieces that compliment the more everyday items: these will cost more than any one item the 40 year olds have in their entire booth. They have huge booth displays made from iffy looking plywood that offer wide variety of well made and tested items, their glazes have stood the test of time, and they're the ones taking orders for dinnerware sets and have waiting lists for such things. They have return customers who have been collecting them for years, and those customers are starting to buy for their adult kids now. They have no social media, and might have a website, but only because someone expects them to. Certainly no online sales. I have no idea how they handle marketing because they're too busy to talk to me while we're at sales together. Some of them are beginning to retire, though. The show organizers are aware of this, and they're trying to nudge some of the middle and younger group into position to take over once they're gone. 
    My takeaway from all of this is that in the current environment, pottery is something you work into as a career: you can't just jump in and hope you're profitable in the first few years. If a regular business can be expected to pull profit in the first 3-5 years, pottery seems to take 5-8 to get established. In some ways I think this can be a blessing though, because there's more time to figure out a style that you like AND sells. Building a business is a lot to figure out, and if Americans think there's few statistics on art or craft incomes to try and make a business plan with, there are even fewer north of the border. I am winging this based on personal experience, and what my community is willing to share with me. Thank All That Is for them. 
  4. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Rae Reich in Online selling snafu, looking for suggestions   
    Thanks @Callie Beller Diesel. This person has put a lot of thought into this. I’m not sure I want to give my customers such lengthy instructions, but maybe it can’t be helped. 
  5. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Rae Reich in Online selling snafu, looking for suggestions   
    Whenever I buy a baseball ticket online, as soon as I click "add to cart" I get a countdown timer and a message "you have 15 minutes to pay for your tickets before they are released back to the public." I feel like Big Cartel, or somebody like them, could offer this function. They could call it "high traffic mode" and charge shop owners extra for it. I'd be happy to pay extra in order to avoid the hassle. 
  6. Like
    GEP reacted to Rae Reich in Handmade?   
    I think products made from molds are as unique as the maker cares to make them. A limited edition, even a limited yearly edition of a successful and admired piece could conceivably retain value over the years. 
    The Japanese aesthetic can seem baffling to westerners. If you really want to complete with the high-dollar guys, you will need to do more research. What makes one pot appear to sulk on the table, while another offers its tree to the gods? What other qualities, besides function, appeal to bonsai  lovers? How will you know when you've achieved them?
    How many tries did it take to achieve an admired piece? A perfectionist might cast 100 and keep 8. How many people are lined up to own one?
    Mindless mass production devalues the product, but controlled access increases the value. 
    Making lots of stuff for profit does not comport with the aesthetic of patiently pruning a tiny tree for generations. 
    Granted, you can "only" be an American bonsai potter, but you can decide how much you want or need to conform to tradition. 
  7. Like
    GEP reacted to karenkstudio in What’s on your workbench?   
    Made a "bead popper" from an empty Chap Stick tube.  Automatically centers the hole in the bead.  
  8. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Rae Reich in What’s on your workbench?   
    Ok, I got it now! Yes I am expecting people to put the steeper in the cup first, and add tea leaves to it, while they are waiting for the kettle to boil. This morning I tried putting the steeper into a cup that already had water in it. It displaces a little at first, but the water goes through the holes in the steeper pretty quickly. The walls of the steeper are quite thin. 
  9. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Babs in What’s on your workbench?   
    I put mine directly into the sink. But I have lots of small dishes that would work as a saucer if somebody wants one. 
  10. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Chilly in What’s on your workbench?   
    I've been trying to figure out this design for at least two years, and think I have finally done it. A ceramic tea steeper with a stainless steel handle.  It works with any cup, or at least all of the cups I make. I plan to start making teapots that will also accommodate the steeper. 

  11. Like
    GEP reacted to Hulk in What’s on your workbench?   
    Hulk borrow tea steeper id
  12. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Hulk in What’s on your workbench?   
    Ok, I got it now! Yes I am expecting people to put the steeper in the cup first, and add tea leaves to it, while they are waiting for the kettle to boil. This morning I tried putting the steeper into a cup that already had water in it. It displaces a little at first, but the water goes through the holes in the steeper pretty quickly. The walls of the steeper are quite thin. 
  13. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Hulk in What’s on your workbench?   
    I've been trying to figure out this design for at least two years, and think I have finally done it. A ceramic tea steeper with a stainless steel handle.  It works with any cup, or at least all of the cups I make. I plan to start making teapots that will also accommodate the steeper. 

  14. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Pres in What’s on your workbench?   
    I've been trying to figure out this design for at least two years, and think I have finally done it. A ceramic tea steeper with a stainless steel handle.  It works with any cup, or at least all of the cups I make. I plan to start making teapots that will also accommodate the steeper. 

  15. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Pres in What’s on your workbench?   
    I developed a new platter mold, and a new approach to illustrating koi fish. I'm pretty excited about these.

  16. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Callie Beller Diesel in What’s on your workbench?   
    I've been trying to figure out this design for at least two years, and think I have finally done it. A ceramic tea steeper with a stainless steel handle.  It works with any cup, or at least all of the cups I make. I plan to start making teapots that will also accommodate the steeper. 

  17. Like
    GEP reacted to Rae Reich in What’s on your workbench?   
    @GEP, pretty nice idea. Design suits your aesthetic and the raw clay too. Does the user put the leaves into the steeper, then put the steeper  into the cup, then pour water? Thinking about displacement...
    (don't worry about the bail, you don't want it to fall over)
  18. Like
    GEP reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in Tableware from leftovers - good gimmick?   
    Chefs generally want their food to shine, not be overpowered by the dishes: not too many places want dishes with any kind of colour other than white. Grey or soft brown are daring choices in the food world. The pieces in the article are definitely in the minimalist category. They seem to all start out as cylinders with a bit of flare, and warp pretty good in the kiln. Very delicate, and they have some animation. It's all about the form. The cups look like you have to think about how you're going to hold it and drink, which makes another argument for it being about this being about being present, and thinking about eating.
    And my guess is the bones from the restaraunt are only part of the bone ash in the clay recipe. That part's probably gimmick. A lot of high art is. (Wall bananas, anyone?)
  19. Like
    GEP reacted to LeeU in What’s on your workbench?   
    I think I have what I need to bisque for a raku fire I've been invited to. (unfinished greenware) 


  20. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Rae Reich in What’s on your workbench?   
    Nice jar, @Bill Kielb! Making air-tight storage jars is also on my list of things to figure out.
    I hadn't thought about a pivoting handle for the tea steeper. The item is so small, I don't think storage will be an issue. But I have one in my own kitchen that I plan to use a lot. If the need for a pivoting handle makes itself clear, then I will work on it!
  21. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Rae Reich in What’s on your workbench?   
    I've been trying to figure out this design for at least two years, and think I have finally done it. A ceramic tea steeper with a stainless steel handle.  It works with any cup, or at least all of the cups I make. I plan to start making teapots that will also accommodate the steeper. 

  22. Like
    GEP got a reaction from LeeU in What’s on your workbench?   
    I've been trying to figure out this design for at least two years, and think I have finally done it. A ceramic tea steeper with a stainless steel handle.  It works with any cup, or at least all of the cups I make. I plan to start making teapots that will also accommodate the steeper. 

  23. Like
    GEP got a reaction from missflo in pink clay, how to?   
    If this is for purely sculptural work, try polymer clay? You can have any color you want.
  24. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Bill Kielb in What’s on your workbench?   
    I've been trying to figure out this design for at least two years, and think I have finally done it. A ceramic tea steeper with a stainless steel handle.  It works with any cup, or at least all of the cups I make. I plan to start making teapots that will also accommodate the steeper. 

  25. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Bill Kielb in What’s on your workbench?   
    Nice jar, @Bill Kielb! Making air-tight storage jars is also on my list of things to figure out.
    I hadn't thought about a pivoting handle for the tea steeper. The item is so small, I don't think storage will be an issue. But I have one in my own kitchen that I plan to use a lot. If the need for a pivoting handle makes itself clear, then I will work on it!
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