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cbarnes

inventory #'s

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Hello

i was wondering if anyone puts an "inventory" number on the bottom of their pieces?  and also how they initial.  i bought a stamp but its hard to stamp the bottom without it indenting the base.  scratching it in with a sharp tool looks rough.

all of my work is different, shape and carving & paint technique.  so every piece is unique.  i thought about giving it a number from start to finish and tracking time spent, paint colors, fire range, clay body, etc.  Then when i sell it i know the time/cost invested.  but i wasn't sure if putting that number on the bottom of the piece would look bad?  another option is just an inventory "picture" book with the number instead of actually writing it on the bottom.  Curious what others are doing.

 

thanks

Christy

 

 

Edited by cbarnes

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Personally, I think an inventory ID actually in the piece would not be that appealing. I just write it on masking tape (paper tape) and stick it on the bottom. I use an Excel workbook and each sheet is a category--bowls, trays, masks, boxes---whatever. The sheets' 1st column is the inventory number. I use a 2 part system. Example: a box is BX, a tray is TR, then these are followed by the number---1,2,3 etc. So I have BX5 or TR9.  I sometimes  use an app called Pottery Log Book that includes a small reference picture as well as glaze/body/other information. If there is something special I want to remember via the ID, I add a 3rd identifier for my own awareness. For example, if it is my 17th  catchall and was fired as raku, my ID on the tape, in the app, in the spreadsheet, and in the shop would be CA17RK.    I do not always put it in all these places---mostly the tape, the spreadsheet and as the retail product number. My storage drawers or shelves would be labeled CA, TR and so forth.

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Hi Christy,

Just over a year in, I'm still scribing two letters into the base after trimming - the style has evolved, hence I can tell about when a piece was made. I'm using a ball point pen and gentle pressure; any crumbs/bits are scraped and/or sanded off after bisque. One o' these days I'll have't'make a stamp!

...pieces pile up, however; they have to go somewhere, sometime! The pieces that are still at home are either too bad to give away (the hammer will get them some day), or I like them and want to hold on to them for a while (they'll be given away later), or somewhere in between - I like them and they are too bad to give away!

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I also don't want to put an inventory number or date on my pieces - I guess just a preference.  Instead I keep picture and spreadsheet records. 

I started taking pictures and putting those in a spread sheet, with data about the clay, glazing, etc., but the pictures were tricky to get into the spreadsheet and were small.  Now, I put a little post-it note in the picture with a piece number on it, clay type, and sometimes weight of clay and keep that in Adobe Lightroom (example below). It helps me to have the information in the picture itself, as it can't get lost and is always linked. I take a second picture once it is glazed with the same sticky note on it and add information about the glazes I am using and any other important information. I keep those pictures and label the picture file name by the piece number. I link that same piece number in excel, with other information in columns, such as type of clay, weight, height of the object, glazing, current progress and notes about the piece, etc. so I can sort by pot type, glaze, clay type and anything else. I have only been working at throwing  for just over a year, so this information is really helpful because  I am trying lots of different shapes, clays and glazes. I expect that when I am producing better work consistently and understand more about what I am doing,  that I will be less likely to keep these kind of records as they are time consuming.

416.jpg

Edited by Selchie
Added image.

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Trying to keep track of an inventory number for every piece made may work for one-off, low volume pieces, but it would add way  too much time to production work, and wouldn't really contribute much to the process. When I make 2 dozen mugs, there's really no reason to number each one individually. They're all just mugs of various colors. If I was making pieces that took weeks to produce, then numbering each piece would make more sense.

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I'm keeping notes on:

  how glazes are evolving - recipe and changes to recipes, specific gravity; how much jelled; application details/problems/successes; behavior with clays, other glazes, underglazes, firings, etc.

  each firing - times and temps, lessons and mistakes, etc.

  things I want to try out - more glazes! ...slips, washes, etc.

  

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I'm similar to LeeU above. I find putting painters tape on the bottom with a code helps keep them straight. That number is duplicated on the carton if I have it boxed and ready to ship, the spreadsheet I take to the show, and On-line. While I do low fire (horsehair and saggar) that have a "fingerprint" quality to them, it is much easier to pull out the item with a number. It was my wife's suggestion very early on but I was foolish enough not to listen to her for a while.

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5 hours ago, Marc McMillan said:

It was my wife's suggestion very early on but I was foolish enough not to listen to her for a while.

Holy cannoli...a guy who actually put this in writing!! Has your beloved seen the post? If not, you'd probably raise your hubby-value considerably if you let her read it. :D:D (Yeah, I know, off-topic...just couldn't resist.)

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On 4/1/2019 at 6:46 PM, LeeU said:

Holy cannoli...a guy who actually put this in writing!! Has your beloved seen the post? If not, you'd probably raise your hubby-value considerably if you let her read it. :D:D (Yeah, I know, off-topic...just couldn't resist.) 

I did indeed tell her that she was right. No sense in denying she is smarter than me. ;)

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