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New Potter: Advice Appreciated!


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Geez, guys. My pottery isn't nearly as pretty as his and it's what I do for a living. Granted, my main selling point is illustration, but I don't understand why he isn't "good enough" to do this for a living. I think he is on a great track and he will find his voice with experience.

 

Crikey, I wonder how many of you think my work isn't "good enough" to put food on my table because my forms aren't "perfect." Geez...

I have found a double standard with things that I have experienced myself. For your work Guinea, people feel like they are buying a piece of art, illustrations. People also love seeing their favorite character on mugs and plates. When people buy pottery they just see a form for use, they ask their selves "what do you do with a tumbler?" "why should I buy a $30.00 vase when I can get one for 25 cents at the thrift store?" This will sound waspish, for non art people and even artist, things have to be above and beyond for people to even glance at it. His work needs more refinement and something that will set them apart 

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Chris, 

  Good point. I'll have to think on that a bit. Have you known potters who focus on more fragile pieces that still do well sales-wise??? I mean, I'm really happy with the pieces in general. I could certainly widen out the bottoms a bit on some of the skinnier pieces.

 

For wholesale, galleries and show sales nothing should look fragile. Nothing sticking out or lifting off. Plates and bowls should stack safely. Galleries do not like fragile work because it intimidates browsers ... Nobody wants to lift them or touch them. Nobody connects with the piece in a tactile way. Nobody wants to break it. The word NO looms large in buyers minds.

 

They also do not like it because packing and shipping it to customers is such a pain. You will not like packing and shipping those pieces either. It gets expensive.

 

If I was depending on clay to earn my main living, I would not make fragile pieces ... I'd be making the things people want to pick up.

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Chris, 

  Good point. I'll have to think on that a bit. Have you known potters who focus on more fragile pieces that still do well sales-wise??? I mean, I'm really happy with the pieces in general. I could certainly widen out the bottoms a bit on some of the skinnier pieces.

For wholesale, galleries and show sales nothing should look fragile. Nothing sticking out or lifting off. Plates and bowls should stack safely. Galleries do not like fragile work because it intimidates browsers ... Nobody wants to lift them or touch them. Nobody connects with the piece in a tactile way. Nobody wants to break it. The word NO looms large in buyers minds.

 

They also do not like it because packing and shipping it to customers is such a pain. You will not like packing and shipping those pieces either. It gets expensive.

 

If I was depending on clay to earn my main living, I would not make fragile pieces ... I'd be making the things people want to pick up.

 

exactly. It makes me want to fly into the sun everytime I hear someone say "oh my gosh, I almost dont want to pick it up because it looks so delicate"

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I think part of what others are saying in " Find your voice," it is also saying find your audience. I knew from the very beginning I wanted to make functional ware, pieces people will use every day. This decision drove and guided so many other choices such as clay, glaze, and style decisions such as handles. Each new design is test driven across the dining table and through the dish washer for several weeks. I just changed my bowl shape to better fit the dishwasher rack. If your goal is to make decorative items you have numerous other items to consider.

 

Have you heard the story of the vase and the $20,000 piano?

 

Your work looks like you have made big strides in the past couple of months.

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I think part of what others are saying in " Find your voice," it is also saying find your audience. I knew from the very beginning I wanted to make functional ware, pieces people will use every day. This decision drove and guided so many other choices such as clay, glaze, and style decisions such as handles. Each new design is test driven across the dining table and through the dish washer for several weeks. I just changed my bowl shape to better fit the dishwasher rack. If your goal is to make decorative items you have numerous other items to consider.

 

Have you heard the story of the vase and the $20,000 piano?

 

Your work looks like you have made big strides in the past couple of months.

I was struggling to find a way to say this and not sound negative.  You did the job well.

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Hey good luck with your next round of shows and don't forget to let us know how it all works out. I think your work is great and I think the market will too. I hope the various post of suggestions and opinions hasn't caused you to re-think your work too much.

 

Paul Soldner from an interview in 03':

I think it's one reason why I've never felt comfortable with critiquing art and have come to the conclusion that it's not necessary. In fact, it probably hinders real creativity, because whenever there's a critique, first of all it's somebody else's idea, not yours, and if you're an artist-I don't care if you're a beginner or advanced-that's the privilege of being an artist, is to be your own boss, make up your own mind. Plus students tend to worry about getting a good grade, so they try to figure out what they're supposed to do, what the teacher would like, and they end up compromising too much, I think, their own work.

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