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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Shop Local Day

A campaign has started which is pushing to make Nov 27th be the day we all shop at small businesses.  As much as I love this idea I'd rather make every day shop at small business day.  It's better for the economy, it's better for our home values, it's better for our frame of mind.  I know some of my fellow artist who read this usually support local and small business because they are a local and small business and it's just good karma.  However, I often hear potters saying "you can get this from (enter ugly big box store name here)."  Many of them give the argument that the big box store is the only place in town to shop...anymore.  Or else it's the convenience argument - "If I get Aunt Millie this crap she doesn't like at the big box store she can easily exchange it."  Why not get her something unique and thoughtful that she might actually like?
It kills me to hear people say that the small businesses are going under because the economy is so bad yet I drive past the full parking lot of the big box shopping center into my village of stores that have gone out of business after having thrived 20 years.  The distance is only 1 mile between the two.
This year, let's try to make gift giving a gift to our communities also. 

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Monday, November 22, 2010

Open Studio Successes and Lessons

Open Studio Sale 2010

As you may know I held my first open studio and sale this past weekend.  It was a lot of fun and a good experience.   I definitely learned a few things, but I still have questions, actually the list of questions may have grown longer than it was before the sale.
I had pottery displayed in my tent, studio and kiln room.  This made closing up shop at night easier because everything that was in a building was safe and sound under a roof and behind a locked door.  The pots in my tent were boxed up at night for safety from the elements but the pottery in the studio actually received very little attention.  People were more interested in looking at the wheel and other equipment.  I had decorative pieces in there, naked raku, horse hair and porcelain.  These are not big sellers right now due to the economy so that may have been the issue too.  The shelves in the kiln room worked very well for a display, I'll be doing that again without a doubt.  Another thing I learned was that I need much better lighting in the tent, at least for this time of year.  I'd love to know if anyone has some good ideas for tent lighting.  Thankfully, I have electricity very close to the tent so that wouldn't be an issue.
I served some spiced cider that smelled as good as it tasted, I drank most of it so I wonder if I should continue that practice or not.  I also had homemade cookies, brownies & some veggie chips out.  Again, I ate most of them, very few customers did.  I think the lack of a party type atmosphere made the snacks less appealing because they were totally delicious.  I wonder if I should continue to offer them at my next studio sale or just skip it.  It does seem nice to have something to offer but it is also a waste if left untouched.  What do you think?
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Struggles

Sake Bottle
A few days ago I read the blog of fellow potter Paul Jessup who was feeling badly about himself and very uncreative because of an issue he was fighting with his bank.  I know the feeling, I'm there.  I've been having an ongoing struggle with my bank for the past six months.  Every time I try to take time to focus on my work they call me with another problem that requires me to drop everything I'm doing and do something for them.  It's draining.  It also makes it hard to even try to focus on my work knowing that they will pounce as soon as I get engrossed.  I know this will end eventually but it feels like it will go on for eternity.  Which makes me think about the kids that have killed themselves because of bullying.  To a kid a few years seems a lot like eternity, a few years of bullying feels a lot like an eternity in hell.  Our government says we need to stop the bullying but then will not give gay people equal rights.  I think kids who don't know a better way to deal with insecurities will always pick on other kids, but if they see someone as equal, if someone is treated equally by the world it will be one less thing to pick on and not a reason for shame to the point of suicide. 
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Open Studio Planning


This blog hasn't been updated for a week, that seems to be a trend lately.  I apologize for that, it's busy season in the pottery business.  I'm making it even busier by having my first ever open studio and sale in a week and a half.  It's a lot of work considering the studio building isn't even completely finished.  Thankfully, some of my wonderful friends came over and did some painting.
I've found some good advice from the blog on Ceramics Arts Daily but I'm always open for new ideas so if you have any suggestions for making this sale a success I'd love to read them.
Thanks
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vote

I found this on Joanne Mattera's wonderful Art Blog and thought I would share it here.  Watch it, enjoy and then go out and vote.
Warning, this video contains language that might not be suitable for children and some unintelligent people.