Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ronan Peterson Workshop

The Ronan Peterson workshop at Mudfire is awesome. We're learning a lot and having a lot of fun. I'll post more during the weekRonon demos throwing pots BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Survey Results

A few weeks ago I posted a survey about social media selling.  The idea was to gather some information about what social sites people are using and how all of this free advertising is helping sales.  The survey was only three questions, which gives us some information but it's not all inclusive by any means.  I did not ask any questions about frequency of updating on these sites or how active an artist was in using these sites.  I didn't ask about exclusivity or a host of other questions that a data analyst would want to know to give a really comprehensive report.  I'm an artist, not a data analyst, go figure.  However, I did get 100% of all respondents answering all the questions, so that's the advantage of a three question survey.
I posted a link to the survey on each of the social media sites I inquired about as well as my blog (obviously) and hoped that word of mouth would get some people to reply also.  I'm pretty happy with the volume of respondents for this short, informal survey.
I'm sure you're all dying to know the results:

1. What social media sites do you use for your business?
Facebook won with 93.8%
Twitter had 68.8%
Etsy and LinkedIn tied with 56.3%

2. Which social media site provides the most sales for you?
Not surprisingly Etsy was the winner here, of course it is a sales site.
Facebook came in second followed by blogs and then Twitter.

3. How would you rate this site for providing you with active customers (active meaning people who buy your work)?
Most of the respondents indicated that they would be starving to death if they relied entirely on this site for sales the rest of the respondents indicated that less than 50% of sales came from social media sites.

In my opinion this means that social media is not the huge sales tool for artists that other businesses have claimed.  This could be because people like to see and touch art more than they do other items.  I would guess that musician can sell music via social media because, like the radio, people can get a taste of the style of the music before committing to an entire CD.
I also think social media is a great place for making contacts with other artists and keeping customers aware of what you're doing and were you're showing your work.
So go to the gallery, get your work displayed and then tell everyone in your social network.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hambidge Wood Firing Results

As you may remember I participated in a wood firing two weekends ago at Hambidge Artist Retreat in Rabun Gap, GA.  This past Saturday we opened up the anangama kiln and unloaded the pots.  It was a beautiful firing, the best ever according to some people.  It was my first wood firing in that kiln so I have nothing to compare to except the pieces that I have from the anagama at Shorter University.  Tom Egan had told us that the kiln fires smoother in the rain and I'm a believer (sorry if I just got a Monkey's song stuck in your head).
Without further ado, here are some pictures of pots from that firing:

This is a two piece vase that has brushed porcelain slip decoration

This teabowl has a shino glaze that came out really nice

This vase is made with Loafer's Glory and shows great flashing.  It might be because of the soda ash and water mixture I applied before firing

I love this pot, it was on it's side in the front of the kiln and got some really nice color and texture
This vase has a red art and ash glaze applied to it and has some very nice flashing
I used an orbie glaze on the top of this bottle, it came out much darker than I expected but it also got some really nice texture, you can see the flame path on this one really well
I applied a few brush strokes of glaze on the outside of this pot, the rest is from the kiln ash.  It's really earthy and warm but I didn't photograph it very well.

All of these pots had some soda ash and water applied to them while glazing.  It seems to have helped get better flashing but I could have been more scientific in my testing.  Essentially, I just poured some on the pots randomly.  I'm glad that I did, I suspect it helped.

Other Stuff:

The Effects of Soda Ash on Glaze
Japanese Wood-Fired Ceramics

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday, Monday

"It feels like a Sunday night" said my friend after dinner last night.  She's an artist also (although not a potter) so this sparked a conversation about how we felt about Monday compared to the people who worked jobs with more traditional hours.  My friend doesn't love Monday's like I do, she feels like it has something to do with the fact that she doesn't work on weekends when she can help it.  I try not to work too much on weekends but with festivals, openings and special firings it's impossible not to work some weekend time.  Of course doing a raku or wood firing (I'll post pictures from the Anagama tomorrow) is fun and doesn't feel like work.  Festivals are very labor intensive and the artist is always "on" interacting with others or moving a piece 1/16th of an inch so it displays better.  I'm tired after a show and often want to take Monday off but I also usually have a few commissions to start so it rarely happens. 
Don't get me wrong, I am not the person that is jumping out of bed with a big smile and more energy than a puppy.  When the alarm goes off in the morning I'm the first person to want to beat it to death.  It's hard to be non-violent to an alarm clock at 6:30 in the morning.  But I don't hate Monday's anymore and Sunday nights are enjoyable without dreading Monday. 
How do you feel about Mondays?

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Kathy King and Ronan Peterson at Mudfire Gallery

Kathy King retakes Atlanta with a splendid body of new work including a variety of functional forms and a delicious installation of wall pieces. Kathy's work is playful, irreverent, thoughtful, and personal. Her surfaces are decorated using the sgraffito technique for an effect reminiscent of color linocuts. Kathy is traveling to Atlanta for the opening reception, so come if you can to welcome her in style. 

Ronan Peterson returns to MudFire Gallery with a splash, enlivening the space with unique forms and intense surfaces. His comic book interpretation of nature is familiar but fantastic in an otherworldly way, meandering in a space somewhere between the films Avatar and Jungle Book.

We'll kick off the exhibit with a celebration and artist reception on July 23, 2011 from 5:00 - 9:00 pm.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Friday, July 22, 2011

Nice Welcome Home

Last night I came home from Mudfire to the sweetest email from a customer.  I have the best customers.  These things can really make your day.  I thought I'd share it here to help brighten others days.
Hello! I just bought one of your mugs from DonnaVanGogh's in Chandler Park. It is so beautiful, such a lovely piece of art that it's almost too perfect to be drinking coffee from every morning. I really love it. You are a wonderful artist with a great eye for detail and colour!
I've got a bunch of mugs at Donna Van Gogh's Artist Market so I don't know which one she bought but it doesn't matter, it's the fact that she loves it so much that she too the time to search for me and send this letter of appreciation.  Sometimes it's the little things in life that make us feel so good.
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Repurposing Broken Pots

The glaze on this casserole came out beautiful, the shape is perfect but, sadly, the pot got cracked and can't be sold.  But it was too nice to just throw away.  What to do?  Re-purpose to the rescue.

I went to At The Collective (they sell my pottery) and bought some succulents from Southeastern Succulents and made it into a container garden.  Now it sits on the deck and soaks up the sun and makes people smile.
What do you do with broken pots?

Other Stuff:
Container Gardens 
Container Garden Ideas
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pizza and Potters

If you read a lot of potters blogs you'll notice that many of us like to make pizza. I started thinking about this the other night when I was making dinner. I started realizing the similarities between pizza and pottery. The most obvious is, of course kneading the dough is a very similar activity to wedging clay but it starts before that. I mix my dough in a food processor but I still have to take the wet and dry ingredients and blend them together in the perfect proportions to get the proper consistency. Like clay, you can't toss a crust if the dough is too dry or too wet. Oh, yeah, have you ever noticed that you toss dough and throw clay. Coincidence? Maybe not.
The pot isn't usually finished without some surface decoration like sauce, cheese, veggies,...err, ops I think I got confused. You get the point.
Finally it's fired, some pizza is even fired in a wood environment like some pottery.
Now I know pottery has been around for many thousands of years, does anyone know how long pizza has been around? The same amount of time maybe?
Do you make your own pizza? Which do you prefer, making the dough or decorating it?

Other Stuff:

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Monday, July 18, 2011

Anagama Kiln Firing at Hambidge

This past weekend I had the pleasure of being a part of firing the anagama kiln at Hambidge Center in North Georgia.  This firing was organized by Tom Egan and Rick Berman.  I had a great time meeting new people and listening to stories about pottery and life, we had a pot luck on Saturday night that was full of delicious food and I learned a lot.
You may remember that I did a wood firing at Shorter College in the spring, this one was done a little differently.  I'm not about to say one way was better than the other, they were just different so I expect some of the results to be a little different too.  We won't know until next Saturday so you'll have to check back here.
One of the differences was due to the kiln construction.  Ben Owen build this kiln in 1990 with a grate in the floor of the kiln entrance where the wood is burned.  Some of the wood ash can fall through this grate and be raked out to permit air to be brought in under the fire.  Tom also used this as a way to get the kiln to pull in embers that would turn to ash and glaze the pots.  When the firing was finished and it was time to brick up the front of the kiln the ash that was in this area could be raked out and blocked off to help limit the amount of ash that is on the pots as they are cooling.  I'm hoping that this means less cleaning after the firing.  I wasn't at Shorter to see how Ian closed up that kiln but now I'm really sorry I missed it.
I'm really enjoying being involved in these wood firings, it was a lot of fun helping Tom load the kiln and it's really exciting to fire.  But one of the best parts was getting to know new people who I hope to see again at more of these firings.  Also, I have to mention what a magical and peaceful place Hambidge is, it seems like it would be a fantastic experience to stay there and work for a few weeks.
Here's a short video of some of the firing, I hope you enjoy it.

Other Stuff:
Kiln Design and Atmosphere
Construction of an Anagama Kiln
Anagama West - Very informative site about anagama firings

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Towing The Cops

I didn't see any damage on these two police cars so my guess is that Avondale Estates is REALLY strict about parking enforcement.
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Monday, July 11, 2011

Quartz Inversion

Potters tend to be chemists as well as artists.  Some times this can be really interesting, like a John Britt glaze chemistry workshop.  Sometimes it can be really dull.  Sometimes we find it fascinating but the people we are talking to disagree, and they don't mind snoring around you to prove it.  But done right science can be fun and interesting.  That's where places like Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, GA come into play.  Yes, it's a place where children go and have fun while they are accidentally learning but adults can also.
At the entrance to the mineral exhibit a volunteer showed us these two pieces of the same rock.  One was heated and the quartz changed color.  This is due to quartz inversion.  It's the same thing that happens to our pots in the kiln at about 1060 degrees Fahrenheit.  Can you tell which one was heated?

Other stuff:
How Temperature Changes Clay
Quartz Inversion - definition 
The Franklin Institute

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Friday, July 8, 2011

Thirty Six Mugs

Yes, that's right.  Thirty Six mugs! They are all thrown and handled and ready to go into the kiln, well, after they dry completely.  I normally don't throw that many of anything at one time.  I get distracted and decide to try something different but these are for an order.  It's actually a very special order.
Trilogy Bookstore in Avondale Estates, GA carries these Goddess Mugs of mine.  It was seen by someone from 50 Cents Period who fell in love with it and wanted several of them made in the signature color, which is red of course.  So I threw the 30 mugs, plus two for another group that wants them in green and a few extra just in case one gets damaged along the way. 

I don't normally throw multiples so this was a great practice for me, I just got into a groove and went with it.  I'm looking forward to the decorating and the next order.

Other Stuff:
Just Cause 
Three Cups Of Tea 
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Thursday, July 7, 2011




Jill Celeste Gallery

McGowan's Oakhurst Pub | 321 W Hill Street | Suite 7B | Decatur | GA | 30030

sponsored by KROME vodka

July art opening


Stop by our latest art opening that combines paintings and photography inspired by nature and have complimentary "Summer Smashes", a light and refreshing drink made with KROME vodka.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Social Media Survey Continued

A few weeks about I wrote this post and survey:
about social media selling.  If you've taken the survey, thank you very much.  If you haven't taken the survey why not go ahead and take it now.  It's only a few questions.
I have sent links to the survey to my artists network and am still getting some results so I'm not going to wait a little longer before I discuss the results here.  So please feel free to share the link to the survey with your network so we can get a really good range of results.
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Declaring Independence

It's so much fun when the Fourth of July lands around a weekend.  We spend more time partying with more friends and still even seem to get the weekend chores accomplished.  But this holiday weekend I was given two tasks to do.  One of them was very pottery related and I'll tell you about that in another post.  The other one was an assignment from life coach Laura Biering who is teaching a teleclass based on the book Attracting Perfect Customers.  The assignment was to declare independence from something.
I gave this some really careful consideration and decided that the best thing for me would be to declare independence from unproductive, self criticism.  It should be ok to think or say something should be better, or it's not quite good enough, but I should learn from that and take positive action.
One of the things I enjoy about doing shows is hearing feedback from people that visit my booth.  I recently took a special order for a piece where the customer wanted a very different glaze color than what I put on the example piece.  It really was not what I had in mind when I created the first one but it came out really beautiful.  His choice in glaze color could be construed as a constructive criticism of my choice.  The nice part is that both pieces are beautiful and have sold.  I am now motivated by his constructive criticism to keep a more open mind in my glaze selection on a particular piece. 
I'd like to pass the assignment on to you.  What would you like to declare Independence from this week?
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Friday, July 1, 2011

First Friday: Red, White & Bluegrass!

At The Collective invites you to kick off the 4th of July weekend with good friends at the always fun First Friday extravaganza. We're opening the garage, staying open late and hosting the neighborhood party you've come to love!  On Friday, July 1 we'll be celebrating red, white and blue with red wine, white wine and Sweetwater Blue, all while enjoying the sweet sounds of Atlanta's Bluegrass Bonanza Band!

As a special week ending treat, Sally B's Skin Yummies will be giving FREE hand massages with their amazing Sugar Scrub!

As always we'll have bites from Those Barrett Twins, a store full of amazing, one-of-a-kind finds including new pottery by Future Relics and lots of fun!
At The Collective
280 Elizabeth Street . Suite B103
Atlanta, GA

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery