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Monday, October 31, 2011

A Day At The Beach

Ginger in the Ocean We are back from Charleston, where we had a great time.  The architecture there is so fun and beautiful I could just wander around neighborhoods admiring peoples homes.  I also love the look of the old oak trees dripping Spanish moss.  It's especially fun during Halloween since it does have an other-worldly look.
We brought Ginger the min pin with us and she fell in love with the beach.  It's so fun to see the world through her eyes. 

Other Stuff:
Charleston, SC Tourism  
Photos Of Charleston Architecture 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Other People's Pots - Bamboo Mug

Unfortunately I don't remember the name of the artists who made this mug.  It's a shame because it's a favorite and because they got me to thinking about my booth layout in different ways.   They told me about how they hired a feug shui expert to look at their booth and make suggestions for improving the energy or Chi of the booth.  When they followed the advice they discovered an increase in sales.  I think anybody would be happy to have an increase in sales so I started reading about Feng Shui and Bagua maps (plans for good chi) and made some changes to my booth.  I too noticed an increase in sales.  The increase can be related to a lot of things but I do think the booth looks nicer anyway.
Oh, yeah, the glaze on this mug is really pretty too.

Other Stuff:
Lucky Bamboo 
American Feng Shui Institute
Bagua Map
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

At The Collective Show Extended

Today I was supposed to pick up my pottery from At The Collective in Inman Park but they are still selling really well and it was requested that we keep the show up through this weekend.  So if you haven't had a chance to come down to 280 Elizabeth Street to check out the pots you still have time. 
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Join a Credit Union

Many people are upset about Bank of screw America charging a $5 to use your debit card.  I've even seen a petition going around Change.org.  The other big banks that we bailed out with our tax dollars are sitting poised to see how this works for BoA.  If we simply get used to it then many of the other banks that we own will start charging customers also.   We may see advertising wars like who has the lowest debit card rate but the bottom line is, you're going to pay for it.
The other option is to become a member of a credit union.  As a member you do own the bank and have a say in what happens.  Imagine being asked to vote on a bank policy.  Credit Unions are non-profit which benefits the members, and they didn't need to be bailed out.  If everyone moves away from the big banks and joins a credit union, or at least a small bank, then the big one's won't be too big to fail or too big to screw the customer.

Other Stuff:

National Credit Union Administration
Credit Union National Association

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Monday, October 24, 2011

Too Busy To Be Creative?

I keep getting totally stressed out by how busy I am right now.  If you're an artist too you are probably thinking "it's the holiday season, we all are busy, get over it and count your blessings."  You'd be right, that's really good advice.  The thing is, sometimes being very busy, and stressed because of it cuts down on creativity.  We may not be as busy next year if we aren't creative enough this season so now is a good time to think about some things we can do to prevent or get over the creativity suck of being very busy.

The first thing to remind ourselves is that we can't do everything and it's ok to ask for some help.  Sometimes that help may be something as simple as asking a partner to do a little more of the house work.  For me, I know I'll have more time to pay-back that favor in January and February so it's ok to ask for it now when I need it.

Another thing to do is notice when you have the most creative energy and try to use that to schedule work time.  If it's morning, try getting up a little bit earlier so you can spend some time creating before the other distractions of the day start getting in the way.  If it's evening maybe forgo watching TV or some other evening activity that would take you away from your most creative time.

Try to be more organized.  Now may not be the time to reorganize your entire studio or all the closets in your house, who has got time for that anyway?  But it may be a great time to find little things that you can do in a more organized fashion.  This should save you some time and energy and make your life easier.  We can all do with a little of that.

Don't be afraid to say "no."  As the holidays approach we get asked to attend a lot of events.  Some are more fun than others, some more important than others.  Try to strike a balance.  You'll be really stressed out if you don't take some time to relax and have fun but don't be afraid to say "no, thanks, I have to be in the studio."


Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Friday, October 21, 2011

Opening Event At The Collective

I'll be having an opening event on Saturday the 22nd from 11am - 6pm At The Collective in Inman Park.  If you haven't been there now is a great time to come see my work plus that of the 50+ other artist that show and sell in the store.  It's really an interesting place with something for everyone.
I'll be serving wine and some appetizers in the afternoon which is not a shopping experience you get everyday.

At The Collective
280 Elizabeth St
Atlanta, GA  30307
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Call For Artists

The first meeting for the Telephone Factory Lofts Arts Show and Sale was held Tuesday night and we had a great turn out, not to mention a list of folks that intend to be in the show but were unable to attend the meeting.  The good news is that we still have room for a few more artists.  If you're interested in being a part of this event we would be happy to discuss this with you, simply fill out the form at:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?hl=en_US&formkey=dHUzSWxJNzJ1TzR1a21ObE9TWWFXMlE6MA#gid=0


Established in 1996 The Telephone Factory Art Show is one of the city's longest running art events. The show provides artists an opportunity to exhibit and sell their work in a unique, progressive, art walk setting.
Participating Residents open their spaces to artists who exhibit their artwork, mix and mingle with the public, make a few sales, and have a really great time in the process. There is also a daily prize drawing for visitors.
The Art Show has become a much anticipated event with last year's show attracting an estimated 3000 patrons.
Admission is free and open to the public.

The Telephone Factory Art Show
828 Ralph McGill Boulevard, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30306
thetelephonefactoryartshow@gmail.com
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cutting vs. Growing

Yes, the U.S. government wastes too much money, you'll never get an argument from me about that and I agree cuts are needed.  Too bad the idiots in Washington don't know how to run a business and don't understand that many of the cuts they are making actually cost the country money because they are cutting jobs.  This is not the way to grow the economy or any business.
I keep track of my sales.  When I noticed that people were buying more functional pots I started making more of them.  It's what people want and I enjoy making them.  Now my sales are consistently up.   I don't see anything wrong with this.
Sometimes a business may have to reinvent itself in order to grow and thrive.  This may be what some government agencies like the post office need to do. I'll admit, I don't have all the answers to how they would go about doing this but I think they need a redirected focus.  Focus on growth not on cuts.
I'll never have a successful pottery if I only make cuts, we will not have a successful economy if all we do is focus on cuts.
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Monday, October 17, 2011

What to do When People Don't Pay

I have many really wonderful customers.  I get a lot of repeat business, I have new customers that send me notes telling me how much they love the pottery they bought, I have customers that refer other customers to me.  But once in a while someone bursts that bubble of happiness.  Usually it's because I have to track them down to get payment on a piece.
I tend to be rather trusting, many potters are.  I've often heard stories of someone who wanted to buy a piece from a potter but didn't have the cash and the artists didn't take credit cards so the artists said "take it home with you and mail me a check."  This helps make for loyal customers.  In many of the studios I've visited in Western North Carolina the potters leave a box and a calculator (for computing the tax) in the showroom just in case someone wants to buy something when the artist isn't there.  I love these bits of faith in people.
So it really bothers me when I have to pursue someone for money for a piece they purchased.  It feels bad in so many ways.  I do worry that some problem has occurred, like the customer is ill or they found something wrong with the piece.  It almost feels like a bit of a relief to find out that everything is ok, they are just to busy to remember that artists have bills too.  Then it just feels vulgar and like a big time suck to beg someone to pay me for the pottery that I've delivered or at least made to there order and would like to give to them.
Once I created a pot that is intentionally chipped on the bottom, the glazes are dark moving into light.  I made it to remind myself that when people do things to chip away at this potter by doing things like not paying a bill I will still reach for the sky.
What do you do when someone is resistant to paying?
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Saturday, October 15, 2011

AutumnFest Oct 15-16

Saturday, 10 am - 6 pm (music until 8:30 pm), Sunday, Noon- 5 pm
Don't miss this year's AutumnFest, across from City Hall in Avondale Estates. Enjoy browsing the artist market featuring a variety of mediums from artists from all over the Southeast. Live music and entertainment features popular bands such as Adron, Underhill Rose and Kodac Harrison. New this year, food and drink vendors will stay open after the artist market closes Saturday night so you can enjoy the live music of The Buggs, Atlanta's most exciting Beatles tribute band! The whole family is sure to enjoy all this plus food, drink and recreational activities for the kids! This year’s children’s area includes the Reptile Wagon, a mobile “reptile zoo” displaying everything from Cobras to American Alligators! Don’t miss the Southeastern Snake Encounter on the main stage on Saturday. Admission is free.
 

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Monday, October 10, 2011

Silence Means Working

We all know it's the holiday season, people are doing a lot of shows and a lot of making so we can keep stock fresh for the shows and the galleries.  It's a hectic time of the year.  So, since I've got so much free time (note the sarcasm) I decided to volunteer for the Telephone Factory Art Show and Sale planing committee.  It's been one of my best and favorite shows for the past few years and I hated the idea that it might go away if people didn't volunteer to help make it happen.  So I committed to do my best to make this a really great show, even if that means a little less blogging or something.
Historically the people of Atlanta (and surrounding area) have been really good about supporting this show.  The venue is cool, the art tends to be very diverse and great and the party atmosphere creates a really good time.
This year the challenge will be getting residents to host the show since so many of the resident artist have had to move out.  I don't think it'll be a big problem though, it seems that a good sense of community is a part of living in these lofts.
I hope to see you there.
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thoughts About Steve Jobs As An Artist

It started in a garage, as a creation of a dream and became something that has, in some way or another touched most people who are alive today.
Many artists work alone in a garage/studio and never consider the tie they have with the technology genius of Steve Jobs.  His life wasn't about mother boards and ram.  It was about being creative, about following your heart, about adding elegance and beauty into peoples lives and it was about believing in himself.  He didn't invent products that people wanted, he invented products and then told us that we want them.  And he was right, we do want them.  We want them because they are built well, useful, and beautiful.
As artists we try to create the same things.  We don't want to put our worst work out there for the public, we want to show our best work.  People have different reasons for finding something useful.  A beautiful painting can be as useful as a coffee mug.  The fact that people will pay $10 - $100 or more for a hand made coffee mug when they can buy a used mug that works just as well for fifty cents at a garage sale proves that people want beauty in their lives.
Steve Jobs did and said a lot of brilliant things in his life.  Even though it has ended much too early we should never stop learning from him and we should always remember that great things can come out of our humble garage/studio.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mugs for Jugs 2011

MudFire announces our most important event of the year, a collaboration with artist friends to raise money to help fight breast cancer. On October 1, 2011, we'll launch Mugs for Jugs, an exhibit and benefit sale of handmade ceramic mugs with proceeds donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
This event provides a great opportunity for coffee drinkers to team up with artists to fight this terrible disease, while taking home a piece of handmade American craft for daily enjoyment.
The exhibit and benefit sale will begin online at 10:00 am EST on Saturday, October 1. A reception and kick-off party will be held that night from 5:00 - 9:00 pm in our Atlanta gallery.

175 Laredo Drive
Decatur, GA 30030
info@mudfire.com
phone: 404-377-8033

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is the only breast cancer organization to earn the highest rating from both non-profit watchdogs Charity Navigator and the American Institute of Philanthropy. Over 90% of their budget goes directly to research & awareness programs. We are proud to support their efforts and hopeful about meeting the goal of achieving prevention and a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime.
Mugs for Jugs is a national invitational exhibit, with over 50 artists accepting our call to join arms in the battle against breast cancer. We are overwhelmed by the enthusiastic support of our artist friends from around the country. MudFire instructor Emily Downey conceived the event and is a key part of the effort to realize it.
The show will present the largest and most significant collection of clay artists in a single exhibit in Atlanta this year.
Each artist has chosen their contribution level to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, with MudFire matching their contribution. On average, over 40% of each sale will be donated. We are still adding to the roster of participating artists, which currently includes: Autumn Higgins, Beau Raymond, Becky Strickland, Brooke Noble, Chandra DeBuse, Debra Fritts, Dow Redcorn, Emily Downey, Emily Reason, Erik Haagensen, Gay Smith, Jennifer Graff, Jeremy Randall, John Britt, John Roberts, Joy Tanner, Julia Galloway, Julie Wiggins, Justin Rothshank, Kathy King, Kathy Phelps, Keith Phillips, Kristen Kieffer, Kyle Carpenter, Lana Wilson, Leah Leitson, Linda McFarling, Lisa Orr, Lora Rust, Lori Buff, Luba Sharapan, Maria Andrade Troya, Mark Issenberg, Mark Knott, Mary Briggs, Megan Daloz, Mike Yarnold, Niel Hora, Ron Philbeck, Ronan Peterson, Sarah Anne Marraffino, Shadow May, Stacey Stanhope, Vernon Smith, and William Baker.
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Two Opportunities This Weekend

LakeFest is happening in Pine Lake, GA this weekend.  Last year this two day event was a blast, I can only assume it's going to be even better this year.
October 1 – 2, 2011 • Saturday, 10am – 7pm • Sunday, 12pm – 6pm
Admission is free, all are welcome
and

Mugs for Jugs

October 1, 2011

MudFire announces our most important event of the year, a collaboration with artist friends to raise money to help fight breast cancer. On October 1, 2011, we'll launch Mugs for Jugs, an exhibit and benefit sale of handmade ceramic mugs with proceeds donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
This event provides a great opportunity for coffee drinkers to team up with artists to fight this terrible disease, while taking home a piece of handmade American craft for daily enjoyment.
The exhibit and benefit sale will begin online at 10:00 am EST on Saturday, October 1. A reception and kick-off party will be held that night from 5:00 - 9:00 pm in our Atlanta gallery.
Please check back later to view the available artwork. If you would like notification when the mugs are online, please sign up for our gallery newsletter to the left.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery