Miles Flansburg wrote:Howdy Paige, welcome to permies! Great looking pottery there!
Do you have a studio at home or make them at a local school? I used to take classes at a local college and learned a lot. I even had the chance to study under a master potter from Germany . I just did it for fun.
Have you already sold some of your works? I see a few folks at craft fairs, especially around Christmas time, selling stuff.
Glenn Herbert wrote:A few words from a part-time professional potter...
If you are actually looking to make real income from pottery, you need to either get really fast, or exceptionally good in some way, or both, otherwise you won't come anywhere near making minimum wage for your work counting the time spent selling and the business expenses. That said, it is very satisfying seeing your work valued and used by others.
Your forms are decent though undistinguished, and I would recommend experimenting with lots of different shapes and techniques; you will find some combinations that set your work apart. I like the cut and lapped bowls, for example. I can't feel your profiles onscreen, but I think having bases that are lighter than the rims will make your pieces feel exceptionally light yet strong, which gives confidence in your expertise from those who appreciate pottery. Handles are a prime interface with the user, and making them as comfortable and graceful as possible will help. Projecting any farther from the body than necessary for good finger clearance will make the cup feel heavier and less comfortable. A good ergonomic test is to hold the cup, close your eyes, shift your grip until it is comfortable, then see if the cup is naturally level. Adjust your handle profiles until they work in the grip without thinking.
You have some good glazes, though I would advise either making their application more uniform, or more intentionally asymmetric. Practice is the only really effective means of achieving this.
I have done a good amount of painting and drawing, and have too much artwork to fit in the house, but I would still buy one of your forest paintings. That series is a keeper, as you well know.
Good luck to you in your endeavors!
Dale Hodgins wrote:I like Glen's advice concerning the handles. One of my pet peeves with anything made of clay, is if little attention is paid to the pouring mechanism, for jugs, teapots etc. I often see straight wire cuts that allow liquid to run down the side of the vessel.
I imagine it would be incredibly difficult to make a living out of cups and bowls. Perhaps some specialty, that sells for much more. I've seen some really nice bonsai containers, that look like they are one-off originals.
20 years ago, I sold firebrick to several people who were building their own kilns. Even the most skilled of them, had to switch to other things as the market turned away from pottery toward glass.
Judith Browning wrote:I think surviving on crafts sales depends on your cost of living and of course your actual sales and how far you are willing to branch out.
The area we live in has a large number of craftspeople, some have been here and practicing their craft since the late sixties, many others arriving over decades...quite a few are still producing, including potters.
Here's a link to an area 'studio tour' that includes three local potters who have steady markets, both for art pottery and table settings that they sell at shows, shops and on this tour. http://www.offthebeatenpathstudiotour.com/
One way to help make it pay is to demonstrate your craft...some shows will pay for this or wave the booth fee. I took my loom to craft shows for years and demonstrated in my booth...it was a big boost to sales.
Teaching is another sideline....here locally is the Arkansas Craft School http://arkansascraftschool.org/ Some instructors there are local and some from 'off'.
The Ozark Folk Center http://www.ozarkfolkcenter.com/crafts/about-the-crafts.aspx pays folks as 'interpreters' of their craft and also provides a shop to sell from.
I think there are all kinds of opportunities to make a fair living from pottery or most any other craft if that is what you really want to do It might mean relocating to an area with more opportunities. It seems like tourists who come here now associate the area with crafts and music. The same in Ashville North Carolina and many other places.
I've always heard, and really believe, that it takes ten years of practice to become skilled at any serious craft.
Originally from Memphis TN,