Friday, April 28, 2017

A little bit of everything



 I had a call last week from a person who is a pottery buyer, someone who has bought work from a couple that we were friends with for many years.
As life does, they separated, divorced and in the past few years one of them past away. The other became ill in a way that no longer allows them to make pottery anymore.
  These long time friends developed their own line of work and that line of work was very successful for them.
The conversation turned to the fact that we shared a glaze combination, the one that they used to make their signature work. The work they were know for and worked so hard to develop. The person wanted to know if I would make that line for her, she had some, loved it and wanted to more.
I tried to explain that even though we had the glaze recipes we used them differently and would they be interested in seeing our work?
But, she was in fact drinking out of one of their mugs right that minute and didn't I see what an honor it would be for me to carry on their work, honoring all that they did, carrying on their name. I explained  once again that most potters develop their own work and it usually does not mean copying the work of another. But, you would not be copying their work, you would be carrying it on, in their name, I would love to have some. I then went on to try to explain how it takes a number of years of mistakes to develope a new line of work. I think you could do it.


I tried to talk about the time it take when you are taking on something new, that it could take 3 years or more to come up with a new product. Well, you have the glaze recipes, a gas kiln, I think you should do it.
I politely declined and asked that they come and visit us in our shop to see the work that we do.
 I am sure it will never stack up to the work that these people want as they know what they want, they want to convince me how wonderful it would be for me to toss my own work away and then spend countless hours copying my friends work.

No.

 It is funny how something like this can stick in your brain and run around with all the thoughts of things you could have said. Then I realized that it did not make one difference what I said. They weren't interested in us. They did not know us at all. If they did they would have never made that call.
Here's one more.
 I had a sale on saturday and was handed a visa gift card. I tried running it 4 different ways. Each time it was declined the customer got more and more angry with me. By the end when I handed back the card and asked if she would like to use another card she said no, not very nicely, she said there is 50.00 on that card it should work. Her husband, hand on wallet, face red, said I can.....she looked at him, snatch her bag and stormed out leaving us holding the pot she had picked out.
I just looked at Mark and about that time one of the other people in the shop, as there were many, stepped over and said, "let it go, do not let that person ruin your day, she made that problem, not you."
It took me a moment to think that I needed to do just that I have other customers that were in the store to buy, chat and catch up with.
Later I did run the whole thing through my head and look at something on line. Now that CC processors want a zip code there is no way to verify the gift card, unless you have registered the card.
Yep, not my problem.
Whew, are the stars aligned in a strange pattern?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Spring kiln Opening

 It was a beautiful day for a kiln opening last Saturday. We had a steady flow of customers all day and finally closed just after 5 pm. It felt like the weekends we use to have and we had a great time visiting with, talking with and sharing what we do with old and new customers.
Sunday was a wash out, it rained and that seem to put a bit of dampness on the day.
Yesterday we took the day off, it was much needed.

The spring flowers showed off for us and, as usual, I shared a few sedum with fellow gardeners. I am not a great gardener and less so these days due to the fact that the grass takes over and lately I just let it.
 I have become more fond of the flowers that come back on their own, finding cracks here or there, taking advantage of an empty space to toss me some unexpected flowers or lemon balm.
I would love to have some tomatoes show up somewhere.

Below is a picture from the shop back wall. I really enjoy using this piece to show pottery on. I wanted to use it in the house and just could not find a good place for it.



 My tools that I pack for the day I teach, pretty slack but it works.This is my my lazy potter's tip. I tried for awhile not taking any tools at all. I would grab a few from our tools at school, just enough to demo a pot here or there but I found I missed some of my ribs. And, my sponges on a stick.
We have put some wheels up off the floor which I like better for demo since I throw pots standing up.
Mark has headed out to the studio, I had better show up soon.
Stay safe the water out there could be dangerous.
It's wet.
M