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 have 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.


 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, snatched 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?


DirtKicker Pottery said...

Wow, you run into some interesting situations.
I so love your tiles. They are just charming and adorable. Love the mugs too.

cookingwithgas said...

Thank you Cindy, The tiles- it is really fun to make them come alive. The sheep make me smile. I hope you are doing well.

Laurie said...

I'm sorry you are having challenging (non) customers. I do agree with your other customer. It was their stuff, not yours. I love using your pots in my home. They're unique and beautiful, kind of like you :o).

cookingwithgas said...

Hi Laurie, it's just part of doing business. It's all good.

Suburban Correspondent said...

My neighbor produces lovely, one-of-a-kind pieces of pottery - vases, plates, mugs, coasters, bowls, etc. She does it as a hobby, but holds a little neighborhood sale each December right before the big art sale in our area (where she also sells). Each year, you can see her expanding and trying new techniques and there is just so much to admire about her artistry and creativity (and, yes, I DO seem to have an awful lot of her mugs, vases, and serving pieces in my house by now - why do you ask?).

ANYWAY, my point is that one year another neighbor accompanied me to her house show. As I was wandering around, oohing and aahing over what she had done and trying to decide which unique piece I would buy that year, my neighbor said, "Don't you have anything matching? I want some plates, but I want them all to match."

So, yeah, some people don't appreciate the creative process.

cookingwithgas said...

Boy, that is so true. If you could see how potter's live you would know we buy from love not if something matches. We love the quote, good art does not match your sofa.

John Bauman said...

It might be an interesting thought exercise if oblivious customer #1 was asked who she'd have bought the pottery from if the original producers were still producing and you were copying them then?

It might be an interesting thought exercise for oblivious customer #1 to have asked her who then would produce your work if you were producing the defunct potters work?

It might be an interesting thought exercise for oblivious customer #2 to have asked them if they understood the relationship between the cardholder, the merchant, and the card issuer.

Thank god most customers aren't like those.

cookingwithgas said...

indeed john, but really she was a take no kinda of person..... good thoughts.