So I’ve written on my blog about blue pots selling well. Now I want to talk about white pots not selling well. This pasta bowl pictured below has sat in my studio for about three years. It is so subtle… white on white glazing, with hints of pinks and greens… so, so subtle. This and other white on white pots just do not sell for me. Well, last week I was about to put it on my discontinued shelf and sell it for half the price, but could not bring myself to do it, I just figured it will serve the family better in the kitchen rather than giving it away!
I remember being at a show many years ago with Andy Shaw. People were just walking past his booth, it was filled with white on white pattern pots. (If you have never seen Andy’s pots take a look at his website, he does gorgeous work!) Well I suggested to Andy to get some color like an apple or something. He went to a local store and picked up tomatoes. He put them in some of the pots, and the next day people were stopping at his booth! What is it about color that draws people right in?
I think maybe white on white requires too much work from the customer. They have to take the time, come up close, pick up the pot, patiently examine it. Where as the blue pot, shouts here I am, look at me! Yet when you bring that white pot home, your food tends to look a lot better than it does in the blue pot. Sometimes I think the only people who truly understand white on white pottery are chefs, and potters!
So here is my beautiful white on white bowl, in my kitchen, with my lunch in it! I’m enjoying it!
I can’t believe it’s already March and once again it’s time for the best bargain basement pottery seconds sale in New England! Be there if you’re in the neighborhood! Many fine potters, glassblowers and others!
32nd Annual Pottery & More Seconds Sale March 4 & 5
Artspace’s 32nd Annual Pottery and More Seconds Sale will be held at Greenfield High School on Friday, March 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, March 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thirty-six artisans will be selling their wares that include handmade pottery, glass, jewelry, wood and prints. This sale is sponsored by Artspace Community Arts Center in Greenfield and benefits art and music programs for children and adults, gallery exhibits and Artspace’s Strings for Kids program in the Greenfield Public Schools. At 1:45 on Saturday, there will be a drawing for door prizes. At 1:30 p.m. there will be a brief string demonstration by students in the Strings for Kids program.
Admission to the sale is free and there is plenty of free parking.
There is a joke among potters… just make it blue and it will sell!
Well I have always had this thing against blue pottery… I feel like it just covers up the form. Or it’s kinda like a paint chip just shouting out to you– COLOR! It always seems too reflective, or boring, lacking depth, or just too much hippy, drippy, blue. For years I have not used blue… until a couple of years ago. So many customers were asking, “does this come in blue?” Finally I broke down. I starting using blue in little bits on my urns, then a subtle blue/greeny kinda speckly glaze (bordering on hippy, drippy). Next I introduced a dark blue to my line of FoodieCeramics, with butter keepers, garlic grates, and salt cellars. But have really kept it at a minimum.
As time goes by I have asked myself, why do people like blue so much? The next favorite color seems to be green. I love green pots, so that has always been a part of my pottery. But what is it about blue and green pots that people like so much? I think it comes down to this… they are both calming colors. People walk into my studio sales and see variations of green pots, a common reaction is, “it’s so peaceful, so calming”. Another thought I have about these two colors is that they are the colors that surround us… big blue sky, blue/green ocean, and large expanses of green grass and trees. who out there doesn’t feel peace while sitting by the ocean with a big blue sky over head!
Over the years I have looked at as many blue pots as I could, to find ones that did not have the negative attributes I mentioned earlier. I found some very nice blue pots. One in particular tipped me over the edge by my friend Molly Cantor. It was one of her wood fired pieces that had this magical deep blue on the inside of a mug. I think that was the first time I thought wow, I could get a nice blue that wouldn’t take away from my form. So after years of trying out little bits of blues here and there, I decided last year it was time to do some experimenting with glazes. This past month I have come up with one I like. Here is a sketch plate that came out of the kiln the other day. It has a lot of depth to it, which doesn’t show well in the photo. I think it has potential though!
So my etsy shop is open, with just eight things so far, hopefully more to come this week. I’m overwhelmed. You start one new thing and your focus goes totally there… everything else drops off. It happened when I started blogging, then facebook, now etsy. Etsy is a good thing, but takes so much time to photograph everything well, and to network well. And it’s only going to be a good thing if you do all these things well. I’m finding it to be like all other marketing… it all takes time… time that I never seem to have enough of!
On top of trying to get the etsy shop started last week, the making of pottery couldn’t stop. I shipped out four cremation urns in two days, that rarely happens, and it made me realize how low my stock of urns is. So I made quite a few urns last week, some are quite large… it is physically very tiring. Then there is the whole emotional aspect of making urns, I will have another whole post on that soon.
Here is a little taste from my show at the Celadon Gallery, starting with a beautiful ferry ride from New London Ct. to Orient Point, Long Island NY.
The Gallery is a wonderful sun filled cottage on the grounds of the Watermill Historical Society. The show was shared with ceramic Sculptor Rene Murray, and Studio Potter Lucinda Piccus. A very busy, delightful opening!
The last couple of posts I talked about the tall urn forms I am making, and the many steps involved. This next step is what I consider just plain boring! ( I think I need a book on CD to listen to). This is the part where I sit for hours rubbing away the clay which is not covered by the resist design. I cannot do them all in one day, I’ll go crazy. ( Maybe I should think of it as meditation instead). I take many breaks, as I have seven of these urns to complete, plus six little ones. I”ll take about a week to finish them, doing one a day, in between all my other work. Here are some photos of this part of the process. You can see the finished piece on my website.
Piece on the left with clay wiped away
Ready for the Bisque Firing
Friday night’s opening at PINCH was so wonderful. Thanks to all the friends who came, and made it through the traffic. Both the University of Ma. and Smith College had graduation weekend… Northampton was hopping!
Maybe I’m influenced by my surroundings… ya think? I have lots of shades of green pottery, and shades of white. Everytime I look out my studio window I see the field, and woods… that’s either green or white! Ok sometimes brown… and I do have a few brown pots! The latest forms from this winter are a new series of white on white urns. The pieces are approx. a foot in height, thrown on the wheel, trimmed, dried, then the pattern painted on with a resist (like shellac, or wax). Once the shellac dries the exposed clay is rubbed away with a wet sponge. It is a long and laborious process, giving beautiful results.
White on White Vine, Lucia Pottery