“The Bakers Oven” and my Pottery Shards

I had quite the surprise today at Cider Days where I was selling my new apple bakers and other “foodie” ceramics.  I was taking a break and walked over to the food vendors, and a friend said to me, “did you see your pottery over there at the wood fired pizza oven?”  I looked expecting to see pottery, instead I saw my pottery shards built into the oven!  All I could say was, “wow!” 

Earlier this year I wanted to get rid of a bunch of my bad pots that I had smashed for the shard pile.  I boxed them up in small boxes and put them up for free on Craig’s List.  (I had five calls the first day.)  I gave the boxes to three different people.  Well, one of those people was one of the owner’s of  “The Bakers Oven”, a mobile Wood Fired Pizza & Catering company of Colrain, MA.  Co-owner, Daniel built this whole thing himself.  I think he would make a good kiln builder!

What a cool concept… a mobile wood fired pizza oven!  So if you’re local, and you want to have them cater an event for you, here is the contact info. thebakersoven1@gmail.com

Accepting Credit Cards as a Craftsperson

A couple of years ago I vowed to try not to use my credit card for any local businesses after I found out from my local food co-op how much credit card fees can add up.  At our annual meeting they asked us to think twice about using our credit card.  That year they had spent $65,000 in credit card fees!   Whew!

As a potter I started to accept credit cards three years ago, knowing (I thought) full well about all the fees.  I must admit… people do buy more when they have that little card with them. So the reality is that I have made more sales since accepting credit cards.  But those darn fees… I just remind myself, ” it’s a write off on my taxes.” 

This past week I started doing some research on the credit card app for the iPhone.  I wanted to compare my current fees with what they would be with an iPhone app.  It was then that I learned that not all transaction fees are equal. Did you ever think about when you earn bonus rewards, or flyer miles, etc. where that extra bonus money comes from?  Each time you purchase an item from a merchant, the merchant pays a little extra in transaction fees.  So in essence each time you buy a pot from me and earn your rewards points I pay 3.61% per transaction fee rather than the 1.92% standard fee for the non rewards card.  Whew… that really made me think about the whole credit card industry!  We all just so blindly use these convenient little cards without asking any questions.   Like Forest Gump said, “well… that’s all I have to say about that!”

Before Show Preparations and Hurting Hands

This weekend is the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival.  Where everything is garlic, even the ice cream.  So I’m bringing my garlic graters, french butter keepers with garlic flavored butter, and garlic jars.  I guess I’ll bring some mugs and bowls too.

I don’t usually do craft fairs but I’m trying to do more local stuff and have found that diversity is the key to  running a good business.  I’ve also heard this is a good fair.  Too bad the weather is calling for rain…  we shall see.

Does anyone have any suggestions besides rest, (which I am doing today) for hurtin potter’s hands???   My hands have been hurting since building all the new tables and shelves for the studio.  I then did a lot of throwing, and now a lot of glazing. 

Here is a pic of the loaded glaze table.  Lot’s of garlic graters!

Glazing for the Garlic and Arts Festival

 

Weekend Sale Results

For all you potters out there in blog land… With the economy doing so poorly, I know I’m wondering how we are all doing.  Here in western Massachusetts. (the land of many potters) many of us keep in touch on our sales and shows.  I would like to know on the larger level how we are all fairing this season in this economy.  

I had a great sale this weekend.  Less customers, yet those who came, came with the intention to buy.  In the western Ma. region there is a real focus on buying local, be it farm products, main street businesses or handmade art and crafts.  The people who came are real devoted to this concept… I’m happy to live here!

Quiet part of the sale

For the life of me I can never remember to take photos while there are people at my open studio.  I can also never remember to do a count of people!