“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!

 

Learning to Photograph Pottery

Blogging is so much fun…. the whole pottery community connection thing that happens!  Because of a link on Kristen Kieffers blog  I’ve gotten great info on how to photograph my work.  There is this great site for potters on how to photograph your work – Fresh Plums Pottery by potter/teacher John Glick. 

I love my present photographer John Polak but I just can afford to go to him every time I want a new photo.  I have not been able to properly represent my current work on my website because of this. 

I purchased some good lighting equipment from Linco.  I heard about the amazing sales they have monthly on their website, so I checked the site monthly for about four months and was able to get a great deal on a boom light kit.  So my work lately is learning how to photograph my pots.  It is a challenge, but fun!

Arghh…too bright, tone it down!   I’ll learn!

Transition Time

As a mother and a potter sometimes pottery takes a back seat.  Summer vacation is starting my boys are keeping me busy.  The last couple of weeks have consisted of lots of baseball games, field trips, end of year farewells, etc.  I always find it difficult, this transition time from kids in school, to summer vacation.  My work is a constant interruption.  Yet I know our children grow all too quickly and someday I’ll wish I could be sitting at a game!

As for the pottery I hope to have my new work photographed soon and up on my website.  Here is a sneak peek of my latest mugs and a very good baseball player named Luke Toritto (my oldest son)

Start of Summer at the Market

Last week I did the farmers market for the first time. I went with my berry bowls, garlic grater dishes, butter bells, flower vases and a sampling of my work that you can find at gallery/shops.  I would say garlic grater dishes were the hit of the day.  Sorry to those of you who expected me there today, but severe thunderstorms wind and heavy rains were predicted for the whole day… wouldn’t you know it, not much happened till later in the day….oh well live and learn, next time I will not listen to the weather reports and brave it out like the farmers!  Here is a photo of a customer checking out one of my sunny day mugs.