Every few months I set my mind to taking photos and getting more work into my etsy shops… yes there are two shops now. The first shop, FoodieCeramics opened in the fall of 2010, and the more recent shop, LuciaUrns opened a few months ago in January 2012. In terms of representing all of my work, the luciaurns shop is not quite there yet. I have the biodegradable urns listed, but need to get more photos up of the classic urns. The foodieceramics shop is starting to pick up, I try to re-list at least one item a day so my work stays somewhat visible in the search engines. I really think I should be listing five times a day though if I really want to sell well on etsy! I am always so busy with all the other aspects of my pottery business that I never seem to have enough time.
The other day I took photos for three hours, here is a little slideshow of what you may be finding in my shop soon.
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!
Well it seems here in Western Massachusetts that the fiddleheads and ramps (wild leeks) are up before the asparagus in my garden. Yesterday I took a much needed break from glazing, firing kilns and all the preparations for the Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail. Terri and I went to a very special, hard to get to place along the Green River. We traversed little brooks, balanced carefully over fallen tree bridges, ducked under brambles, and got stuck with thorns. We came home with three deer ticks on our bodies, lots of scratches, and over three pounds of fiddleheads*, and a bunch of wild leeks! It was an adventure, which was well worth it!
A dinner of shrimp and pasta was made with a hearty serving of fiddleheads sautéed in olive oil and wild leeks!
Yes… this serving dish is available on the Pottery Trail!
*Please note when picking wild edibles to not over-pick! Three heads are the MOST that should be picked from one plant. Wild leeks grow in patches, the MOST that should be picked is 5% of a patch. They are bulbs and do not grow back!
How do you like your butter… soft, spreadable, or hard and bunching? If you are thinking soft, then you would love a butter keeper.
Time to go make the Sunday morning pancakes with soft butter on top!
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!
Ok… so the Open Studio/Holiday Sale is over, and was a great success… now it’s time for that neglected etsy shop. Time, time, time… just need a lot more of it!
There have been some great reads on other potter’s blogs about etsy, namely John Bauman and Ron Philbeck . I really like the idea of etsy… it is just a new kind of work to me… taking lots of photo’s, being a little bit of a story-teller in describing my pottery, and last but not least, listing, and re-listing, and re-listing again. I think it’s just the learning curve. I will eventually do it with ease.
Take a look at my foodieceramics etsy shop here! I’m having a sale… FREE SHIPPING in the U.S!!
So I opened up this etsy shop, FoodieCeramics but can’t seem to find enough time in my day to take all the photo’s and get all the foodie items I want up there! I love the idea of etsy. Even though I have a beautiful dynamic, informative and professional looking website, I just had to try out etsy. It is such a great way to get your new stuff out there to a whole new audience! I’m beginning to think though… it seems like 1/4 of my work day is spent on the computer. Well I would much rather do that than pack for shows and traveling!
Here is a new item I put on etsy yesterday. It’s my new yellow glaze (the old volcanic ash yellow was giving me too much trouble). I like this new yellow, it is so warm, with a deep buttercup brightness to it… I named it, Sunshine. The photo is taken with my new Nikon D5000, another thing that has taken up time from being a potter… I feel like now I have to be a semi-pro photographer, (don’t laugh photographers… I know I’m nowhere near it! I’m more of a student of photography).
I finally got to try out the new tile bats that I made in August. My broken rib is healing and I have about 75% of my throwing abilities back! Yahoo! Yesterday I made Butter Keepers for the busy season coming up. The next show is the Garlic and Arts Festival (the one craft fair I do a year). It’s a really cool happening, lots of fun, tons of people, and a great place to sell my foodie ceramics.
Here is a photo of the tile bats all neatly lined up with butter keeper tops. I was able to fit 12 in a space that I normally fit 8, because of the square tile, rather than the round bat. Here is also a sneak peek at the new butter keeper that will be up for sale soon on Etsy.
I have been thinking about this for over a year now, but was so busy working on the new website that it took a back burner. I also thought well, why do I need an Etsy shop if I have a good website with buy buttons and paypal… well the answer is traffic. The other answer is social networking, like this blog, a facebook fan page and twitter (for the time being I refuse to do twitter… I just don’t have that much to talk about… geez, facebook is hard enough). Etsy is just more social networking, there are shops you “heart”, (kinda like “LIKES” on FB) when you heart a shop and other users see your heart they can click on your link and it automatically brings them to your shop! Etsy is its own little world which just keeps getting bigger everyday. So many people peruse though those pages, I figure if I just have a few of my items on Etsy that I sell from my website, it will bring more people to my website where they can find more work!
The pottery that I will be selling on Etsy will focus just on the kitchen, the shop is named FoodieCeramics. It’s in process right now, I’m hoping to have some things for sale by next week. I’ll be posting about the shop opening here! If any of you Etsians reading this have any suggestions for me, please share :)
Here’s the pile-up on my work table, getting ready for Etsy, and a wholesale order.
It’s the teacher in me… just thought you might like to see how a lid for a cheese dish is trimmed and finshed, with a knob.
The finished piece.