What About White on White Pottery?

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!

The 32nd Annual Pottery Seconds Sale

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
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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.


I Think I Got My Cash Blue

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! 



What I did at the Workshop

Since the Catherine White workshop was hands on, I figured I might as well share what I made.

Day one was mono-printing, drawing, and collage.  Day two was making that all happen on clay!

When I first started out as an artist, it was all about print-making and drawing for me, but then pottery took over as my favorite medium and the rest fell away.  For the past few years I have been missing print-making and drawing, and have been trying to bring it back into my life.  When we were choosing workshop presenters Catherine was at the top of my list because of her mono prints and clay work.

Below is one of the collages from the first day, and my plates from day two,  below that, are a couple of my “sketch plates” which I have been making for the past year or so. 




Catherine fires to cone 10 reduction with gas or wood.  The slips, and ash are from her studio.  I have no idea what they will look like in a cone 6/7 oxidation atmosphere… I’ll be firing them next week.

Below are my sketch plates… it is my way of working things out small, and quickly, and at the same time they are practical. (isn’t everything I do?)  Once they have served their purpose for my learning experience, I am able to sell them at my studio sales very easily.  They measure 6″ round,  and people seem to love the size for snack plates.  The first plate, (in a black oil glaze) is part of my dinnerware.  We have been using it for the past five months in my kitchen.  The second one, is a new blue with wax resist.  I am trying to get this painterly, mono print like feel that I have been missing.  I think the workshop might push me even further in this direction.  We shall see what influences it will have on my work!  Fun, fun, fun!



Making and Marketing… Etsy to Urns

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.

Taste of the Celadon Show

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!