05 February 2010

Motivation and a Failed Challenge!

I tried my best to meet the by know famous '12(pots) by 12(noon)' challenge. I also failed two days running, but it was interesting to note the added urgency gained by just promising myself that I'd try. Then I thought of ways to circumvent the rules!!!...include a clock in the photo but set the time back! or count the pots made Tuesday evening as pots 'made before noon' Wednesday (technically they are...). But I couldn't do it.
I did get myself on the wheel before noon, which was an accomplishment in itself. And below is some of the fruit that resulted. Coin banks and a bunch of ovals. Some are pitchers, some are vases. They all get a slab built bottom and most will get some sort of handle or other.
    Getting a start on a new series is what Michael's challenge is all about. It may strike someone who doesn't make pots as odd that we sometimes have to go through mind games to get ourselves going. Self motivation is key element of a successful career in the arts. I don't usually lack for that. After all these years, getting to the studio is still a thrill. So much to make...so many ideas to try out...or to tweak. And I enjoy the labor of it. Anyway, I'm getting off the track.
    What I meant to mention here was how I measure my output in the studio.  I use two different numbers; what dollar amount do I need to produce on the days I throw and how many of each individual kind of pot to make? Both numbers help me stay focused and on track. 
    It's not too hard to calculate: If I throw pots 75 days a year and I want to gross $75,000 a year then I must make $1,000.00 in pots each of those days. Depending on how many days you throw and what sort of overhead you have just plug your numbers in and away you go!
    A trick I learned from Eddie Hopkins was to always fill a board so that often determines how many I'll make. 9 big mugs or 12 little mugs or 3 cereal bowls etc. fill a 1' x 2' board. If I'm throwing on bats I use 4' long boards, but I'm seriously thinking of changing everything to 2'...I'm wearing out!  Ol' Sid Tustin used to talk about carrying two(!) 4' long boards at a time across the yard, one on each arm. Full of beautiful earthenware pots.
    I also tried my hand at a little 2lb. crock in honor of Mr. Kline. Maybe I'll slip it and add some leaves! Looking at it I thought that it could be a cool new blog challenge. Pick a day that everyone would make their versions of someone else's pot. What do you think?! Hollis day! Ron day! Hannah day! etc.

We're supposed to be enduring the storm of the century, but so far we've seen about 2" in 8 hours. I lent my 4-wheel drive to Paul and as he drove off I realized my beer rations were in the back! At least I have milk for my tea.

4 comments:

Hollis Engley said...

Gettin' old, man, if you're letting your beer ration disappear down the road. You need to keep your wits about you. I like the idea of a day in the shoes of a different potter. Now ... if I can just reorganize all the bags of glaze makings scattered all over the studio ...
And good luck with the snow. Someone in the local wine store told me tonight you guys are in for 36 inches. Yikes.

Michael Kline said...

I love your advice, Dan. I'll try to figure out how much we need to make to keep these kids in decent shoes. I remember your previous post on making lists and log books.

You certainly don't have any trouble making the pots as I recall from your visits to the Penland pot shop! Good luck with that big snow. I think our problem will be utter sogginess!

That's a much finer crock than I could make. I love the shoulder detail and those handles are nice with that subtle ridege,

I recently have made a perpendicular switch with my ware boards and am having trouble with the change. Where I used to slide boards onto simple brackets screwed to the wall, now I've built a rack where the boards are slide on longways between horizontal rails. Do that make sense? What I am having trouble with mostly is covering overnight if I don't want the wood stove to dry the pots unevenly.

But I like the benefit of increased storage!

Be well and look around. There may be a bottle of beer somewhere on the compound!

jimgottuso said...

not sure running off with your beer was a mistake. seems pretty low to take a man's rations

Hannah said...

I like the idea of making other folks pots Dan, that could be a fun day fun day.
As for losing your beer - you muppet!