24 November 2010

Taking Photos Already

(Check out my last post for photos of the pots in the kiln. And don't forget next week's online sale!)
I was able to sort through pots most of the day and just started rubbing them down before it grew dark. I'm done with 12 hour days for a while! There was one little area of bloating and it wiped out the first cup/saucer sets I've made in years. Other than that it seems to be a very clean firing with just a few seconds. All the major pieces are sweet!
This was the last of the bird pots that I made before firing and the first to be photographed. I had a very kind email today asking if it was for sale...this was before I showed it in it's fired state! It will take me a while to sort and figure out what's for exhibitions (in case I ever get another invitation!?), what to put on my blog sale, what's got to be photographed and even what's for Christmas presents. And, maybe most importantly, what to charge? I always struggle pricing new work and these guys are a big departure for me and consume big time to make, unlike the 99 mugs that kept them company during the firing. So, it may take a while.
7" high
The little ones are ridiculous...I want to make enough to rival Emperor Qin's terra cotta army....and like George Ohr, I want all these 'mud babies' to stay together! Fat chance.
from 3 1/2 " to 7"
P.S. I mentioned that I don't like Etsy and I should explain. I suppose that I'm a bit of a snob...but there is so much junk on that site that I don't really want to be associated with it. Also, it seems a tedious process, they get a cut however small and I'm convinced that there is a simpler way.


Tracey Broome said...

Even though I have some friends that sell on Etsy, and I truly respect them and their work, I have to say I agree with you. I really don't like it, and there is SO much crap on there. How do you get through it all to find the really good stuff. I have had lots of people tell me I should set up an Etsy shop but I doubt I ever will. I love those little bird babies, your firing was just incredible!!!

Unknown said...

Hi Dan, I love the birds :)

I need to comment on your suppositions about Etsy. YES it is full of crap pottery. It is also full of beautiful and well made pottery by some pretty good potters, for example I just bought a Joy Tanner mug.

The trick is that you need only be concerned with your little corner of it. I felt the same way at first, that it is full of absolute crap, but then we experimented and found there was a ready, educated audience for us. Now I have gone from traveling the eastern United States 40+ weeks a year to primarily selling from my home and online and paying someone else to represent me at some renaissance fairs. I can tell you there is a good chance by next year I will be getting 80% of my income from Etsy sales. Even if you don't want to use it exclusively, it makes a great online store.

Example: Give a customer at a craft fair(you know, the one where you are set up beside the crappy glitter string and bottlecap person) a card with your regular website where you can tell then your story as a potter, introduce your work, then you link to your Etsy site as your online store.


You post pictures of these marvelous pieces on your blog and then tell people they will be available at your Etsy store with a link.

I kid you not,you're not associated with any more crap than you are at any other street fair, it never rains or snows on Etsy and you can have all your regular customers, plus the ones that search Etsy for pieces. I've even got regular Canadian customers now.

When we first started really trying to use the site back in February/March of this year we were surprised to find we were selling close to $1500 a month in first quarter of the year. Pretty amazing. That and our regular events made this our best year ever.

I strongly encourage you to take a chance and use the site, it becomes exactly what you make of it. I am absolutely thrilled to be part of it.

Check out my site www.hughespottery.etsy.com, check out my blog www.hughespottery.blogspot.com and website www.hughespottery.com and let me know your thoughts.

I am not on Etsy's payroll, I just want to see good potters/artists make a good living without working themselves to death hauling heavy pottery all around the country and standing in the rain.

Brandee Ross said...

Oh, Iris and Irene... you were lovely before the firing and now you are tortuously so!

Dan, your work is amazing and would sell anywhere. I do not use Etsy because it's easy and much cheaper to sell it on my web site, and my usual customer online is someone I've met at a show or event. I can also update my inventory as I sell pieces in person without being penalized with a listing fee. There are plenty of good free/opensource solutions if you are willing to invest a little time to get it started.

I agree that Etsy can be a great, inexpensive way to gain exposure and customer base. It's just not the right solution for me at this time.

Looking forward to your blog sale. Have a fantastic holiday!

donegurl said...

Iris and Irene are wonderful! You have a great imagination and the talent to put it to use!

Hannah said...

Oh Dan, what a set of lovelies. If I had the cash I would buy that set of tiny ones to keep all together most definitly. They could be great for having a natter too, I can almost hear the conversations we would have together already and the tales that they would tell me.
Wonderful wonderful more please soon!

John Bauman said...

Those birds are outrageously beautiful. Quite probably the most interesting thing I've seen in ceramic all year. Bravo.

As to etsy, I've got too much to say to say it here but in the spirit of hopefully helpful (or maybe at least interesting) blog to blog communication...


Anonymous said...

beautiful birds dan... following the discussion with much interest

DirtKicker Pottery said...

Hi Dan, I'm working the Etsy thing too. I like Etsy because I'm not great with people I don't know. I hate Etsy probably for the same reasons everyone else does. It's a time vampire, it's like trying to find a needle in a haystack. It's hit and miss. But for me it's the best game in town. After reading all the Etsy Conversation Blogs.. I wrote one of my own. http://dirt-kickerpottery.blogspot.com/2010/11/me-being-honest-another-etsy.html
Happy Holidays :)

Anonymous said...

I'd like to offer an Etsy counterpoint yes it can be great and easy but their customer service for sellers is the pits and they take a cut off of every sale. I'm in the process of moving my vintage shop from Etsy to Artfire and I have to say I really see a difference. Much better features lots of seller support services and a flat monthly fee no matter how much you list or sell. Yes they don't get the same traffic as Etsy does but if you're doing all your own promoting and advertising anyway it doesn't really matter. Anyway just thought I'd drop my two cents in the bucket. And the bird pots are completely beautiful!