Monday, July 6, 2015

Tourish trade and a gallery

Before I go into this topic about marketing my wares, I first must thank the people over at potterymakinginfo HERE for all the mentions of this blog (Alchemy of Clay) in their June Review. 

They cover all aspects of the craft and are a great resource for most everything you can think of.

Twisted Laurel Gallery has a nice looking gallery storefront

A well designed lobby with a store-like gallery behind it
The next store east seemed inviting...
Cathy and I were almost the only visitors in an area that seemed lost to trade

The gallery in which we had gladly shared our pottery did not seem to be doing all that great, nor is this whole row of shops in Spruce-Pine, NC.  At least by looking at them mid-afternoon in June.  It wasn't even unbearably hot.

But they don't seem to have a tourist trade like our dear Black Mountain does.

I was so sorry that the gallery doesn't even have an on-line presence.  Their web page was last updated a couple of years ago.  They don't do facebook, nor apparently send out emails to a customer list.  I can't imagine my life without the internet these days.

I was happy to get involved in their 1000 Cups Show...which I found out about through another group which posts both on blogs and on facebook, Western North Carolina Clay Club.  The show got a bit less than 500 cups, and I only saw about 100 on display, but communication is my point right now.  The proprietor did say a few mugs had sold.

They didn't advertise a 1000 Cups Show (I specifically asked this both before and after the show.) Perhaps this isn't a gallery thing to do...?

When I got there to pick up my pots, I found the show was still ongoing, and then the proprietor said that many of the potters had told her they couldn't pick up their work until after the 4th of July.  Well, that makes sense, if you want them to be seen and sold, since that is supposedly a peak tourist season.  It just didn't seem that way on the Tuesday we were there.

I haven't shown in many galleries yet, and want to have some of my work seen, and hopefully sold through them.  Any suggestions?  I would like to hear from someone who has approached galleries.  How do you do it?  Bring work or a thumb drive with photos?  Call for an appointment or drop in at a less busy time?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

After the market

My "Red White and Blue" display yesterday at the market.   I was pleased with the sales we had...a couple of dozen items went to their happy new owner's dining rooms, kitchens, offices, etc.

Cathy Babula tweaked her display of new pots.

It was nice to have this mug come to visit, being used regularly by a former customer, and I want to make some more with this shape...large enough for a man to enjoy a double size cup, but it fits in his cup holder in his car.  (Hint to self, make some more in this shape!)

My friend, Marina, picked up her order for ladybug mugs, and her husband has requested a special shape mug next.  Oh I'll be experimenting this week with putting a pitcher spout on a mug so he can pour the water into a one-cup coffee maker without it dripping.  I do love a challenge!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Red White and Blue

Wishing everyone a Happy Independence Day.  Highest respect for the rebels who founded this country, who believed in the rights of man (eventually they'll recognize women equally) and decided to risk everything to become a free state.

Since the Fourth of July is one of our national holidays, and lots of people come to the mountains, I welcome all our visitors to our Tailgate Market, and to purchase our pottery! (Have to remind y'all in case you forgot to come see what's new at the MudBuddies booth this morning 9-12)

I'm glad to be an American, compared to almost every other country on earth.
But I'm not a patriot.

I prefer to identify with my membership in a larger community, the earth.

I'm a Gaian.  An Earthian.

That way you might compare my existence to that of a Martian, Venusian, Lunarian, etc.

Of course when we humans do meet the extraterrestrials, they probably won't be bipedal humanoids, and I just hope they aren't patriotic.  That's because that sense of "mine is better than yours" or a dualistic mind-frame, seems so childish (remember arguing over things with siblings or classmates?) and hopefully another culture will have another way to relate to those they meet, as well as a way better than wars to solve their different opinions.

Let's imagine that the superior non-humanoids will have evolved not only in technology (enough to get here from wherever they started) but in relations between each other.

Of course if you remember a certain Start Trek TV series, the Borg had come up with a different form of relationships, in having a hive mind.  It sure scared the b-jessus out of me!

 I've actually wondered if humanity is going in that direction itself.  But when there is real peace on earth, I think I will have already left this life.  I am reminded of the short period of time I was a Quaker.  And I'm reminded of my naivete' in naming my youngest son T'ai, which means Peace in Chinese.

So thus I end my yearly rant about patriotism.  The concept is separatism to me.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Penland - some clay studio shots

The pottery kiln shed

Gas kiln  was being fired while we watched

Patterns of wood
Ancient water tower snuggled with ultramodern print classrooms
Today's Quote:

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.
e.e. cummings

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Spontaneous visit to Penland

We were driving from Burnsville to Spruce-Pine (North Carolina) and had to detour up to Penland since it was almost on the way.  And Cathy had never been there.

Why not?  There were no time deadlines, and we just ate lunch at the Garden Deli in Burnsville.  I'm going to see if I can find somewhere else to eat next trip...just saying, it's ok, but I want some diversity.
Where the huge willow used to be, there's a replacement planted at the Garden Deli.

The last few times I've driven to Penland I've gone the route through Spruce-Pine, so missed seeing this decrepit barn, and its stage of decay.

Before we went to pick up our unsold mugs at Twisted Laurel Gallery, we just went to see the Penland gallery, and the beautiful views of Penland.

Penland Gallery

And the Penland Gallery building is being renovated, so this is the temporary quarters for the gallery exhibits, about half as big as the former floor space.  But we were told the renovations should be done sometime in the fall.

We didn't visit much of the school of crafts, but I enjoyed taking a few pictures of areas I wasn't as familiar with.  See my blog posts from yesterday and tomorrow!
The Penland dining hall

I'm linking this to Sepia Saturday for this week...though it hasn't a thing to do with the theme which is fishy.

Wait wait, while we were driving through Madison County (NC) we started looking for The Bridges of Madison County (movie with Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep) and so everytime we crossed a bridge, we'd call out...It's a bridge of Madison County!

What do bridges have to do with fish?  Well, a few of them crossed over the South Toe River, which not only has lovely swimming this time of year, but quite a few trout! 

Today's Quote:

People often say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.
Salma Hayek

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Trees are back

Hi from Black Mountain Center for the Arts clay studio...

Well, this little tree creature looks like a kid with some real problems with his hands.  But those are roots around the bottom.

And I put trees on the sides of 4 mugs today...which are waiting for the next glaze firing...mmm, after the one that's already been loaded and not started yet, so I'm thinking some time next week.  Today a bisque kiln was going.  We may have 2 kilns, but due to the heat in the kiln room, it's not a good idea to try to fire them both at the same time.  And since students want to put their wares in there, we need it to be around 100 degrees or less when we go in to do so...and it's usually bearable.

Anyway, you can just trust me, I've made more trees with heads and other kinds of fun personifications.  Several are going to be offered for a raku firing in a couple of weeks...we will see which ones fit in that little kiln.  I am hoping that they will come through ok.  Another thing that I hope to take some pictures during.

Our dear friend (I was going to say old friend, but it sound like I mean she's old) Maureen Joyce is coming back for a visit and will teach a workshop, and assist Geoff Bird with a separate raku workshop.  The first workshop Maureen will teach will be her way of forming faces on thrown pots.  She's become quite adept at this technique.

I'm also trying to catch up with an order, but it's just falling in those in-between-kiln-loading times.

And I'm sure you have heard that tonight, June 30, there will be an extra second added to our time.  It's something to do with adjusting our (people's) time to match the solar/earth/moon time.  Apparently the earth's orbit, the pull of the moon and sun, mean that we have an extra second coming to us, much like leap year catches us up with the extra fourth of a day that happens each time the earth goes around the sun.

So what are you going to do with your extra second?