Long time no blog. Passover time I always take a couple of weeks' break, and we have a new grandson, who has been beautifully distracting. Still, I've been able to give the pottery biz a lot of head time.
I've been shifting direction as a result.
You probably know I've tried new things in recent months, since I put a photo of a successful sale in a shop window of a group of pieces. I'll try some more of that kind of selling. It's great to get wider distribution.
I tried consignment at a NYC shop. Nice shop, well established, nothing to write about in sales. But I had to try. Finding the right venues is like kissing a lot of frogs before finding the prince. Or in this case, princes. This one might still be a prince- but I would have to be there in person, work in hand, not putting my work into their online shop.
I did another boutique at a synagogue/church/school in a nice area (I lump them together because the shows are generally similar) and I already knew... My handmade work (next to the hat sellers, skirt vendor, beaded jewelry sellers and children's books and games marketer) won't sell at any price point above $25. Why did I do the boutique, then, you ask? I guess I needed to do just. one. more. (dope!) of these, to see whether it reeeeally isn't a good sort of venue... Temporary insanity. We'll call this experience a frog I've kissed too many times.
The biggest shift is that I've been doing custom work. Just now I've been in the process of making really big personalized goblets, a whole lot of customized honey jars, and a dinner set, for three very good customers. The challenge is fun, and kindly do not sneeze at the great bonus of pre-motivated customers. They are more princely than princes.
Meanwhile, look for some of my work at the Museum of Early Crafts and Trades (Madison, NJ) right now through December 2016! (There are a dozen pieces plus a clay figurative sculpture.) For a couple of centuries NJ had a thriving clay industry, both mining and manufacturing, which was pretty much over by the early 20th century. That leaves just us studio potters working in clay in NJ today. The museum exhibit will explore the change. I'm delighted to be part of it.
As for studio potters today, the Potters Guild of NJ has more than 120 potters, and I meet and hear often of other NJ potters who are not yet members. There's a very real clay cottage industry besides the many hobbyists. It ain't over till the clay-covered lady sings!