Monday, December 14, 2009

Anyone Seen Kathy King?

I am concerned at the rapid disappearance of important studio potters. Its important to note that nobody else has noticed this, and that in fact, I haven't noticed this.

Until now.

Kathy King has gone missing and gone fireman at the same time. Meanwhile, my friends with experience in Amazonian head shrinking seem to have it in for Miss King. Something about heading north. Something about leaving Atlanta. Something about becoming a MassHole. And yes, I grew up where 495 hits the Mass Pike, so I can throw that down. Massachutes + @$$hole = ..... OK, I spelled it out and you got it.

Anyhow, Miss King, can you please confirm or deny the rumors of your head shrinkage. Which I'm sure, to quote Twain, are greatly exaggerated.

Mug Musings

I've been thinking a lot lately about mugs. And wondering how many I can hold in one hand. Eight is probably a good start.

Potters, it seems to me, have a love-hate relationship with mugs. On the one hand, they are the most popular item with collectors. On the other hand, Tradition!!!!, they seem to be more effort than what one can sell them for. They seem to be a loss-leader, a have-to-make, a get-them-in-the-door. Shall we say, grudgingly made.

The interesting thing about this is that when MudFire started in the gallery biz, it was rare to see a mug over $20. This was just five years ago. Now it seems that $32 is the new $18. I remember people creeping up with their mug prices over the years, and I remember resistance early on from collectors.  At this point its rare to see mugs under $30, and it is not really uncommon to see them over $40. My sense is that the average collector really steps back and thinks twice at over $50, although if you are a BIG NAME STUDIO POTTER, whatever that means, you're mugs are probably over $50 at this point.

Strangely, price points seem to have moved on to be more reflective of the time investment in creating a mug vs. say a small cup or bowl. Yet the attitude of feeling like mugs are an under-rewarded form that is strangely must-have lingers on. The result is a customer base that is willing to pay a fair amount given the time and expense in creating, but a producer base that is unwilling to make the desired item. Potters are in this sense an entire industry that avoids or minimizes making the item the customer wants most.

Obviously, its hard to make sweeping statements like this and be universally correct. But surely there is a grain of truth at the very least in these comments.

Where many of my fellow potters are focused lately on making large work, or on making decorative wall work, or other such higher investment, higher price point items, I'm lately very fixated on the mug. Partly this is because my attempts this fall to make less silly, more elegant and decorative, larger pieces, does not seem to be the path to placing more work. On the other hand, I've made dozens and dozens and dozens of very silly and unique mugs, and they are impossible to keep in stock. Is this just me? Possibly, but it seems like the pattern holds across other (less silly) artists in our gallery.  Mugs move.

So here's a fun question...could a potter make just mugs? Would the numbers work? Would it be fun? How would collectors react? Is there a just-mugs potter out there. I don't know anyone approaching their clientele with this strategy, but I'm curious. In the era of the $32 mug, is their a livelihood to be had with just mugs? Is it a sustainable approach?

I have this funny intuition that maybe it could work. But I don't know anyone doing it.

Your thoughts?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

What makes a good booth?

I'm loving Kyle Carpenter's new art show booth. Check it out.

Here's a question...what makes a good booth? Comments please!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Don't cut corners in hot springs. The pencil graffiti crew will call you out.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Green Fluff Issue

Help, I can't get this mossy bit of fluff off my nose!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

New Work Now Posted

Its been a busy summer of making pots and a lot of loose ends came together on Labor Day Weekend. I got tons of new work out of the kiln, and posted images on my website.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Razor wire

Sometimes the razor wire looks so pretty at night...shiny, sparkly,rhythmic, it dances along the top of the fence bathed in a lush sodium glow.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Densely drawn

Just got a couple of big platters out of the kiln that I am super-excited about. I can't wait to draw more later in the week!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The past 10 days

We just went from a quick visit to paradise to packing and shipping madness. After seven relaxing days on Cape Cod we got back to MudFire late on a Tuesday. We had three days to pack up an old show, ship out the unsold work, unpack a new show, install it, clean the gallery, document with video, and get ready for the crowd/party. Normally all that takes a week!

We went from this...(note the sweet Mark Issenberg coffee mugs)
To this.....

The opening night for the Draw + Decal show was a blast, it was great to see so many friends and make so many new friends too! Thanks for coming out everyone!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Buddy Guy just said... I want to play something so funky you can smell it.

More Color

Got some new mugs out of the kiln earlier this week. They've got more color glaze on the outside, and some are two tone. I liked the way the top & bottom color constrained the drawing area and made it feel more like a comic strip. The old style (you can see some on the website) had more drawing room but sometimes it felt like the drawings were a bit adrift.

I've never spent much time thinking about color before, and it is so powerful. We had a fun talk in the studio the other night about the effect various color combinations had on each other and how they made us feel. Both Luba and I are using more color in our work, and we just got a big shipment of mason stains in, so now its time to head back into the studio and get busy testing.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Testing test kiln.

Fired up this little test kiln 2day. Will use for decals & lowfire inks.
Testing post from phone.

Here we go!

I recently decided to move my artist's blog off my website and onto the blogger platform. I'll still be maintaining the site including current artist information and galleries there. Thanks for stopping by here!