[Clayart] where have all the potters gone/long

David Hendley david at farmpots.com
Thu Mar 27 01:40:39 EDT 2014

A few years ago I participated in a similar panel (with Dannon and
Chris Campbell) at NCECA, Louisville.
It was called "Sharing the Dream", but was really the same subject -
how the heck can one make a living as a potter?

Of course, I spoke for half an hour, but ended with a slide that,
to me, summed up my philosophy of "how to make it" in 5 seconds.
The slide said, "If you have to ask if it is possible to make a living
as a potter..... [dramatic pause] .....the answer is probably NO."
Right as this slide came up, Robin Hopper came in through the
back doors of the huge room and wanted to argue that it was,
indeed, possible to make a living as a potter. He missed the
subtle point: the only way to make it as a potter is by sheer
determination. Failure cannot be an option. Do whatever it takes.

That is certainly how I made being a potter my life's work. My
entire life was arranged to meet this goal. There was no alternative.
I did whatever it took to make it work. This involved lots of
sacrifice in other areas of my life - Thank goodness I had a partner
who was willing to offer support and accept the hardships!
In the 7 years since that NCECA panel things have gotten
dramatically harder, economically. It would be really tough
starting out today, but the prescription for success is still the

David Hendley
david at farmpots.com

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