[Clayart] where have all the potters gone/long

jonathan byler jebyler2 at gmail.com
Thu Mar 27 13:49:09 EDT 2014

Is It really harder to begin now that we don't have to mix our own clay by rolling it back and forth on the driveway as cynthia bringle did when she started?  if a person wants to be a potter, they don't have to go buy a $200,000 degree.  degrees are available free at high quality institutions, even in a place as crazy as Georgia, where if you maintain a B average or better, you get in-state tuition for free.  or find someone and apprentice for a year.  Mel, did Mr. Uchida pay you for your apprenticeship with him?  if not, how is that any different now for a person to sacrifice a year without much or any pay, as it was 50-60 years ago?

It may be harder to start such a business in manhattan or san francisco where space is at a premium, but with the advent of digital photography, flat rate USPS shipping, and the internet, there ought to be ways to offset some of the other things that have gone up in cost in this life.  As Tony C, has pointed out numerous times, houses in Detroit are available for $500 or less.  I have been told that you can get buildings and houses FOR FREE.  some places may even pay you to come in and repair urban blight and put a building to good use.  I'd be on that in a minute, if I weren't already somewhat married to the place I live now.  I might do it some day anyway.


On Mar 27, 2014, at 9:03 AM, Dannon Rhudy <dannon at CCRTC.COM> wrote:

> I agree with David that it is much harder to begin
> such a business today than even ten or fifteen years
> ago.  I made my decision and set up my studio in 2001.
> But I already had a place, and I didn't owe anything
> to anyone.  I don't buy anything that requires "payments",
> and by nature I am happy with a lot of solitude.  I can
> do a lot of things myself, though I'm not in David's league there.
> Well - few are.
> Today, reality is grimmer:  the economy (over the last
> five years, average family income is down more than $6,000,
> plus inflation at the grocery and gas pump, etc.)  Winter 
> here this year was harsh, and that means expensive.
> There's less for many, maybe most, to spend for other 
> than necessities.  Interesting to find how spring sales
> go.  We'll see.
> David's right:  determination, do what it takes, persevere.
> Know yourself.  And I might add -be careful what you ask for.
> regards
> Dannon Rhudy
> David 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..........
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