[Clayart] Is your website stamped on your work?

Robert Smith rakunart at gmail.com
Fri Jan 6 12:35:14 EST 2017


I agree with Bill and Owen. Certainly the ceramic tent is large enough to
contain all means of production, firing methods, and marketing - with room
left over for the "purists" who would judge others' methodologies for
survival in this pursuit, too often against their own historical and
equally effective but personal journeys.
Please, clayart folks, give everybody the chance to produce what and how
they want; to sell what and how they want/need to; and to try to survive in
this very tricky niche area of the art world. We all love to play with dirt
and fire - this should be enough for inclusion in the club - there can't be
additional restrictions, tithes, secret handshakes or any other obstacles
along our paths of self-fulfillment in clay. It is hard enough to make a
living at it as it is, whether we teach to augment our incomes or choose to
market our work more aggressively through the internet.
Good for you, Owen, for creating a successful system that has allowed you
to continue year after year. It might not be my system, but that is totally
irrelevant. It is yours.
Bob

On Fri, Jan 6, 2017 at 7:47 AM, Bill Burgert <BILLBURGERT at msn.com> wrote:

> I appreciate your stand.
>
> Use what works.
>
> Thanks for sharing.
>
> b
>
> ________________________________
> From: Clayart <clayart-bounces at lists.clayartworld.com> on behalf of Owen
> Dearing <owen at mugrevolution.com>
> Sent: Thursday, January 5, 2017 9:00 PM
> To: via Clayart
> Subject: [Clayart] Is your website stamped on your work?
>
> Hi Vince, and everyone else who’d chimed in on this thread.
>
> Vince, you live in the world of academia so I don’t know if you are
> pulling my leg or not with your comments. Others are joining in with their
> two cents worth, and I think if I’m not mistaken many of you are all
> telling me that I am making a mistake, that my practice somehow cheapens
> the product that I have literally spent over two decades to perfect. If you
> or others on the list think that my practice of putting my website info on
> the bottom of my mugs put them in the same category of a mug made in China
> that sells in WalMart for 69 cents, fine, you are entitled to your opinion.
> I think you’re full of it but that’s my opinion. :)
>
> My business is 100% web based. I do not do anything else, no Saturday
> markets, no teaching on the side, no special holiday sales. I have helped
> gett my son through college because of the stamp that you so delicately put
> in the same category as a cheap mug. I have paid off my house because of
> the stamp that I put on the bottom of my mugs. I have helped put my wife
> through nursing school because of that stamp. Because of that stamp, I have
> been able to make and sell about 2500  very high end and expensive mugs for
> each of the past 10 years and I feel like I am just getting started as a
> potter. I have a lot more mugs that I will make before I hang up the apron
> for the last time. But I gotta sell them, don’t I?
>
> I do not have any pretensions about my work. It will never be displayed in
> the Royal Ontario Museum’s world class ceramic collection. That is fine
> with me - after all, I am a podunk, no name potter in podunk Oregon. I get
> all the satisfaction I could ever want by the wonderful messages, hundreds
> and hundreds of them, which are displayed on my website, from customers who
> tell me how much they love the mugs that I have made. Somehow they don’t
> think of their mug on the same level as a mug sold at BiMart or WalMart. So
> all of the folks on the list who in somewhat typical Clayart fashion who
> are jumping up and down, seeming to say “he’s not traditional, he’s just as
> bad as WalMart's crap pottery - I say, get over yourselves. You folks and I
> live in a different world.
>
> I never intended to convert any of you experienced potters. You have a
> marketing technique that has worked for you. Super! Some of you have been
> at this for 30, 40, even 50+ years. Why would you want to put your website
> on your pots? I sure would not if I was you. I was and still am sending out
> my message, stamp your website on the bottom of your pots, to the young
> potters, brave souls that they are, who are trying to get a foothold as a
> full time potter. You know, the ones who often never post here, but lurk.
> They don’t want to get their heads chopped off by being such a fool as to
> post here like I did. :)
>
> I don’t think I deserved the negative commentary. For Hendley to equate my
> mark with a hand towel dispenser in a public bathroom is not a joke. I
> don’t know him. But my gawd, my immediate image upon reading that from
> David was of a dirty bathroom at a gas station, toilet overflowing, and one
> of my mugs is in the room…I was insulted for sure. How could I not be? And
> to be honest, I have seen so many good potters driven off this list over
> the 15+ years that I have been mostly a reader and occasionally a poster,
> it kind of makes me sick. Don’t you dare try it with me! I have a thick
> skin, I have tangled with the big boys (they are not always right) and I
> know my way around the ropes. I also have a great sense of humor and I love
> to laugh, ask anyone who knows me if I have a sense of humor. I am a
> passionate man. When important issues come up, when my core values
> challenged, and I have to stand for my principals, I do. Which is why I am
> writing these words. I care very deeply for Clayart. I never would have met
> Ron, Mel, Hank or many others but for this list and for that I will be
> eternally grateful. How about some of you lighten up in the piling on
> category in hopes that we can give every Clayarter confidence that if they
> post something they will not be driven off?
>
> If this gets through moderation I invite a conversation. A friendly,
> respectful conversation. Not with me. But with each other, about why it is
> that Clayart has been known to have a reputation for the negative. I do not
> think that is what Clayart is supposed to be. It is the new year. Let’s
> resolve to make this space a great space for anyone and everyone who wants
> to share information, or wants to receive information. Or inspiration. Or
> even, gasp, marketing tips. :)
>
> Thanks for listening and Mel I laughed out loud at your joke!
>
> Owen Dearing, potter
> Bend, Oregon
>
>
>
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