Monday, March 25, 2019

Bird Designs

Sometimes making pottery is fun! Often, it's work, enjoyable work that keeps me challenged and interested, but still work. My 'Bird' pattern, however, has been fun lately!

Last Spring I didn't have time to make all my designs before the first craft sale (Maple Run Studio Tour) arrived so I didn't make any Bird pieces and I told customers who asked for it that Bird had gone south for the winter and hadn't returned yet. This year that would almost make sense as the winter is hanging on rather longer than we'd any of us like, but as it happens I have made a lot of Bird pottery. Here are some bowls waiting to be glazed:
stoneware bowls bird design
I'm quite pleased with them although I have to admit they are starting to look like fabric designs.

I make too make designs. If I just made brown bowls, I'd be able to get caught up and I'd always have whatever people asked for. If they asked for butter dishes, I'd have them. If they wanted honey jars, I'd have them. Plates, mugs, teapots, I'd have them. But am I smart like that? Noooooo, I have to make a line decorated with Pansies, one decorated with Tulips, one with Pine Branches, some in a reddish-brown glaze that I call Red Fox and so on. So I'm never caught up and customers are forever asking for something I don't have. Frustrating for both of us!

I have a hunch that if you only show blue mugs, nobody will ever ask for green ones, or red ones. But the minute you put out mugs in several colours, they ask for them in any other colour than what you have. Put out blue ones, pink ones, white ones, brown ones... and somebody will ask for orange. In my next life I'm only making mugs and bowls and all of them brown.

But for now, I'm pleased with my Bird pieces. Here's a nice Cream and Sugar set with Birds:
white porcelain cream and sugar bird design
Oh, and the Maple Run Tour? It's April 6 and 7, all around Pakenham and area. I'll be at Cedar Hill Schoolhouse. My Birds and I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Looking Ahead

A new year! To paraphrase Anne, of Green Gables fame, "just think, a whole (year) ahead with no mistakes in it yet!"

So I have one resolution for 2019, and it is: try not to make so many mistakes.

I've made a Plan. I've listed all the events/sales/markets etc. that I usually do. I've listed some new ideas I'm definitely going to work on. I've listed what equipment needs maintenance and how I'm going to do it. I have Goals. As they say, a Goal without a Plan is just a Dream, but I cleverly made the Plan first.

I'm not going to spend January and February doing paper work. It's already done! Soon as the T-4s arrive, boom, I'm getting my income tax done. No procrastinating, then rushing, then getting something wrong, then racing around to correct it.... nope, not this year.

I'm not going to push away thoughts of a big order I knew darn well I needed to start on in June until the end of July and then working long days to get it done by deadline. Customer doesn't get their s..t together to finalize their order so I can start on it, I'll them I can't do it. For sure. Maybe.

I'm going to make those large Red Fox mixing and bread making bowls which were ordered if it kills me. I'm not going to get too much glaze on them so that it melts and runs and attaches the pots to the shelves... I'm not going to accidentally over-fire the kiln so the bisque fires to glaze temp and the ware is ruined because now I can't get the glaze on... I'm not going to finally achieve half a dozen nice looking bowls which, when I bravely measure them, are all 1" too short. It can be done. Concentrate, pay attention, bribe the Kiln Gods... whatever it takes, I need those 3 customers off my neck.

I'm never again going to listen to customers who sail into my booth, look around, and ask for some design which they don't see, and then promise to make some soon. They never meant to buy any, they were just letting me know they weren't buying my work, and IT WAS MY FAULT. So phoo on them. Don't see any Pine and Winterberry? Tough bananas.

See? I'm all ready for 2019! So is Rosie-goof: