May I Help You

One more day of sporting the blue vest emblazoned with "How may I help you?" and the smiley face logo.
Tomorrow we revert back to studio clothes covered in clay and our own faces become smiley. I've come to the conclusion I like making pots more than I like selling them. After 30 years of retail I am ready to become a pottery introvert and  wholesale to stores. We did have some of our students and friends drop by which was so nice and so thoughtful. They can come any ole time and we don't need to have an open house for that.
Some old customers came and were in shock as to the new work. I started my morning by reading Page 236 of Micheal Cardew's Pioneer Pottery. This is my favourite page on Ceramic philosophy. I wish I could have chatted with old Micheal. I have read this page on  more than a yearly basis for over 30 years. It helps me to keep course
Micheal says" The essential thing is that the potter does not merely follow what his public wants but leads it, so that in the end they want what he wants. " It is important that people see that your work is alive and often that requires change. Just like our move it is difficult! Ok, blue vest time.


gz said…
Mick Casson had the same problem. I remember him telling about a shop, just after the exhibition" Fifty Years a Potter" looking askance at the new pots he was bringing to them in place of those sold.."we can't really take them, the customers wont like them, they are different" !!

Potters should always grow and develop, even if they do make the same things
smartcat said…
We used to call it the ARRRRGGGHHH FACTOR!

I still find myself chanting when things are tough "I'm so glad I'm our of retailing!"

That is a great quote. Toes crossed that it was all worth the effort!
Ron said…
Thanks Tony and Sheila for being leaders!

I lost customers when my work changed, but I gained new ones too. My locals weren't as accepting of the work, but galleries liked it. My prices changed too, went up. So that effected it all. Still I 'm happy with my pots and that's what matters. Love seeing the new e-ware and I will be wanted a piece or two at some point in the near future.

I really hope you don't have one of those blue vests!! Cheers.
LeeAnn Janissen said…
Tony, Peter and I LOVE our new mugs!!! He chose a more "conventional" shape and I chose the one with the large flat foot, upside down handle, and the "wonky" lip. I tried it this morning for my Sunday coffee-in-bed and it worked great! As I held it, I realized that its pretty darn hard to re-imagine something ancient and ubiquitous as a mug, but I feel that my wonky mug is just such an object -- something unique and new.

Thanks for the tour!
John Bauman said…
One hopeful thing about change is that we bring our unconscious competence with us when we move. The scary thing about change is that we don't bring it all.

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