A new way of talkin'

On Sunday I learned a new way of talkin' and a new way of walkin' with the presentation of a two hour Webinar for Fusion The Ontario Clay and Glass Association. 
Teaching has been my vocation most of my adult life.  Teaching pottery for the past 20 years all over the globe.  Covid came along and what has defined me ended over night. When Chris Snedden of Fusion asked me to do the webinar I enthusiastically said "absolutely!
Here is what is so amazing. For that 2 hours we had 228 sign up from around the planet- UK, Virgin Islands, Australia, USA and coast to coast- Canada.  You can't travel the world so you have to bring the world to you. 
In the 50's then maxim of commerce was build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. In other words make great pots and they will find you.
The 60's and 70's brought service. Things like credit cards, packaging, hang tags, etc. Wrapping your pots in newspaper and putting them in a old bag was not what we expected when buying an expensive pot.
The 90's and up to March 2020 was the "offering a great experience". Potters have usually done this well with studio visits, kiln openings, special shows, studio tours with awesome food and gallery openings. So we're all wondering what's next.
I think from March 2020 it will be the innovators that succeed in this New Abnormal. I have often said that people don't just buy your work. They buy you! I have had the privilege of being asked to present at potters conferences in Japan, China, Korea, Wales, Italy and all over the US and Canada. I call them bus man's holidays. Work and see the world. It also was a very important vehicle for the selling of my work. 
With these Webinars the world becomes your oyster. You are not only presenting to people within striking distance of the conference but now the entire world can participate. 
There is nothing like being in a room with a good teacher.  That is the best case scenario but until we can back to being together the Webinar will have to do. Maybe it will be an add on service even when we get back to doing what we love. Being social. I did love the Chat option on Webinar. It made me feel you were there in front of me. I do believe that teaching is the most important job in the world. Good teachers produce excellent students. 
Thank you Fusion and all of you that tuned in. This old dog is trying to learn new tricks. 
Be well and safe. T


bbrookrd said…
Your Fusion Chat was exactly what I needed from you. I experienced your ability to be fluid, spontaneous, playful and daring with clay while fusing anomalous forms together. Whoop whoop. Made me happy. Please do more.
Anonymous said…
Why I Never Discount My Work and Neither Should You...

This was my response....


Thank you so much for your message and kind words about my work. All of my ceramics are handmade by me, it is a very labour intensive process - there are no short cuts.
Unfortunately, that means I can not offer sales or discounts like bigger brands can. Each piece of my work has been made with love and care and will last a lot longer than mass produced pottery (offered at cheaper prices) and it's much better for the environment than factory manufactured items.
I am forever grateful for all the sales and support I receive - it means I can continue to do what I love.

Anonymous said…
Can we talk about mugs?…, specifically the price of mugs.

Location location location

Price is also location-dependent it seems. In the USA, Canada and Denmark - mugs are priced much higher. It’s not unusual for mugs to be sold for $50- $70 (£54 - £39), and I am not 100 per cent sure why this is the case - if anyone can shed light on this I would love to hear from you. Likewise mugs for sale in a gallery or a ceramic specialist market are often sold for higher prices than mugs in at generic craft market. Is this due to the patrons of those places being more likely to be informed about the making processes involved and therefore more willing to spend the amount the piece is worth?

Anonymous said…
What is this all about?
What is Clay Voices?

Anonymous said…
In these times of social distancing, I was thinking about getting a pottermobile.
Not just for deliveries, but having a mobile shop to sell my ceramics.

Do I need to worry about the cops if I park on the street, to attract the passersby?
I don't want to end up getting shot in the back or lynched.
Anonymous said…
What is the best way to sell now? I have devoted my time to selling at shows. Now I am single, shows gone and feeling like I really have missed the boat. Where ado I go now? Adviceareated.
Tony Clennell said…
Dear Anonymous: I too am single and have wondered for forty years if I missed the boat. No pension, no portfolio, no rest from hard work but I have lived an amazing life. If art was easy everyone would be doing it. Steer your boat thru the waves there is land in sight. Be well and smooth sailing. T
Anonymous said…
1. Virtualize your outreach With the majority of the world currently in lockdown, remote and online working have become a key factor in the stabilization of many businesses. The pandemic has shown people that remote work can be just as beneficial as working from the office. Meetings have taken shape in the form of Zoom and FaceTime sessions, and more people have found themselves dealing in the digital world. Make sure you are active in this digital world so that you remain visible to your clients. Utilize email newsletters, videos, social media, and even interactive webinars so that your business remains at the forefront of your clients' minds. Ensure that you update your marketing messages so that they are oriented with this surge of digital work, whilst keeping the current climate in mind- simply ending a marketing message with a personal touch such as “stay home, and stay healthy” can make a big difference in the impact of that message.
Anonymous said…
Get Digital

Let’s look at the bright side of things — 25 years ago, the outbreak would have been much more devastating to people and businesses worldwide.

after the outbreak, the number of online purchases considerably increased.

Are you using social media to your advantage?
Anonymous said…
Contact the organizations that cancelled those sales, and ask if the plan to have an on-line version of the sale in the future. They have had a lot of time to plan now, and should be getting with it, and if not they should be reaching out to the pottery community and getting expert advice, and getting help to put on an on-line version of the sale and events.
Anonymous said…
ceramic-dispensing vending machine

Every ceramic and guild shop should have one!


Anonymous said…
Ceramics Vending Machine

a custom vending machine to dispense hundreds of ceramic works


The perfect machine for the age of social distancing and isolating.
Anonymous said…
Repurposed Vending Machines Dispense Original Works Of Art

The Art-o-mat company takes old cigarette vending machines and repurposes them to dispense original works of art. What started out as a single art project turned into a collective and you can now find these machines at hundreds of locations across the country.



Anonymous said…
Safe enough for eggs, safe enough to sell your pottery and ceramics.

Egg Vending Machines May Be the Future of Farm-Fresh Eggs
Some grocery stores are running short on eggs, so farmers are finding ingenious ways to take their eggs straight to the customer.


Anonymous said…

DIY Vending Machine - make your own pottery and ceramics vending machine.
DIY Vending Machine - Arduino based Mechatronics Project

Venduino 2 | Arduino Vending Machine Updated
Anonymous said…
In a conversation with Ed Mc Collough, a very distinguished and wise sculptor who had work in my Gallery.. I asked him, "Ed, why are some Artists so snooty?" His answer floored me....he said, " My dear, we all put our pants on one leg at a time. The next time you meet one of those snobby types...take a long hard look at their work. The confidence in themselves is the only thing you won't be able to see in their work." He continued " A real Artist is Humble. They let their work speak for them. They know there is better out there and they know there is worse. We are constantly growing and you'll look back on work you've done 10 years from now and think (God that is awful). If your nose is in the air you'll never look down to notice." Times are changin...us old dawgs need to learn new tricks.
Anonymous said…
Grayson Perry’s seven lessons in creativity


take the terrifying road of ‘doing your own thing
Anonymous said…
Anonymous said…
History of Ceramics
The history of ceramics straight to your IG feed. Follow and tag your friends, students and teachers. #historyofceramics


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