Will Covid kill the big pot?

Let's face it Covid ain't going away soon. I know that online is going to be the new reality for many of us potters. So as I started to make today I thought about the nuisance of shipping pots. I'm a add man. I add all kinds of appendages, doo dads and things that make an item hard to pack and ship. Take one of my teapots for example. All kinds of add ons to try to protect.
So then to that add big ware. I have never considered myself a "big ware man" but I do make a number of items that are bigger than would be possible to use in a domestic kitchen. 20lb jugs, 35 lb casseroles, 25 lb bowls etc. I shipped a really beautiful jug of mine to a friend in Arkansas a month ago. I can't remember the weight but the height was 19". The shipping was $92 which was a third of the price of the jug. 
So do I make my jugs, my casseroles and platters or do I make handless yunomi's and tame my cut and prick handles? Today I did. I figure for the next year at least I'm going to be shipping pots and I want to make pots not spend days trying to pack the impossible. 
I came up with a different handle on the bowls that I kinda like and the yunomi's have got some stuff goin' on and would be easy to ship. 
I always maintained that the kiln is the heart of your studio and the size of your kiln dictates the scale of your work. A big kiln requires big pots. So unless you got people coming to the farm gate or a good gallery representing you I think you might be up Shit Creek. If the gallery does online sales I can't see them wanting a 35 lb casserole. Please tell me I'm wrong.
For years I always got set up by a miniature maker of pottery at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition. She would come with two suitcases full of pots while I had a car and a pickup full. Her thumb sized teapots sold for more than mine and she went home with a whole lot money than me.  I should have learned. 
Be well and safe my brothers and sisters of clay. 


Anonymous said…
Shipping and handling, kills ya every time.

I mean, how far can a drone fly?

What size of drone would you need to deliver one of your pots?
Anonymous said…
Not with all those anti-maskers protesting, and governors and other law makers refusing to make mask wearing mandatory. And if by some miracle they do come up with a vaccine, you have that other group of anti-vaxers to contend with. That dream of Covid-19 by summer is long gone. Until there is serious leadership, it is going to continue to ruin this country.

And as a side note, I saw the most interesting political cartoon, it basically said that those lawmakers who refuse to make mask wearing mandatory have no problem passing laws to control
a uterus. Just an interesting note on the hypocrisy of some people.
Anonymous said…
Miniatures sounded like a great idea, and then I realized they would probably drive me crazy making them, big is beautiful!
Anonymous said…
Memories, such interesting reading...

rough edges and the beauty of nastiness


Anonymous said…
Are you still the nastiest potter alive?

Anonymous said…
John Boy You have the memory of a vacuum cleaner. How do you do it? I forget what I had for dinner tonight. Be well my young brother. T
Anonymous said…
For all of you needing that drone pilot's license to make social distancing deliveries.

DRON-100 Drone Ground Training
Course Description
This advanced Drone Ground School covers all fundamental knowledge for Transport Canada's Written Test for a pilot of small Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems, RPAS or commonly known as drones.


DRON-200 Drone Flight Training
This in-person flight review meets Transport Canada's Flight Review requirement for a small RPAS/Drone Pilot Certificate - Advanced Operations. Upon registration you will receive a Flight Review prep course to understand everything needed for the review session. Centennial College Flight Review includes 1 practice day on our Drone Flight Field.

Anonymous said…
Canada should boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022

Over the past few years, relations have been strained between China and a number of major Winter Olympic medal-winning countries, including the United States, Norway, Sweden, South Korea, Japan and Canada, whose athletes are preparing to compete in Beijing even as China continues to incarcerate Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.


Colby Cosh: Canada should consider boycotting the Beijing 2022 Olympics
Meanwhile, to return to the original reason for my research into the state of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Canada seems perfectly prepared to send its athletes to a sporting competition in a country where two of its citizens are, at present, held in state custody, with minimum diplomatic assistance and under indecent conditions, on alleged but invisible evidence of vague political offences. I had been a little nervous that if the 2022 Games are in jeopardy, we might lose our own chance to boycott them.


Anonymous said…
How do I get blue hydrangeas ?

pink, blue, purple all the colours can be had from the white ones,
just bury your teabags, and those coffee pods next to the plant,
the acid from the teabags with change the soil and add colour to your flowers,
and its a more green way than adding chemicals to the soil.

If you don't drink a lot of tea, accept donations,
besides you can always use the tea leaf ash on your ceramics.
RichardA said…
Covid isn't killing the big pot. And shipping isn't either. It's been dying for a long time outside of the "sweet spots" of the pottery world (North Carolina, for instance) because of changing demographics. People who were adults during the 70s through 2000 aren't collecting anymore...they're either gone or downsizing, and their kids don't want the craft junk their parents collected. The younger folk need to stay mobile as jobs and careers change, and that means if they're collecting, it's cups and other smaller stuff. Don't mean to be a downer, Tony, but as a big pot maker I've seen demand dropping over the past 15-20 years. I rarely sell a big piece out of my showroom anymore...I've got several galleries that could move the big stuff, but they've been shut for months, and even there, sales have been slowing for years. The world is changing, and I'm not sure I'm up to what one has to do to change with it.
Good luck!
Anonymous said…
Uncle Tony tell me that tale about the evils of meat tray pottery, and the glories of slip casting again. Or as someone at the guild told me the evils of slip casting and the glories of 3-D printing of ceramics.

Anonymous said…
I also recommend teabagging your hydrangeas, it's an easy way to get those colours you want,
and in no time you'll have those blue balls of flowers.

Let's Talk About Teabagging
but don't get it confused with the other type of teabagging, you'll get a different kind of blue balls.

Anonymous said…
Adaptation is a part of moving forward, is it not? It has happened since the beginning of time. Make a plan, be strategic. As RichardA says, things are changing, can you build a new audience by doing something different. Change is inevitable, some you can control, some you can't. Do you have a plan for catastrophe, just in case C19 isn't the worst thing to happen to you? The older we get the more that can go awry.
Anonymous said…
I don't know anyone who would use a 35 lb. casserole dish anymore, food is too expensive to fill it, and families are too small for it. Better start making millennial sized domestic wears, that's about the size of a take out food container.
Anonymous said…
Your talking about the IKEA generation, that thinks a framed poster is art, take a good look at what contemporary ceramics looks like (hint, that stuff we all made in elementary school).
Anonymous said…
Adapting is a good idea, I mean people will pay $1000 to have their pet's portrait painted, and when they go to care bear heaven, they will pay thousands to have their pets cremated.
Why not publicize your jugs as doggie urns, and your casseroles as kitty caskets, and get those big bucks for them.
Anonymous said…
And as a side business why not put those gas and wood-fired kilns to good use, and have an arrangement with your local veterinarian and veterinary hospital. You could glaze and do pet cremations at the same time, very organic and green, as saggar firing goes, or a final firing in their own little reliquary chest.
Anonymous said…
Hey Karen,
Symptoms of SBD include:
Pissing people off

Annoying people

Interfering with personal business

Obsessing over an ex

Being self absorbed

Being rude for no reason
Anonymous said…
"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. "
Annie Dillard
Anonymous said…
"The Arctic people of Labrador say that a person is born empty: dreams fill him, and a person who doesn't dream is no better than a black fly."
--Gretel Ehrlich, a match to the heart

Do potters who don't dream, make meat tray pottery?
Anonymous said…
P.S. I didn't suggest that you use the kitty ashes in a glaze,
but on second thought, it would make the most purr-fect glaze.

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