Thursday, June 11, 2009

I've been a bit busy, I'll be taking part in an exhibition soon.

I would like to make more of these for an exhibition in 10 days time!

Just finished a 12 hour day in the studio making and finishing small bowls. Today I threw 53 small bowls on my kick wheel and 10 goblets, turned the foot rings of 35 small bowls that I threw yesterday, tidied up the bottoms of some little bowls that one of my pupils made yesterday, and hand wedged about 35 kilograms of clay. I feel less tired after all that than I did this time yesterday, it may be to do with the coffee I had earlier on!

I am doing all this, because I had the daft idea yesterday morning that it would be really lovely to have some copper red bowls to go with all the shino glazed work that I will be having in an exhibition ten days from now at the Dunedin Community Gallery. I will be exhibiting in a 4 artist show at the gallery that will feature 2 painters, a sculptor, and myself (a potter!).

This copper red bowl sold on Sunday

I will need to get the bowls dry, bisque fired, then ready to glaze fire in the wood fired kiln by about Thursday or Friday of next week. Not quite sure if it is possible, but I am giving it my best shot! The exhibition opens on Monday 22 of June and runs until the 28th. I will also be demonstrating throwing on the wheel on the Thursday and Friday of the exhibition from 11am to 2pm both days. My plan B for if I can't get things ready for the wood fired kiln in time, is to put some of the bowls through the electric kiln and do some of my blue chun glazes.

Last weekend was one of mixed blessings and emotions. It was preceded in positive fashion on the Friday when someone popped out from town and bought a jug and a cup that had both been in the recent wood firing. It was our monthly open studio weekend, and after a big tidy up and a lot of work setting up a display of the new pots, we had only two small boys from down the road pop into the gallery on the Saturday, and I also gave an hour's tuition to someone that missed out on her lesson on Wednesday. It felt sad to have things looking so nice at our studio, but have so few people take an interest.

Late Saturday afternoon I got a phone call to tell me that, whilst sales of art at the Plunket fund raiser exhibition in Timaru had been really good, none of my pots had sold. I arranged to drive up on Sunday and pick up the pots when the exhibition was dismantled. It was an unfortunate end to the day, and I managed maybe 3.5 hours of broken sleep that night.

Sunday morning saw me too groggy from lack of sleep to safely manage the two hour drive to Timaru to collect my pots, and one of the exhibition organizers kindly agreed to uplift the pots from the exhibition for me to collect from her when I was more able to travel up.

This vase sold on Sunday

It was just as well that I stayed home on the Sunday, as we had half a dozen people through our studio in the afternoon and everyone bought something, eight items sold and the sales mounted up to a goodly total.

It was such a relief after the gloom of the day before.

This jug sold on Friday.

It is often a hard task to keep optimistic about things, there are so many setbacks and disappointments, but it is good to have a productive day like today, and to see a drying rack full of work that has resulted from honest labour, and it is a ray of sunshine on the occasional good day when the jolly things find homes to go to!

I would like to say a big thank you to those of you who follow this blog, and for your supportive comments and kindness, it has been a big help with things here.


Pat - Arkansas said...

Dear Peter. What a busy person you have been. It's tough to have to work through exhaustion when what one really wants (and needs) is a good long sleep!

Wishing you well on your glazing and wood firing. I know you'll turn out some beautiful pieces for the exhibition. I hope sales increase exponentially and that Peter's Pottery becomes sought after world wide.

Love the "sold" pieces you photographed. The copper bowl is magnificent!

Arkansas Patti said...

What a roller coaster when you put your kids on the auction block for approval. Not sure my ego could suffer the ups and downs. Just know you are very talented and the people who visited your studio and bought are the smart ones to reinforce that knowledge.
I just love the vase on Sundays sale and that copper bowl is beautiful.
You certainly have an ambitious schedule ahead. Hope rest is in there somewhere.

Linda Starr said...

Hi Peter, you really have been busy; I don't know how you do it. Your pots are beautiful and the copper red is very wonderful, but I am partial to your chun blue. I've found folks are most energetic about pottery when they speak to the potter and learn about and feel the excitement of the work from the potter. That I think is the drawback to the gallery exhibits and the benefit of the studio sales. But the gallery exhibits gain the potter exposure which in turn increases sales in the long run. Good luck to you in your ambitious endeavors ahead these next few weeks.

Peter said...

Thank you Pat, Patti, and Linda, really lovely to hear from you. Had an even longer day yesterday/today... finishing just after midnight. Managed to make some jugs then turn 53 foot rings of the bowls that were made the previous day. The daft thing is that I don't seem to be able to sleep after all that, thus I'm here at the computer at 4.30 in the morning! I'll put some handles on the jugs when it is light out there, then I might try an hour's shut eye and see what happens! The good thing is that the bowls are drying well as I have rigged up some wire shelves up near the ceiling above the wood stove. Just might be able to load a bisque firing in the electric kiln later this afternoon.

You are quite right Linda about the advantages of studio sales, I am sure it makes a difference to have people in the place where the pots are made, rather than to see them in a gallery environment. I like to be making something on the wheel when people are here too, as it is a great way to introduce people to the process. Many have never seen a pot being made on the wheel before.

Sorry I'm not getting round to leaving comments on your sites as much as I would like at the moment. Hopefully, things will settle somewhat in a few days, once I've got this load of pots done. All the Best to you. P.

doug fitch said...

Glad things turned out well - it's such a knock to ones confidence when times are like that, I know those feelings only too well. Sounds like you've been having a good make lately.

Peter said...

Thanks For that Doug, really nice to hear from you. There are times when one does wonder about why one continues along this muddy path but, I suspect that there is a compulsive gambling element to it...., "one day I will have a big win!" All the Best to you in Merry England, P.

Christine H S said...

You really do deserve success with all that stupendous hard work. The copper red bowl which sold is beautiful! I am really glad that the Sunday sales went well after a disappointing exhibition and then so few turning up on the Open Studio day. Good luck with the wood kiln.

Selling things is just the right person coming along at the right time - I went to the preview of a painting and ceramics show of some friends on Friday. Rosie the painter sold four paintings. When I said how well she had done, she replied that it was ONLY because that one man had come along and bought three paintings. The answer was, but he did... and he DID.

Peter said...

Christine, lovely to hear from you, and thank you for your kind words which are a good boost to the morale, on what has been the end of another busy day as I work towards this daft deadline of getting a wood firing done later this week. I guess that one of the realities of living where I do is that there is only a small population, so selling is always going to be a challenge. I'm determined to give it my best shot though! All the Best to you, P.