Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Here Begins The Week of Reflection

Longtime readers know that the week between Christmas and New Year's Day is my favorite: all the holiday busy-ness is over, but it's not quite business as usual yet. It feels like a little island of calm, when nothing is urgent and there is time to think. I use it for this purpose: the Week of Reflection.

Here at this blog I tend to use it for artistic and business reflections, but I do it on a personal level, also.

I got a jump on this year's Week of Reflection a few weeks ago when I went through a depressive spell - why waste the only thing depression is good for: ruminating? - and in that time I made an important decision: prices are going up. I won't rehash it here, but it was a tough corner to turn, and a very valuable one. Ever since, I have been spending whatever time it took to make each piece as good as it could be, and feeling free to recycle the stinkers - because of course there will be stinkers, there have to be. I feel as good about the work I have made in the past few weeks as any I've ever done.

It will mean, initially, fewer sales. I can live with this; I can squeak by on teaching classes if I am ridiculously frugal. (And I do mean ridiculously. We suspended our $7.99 Netflix subscription, for example.) It will pass, and it will pay off. The Week of Reflection, this year, will be focused on a sales and marketing plan, and a few steps I can take to make production less expensive. More efficient burners? Convert my glazes to Cone 6? Those are two possible steps.

4 comments:

Christine Covert said...

Someone's blog in the past 4-5 months featured a snapshot of the saying: Leave the weak pots in the slip bucket. I posted that in my studio and yes, I am reclaiming more clay, thus producing fewer pots overall, but it's a good thing. And I too will be raising my prices.

Best Wishes for 2013

Lori Watts said...

Christine - Thanks! You, too. Yes, no need to fire a piece knowing it's never going to be great!

- Cindy - said...

I started a line of electric fired cone 04 work because I knew I could fire more often and easier, and much more cheaply. The reason I never have seriously dived into Cone 6 is because I feel like I wouldn't know what to do. It's too low that I'll be able to do atmospheric firing with anyone I know (since I don't have my own kiln). It's so high that I can't bisque and glaze fire in the same kilns. Also, I am doing some great things with terrasigillata, which gets dry at 6. Is it a happy medium, or something that isn't quite great at anything? I don't know. I am working at a studio that is a Cone 6 shop, though. So the pressure is there. I don't know how I'd fit yet another temp of clay on my tiny city one shelving unit studio. Redoing everything again from the ground up again is also daunting, and I already did it with the Cone 04 stuff. :/ Also... I just don't know what I'd do. When I was looking at 04 I thought underglazes and terrasigillata were obvious things to try out with what I do with the carving, and because they are strengths of firing to 04. What's the strength of firing to cone 6 that I can exploit? If I answered that in a way that works with what I make, I might consider it.

- Cindy - said...

I started a line of electric fired cone 04 work because I knew I could fire more often and easier, and much more cheaply. The reason I never have seriously dived into Cone 6 is because I feel like I wouldn't know what to do. It's too low that I'll be able to do atmospheric firing with anyone I know (since I don't have my own kiln). It's so high that I can't bisque and glaze fire in the same kilns. Also, I am doing some great things with terrasigillata, which gets dry at 6. Is it a happy medium, or something that isn't quite great at anything? I don't know. I am working at a studio that is a Cone 6 shop, though. So the pressure is there. I don't know how I'd fit yet another temp of clay on my tiny city one shelving unit studio. Redoing everything again from the ground up again is also daunting, and I already did it with the Cone 04 stuff. :/ Also... I just don't know what I'd do. When I was looking at 04 I thought underglazes and terrasigillata were obvious things to try out with what I do with the carving, and because they are strengths of firing to 04. What's the strength of firing to cone 6 that I can exploit? If I answered that in a way that works with what I make, I might consider it.

Related Posts with Thumbnails