Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Always More to Learn

Amaco Velvet underglaze on Waxy White Glaze (recipe below), on Laguna's 900 claybody
Students are like those fabled bumblebees that didn't know they couldn't fly; sometimes they don't know they can't do a thing, so they go ahead & do it, and we all learn something! That happened in one of my classes last week.

If she had asked me, I would have told Jesse not to do it; putting underglaze on top of glaze, I would have predicted, would have crusty, unpleasant results. And I would have been so wrong! She did it, and - surprise! - the underglaze maintained its brilliant, right-out-of-the-jar colors, but took the waxy sheen of the glaze. Not all of them - blue turned watercolor-y and periwinkle, the black & brown were...not great - but the hot colors were amazing. Red & orange & yellow like I've never seen in reduction.
So I tried it, with the few underglazes I had lying around, and had the same results! All of the underglazes used were Amaco's Velvet series; I applied mine in 3 coats. (Jesse didn't know exactly but she said "thick." I used Flame Orange, Radiant Red, and Royal Blue. As you can see, the Royal Blue turned more of a watercolor-y periwinkle; the others are right-out-of-the-jar hues.
Amaco's velvet underglaze on Waxy White Glaze
on Laugna's 570 porcelain

We only tried one glaze (so far!), and that is this one:

Waxy White (not sure the origin, but I got it at Portland Pottery)
^10 reduction

4100 Custer Spar
1200 Gerstley Borate
700 Dolomite
1500 Talc
500 EPK
2000 Silica

Monday, September 2, 2019

Home Improvement

As anyone who lives in an old house knows, they always need something. Some needs are immediate: leaky roof! Furnace quit! Others wait until you have the time & money, or else the luck, to make it happen.

So it is with studio outbuildings. I have a weakness for old things, in the process of enacting the 2nd law of thermodynamics; it's hard for me to feel creative in a new, perfect space. Someone once said of the Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, its own studio located in an old chicken barn: "It's conceptually impossible to mess it up." Which somehow (at Watershed, at least) makes it feel conceptually impossible to mess up. You can't make a mistake! You can only have a learning experience.

But I digress! What I wanted to tell you was, a combination of luck & time came together to provide for me a new door on my summer studio! The old one was a solid interior door Doug found in our cellar (repository of many unexpected things.) After 10 years the elements, alas, had had their way with it and it was falling apart.

In June I found an old mullion-window door at a yard sale for $5. Now, I have a few yard-sale weaknesses: small kitchen appliances are top of the list (NO LORI YOU DON'T NEED A SINGLE-HOT-DOG STEAMER) but old doors and windows call to me also. I mostly manage to resist, but this one was too perfect. The mullion panes and the very low price decided me.

Unfortunately for me there are many more things to consider when choosing a door than price! (And windows.) This door was too tall & a little too wide for any of the potential places I could use it, and the hinges were on the wrong side. Luckily we own a circular saw, and several screwdrivers! After making the necessary changes, I have a new studio door that lets in light, and allows me to see out even when its too chilly to prop it open. From the outside it lends the studio a beckoning cosiness: "Come in, Lori, make beautiful things, leave the turmoil of the world outside..."

In fact, I think I hear it right now! I've got butter dishes to finish and jaunty jars to begin.

Happy Labor Day, all! May all your labors be happy ones. And all your days.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Pottery Stairs Are Out!

Come by, local peeps, and grab your bargains!

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Tis the Season: Raku!

It was raku week at Portland Pottery, at least in my classes. I'd actually been planning these firings for a few weeks, but I always build in time for unexpected obstacles: in this case, the bisque schedule, some brutally hot weather (Al Gore was right!), and my own Lyme Disease diagnosis - more on that later.

Here's our Instagrammable moment:

Many thanks to students for great camera work:
It begins.
Got my good side!
Ooo fire!
Almost done!
The process is fun and exciting, and I try to do it with each class during the warm months, because in a communal studio like Portland Pottery, students get very little experience of firing. There are racks where they place their work to be fired...then the pots go away for a while...then [something happens, who knows what]...and the pots come back changed. I'm exaggerating a little - I talk to my students a lot about firing (too much, some might say!) and when the kiln is firing I bring them in to look into the spy hole. It's not the same as loading, keeping an eye on the firing, and unloading, though. Raku allows student to participate in each step, and to be responsible for the outcome.

Speaking of, we got some great outcomes:
Terra sigillata & horsehair




Portland Pottery (and your so very truly) will be offering a raku workshop Saturday, September 14th! Bring 4-5 bisqued pots of an appropriate claybody, and wear long pants, closed-toed shoes, and cotton clothing.
You can use a claybody that's specific for raku, or any groggy stoneware will usually be fine. High grolleg porcelain performs surprisingly well also! To register call (207) 772-4334.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

C is for Slab Building

I have some students who are exclusively slab builders, so I have been searching recently for new techniques to show them. Found this one described online, do I decided to give it a try.

It starts with a rolled slab, about 3/8s of an inch. I find a very common mistake among students is to roll their slabs too thin! In addition to being much harder to build with, an overly-thin slab results in a flimsy pot that chips easily and, to my mind, feels cheap. I can think of reasons why you would make a thinner pot - sometimes you can use daintiness in an aesthetic way, for special-occasion pots, in which the very fragility of the piece proclaims the specialness of the occasion, or makes clear that this is a decorative, not utilitarian, piece. But if you mean to use it regularly, give it a little substance!

But I digress. Where were we? Oh, yes, the slab. Once rolled and thoroughly compressed, cut two concentric circles. This will create a ring of clay, one circle being the outer diameter and the other the inner. The difference between the larger and the small of the two will be the height of the walls. The greater the difference, the harder this will be to build. To minimize any such difficulties, you want tgive this slab a little while to firm up. How long depends on the air conditions; 15 minutes is a good starting point but on the humid day I built mine that was not nearly enough. Building on a drywall board is helpful, too, as it allows the slab to dry from both directions.

Save the circle bit from the middle! It will become the bottom.

Now we're going to cut a wedge out of the ring, which will make a "C" shape. The wider the wedge, the more vertical the sides will be; a shallower bowl will be harder to build and may need to rest in or on a mold.
Like this one! This bowl is not especially shallow, but I lost
patience waiting for my slab to dry in our humidity. 

I found a wedge of at least a quarter of the ring made a good, useful shape.



Now we're going to bend the slab so that the edges overlap. There will be an opening in the middle.

Scoring & adding clay slurry (or magic water, or vinegar, or whatever your attachment preference) is going to be key in holding the seam together.

Now for the bottom. The circular bit that was cut out at the beginning is a little bit drier now, let's use that.

Optional, of course, but I like to put a texture on it.


This textured circle becomes the bottom - TWIST! - from the inside. Score, slip, etc, then:

There is, of course, a lot of smoothing, paddling, and other futzing - especially on the bottom! - to make it look nice. 

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Hi Google, Fix Please!

A few folks have contacted me to let me know that some older posts here redirect to some widget-server thingy. I just noticed it myself, yesterday, and I have no idea why it's happening or how to undo it. I'm told it's something to do with the html, a long-forgotten widget I installed maybe, but since I can't get to the post, I can't edit out the widget, or even verify that there is one. 😕

I have contacted Google to see if they can help, but in the meantime, I have to beg your forbearance. Older posts will (probably!) eventually be available again, but it might be a slow process of finding the individual dead links, tracing another path to the post, and editing the html of individual posts to remove the offending code.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

A Few Stems

My perennial garden is a source of recurring joy for me. Crocuses popping in March remind me that the drear Maine winter will, eventually, end; watching for the late-spring splashes of color gets me through April & May. June is a riotous festival of blooms, as peonies with their big showy heads blossom in tandem with irises, lady's mantle, yarrow, and wild asters.

It's true that whichever one is happening at the time is my favorite, but I do take a particular joy in the blooms of July, the month of radial symmetry" daisies, brown-eyed susans, echinachea. Just a few cheery stems brighten a room.

I made some little vases with this bloom-season in mind:

Click here to purchase!

Click here to purchase!

Click here to purchase!

Click here to purchase!

Click here to purchase!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

An Urn for Traveller

I never take custom orders. I find them very stressful, and as a result put off starting the project until it looms over my head longer than it would have taken to make it. I usually make 3 or 4 or whatever it is, to increase the chances of success, so it takes 3 or 4 times the resources - materials, time, fuel - that it would take to make a similar piece spontaneously. I am left with a couple of oddball pieces that don't fit my usual body of work, and nothing to do with them except maybe sell them as seconds.

Also, they aren't fun.

I did make an exception to this rule, though, for a friend who wanted an urn for a dog who had passed. He wasn't her dog; he belonged to a friend of hers. I had met Traveler, though, and it is no secret that I have a soft spot for animals.

I agreed to this custom order for a couple of reasons. Barbara is a friend - I 100% would not do this for a stranger or a slight acquaintance. She used to own The Artisan's Barn, a craft gallery in Readfield, and carried my work for several years before she retired, so she is well familiar with the concept of handmade variation; and she was willing to let me make ALL the design decisions - color, shape, handle, all the details. My mission was just "make a nice urn" that would fit the cremains of a 110 pound dog.

I did a bit of math to determine the size: with pet cremains, figure one cubic inch per pound of living weight. The volume of a cylinder is
π
r
2 x h
[Pi (3.14 etc)] x [the measurement of the radius, squared (multiplied by itself)] x the height
For ceramics we need to figure in shrinkage; I usually multiply by 1.15 to accommodate 15% shrinkage. 

Even so, I made three. One was too small; one was, idk, it was fine but I didn't love it. One was, to quote Goldilocks, just right.

I think of Traveler, sweet boy, and feel glad that I can honor his life in this small way.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Morning in Belfast

I don't know if I've ever done an art fair in a more beautiful location that Belfast, Maine. It was insufferably hot yesterday, so we didn't get a lot of visitors, but today promises to be sunny and 70s - the perfect Maine summer day.

As often happens after an extremely hot day, we got some thunderstorms last night. I didn't take my tent down but I did remove all the pots from the shelves & put them in crates on the ground. That turned out to be an unnecessary precaution, as winds did not get about 10 mph in Belfast last night! Still, better no to take the chance.
As always, I worried about the display; in particular if I would have enough pots to fill it. I do! Hopefully at the end of the day I will have none. 😉



Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Murphy's Law is Not So Bad!

If I didn't clarify before, my last firing was only a Murphy's Law firing if Murphy's Law was about screw-ups. Everything that went wrong in this firing was something I did wrong or failed to do! It's something of a pattern: I have a few super-smooth firings in a row, then I get over-confident - or maybe lazy is the word I want here - and make things harder for myself. For example:
  • The cone pack exploded because 
    1. I made the packs just a few hours before lighting the burners
    2. I didn't poke vents in the clay of the pack with a needle tool, to allow the water vapor to escape more easily; and
    3. I turned up the burners too quickly
  • The burner fluffed out repeatedly because the thermocouple was failing. That's nobody's fault - thermocouples don't last forever - but usually I have extras around. 
  • I forgot to buy wood shavings and soda ash ahead of time
  • And, as I was reminded when I unloaded, I forgot to do my basic kiln hygiene and knock the stalactites off the underside of the arch! These turn into ugly, lumpy grey-green drips in the firing, and I lost some pots on the top shelf to them. 
All in all, though, I have to say I was incredibly lucky. The soda glass is evenly distributed, the colors are rich and clear, even the exploded cone pack didn't damage anything! Most importantly, the steins that I need for Watershed's Salad Days event came through beautifully. (Enough of them, anyway! One was lost in the bisque to a separating handle, and two got the aforementioned ugly soda drips on them. that still leaves more than I need!)
It's 87° today, so I am going to take a bit of a break from the heat. I still need to grind a few bottoms, then sort, price, and pack the pots for Belfast Arts in the Park.

Some of these pots should be available online after the 13th. 

I'm gonna make some notes here about the firing schedule that worked out so well so I can refer to it for future firings:
  • Lit one burner on 1# pressure at 9 pm
  • Lit all burners on 1# pressure at 10 pm (TOO FAST - Cone pack exploded)
  • Tapped burners up just a bit at midnight
  • Went to bed!
  • 4 am - red heat, turned up burners
  • ^012 falling at 7 am, turned up burners & pushed in damper
  • G-D f*ckin burner went out about 4 times between ^012 & ^3
  • ^6 falling at noonish - started adding soda mix
  • Kiln stalled for over two hours at ^6. Stopped adding soda & put kiln in lightest possible reduction
  • ^8 falling, resumed soda. Finished soda maybe an hour before the kiln went off
  • Had only one cone pack, in the typical hot spot, so I laid ^11 down to make sure the cool spot got to ^10

Monday, July 1, 2019

Belfast Arts in the Park

Wow, it's July already, and only a few days away from Belfast Arts in the Park. I'll be in Booth 111, with the hopefully-wonderful pots from the Murphy's Law firing! Come see me.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Murphy's Law Firing

My last firing was smooth sailing all the way - a high pressure day, a steady climb, body reduction by 7 am, all the pretty cones falling evenly. The universe demands balance! So this firing takes Murphy's Law as its inspiration. A cone pack explodes! A burner fluff out, twice so far! Ooops, I'm out of wood curls! Pelting rain last night right when I had to adjust the burners!

It's not promising. I'm tempted to turn it off & try again on Wednesday.

But that's silly! There's no reason this annoying firing can't produce beautiful pots. and firing on Wednesday would put a squeeze on an already-tight timeline for my upcoming fair, Belfast Art in the Park. So I'll just keep an eye on that f*cking burner, send Doug out for wood shavings, and hope for the best.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Week 1 Skill Challenge: Throw a 1-lb Cylinder 6 Inches High

I do these weekly challenges with my students. This session I am tying each one to the week number; week 1 we have a one-pound challenge, week 2 we'll have a 2-pound challenge, and so on.

They wouldn't be challenges if they were easy, but they are doable! You will need to get all the clay up into the wall for this to work - no extra thickness at the bottom! Some tips:
      • The centered hump of clay should be relatively tall & narrow, with a flat top, before you open it. About 3" at the bottom, 2" at the top.
      • Open with your thumbs bent & pointy. 
      • Establish a flat interior bottom before you begin pulling up 
      • Make sure you begin your pull with your outer fingertips right against the wheelhead. 
      • At the beginning of each pull, press in with your outside fingertips (for me that's my right hand) to make a little ridge of clay that you will bring up the wall. 
      • As soon as you begin pulling, move your outside fingertips so they are putting pressure a little bit higher than your fingertips inside the pot. This will prevent the wall from spreading outward. 
      • Pull as many times as you need 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Always a Silver Lining


I've been working like a mad potter for the last few weeks, toward a firing to provide work for the Belfast Arts in the Park , happening July 6 & 7, and immediately after that, Watershed's Salad Days, July 13th. Briefly coming up for air to check what happens after those events, I realized the answer is...nothing.

I mean, not nothing-nothing; I'll still have stores to supply and the online shop. But, since I didn't get into the Common Ground Fair, and was only wait-listed for the Portland Fine Crafts Show, I've got no big events coming up for the rest of the summer. That's not ideal, of course, and suggests that I should review my application images - hopefully I can do better! But a good show is always going to be in demand, and unless you are, idk, Bob Briscoe or someone, sometimes you are going to jury out. Even knowing this, I didn't make any "safety" applications, because honestly I'd rather do no show than price, pack, schlepp, unload, set up, stay all day, then do it all in reverse, for $250.

Well, I got my wish...sort of! My real wish would have been to get into the shows, of course, but failing that, I kinda...have the summer off! Or half of it. I mean, I'll still teach my classes & supply the aforementioned stores but I'll have no big deadlines pressing on my mind, or my time. OH THE PLACES I'LL GO

I have brains in my head
I have feet in my shoes

I can steer myself any direction I choose!*

*With apologies to Dr. Seuss




Sunday, June 2, 2019

Steins for the 'Shed

So, you know about Salad Days, right? If not, I've been remiss! Salad Days is a huge lawn party to benefit the Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts. For $40, you get a handmade plate, designed specially for the event, all the salad you can eat, and a day of bluegrass music with all your potter and potter-supporting friends on Watershed's 30 rural acres. This year it's happening July 13th, a Saturday. (The "Days" part of the name is something of a misnomer, referencing the expression which means "the days when you could only afford to eat salad," itself somewhat odd, since - these days anyway - salad is kinda spendy! But I digress.) The event happens from 10-3.

In addition to the famous Salad Days plates, designed & created by a different artist every year, there's a Salad Days Stein Sale. Click the link, go on, I dare ya! WHOSE POTS ARE THOSE, RIGHT THERE AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE?? That's right, Yours So Very Truly! I was super excited to get the invite to make steins for the event. I got a start on them last week.

Like, whoa! Those look ginormous. I weighed out 2 1/4 pounds of clay, and they are about 7 1/2 inches high. which our old friend arithmetic tells me will shrink to 6 1/2, not at all an absurd size for  a stein.Trust the math, right? Math don't lie.

And anyway they look a little less silly-big with the handles on:

They've asked for 10-12; I made 15, for safety, but that means that (hopefully!) even if you can't make it to Salad Days, there will be a few Salad Days steins available. Actually, I'm enjoying them so much, I think I might make a few pilsner shapes as well.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Must Be Summer!

The Pottery Stairs are out!

I've had people ask if I can email them when the stairs are out. I can't promise that - the only reason I am able to sell items for $5-$15 is because there's no effort involved beyond putting them out there. But I will try to post it to the Fine Mess Pottery facebook page every time. Deal? Deal.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Meet Periwinkle, Our Sponsored Cat!

I visited Kennebec Valley Humane Society this afternoon, to choose a cat to sponsor with the proceeds of the Cat Dish Fundraiser. With the help of the staff there, I decided on Periwinkle. She is a big beautiful 4-yr-old tabby, brown with russet undertones - truly a lovely cat. She's very spunky & playful. Periwinkle has been at the shelter since March.
Like my Snowball, Periwinkle has food allergies, so will need a special diet. This was part of the reason I wanted to sponsor her - it can be harder to adopt out a cat with any special needs. Her adoption fee was $75, but now it's FREE!
Thank you to all who bought dishes & shared posts to help make this happen! We will keep an eye on Periwnkle online & hope she finds her forever home soon.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

One Left!

We did it! 10+ cat dishes sold; on Wednesday I will drop into the shelter and choose a cat to sponsor. Thank you all who bought a dish, or shared the post to help make it happen.

There's one dish left! I don't need to sell it to sponsor a cat, I already have enough, but selling it would help defray the cost of materials & shipping. Any takers?
Last one! $15, free shipping!
Either way, onward & upward! I will report back on Wednesday. 🙂

Update: Will have to visit KVHS tomorrow! Turns out they are closed on Wednesdays.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

One Good Thing

A little over a year ago, I did the first cat dish fundraiser, followed quickly by the second. Together we were able to sponsor the adoption fees for 3 shelter cats, all of whom found their forever homes shortly thereafter.

At that time, I had 5 cats; in the intervening months, a sixth cat has managed to worm his naughty, adorable way into our home. Six really is the limit, though; if I needed any further persuading, Skinny is my first-ever sprayer, which means finding and wiping up cat pee is my new hobby! Toward that end I bought a blacklight, to help find the invisible pee spots.
Like they use on Bones. only it's for pee!

But I digress.

It's time once again for the Sorta-Annual Cat Dish Fundraiser! If I can sell 10 of these sweet little dishes, I can sponsor a cat's adoption fee at KVHS.  I've got my eye on an older cat named Sweatpants, if she hasn't found a home by the time this fundraiser is done. 

Let me highlight a couple of my favorites: 
Cat Dish 9: PINK HURRICANE
Cat Dish 2: Serene Green
Cat Dish 1: Spring Tartan
There are lots more in the online shop. Check them out & choose your favorite! I sold some during the Maine Pottery Tour, so I only need to sell five more to sponsor a cat. 

Because I can't adopt them all! 

I know this may not come to you at a good time to buy; and I know you have causes & obligations of your own! Believe me I understand not having money to support every good cause that comes along. If you can buy one, awesome! If not, maybe you can share this post, so it can reach a person who can. Thanks!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Building Community

I had a date on Friday, with my community! I gave my students at Hallowell Clay Works an assignment, to make a serving dish perfect for a specific food, then make that food & bring it to our studio-wide potluck. I of course also brought a dish, in a dish; I made a tomato & cucumber salad. We expanded the invitation to the whole studio, so we could meet the people who make the beautiful things we're been seeing on their shelves.

Most of the time I write about being a studio potter, but I am also a ceramic educator. I've successfully built or had a hand in building ceramics programs at three or four institutions now; in a couple of cases the programs doubled in size during my tenure (not all down to me, of course, but I did my part.) I find that the key is community. Clay has a really steep learning curve! It's easy for students to get frustrated and give up when the beautiful items they dream of making remain out of reach for months and months. What keeps people coming back, to pay money to be frustrated over and over again? Community.

Friends. Encouragement. People to tell your stories to. People to commiserate with when things don't go well, and to cheer for and with you when they do. I have come to realize that my main contribution as a ceramic educator is not merely to teach people how to make stuff, but to knit together communities of supportive friends.

Almost 20 years ago, Robert Putnam wrote a book called Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. In it, Putnam describes the decline of social capital in the late 20th century, with decreasing participation in activities and groups that pull people outside of their existing in-groups. 
Bowling Alone was written prior to the existence of social media, but I tend to think, despite its name, that social media has the effect of dividing us further rather than bonding us. People we don't interact with in mundane ways can be reduce to one point of view we disagree with. Thus we grow ever more isolated in smaller and more limited circles.

So what, tho, right? The answer: 
But does it really matter that social capital is declining? Putnam argues that, indeed, it does, as social capital "has many features that help people translate aspirations into realities." (p 288) Putnam identifies five such features. First, social capital makes collective problems easier to resolve, as there is less opposition between parties. This results in improved social environments, such as safer and more productive neighborhoods. Second, it makes business transactions easier, since when people trust each other, there is less of a need to spend time and money enforcing contracts. As a result, economic prosperity increases generally. Third, social capital widens our awareness of our mutual connectivity. This can improve the quality of our civic and democratic institutions. Fourth, it helps to increase and speed up the flow of information, which, in turn, improves education and economic production. Finally, social capital improves our health and happiness through both psychological and biological processes which require human contact.
In particular, in 2019, we are politically polarized as we've never been before. We need places where we can come together and see the whole person, not just their ideology. Places where we can experience our commonality.  We need community.

Art is positioned to serve that function! In fact it happens naturally, but I've learned in my role as instructor that I can foster and nurture the bonds that create community.

That's what Friday night was. A bunch of fun people, great food, and the salvation of our society.

Or something.


Thursday, May 9, 2019

Still Worthy

Luckily I haven't had to in a while, but longtime readers will remember that sometimes I write about depression in this space. With that in mind, I enjoyed a particular moment in Avengers: Endgame, which Doug & I went to see last night. Technically I suppose a Spoiler Alert is in order here, but I don't think I am giving away much of the plot or its resolution with this. But, I'll put in a page break, just in case.

HELLO BLOGGER THERE IS SUPPOSED TO BE A PAGE BREAK HERE











Monday, May 6, 2019

Pottery Tour Wrap Up

It's Monday, May 6th, and real life has resumed after being submerged in work to make the Maine Pottery Tour happen.
For my event here at Fine Mess Pottery, I really can't complain! We had, idk, 80 visitors? Sales were about 15% above last year. My guest artists each had some sales as well, so I am pretty happy. One odd thing: there was a HUGE disparity in attendance Saturday vs Sunday. Like, more than 60 people Saturday vs less than 20 on Sunday. I was a bit surprised, because the Kennebec Journal sent a reporter & photographer out on Saturday, and the article came out Sunday morning. I thought that would bring some folks out. Still, not complaining!
My Raffle Prize
Some things that worked:

  • When I remembered to ask, most people said they learned about the event thru social media. 
  • I did get some repeat customers who were reminded to visit by receiving a postcard.
  • Another studio on the tour, Peeper Pond, in Scarborough, felt that their 15+ signs were a bigger driver of traffic. Ash Cove Pottery in Harpswell had a similar experience. They are both on a less-beaten path, so I can see signage being super important for those locations. 
  • I again offered a raffle item to collect address (e- & physical) for my mailing list. I got 27 new addresses - a goodly number! - but several people filled out the form with just a phone number. My signage was not clear enough, apparently! 
  • Martha & me!
  • So glad I had my guest artist, Martha Hoddinott of A Lakeside Studio Pottery, there to help me! I underestimated how many people would be there at one time, and I'm sure I would have missed sales if I had been there alone. Thanks Martha!
  • We saw a huge jump in visitors to the website when the Maine Public & Maine Public Classical spots started airing - 200 to 400 visitors a day in the week before the Tour. But I didn't hear anyone say they learned about the tour via public radio. So, I'm not sure how to evaluate the success of that approach. I mean, clearly hundreds of people were interested enough to visit the website. Lots of them came from facebook, but many, many people just typed the name into their browsers or cam to the site via google or bing, too. I hope to continue the sponsorships next year -but will have to see how the other studios feel about it. 
  • I'm not sure I need to offer snacks! It feels rude not to have anything, but nobody except em ate the snacks. Next year maybe just coffee, tea, and water. 
  • Martha bought flowers for the displays! It really, really punched up the visual appeal. Maybe next year we'll direct more money to flowers & less to brownies. 
On to the next thing: a new cat dish fundraiser! Once again I've made some little catfood-sized dishes, and once again, if I sell 10 of them I will sponsor a cat at Kennebec Valley Humane Society. We're halfway there: with the dishes that sold during the pottery tour, we only need to sell 5 more. It's
on my list this week to photograph these individually & get them listed in the online shop.