Two-gallon jar, 16 in. (41 cm) in height, wood-fired and salt-glazed stoneware with glass runs.
Big pots from spring 2009 firing, to 60 in. (1.5 m) in height. The largest of these weighs 250 lbs.
It seems like yesterday that Carol and I arrived in Pittsboro, but it’s been 26 years. Add a 6 year apprenticeship onto that and this wonderful aesthetic obsession has served me well for what feels like a lifetime.
Our kiln opening sales have been phenomenal; I recommend them to everyone. Keep the names of everyone you sell pots to, and invite them to sales at your pottery a few times a year. North Carolinians love pottery; most of our customers are regular folk who live within a couple of hours from here. Some travel from further away and have significant collections of art and craft. I’ve also had my share of museums buy work, and I am blessed by all their attention.
Selling directly to retail customers makes the most sense economically, if you are in a location that allows for it. Clearly, the Internet has changed older geographic considerations regarding where to set up shop, but if you are starting out, look for locations within an hour or so of urban areas. Being “far from the madding crowd” certainly has its advantages, but traveling to shows is often the price you pay for remote locations.
Word of mouth continues to be the most valuable endorsement. We collect names through our web site, and from new retail customers, so that our mailing list now has over 6000 names. We send out an e-mail six weeks before a sale, alerting customers to the sale date, mail a postcard three weeks before, and then another “sneak preview” e-mail with images of the new pots a few days before a kiln opening. So far our retail business has been good enough to not pursue an online gallery, although we sell occasional pots through e-mail inquiries.
The only downside to our kiln opening sales is the pressure to get everything organized in the short period between unloading the kiln and having customers arrive. All 1500 pots need cleaning, washing, pricing and organizing. Sure, we could back up the unloading, but you know how it is; we’re always pushing it to the limit.
Together with my apprentices, Joseph Sand and Alex Matisse, I work
Looking back, it now seems I had no
Functional pots are pure
I think functional potters have been let down at the
My advice to anyone getting into pottery is to