I always find it fascinating to talk to other potters about how successful bodies of work came about. Victoria Christen started out as a sculptor, but after taking a break from sculpture and making some small pots, she came to realize that she really enjoyed the pace of making pots. She found it freeing to be able to quickly move through the decorating and glazing processes.
In today’s post, Victoria talks about how she became a successful potter and how she maintains that success. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Years as a professional potter: 12
Number of pots made in a year: 500–1000
The Time It Takes
Making working (including firing): 60%
Promotions/ Selling: 20%
The Sales I Make
Craft/Art Fairs: 20%
Studio/Home Sales: 50%
As with almost everything in my life, I came to making pots in somewhat of a round about way. During graduate school at the University of Minnesota back in the early 1980s, I never once thought that I would try to earn a living making pots. I saw myself as a sculptor and, after graduating, I had a couple of successful gallery shows and even received a National Endowment for the Arts grant based on my sculpture. Around my second year out of school, I took a break from my sculptural work to handbuild some small jars and cups. I found that I really enjoyed the freedom of painting the pieces and loved how quickly I was able move through the stages of glazing and firing. I was enjoying the work, so I just kept at it.