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- 04-December 09
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Posts I've Made
Posted 13 May 2013I was hoping a good discussion like this would result from that article. It's not as easy a topic as many of us sometimes assume. As several have stated already, in very eloquent terms, things often look different from the inside of a practice than from the outside. The article on Scott Cooper originated from a discussion I had with him about a blog post he wrote on the topic of difficult choices he had made in his career (primarily the choice to "kill the dream"). His perspective encapsulated what I have been seeing in the course of publishing articles about folks in this field for about a dozen years now: that most people seriously working in clay are not able to, or have chosen not to, exclusively pursue making pots as a livelihood. I've also seen that the idea that this is somehow a failure of fortitude has waned. In it's place, there is (appropriately) the understanding that people build their lives and livelihoods in ways that make sense to them personally, that fit their family obligations and lifestyle preferences. And of course, it resonated with me personally.
I remember having a discussion with my brother once (he's younger, but wiser, than me) a few years after setting up my studio after college and trying to make a go of pottery as a profession, and I was lamenting how much work it was, and all of the potential hazards and difficulties involved (I probably just had a very bad firing). He asked me the very simple question, "Why do you want to do this?" I was honestly stumped for several moments, which surprised me. I had been so focused on making this happen that I never bothered to revisit my original motivation for pursuing ceramics in the first place, which was a love of the material and the satisfaction of making things by hand—a good deal of which I had lost in the course of being in business in just a few short years. Not long after that, I realized that, while I may be interested in making pots and selling them, I was not going to do well if I was the one in charge of running the business as well. My decision to stop trying to make a living at it wasn't a pottery decision, it was a business decision.
So I find the part of this discussion that has to do with our own personal assumptions and fantasies about what it might mean to turn our passion into a profession very interesting. I suppose what I think about Claypple's original question is that there are about as many types of potters as there are people pursuing that dream. That's overly simplistic, of course, and perhaps an easy way out of answering the question, but I hesitate to claim one camp or the other. I've been making pots for a lot of years, and when I'm in my studio I feel confident and assured like a production potter might. I don't really lose pots anymore, and I can be as efficient or as inefficient as I choose with my studio time. So, in this respect, I feel I have professional skills. But when I look from the outside (on paper, so to speak) it is clear that I am a hobby potter. I don't sell work (I make gifts), I don't spend much time (a few evenings a month) in the studio. So I guess I'm both—and I would guess that many of us are some mixture of both.
Thanks for posting, Claypple. And thanks to everyone for thoughtful responses.
Posted 3 Jan 2013Hey, thanks for the feedback, folks. To be clear, Ceramic Arts Daily produces the videos in question, not Ceramics Monthly (though we are are all part of the same happy family). I do love it when people suggest we do something similar to what Amazon does---makes me feel like we are 10000 times bigger than we are
Keep in mind that all of the free stuff CAD does is supported by things we then sell through the site.
We have looked into streaming video rentals, what it would cost us, and what it would therefore cost you, and to date have not come up with a viable solution that would work for everyone (unless "everyone" equals a few million people---right now we're at about 120,000). That said, we continue to research this. Technology progresses, services develop and change...and we get smarter as well.
Thanks again, and stay tuned!
Posted 17 Dec 2012
Posted 8 Nov 2012I've been going through this for a year. I could not get into PC member benefits, directory, etc even though it said signed on and I could write and edit posts. Very frustrating. Nothing constructive has been done to help me. Last month someone chose to delete my SmartsyArtsy account login without any dialog. So now I have another account for CSC but my Gallery ia on SmartsyArtsy which cannot link together. Nor does SA come up as a previous name. My three last emails have been unanswered even though I asked them to just let me know if they are working on it.
I can see your SmartsyArtsy account just fine---it has a good reputation, it's active, and I see no problems. This forum sign in and database is completely separate from Potters Council member sign in and database, so that could be part of the issue. Someone from Potters Council will contact you so we can figure this out.
P.S. To everyone else experiencing difficulty this past weekend, we did indeed have some server trouble, and we seem to be back up and running well now. We're also looking into software updates, etc., to solve some of the glitchy posting (or non-posting) behavior. Thanks for being involved, and thanks for caring enough to let us know, rather than just leaving or being mad without saying something.
Posted 5 Nov 2012To all:
We are checking into this, and will likely be resetting some things on the back end---we'll let you know if anything WE do will affect the forum performance.
Some of this has to do with the forum itself, but some of it has to do with the server as a whole. And of course, we must be sure that they play well together.
In the meantime, we appreciate your patience. Hopefully we can get things running a bit more smoothly soon.
- Member Title:
- 42 years old
- June 11, 1970
- Columbus, Ohio
- Pottery, cycling, gardening, puttering around in teh garage/wood shop
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