The Ceramics Monthly Working Potters issue is out! I always love this issue because I enjoy hearing other potters talk about how they got to wherever they happen to be in their careers. In this excerpt from not of the working potter articles, Nan Coffin tells about her journey, from her first hand built kick wheels and kilns, to the lovely San Diego studio where she works today. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
The Working Potters issue is back. In it, eight fulltime potters share their trials, tribulations and triumphs working for a living in this field. Today, we’ll present an excerpt from that article.
For potter Linda Christianson, making pottery wasn’t a career, but more of a requirement that the rest of her life would just have to adjust to. In today’s post, Linda shares how did whatever it would take to make her life with pottery possible. From setting up a self service pottery shop at the end of her driveway, to living in a rent-free farmhouse with no heat or electricity, Linda shares how her determination and hard work lead her to the successful way of life she has today.
In today’s post, an excerpt from the Ceramics Monthly’s Working Potter series, successful potter Mark Knott shares his approach to the handmade pottery business.
In today’s post, an excerpt from the Working Potters focus in the June/July/August 2010 issue of Ceramics Monthly, Sequoia Miller tells the story of how he went on from his first class at Greenwich House Pottery to establish a successful career for himself.
Focus: Working Potters
Are you good at making tough decisions, setting priorities and sticking to them, working six to seven days a week, keeping your overhead low, living frugally, and sticking to deadlines? Then you should become a professional potter. Oh, by the way, you also must be really good at making really good pots—lots of them. You may be surprised to know that there are quite a few people who fit this description, and we’re featuring six of them in this issue.
Buy this back issue – $4.99 (PDF only)
The initial reason I wanted to make a living at pottery was that it would provide me with a degree of independence. I imagine this was instilled in me growing up on a dairy farm in central Minnesota. I was accustomed to work but what I enjoyed about pottery (and farming) was the cyclical nature of the occupation and the ability to live and work from home.
I fell in love with making almost as soon as I touched clay, some two years before leaving school. But it was at Cambridge University, where I visited the Fitzwilliam Museum twice a week to see the early Chinese porcelains from the Song period, that I discovered a determination to give up medicine as a career and pursue ceramics.
I became a potter later in life, following a previous career that never felt quite right—as though I was given a role that should have belonged to someone else. On the other hand, my experience making pots in several adult education classes resulted in exactly the opposite feeling: this was a good fit. I wanted to feel passionate about my profession and have it be an integral part of my everyday life.