Friday, April 22, 2016

New Technology

Jeff has a new toy, I mean tool! During the first glaze firing of the new gas kiln, one of the burners shut off during reduction. We have baso valves on the burners, so when the flame cut out, the gas shut off. Jeff wasn't sure how long it was out before he found it, but it couldn't have been too long because we didn't lose too much temperature. The next day he was searching online for a webcam. He thought it was a good idea to have one, since our kiln isn't quite as close to the house as the last one. Now no matter where we are - in the studio, house, or yard, we can monitor the kiln via our laptops or smartphones. Wouldn't you know, we had a burner go out on firing #2 as well. Thanks to Jeff's webcam, he caught it right away. Now we are researching what's going on with this burner. I hope we get it solved by firing #3.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


Monday started on a high note when we sold this vase to a lovely lady who saw it on Facebook.
We will deliver it to her when we head to New Hampshire in August. In the meantime, we will get to enjoy looking at it a little longer. I am glad we don't have to ship it... it's 25" tall.  A good sale took the sting off of the disappointing weekend.

Meanwhile, it's little sister is still available...

22" tall, ash glaze on the exterior, interior is tenmoku (black/brown glaze). $400 + shipping if needed.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Pick Yourself Up...

and dust yourself off. That's about all you can do after a very disappointing studio tour. Jeff and I spent half of Thursday and all day Friday, cleaning and rearranging our studio and gallery space. We didn't finish until 11:00pm, which is when we started to cook dinner.

I filled cache pots and vases with flowers and put our special event signs out by the road.

Our three "open" flags were flying outside at 9:45 in the morning. It was after 11:00 am before we saw people. It wasn't until noon that we had our first sale... $20.00.

Halfway through the day we were worried that we weren't even going to recover the fee we paid to be part of the tour. By 5:00 pm we had 7 small sales. All we could do was hope for a better Sunday.
But it didn't happen. We had a small amount of visitors, and three sales.

I can't even express how disappointed, and worried we are about how the weekend went. We were prepared for extra traffic, since we are now "in town". In the past this has been a REALLY good event for us. It has provided us with a boost in revenue, after the long slow winter. We are scrambling to find a way to recover.

Some say  it's a new location and it will take time to re-establish. Perhaps, but ours sales were four times better during our first Spring studio tour, when hardly anyone knew who we were. One of the biggest drawbacks for us right now, is that we are in the wrong location on the Seagrove potters map. The new map was printed a few months before we moved. The studio tour map had us in the right location, but the map was extremely small this year and you needed a magnifying glass to read it. Most of our visitors said they weren't using the tour map, just the list of participants on one side and were cross referencing them on the big map... which has us in the wrong location.

Our best sale of the weekend came at 5:00 on Sunday, when a young couple came hurrying in and said,"We finally found you!". They drove by the log cabin and we weren't there. Eventually they landed at Creations, a gallery in town, who then told them where to find us. A big thank you to the fine folks who run the gallery!

photo credit: Lee Love
Jeff said next year we should get one of these "pottery head" costumes. One of us can wear it and dance around at the end of the driveway to draw attention to us.
If we are desperate, we just might.