Monday, June 21, 2010
Why I Left the Pottery Business
Three people walked into our gallery this morning. Two sisters with an accompanying husband. After I said an encouraging hello, the first comment out of their mouths was that they were glad I was open. I explained that I try to be open every day 10-5pm. They explained that NO, I was only open weekends. Hmm. News to me. Sure enough it says 10-5pm on the website, on our brochure, and on the Art Trail website. Hmmm. But the customer is always right...
Once inside one woman asks what temperature our glazes are fired to. I reply "cone 6". At which her husband replies, "Oh, earthenware." No... cone six, white stoneware. She then explains that he taught high school ceramics in California. "Oh Really? Do you in fact have an associates degree from VermTech?" (from Over the Hedge)
As we made our way back into the kiln room, I was showing off the big platters that grace the walls. The husband once again authoritatively states that these MUST be Raku. I explain that No... in fact they are fired in oxidation at temps ranging from cone 3 up through cone 12. I start to delve into the firing process (which is interesting, unique and hardly commonplace) when he cuts me off and says, "Are you sure? They look just like raku." Yeah, I'm pretty damned sure seeing as how I FREAKIN' MADE THEM!
From there the conversation improved dramatically when the gentleman asked: "Do you have any brick? Hmmm? You know bricks that have been stamped? " When I explained that I no longer kept my secret stash of hard brick on hand for examination by the public, he let on as how he collected brick.
That's what I expect to buy when I go to a potter's studio. A brick. A stamped brick.
And folks wonder why we're closing down the shop. Oh my. Bricks. We're closing the studio because we don't have any earthenware, raku, bricks.