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.

10 comments:

ang said...

oh man what a laugh thanks for sharing as frustrating as it was those conversations i find hilarious after the fact!! and yeh to the photography, now you can shoot pots and bricks!!

About Me said...

Do you make garden gnomes?

claydancer said...

I SO know that feeling! How many times have I had that same look on my face? I send people like that to Walmart. Thanks for the laugh, sorry at your expense!

justin said...

I'm really just looking for a plate turned into a clock.

cookingwithgas said...

oh-I know that "customer"- we get all kinds here and just when I think they can't get any wacker...
There is nothing like the over-educated, I know nothing,i did pottery when, customer.I once had a woman who was telling her friends all about our methods,wx resist to make the wood ash crawl---(???????)
I hope you had a laugh to-
we have an expresion we use:
Flush them- just flush them.

Bill said...

Have fun with this: from now until August, when real jerks like this come in, just be really, um, honest with them. Tell them where to get off and then just go out of business.

Then when people come back to the photography studio and ask about the mean potter you can say, "Oh that guy. Yeah, he got this gigantic commission from the DuPont family and that's all he does now."

Tom said...

man! that breaks my heart.

The Hayward House said...

sounds like you are SO ready to close the shop...........but remember: you close one door, and open another!

Brian said...

Sad to hear you're leaving the pottery business and moving on, but your photography is fantastic and I know you'll do well.

littlewrenpottery.co.uk said...

It probably wasn't particularly funny at the time but this made me smile this afternoon, thanks!