Monday, December 13, 2010

Craft Show Etiquette Installment #307: NOT to get a discount

I just had an amazing show (again!) at Bazaar Bizarre Cleveland. The nasty weather held out and all was well. Craft show regulars know to bring cash and even bring their own bags (vendors love you so much for that, I hope you know!) But with shows brings the occasional negative comments. My favorite this weekend...

"Just wait next week until the Last Minute Market. It will be on sale then."

Let me preface this post by saying I have no problem coming down on the price of something if the customer is understanding of the amount of work that goes into a handmade pottery piece and if the purchase is considerable.

I keep my prices lower than I should. I am slowly increasing prices of certain items because frankly I cannot afford to undervalue my work. If and when I run sales I keep in mind that many galleries in the area sell my work. I cannot undercut them. They do me a huge service by carrying my work. I respect them and appreciate them for the hard work of selling art. I can't sell you a mug half price when my gallery reps are selling them at market value.

The clearance section you WILL find at my studio is a seconds area. This is work that is older, experimental or has a minor flaw that totally pisses me off. Its not my best work nor does it represent my current direction but nevertheless it deserves a loving home.

The sale you will find at my studio is my usual once a year mug sale. Some mugs, not all will be $20. These are the misfit mugs. All of their friends have been bought and they need a home.

Other than that, if you expect a deal treat me AND my work will a little respect. I work hard to bring you high quality items. And not everyone can do what I do. I can't do what some other potters do! Insults will get you no where in the land of discount ceramics.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Panic mode!!!

AHHHHHHHHHH. Low inventory. I have 2 shows left, both big ones! I may have to shut down my Etsy site earlier then December 17th as planned. Until I do use the promo code LASTCHANCE when you check out to receive a 20% discount of your purchase!


Happy holidays and I hope to see you at Bazaar Bizarre and the Last Minute Market/Screw Factory Open Studio event!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Its a busy holiday season coming up. Below is my show list. I hope you can stop by!

ArtCraft Building Show (just added so you won't find my name on the card)
Saturday, Dec 4th from noon-8
Sunday, Dec 5th from noon-6

Bazaar Bizarre at 78th St. Studios
Saturday, Dec 11 from noon-9
Sunday, Dec 12 from noon-6
&
Animals in Art at the Orange Art Center
Saturday, Dec 11 from 10-4
Sunday, Dec 12 from noon-4
***I will not be present as I will be at Bazaar Bizarre

Screw Factory Artist Open Studio at the Lake Erie Building
Friday, Dec 17 from 6-9
Saturday, Dec 18 from 10-6 ***Studios will be open this day in conjunction with the Last Minute Market

On that note, I don't have a full day off until December 19th! I'm going blogpost-less for awhile. I might squeeze in some show photos here or there but if I don't have a great holiday!
YOUR INVITED
ART HOUSE REVEALED
Benefit Art Auction
December 3, 2010
7-10 pm

Art House Revealed Invitation

ART HOUSE REVEALED

Join us for Art House Revealed, an anonymous art auction featuring local artists. Trust your instincts to guide your art selections. All works are signed and artists identities revealed at 9 o'clock. Help Art House celebrate the revealing of the artists with whom we partner. Don't miss this evening of fun which includes lite food/dessert, cash bar, and entertainment.

START OFF YOUR HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS WITH ART HOUSE AND GIVE THE GIFT OF ART!

EVENT SCHEDULE

7:00 Silent auction registration; auction opens

8:30 Live auction begins

9:00 REVEALING of artists

9:30 Silent auction closes

This event is free, but donations are welcome. Registration suggested: arthouse.whereartlives@gmail.com

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I am the soup queen...

As you know sometimes this is a cooking blog. My mom always said I would be a good cook because I love to eat. I watched her make soup all of the time and I suppose that is how I learned. My wedding soup still runs a close second to hers. We both make pretty damn good beef stew as well. Last week while at Heinen's I tried their vegetable beef soup. I must say it rocked! Gotta love Heinen's. I decided to merge the two recipes and make my own. I put everything in the crock pot because frankly anytime you cook beef the crock pot tenderizes it so perfectly. Here is the recipe:

1 box of beef broth. I used Trader Joe's Organic.
1 package of beef for stew.
2 carrots chopped.
1 leek chopped lengthwise.
1 zucchini chopped.
1/2 package of mushrooms chopped.
1 potato sliced and diced.
3 celery stalks sliced.
Finely sliced kale. I figured I would try it as I had some lying around.
A bit of tomatoes. You can use paste or sauce too.
Bacon! Because bacon makes everything better.
Red wine.
Thyme.
Sea salt.
Pepper.
Garlic.

First I sauteed the bacon, leeks, salt. Then I put that on top of the beef in the crock pot. I threw everything else in and let it do its magic for the next 4 hours. Then I removed the meat and shredded it with a fork. I then proceeded to puree about half of the stew. I threw everything back together and mixed it up. Perfection.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Complaint Department Is Closed Until Further Notice

I read a lot of pottery blogs. I like to see what other potters are creating, what shows work or don't work for them, frustrations about selling, etc. Its a great community and I've made some friends through twitter and blogs. However there is one thing that is irking me this week. Successful potters complaining about being successful potters.

As I write this its Thursday evening and I have just finished day four of an eleven day work stretch. This includes my day job which is administrative, teaching at the day job, teaching at another non profit and teaching in my studio.

I realize that it sucks to do production pottery, especially at the holidays. I do it too. Its the time of year where I make rather than create. Cranking out soap dishes, coasters and ornaments like I'm a machine. However I don't get to be a potter full time. I don't even get to be a potter at all some weeks. I'm lucky if I can find two days a week to consistently work in the studio. When I read about how full time potters are complaining about being full time potters I start to get jealous and a bit angry. Every job has its ups, downs and annoyances. I would kill to be you. I envy your success. You are the minority. You have done something I can't imagine pulling off.

On that note, its time for bed. Day five in the eleven day stretch awaits...

Monday, November 08, 2010

Check out my opening on November 16th!!!! See the press release below.

Local Stoneware Artist Opens Next Exhibit in Seiberling Gallery

Peninsula- Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibit Silent Fragments which will display works of local clay artist Gina DeSantis. The artist’s reception on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 will be held from 5:30 p.m. through 7:30 p.m. The show is currently open for viewing and will run through December 3, 2010 at the Seiberling Gallery located in the administrative offices at 1403 W. Hines Hill Road Peninsula, OH. Gallery Hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and weekends upon request.

Born and raised in Lorain, Ohio, Gina DeSantis grew up taking over her parents’ kitchen table and using it as her first studio. After earning her B.A. from Cleveland State and a M.F.A. in ceramics from Kent State University she moved into her studio at the Lake Erie Building and for the past six years she has taught courses out of her studio as well as at Art House and the Orange Art Center.

With over a decade of stoneware and porcelain clay making experience she has created functional vessels and wareables, a line of jewelry. Her work continues to revolve around the parallel of making objects and the ritual of their use. It is clear that the interaction between objects and their environment plays a central theme in her body of work. Gina’s work seeks to balance beauty and function with rich texture accompanied by monochromatic color selections. The latest series of work incorporates the cherry blossom motif into her functional vessels and wall tiles.

“The present fast-paced world dominated by technology and instantaneous results has led me to appreciate the meticulous process of craft over the past decade. We weave pottery into our daily habits and routines. I strive for simplicity while making beautiful objects for the home.”

“Things that may be considered less traditional for a potter inspire me: Fashion, home d├ęcor trends, the environment and landscape of living in a city such as Cleveland. The cherry blossom motif traditionally represents springtime, mortality and the fleeting nature of life. With the quickly changing seasons of this city I find them to be an ideal motif.”

“The wall tiles, inspired by African textiles and pottery shards, have been a work in progress for over a year. They are decorated with a combination of handmade stamps and textile stamps with no two ever being identical. “

Gina DeSantis will have her work on display and for sale at Park Place in Peninsula. Park Place in Peninsula is located at 1593 Main Street in Peninsula next to the Winking Lizard. For store hours visit www.cvnpa.org

CVNPA is a nonprofit organization created to engage public support for the park and provide services to enhance public use and enjoyment of the park. For more information about CVNPA and its programs, visit www.cvnpa.org or call (330) 657-2909.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Another successful open studio is complete! Thank you to everyone who stopped by, shopped, helped me with the to-do list and brought me mimosa fixins! Our next event is Friday, Dec 17th from 6-9pm. Then we open the doors again the next day for the Cleveland Handmade Last Minute Market from 10-6. Its a huge event. Please join us!!!

After the open studio I filled my 10-noon ornament workshop next weekend. But I have spots left in the 1-3pm slot. Drop me an email if you wish to register. artzy_grl@yahoo.com

Holiday Workshops at my Studio
Due to the overwhelming response I'm hosting 2 ornament workshops rather than a cup workshop. If you want to make cups in one by all means go for it! They are perfect for beginners or more intermediate to advanced students. Its also a great opportunity to create some inexpensive and unique gifts!
Ornament Making Workshop
Saturday, November 13th and Sunday November 14th
from 10-noon FULL or 1-3pm (7 spots left!)
Please specify the time when you register!
The first day you will cut and carve your ornaments. The second day you will glaze them. I will fire them for you and add some colorful ribbon. They make perfect gifts for the holiday season. Pick up dates will be arranged for your pieces.
Cost $50.
No refunds can be made for these workshops. Supplies are ordered specifically for each workshop. Registrations will not be held without payment which is due one week before the class start date. No exceptions.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Occasionally my studio is presentable to the outside world. November 6th will be one of those days. Stop by and shop and have glass of vino with me. I will also have dirt cheap seconds for sale.





Tuesday, October 26, 2010


In the upcoming weeks I have lots going on including shows, classes and workshops. This means one thing...no time to update this blog thing. It will be intermittent at best.

For my show calendar click here.

I'm offering holiday workshops at my studio and another wheel throwing class at Art House.

And of course stop by my first show of the holiday season at my studio at the Lake Erie Building.
Saturday, November 6th from 1-8pm
13000 Athens Ave
Lakewood, OH 44107
http://www.screwfactoryartists.com
***My studio is located on the 3rd floor. I will be joined by Ruth Sholtis-Furyes (foxy jewelry maker), Deborah Pinter (photography and knitted catnip mice!) and Nicole DiGiandomenico (cupcake extraordinaire)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Glamorous World of Organizing Shows

This is the time of year where I lose my mind (more so than usual). Its holiday show time. Weekends are full of selling work and weekdays are full of making work in between actual work, cooking, cleaning, hitting the gym and occasionally pretending I have a social life. I lose track of friends and they start to send out search parties while wondering where I have vanished.

Unlike last year where I did 7 or 8 shows...(I do not really remember. I blocked it out)... I'm only participating in 5 shows, 2 of which are in my studio building. This plan of action has resulted from the following...
First, the economy is still so shaky. I know I don't have a ton of money for gifts. I've gone the route of making lots of inexpensive little pieces of art for affordable gifts. I've also added 2 holiday workshops so that people can create their own gifts.

Second, doing shows sometimes just plain sucks. Lugging around pottery is a bitch. Its heavy. It needs to be wrapped. Then there are displays. Travel expenses. Blah blah blah. Its a lot of work. I'm picking and choosing more wisely after weeding out the bad shows from the past.

Third, I just don't have as much work made. 2010 is being referred to as the "vortex of suck" by my friends and I. Its been full of death, illness, losing friends with the inability to multitask and have boyfriends too and your general slew of bad news. I've made less work with less time than ever to do so. On the bright side I have made better work.

Fourth, I organize a show. Every November our studios open their doors to the public. This requires press releases, postcard designing and distribution, meetings, cleaning my studio, setting out my work, signing the buildings so you can figure out where the hell you are going (its an old factory, its confusing), making maps to ease this confusion and wrangling artists to do your bidding. Its a lot of work and I'm tired.

When you wonder where I am you now know I'm either at the studio, on my way to the studio or just leaving the studio. Or hiding in bed. Or drinking red wine.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ceramic Ornament Workshop!

Create ceramic ornaments in this one day workshop for teens and adults! I will provide the clay, glazes, tools, cookie cutters and kiln. You provide imagination (and cookie cutters if you have some too!)

Students will roll out slabs out clay to cut out ornaments in a variety of shapes and size. Then we will glaze and carve to create one-of-a-kind pieces. I will fire the pieces once dry and then they can be picked up at a later date.

Cost: $50
Times/Dates: Saturday, October 23rd from 10am - 1pm.
Pick up on Saturday, November 6 from 1pm - 8pm during our studio open house!
Payment is due at time of registration. Cancellations up to one week before class minus a $20 supply fee. No exceptions.

Email artzy_grl@yahoo.com for more information.

A day of artsy craftiness on Cleveland's west side!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Screw Factory Artists' Annual Holiday Open Studio

When: Saturday, November 6th from 1:00pm to 8:00pm

Where: The Lake Erie Building located at 13000 Athens Ave,

Lakewood, OH 44107.

The Lake Erie Building is quickly becoming one of the Cleveland area’s most popular artist enclaves. Nestled in the Bird Town neighborhood of Lakewood this building houses a variety of studios. Many artists have worked in this space for over ten years. Media ranges from fine art to eclectic crafts including printmaking, mosaics, fiber art and wearables, painting, portraiture, ceramics, glass and mixed media collage and installation.

Participating artists include: Ann Brown, Libby Chaney, Gina DeSantis, Robb Durr, Katie Hanrahan, Michael Hudecek, Karen Jewell-Kett, Marc Konys, Sam Meador, Michelle Mowery, M.C. Nagel, Shannon Okey, Ann Onusko, Arabella Proffer, Ursula Ryan, Ryu no Sakebi, Kate Tobin, Achala Wali & Dorene Warner.

Visit http://www.screwfactoryartists.com for updates and a list of visiting artists.

Artist studios are on the 2nd and 3rd floors.

The Templar Autos will be on display on the 3rd floor along with Lakewood is Art. Friends of Madison Park will be providing gift wrapping for guests.

For more information regarding this event contact Gina DeSantis at artzy_grl@yahoo.com.

For rental information contact Ralph Lukich of Omni Management at rlukich@omniprideone.com.


Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Wheel throwing classes at Art House!!!

They start next Monday. Have you signed up? My classes have been reformatted to 6 weeks rather than 5. I am very excited about this because I feel the students will be able to get a lot more work and one on one time throughout the session. Its a great class that is always a mix of new students and some regulars. Try your hand at making cups, bowls and plates. Intermediate to advanced students can work on lidded vessels, vases and teapots.

Visit
Art House's site for all of the info. Contact them to sign up.

For any specific class content questions feel free to drop me a line at artzy_grl@yahoo.com.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I just discovered the work of Katie Turner. Below is my current favorite and very applicable I must say. Check out her site. Buy something. Enjoy.



"Boyfriend Criteria" - Katie Turner

Monday, August 23, 2010

CLAY ON THE WHEEL - All Levels
Hands and wheelwith Gina DeSantis
Sooth your mind by throwing bowls or cups on the pottery wheel. If you are more advanced, try plates, lidded vessels or teapots. Classes are small to allow for individual instruction and to provide every student the opportunity to delve into their creative side. Become a part of one of the most popular programs at Art House! All clays are food, microwave and dishwasher safe.
Mondays 6:30 - 8:30pm, 6 weeks
Session I: Sept 13, 20, 27, Oct 4, 11 & 18
Session II: Oct 25, Nov 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29
Class fee: $150

Class fee includes: 25 lbs of clay, glazes, firings

Registration deadline: Session I Sept 7

Session II Oct 19

These classes are offered at Art House in Cleveland, Ohio.
Call 216.398.8556 to register today!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Florence +The Machine - Drumming Song

New Obsessions....
You need to hear Florence and the Machine. This CD has been on repeat for months now. Totally inspiring. Enjoy.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hand Building with Clay. All levels.

These classes are taught at my studio in the Lake Erie Building (AKA The Screw Factory Artist Studios). Sign up soon. Spots are limited.

This 4 week class is perfect for beginners or more seasoned students. Basic methods of hand building including slab building, coiling and pinch pots will be covered along with decorating techniques. Students are encouraged to bring ideas to class. Demonstrations will be given at the beginning of each class then students will work independently on their projects. Its a small class therefore you will have a lot of one on one instruction.

Cost $105.00. Payment must be made to secure your spot in the class. Cancellations will be refunded minus a $25.00 charge for supplies up to one week before the class. No exceptions.

Class minimum size is 3 students. Maximum is 8. Sign up early to secure your space! Please note there is no air conditioning in the space. It can be toasty sometimes. If for some reason its too hot to hold class I will provide multiple make up times.

Email artzy_grl@yahoo.com for more information.

Times/Dates: Wednesday evenings from 7-9pm.
Session 1: Aug 25, Sept 1, Sept 8, Sept 15
Session 2: Sept 22, Sept 29, Oct 6, Oct 13

***no classes will be held in Nov or Dec due to my holiday shows.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Rethinking.

I have just completed the Lakewood Arts Festival. Its my last big show until November. The weather was perfect and the crowd was steady. They were there to shop although the one thing missing from shows the past few years have been large sales. The kind of sales that pay for your entire booth in one big swoop.

My frustrations are mounting with sales this year. I do not rely on my art sales as income. But I would be lying if I said I didn't hope that these sales could provide a steady secondary income. On the bright side I have a healthy inventory for holiday shows so I don't need to panic and crunch to make work. Just have to crank out some ornaments. This means I can experiment and work on the wall pieces some more.

It also means I can focus on grant applications. I just invested $150 in a new backdrop and light tent. I think its worth the investment in the long run to have a reliable set up for portfolio and website shots. I hate photographing my work and frankly I think I'm really really bad at it. Well lit photos are what I need to get some $$$.

But as always I'm sitting here wondering how long it will take me to get a return on my investment...

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

My work had a cool write up on OhioAuthority.com. Check it out here!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


Lakewood Arts Festival. Saturday, August 7th. 10am-6pm.


I hope to see you there! Its my first year in the show. All the info can be found here.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Craft Show Booth Merchandising 101


A very very very long time ago I worked in retail hell. While I hated it for the most part (the bad pay, the mean customers, inevitably getting sick right before Christmas every year due to exhaustion) I learned a lot of things that have helped me as an artist. I was a Visual Merchandiser in home furnishing so it lends itself to ceramics. I never intended to be a Merchandiser nor did I go to school for it. I fell into it and as it turns out I was quite good.

When I go to art shows I sometimes cringe. Its hard to set up your booth at first and every show becomes a trial and error. Here are some tips that I hope help in merchandising your work effectively.

1. Always have finely pressed tablecloths that extend all the way to the floor. No matter how great the rest of your booth looks seeing boxes under the table can totally distract the eye. Wrinkles are messy and make you look lazy. You spent a lot of time preparing for the show and making new work. Take a few minutes to make sure that is exemplified in your booth.

2. Color block. This is soooo important. I have brightly colored work. If I kept all of the mugs together, all of the plates together, etc it would be a bombardment of the senses. If I organize the work by color suddenly the eye can rest easy and the shopper can easily target the colors that appeal to them.

3. Make sure your displays enhance your work rather that distract from it. One great example is a local artist that uses cigar boxes to show off his jewelry. His style is clean, masculine and has a weathered antique look. The boxes create varying levels of height and accentuate the work. His displays garner just as much attention as the work but you can resist his pieces because of how it draws you in.

4. Don't set all of your work on the table with no varying degrees of height. Work should pyramid towards the center of the table if using one table. This helps draw the eye. If you are in a 10x10 booth space you can place with this idea a bit more. It just takes some time.

5. Have some of your work at eye level to attract customers. Simple and effective. Try putting your best sellers there first. Once they are gone experiment to see how product moves from show to show.

6. Have enough work out to fill the table but don't over or under crowd. Too sparce and it looks like that's all you have left leaving the customer will little options. Too much and it looks quite simply like a mess. You can replace pieces as they sell. Or if I have 8 mugs in one style I only put 4 out at a time. If a customer inquires I can tell them I have more if they wish to see them.

7. Make sure all work is price tagged but try to put it somewhere that isn't distracting from the piece. I try to keep my tags low towards the foot of the piece. Also price tags don't have to be huge. Its all about the work. Keep it that way.

8. Experiment from show to show until you figure out what works with your wares. I know through years of practice (and screw ups!) that some pieces sell themselves. No matter where I put a mug or coasters I sell them. But other items move slow so I experiment with their placement.

9. Be original. This is hard especially for jewelers. The standard displays for necklaces, etc are great but when you are 1 in 60 at a show a unique presentation can help bring attention to your work. If your display is original chances are your work is as well.

10. And finally if you have a 10x10 space try to make it inviting to the customer. Play with table arrangements so that a few customers can move around freely.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Craft Show Check List

Setting up for a show is overwhelming. Its easy to forget things and if you are just starting out in the whacky world of selling your wares you are bound to not think of something. Here is my general checklist. Obvious things are included and well as the less obvious.

1. Table
2. 2 chairs. One for me. One for intern Ruth.
3. Tent
4. Tent sides
5. Tent weights
6. Bungee cords or whatever you use to attach tent weights
7. Tablecloths (Press them!)
8. Any display items
9. Work that is boxed up in an organized fashion. I make myself notes on boxes on which to unpack first. With ceramics its easy to lose track and I want to be able to find work quick if a customer asks for something that isn't on my table.
10. Bag (multiple sizes)
11. A few empty boxes just in case I have a big sale
12. Packing tape
13. Wrapping material
14. Lots of business cards (more than you think you will ever need)
15. Mailing list sign up
16. Flyers with my classes listed on them for hand out
17. Receipt books/Cash/Change/Cash Box
18. Credit card swiper do-dad
19. Pens
20. More work than you think you need. The rule of thumb is that a good show will have earnings 10x your booth fee. Therefore a $100 entry fee should be a $1,000 show. Not always the case. But if you only have $1,000 of merch prepared you are limiting yourself to only selling $1,000. I've been in shows where I have barely broken even and I have also had shows that garnered 20x the entry fee. Worst case scenario, you have less work to make for you next show. Or the leftovers can go on Etsy.
21. A positive attitude and a smile. I absolutely hate when I walk into a booth and a vendor is totally ignoring me and reading a magazine. You need to greet your customers and engage them. Acting like you don't care if they are there or not doesn't help you sell a thing. If I learned anything from retail hell its that your body language can effect the shopper. Sitting around with your arms crossed also bad. Look happy. Even if its a slow day. No one knows that. You have great work and need to show people the personality behind it.
22. Don't complain about the show or the other vendors in front of customers. Go home, pour a glass of wine and THEN complain. We all have our unprofessional moments. Keep meltdowns and criticisms to yourself.

Well there's my list. I'm sure I forgot something. But hopefully it helps when you start to prepare for a show.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

To tweet or not to tweet...

I had the pleasure of attending the Cleveland Foundation's Tweet Up this morning at MOCA. It was held for area non-profits so that they could discuss social networking and its benefits and challenges. I was there representing the Orange Art Center. It was a great opportunity to meet other area non-profit employees. Staff is often small so its nice to meet other people who do what you do. I learned some new things about Facebook and Twitter such as how to track demographics on FB. Who knew?!

It was also beneficial in a personal respect. Its hard to see how social media outlets are benefiting my art sales (or not). I have some new ideas on how to strike up some business. We'll see what happens in the coming months. Wish me luck!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Location. Location. Location.


I have been doing shows consistently for five years although I began selling work 10 years ago. I have learned a lot the hard way. The biggest lesson learned thus far is to find your niche. Your art is not the same as anyone else's therefore what is good for one artist does not hold true for others. My work thrives at some galleries and is dead in the water at others. Luckily I am thick skinned.

The only trick to finding out what shows and festivals are ideal for you and your work is through trial and error. You have to lose some shows to understand your market. In the last few years I have added and crossed shows on the list. My rule of thumb is no shows in churches or schools! My list is constantly in edit mode. In addition I have learned my sales are strongest October through December. Therefore my priorities should be to make January through September and concentrate on my busiest season.

Another rule of thumb is consistency and continuity. I set up my booth in a similar manner at all of my shows. I was a Visual Merchandiser for three years and I understand how to display my work. If I have the same display at all of my holiday shows then I can see how work is moving and what needs to change. If its a completely different display for each show its hard to understand what is benefiting my work: the display or the show. I do slight tweaks at each show but not a complete overhaul. This is based on what is moving and what product I have left towards the end of the holiday season.

My biggest gripe with selling is when show organizers give you their tips for why your work is not moving. This is agitating for many reasons. First of all, not all of the vendors will sell at each show. Its not realistic. Each show is going to have a range of sales amongst vendors based on the clientele. Its a fact. It sucks to be the vendor that isn't selling (and I have been on both ends of the spectrum) but it is something you cannot control. Again, find YOUR market.

As a former merchandiser and salesperson I have learned that my experience in retail has helped me as an artist (even though I hated retail!). Never, ever come into my booth and tell me why I am not selling. I once had an organizer tell me at a holiday show that was poorly attended my problem was that I need to wrap my booth in twinkle lights. How is cluttering my booth with blinking lights going to help sales? Another suggestion...Move outside your booth because the other vendors who aren't sitting within the booth are selling. In this case the vendors on either side of me were also sitting within their booths and had sales. How is that my problem when its not affecting my neighbors profit? I sit inside my booth at every show and have had success.

It takes time and money to perfect a show calendar and a plan of action. It also takes patience and thick skin.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010




Last post of the week. I'm heading to the Southside Works Exposed show this Fri, Sat and Sun. I'm looking forward to escaping for a few days and meeting some new people. It will be nice to see some art vendor pals too. I also see IKEA in my future. Hope to see you there.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010




More new things making there way to Pittsburgh this weekend!

Monday, July 12, 2010

See these pieces and more this coming weekend at Southside Works Exposed.
Friday 5-10pm
Saturday 2-10pm
Sunday 2-5pm

Hope to see you there!
















Saturday, July 10, 2010

I just like to look at the pictures.










Friday, July 09, 2010

More new work and new glazes!
I made a few flower pots and I tried out a new olive green glaze. I definitely love the peacock blue glaze below. On the fence with the olive. I like it but I'm not always in to earthy colors. Again please leave comments below. Thanks!
















Thursday, July 08, 2010

Blogger and I have been having some issues but we seemed to have worked it out. Here are some photos of new work and new glazes. I made some of the classic rectangle soap dishes and some new forms that are botanical inspired. Let me know what you think of the glazes in the comments!







Wednesday, July 07, 2010


The Glamourous Life of An Artist???

Yesterday I spent my early evening having my photo taken for a local magazine. The article is about the Screw Factory/Lake Erie Building. Picture me wheel throwing in 95+ degree weather in a studio that gets the lovely western sun. This shoot was of course during the hottest time of day. I could feel the sweat dripping off my face into the cup I was throwing. I continued to break a sweat posing with a vase and a bowl. Just standing there I thought I was going to pass out. I asked if she could Photoshop out the sweat and heatstroke. I wasn't joking although I think perhaps she didn't think so.

But all press is good press, right? We'll see what happens in September. I'll post the link whenever it comes out. Maybe.

This weekend I sweat it out throwing more bowls for the Lakewood Arts Festival. Its crunch time as I have the Pittsburgh show next weekend. At least 2 more glaze firings await and I need to get items boxed, tagged, etc. And a few need to have a photo shoot this weekend. No matter how far you plan ahead sometimes the unforeseen (like the glorious Cleveland weather) bites you in the arse.

On the brightside I like to think I'm sweating off some weight.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My next show is in Pittsburgh. Stop by and check it out!


SouthSide Works Exposed is an outdoor bazaar and music festival celebrating summer and the arts in Pittsburgh. The setting for this event is in and around the Town Square of the SouthSide Works. More than 70 local artists and craftspeople will be selling handmade wares including ceramics, photography, paintings, jewelry, clothing, natural body products, woodworked games and more.

Each day features food from SouthSide Works restaurants, drinks, music and traveling entertainers – and a dedicated area for kids!

To learn about the excitement and to see a sample of the artisans, visit www.imadeitmarket.com or www.southsideworks.com.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Works in progress.
I've decided I need to combine my love of food and cooking with my ceramics so I have created some new pieces based on this idea. First off are the olive and pit sets. I'm olive obsessed. So good.
Also some new coasters that read "drink" and "lush". I think I'm going do make more sets of those. They are fun to make. Enjoy. Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


The Joys of Being an Introvert

I have spent the past few weeks reading some psychology books and info online about INFJ personality types. Its completely fascinating to me. I also liked this subject in school. If you read this blog often you know that I fall into this personality type which is about 1% of the population. Learning this has really broadened my sense of self and helped me to understand so much of what I have been dealing with. For example, throwing myself into my artwork is the best thing for me.  Below are some excerpts I found interesting and wanted to share. 


Its from a site called The Introvertz Coach and the quotations are from David DeVaughn. You can read the full thing  here.

"Friendship is difficult for INFJ for several reasons, the first being that we are Introverts and live inside our heads.  Most people are Extroverts who live in the outside world of people, places and things.  Most of these Extroverts are also Sensing people, which means they can only relate to that which they can see or feel."
 "...To make matters worse, the function that we INFJ's use to Extrovert is our Feeling side.  The rest of the world can sense how we feel, but not how we understand things.  They also do not understand how we deal with our Thinking side, which is also Introverted.  One minute we are sharing praise or comforting people and the next minute we are critical.  We are usually very honest in projecting our Feelings, but this confuses and often scares Sensing types.   Holding our tongues doesn't always help because we just can't hide how we feel..."
"...However, their is one thing that I have noticed.  Because much of my world takes place inside my head (where everything is in order), in my business dealings I often demand that the outside world follow that same order.  It took me a while to understand that I was not expressing the importance of this to those that I dealt with in my business.  Remember, INFJ's do a better job expressing their Feelings than expressing what they Intuitively know or Think.  We need to be careful not to let these issues come to a boil, which I define as the point where our feelings about places, time, things, etc. overwhelms our feelings/caring about people. 
I also found there is never was anyone around to help me either.  Part of the reason for that is because it is difficult for INFJ's to accept anything from others.  We are so used to others (especially Extroverts) draining us that (because of our strong Feeling function and because we are Introverted) we could never see ourselves draining others.  People just get used to taking and not giving.  Just this weekend, I had an experience like this. Someone I had been helping for literally years with a personal problem refused to extend himself in the slightest to help me with an errand I needed run that was very important.
Unfortunately, this constant disappointment with people makes us withdraw even more.  We need to be careful that we don't take on other personality traits as a means to escape into a better world...."
"...Generally speaking, people don't hurt us because they are mean.  They hurt us because they either don't understand us or they don't understand themselves.  As INFJ's and INFP's we are blessed with a far greater ability to understand.  We should use that ability to improve our lives as well as those around us.   The easiest way to do this is to RELAX.  Don't take everything so seriously.  Save your energy for that which is truly important.  Demand a little better from everyone, and a lot less from yourself.  People will see the real you and eventually, they will be your friend."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Days off.

I'm quite the busy artist these days. Two grants are due in September. A gallery exhibit app is due in July. I have 4 shows this summer. And I teach.

Next week and the week after something rare and exciting is happening. I am getting 2 weeks off of teaching! I love to teach, don't get me wrong. But the idea that every night is mine and I can do what I like is amazing. This won't happen again until December and then I'll be in show mode.

To spend 2 weeks in the studio as I wish is my version of vacation. As I have learned reading more about INFJ personality types the best thing for me is to work on my art. Being in my studio is a theraputic experience despite the haze that comes with preparing for shows.

Also with this time I plan on riding my bike, checking out a happy hour or two and finishing True Blood Season 2. Oh yes, its going to be great.

This has been one of the best summers I have had in awhile and I have my artwork to thank.
Think pink. More work to be listed in my Etsy shop this week. Here's a sneak preview.