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best sellers, copyrights and rainy day thoughts

updated thu 31 oct 96


Don Jones on fri 4 oct 96

Almost every day I work on orders I take at various wholesale shows. It
takes up time,energy, and kiln space and provides me with an income. I
have virtually no energy left for the pieces I've had in my head for a long
time. I posed this problem some time ago to the group and got the Nike
"Just do it" You are right of course but it still remains an irritant to
the lifestyle. The only way out it seems is to get famous. An alternative
I found is to make one test piece every 3 or 4 firings to make opening the
kiln more exciting and provide a gradual outlet for the pieces in my head.

I tried copyrighting my work, which at the time, I thought was unique. My
application was turned down at first because my pieces are almost exactly
geometric closed forms (spheriods, ovoids, cones etc) If they had little
extrustions on them or handles or something it wouldn't have been a
problem. As a result, I was politely informed that I did not invent the
sphere and they did not care how I made it. I had to reapply and copyright
just the 2 dimensional decorations on the 3d work. It was then accepted. I
think copyrighting is important because there are a lot of unscrupulous
people out there who spend a lot of time thinking devious thoughts, doing
dasterdly deeds and can easily exploit your work.

Regarding markets, if your work is well made and you can repeat what you
do regardless of form or decoration or whether it whispers or shouts good
taste you can make a good living. Just save your money or borrow around
3,000 and show up at one of the many wholesale markets around the country.
Read back issues of the Crafts Report, and price your work accordingly. I
have a two year old copy of the Art Fair Source book if you are more
interested in retail fairs. If you want it I will send it to you for a
negotiated price. Its a good book ( it cost me $50)

Lastly , this is a GOOD JOB dealing with clay every day. I read a lot of
whining on the list and I whine a lot myself but I wouldn't trade this
work for anything.

Don Jones
Balloon Fiesta time in Albuquerque

FRANK J GAUDOT on sun 6 oct 96

My first comment here, so please bear with me if I repeat something
already thoroughly discussed!

It occurred to me that, in much of the process of filling wholesale
orders, the work is not "Potter Work", but unskilled labor. Without
going into an involved analysis, I believe that much of that work could
be handled by temporary/part time people who are readily available in
most cities and schools. Many people can be taught a great deal of the
more routine tasks, if one can afford to keep them around for so many
hours a day/week. This would obviously free the Potter to do more of
his/her specialized/creative work. This has worked very well for a local
friend who does the wholesale marketing approach and has many orders to
fill and ship.