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updated tue 29 nov 05


LOWELL BAKER on thu 13 mar 97

I thought the money would get your attention::

I just received a substantial grant from the School of Mines and
Energy Development to continue my work on the sawdust burner. The
grant will allow me to hire a full-time assistant for the summer and
purchase some of the more sophisticated machinery that I have only
dreamed of to this point. I already have the assistant, so this is
not a job announcement.

As part of the work we will be building a two chambered wood fired
kiln. This will be the test vehicle for the various burner designs.
I will be announcing a kiln building workshop for early July. I
know, working on a kiln in July in Alabama is close to a definition
of Hell. Will let you know more in the future.

Turning 50 tomorrow, and feeling OK about it. What is my choice?

W. Lowell BAker
The University of Alabama

mel jacobson on mon 28 nov 05

one of the greatest gifts that artist/potter/crafts person has
over the vast majority of folks in the world is the ability
to take care of self/family.

there are many ways to make money...thousands.
but, the best ever in my opinion is the ability to
do your own work, be your own repair person, build and
maintain your own space.

when you are in the crafts, you should be able
to cross over. and it is the cross over that allows you
to save and save and save.

the cross over gives you quality of life. you learn a new
craft. hand eye/problem solving switches. as i tell folks whenever
i teach: get a book about electricity/repair/building. read about plugs/amps/
electrical boxes. learn it. then you will never be a victim.

i had deck repairs to do this summer. about 50 10' boards to
replace. worked a few mornings. got it done. cost about 500 bucks
in materials.
my neighbor had his rebuilt...$8,000. hmmm. artist/craftsman..doing
his own. nice thought.

there are many ways to sell pots. there is no right way.
whatever works, based on your location. but, without
question, when you take charge of your own sales...the profit margin
is much higher. if you turn it all over to others...they get the biggest
chunk. what i keep reminding folks about is:
take control of your own life/pottery. the home sale works, not for everyone,
but a couple a year will fill your pockets. it does the make a difference.
that is how you get that new pugmill. cash.

it is like the ever going discussion about miles per gallon with cars.
most forget the greatest cost of owning a car is after market repairs.
it pales gas prices. but, many never think of that as cost.
it is like the old story:
a starter for a cadillac is 80 dollars more than a chev. same starter.
(that is the chev is 80 bucks too.)

it always comes down to tony's post. if you are making a living for not depend on others, well it is daunting. it is easy
to sit back and let a spouse bring in the bucks, get a grant, take someone
else's money...and then tell others not to work too hard...enjoy life.

i have done them all. teaching, coaching, home repair, car repair, make
pots for galleries, wholesale, commission, the works. without question
i taught school so that i would have a steady income, insurance/savings.
and, i did not have to make pink glazed mugs with gold lettering. `WALLY'S
and, like kelly, sharlene stayed at home and gave us a great base to work
from. it was all about life style. but, that style means that you work hard
to keep it. enjoyable work, problem solving sort of work, never dull work...
but work none the less.

it was like watching 60 minutes last night..the woman showing her
13,000 sq foot house. vulgarity at its highest point. it makes a potter
shutter for a week. and we joke about having a cleaning
that house would take a crew of ten. vulgar.
it is stories like that that make me very happy to have lived the life
i have. not a regret.

so, find a life style, in the crafts/art. live it to the fullest.
liz, you are correct..not just the money... it is a life style of work.
enjoyable work. and, without question, work gives us value.

from mel/