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marketing work response to barbara.

updated sun 15 oct 00


Karen Sullivan on sat 14 oct 00

In response, I guess I have been around a lot, and listened to lots of
folks, i.e. I have a lot of stories...
John Mason was giving a workshop. He was talking about working in So. Calif.
in the early 60's with Peter Voulkous... His comment that I remember was
that the people that owned the galleries in Los Angeles in the 60's were
knowledgeable about art as their collections had grown so large they decided
to open galleries. They were knowledgeable and passionate about art.
I might add that this comment relates to the feeding frenzy of the LA art
scene in the 80's, in which gallery owners were not well informed, but saw
the venture of galleries as an income venture. This is significant if one
considers they were making choices of who was showing and what art was seen.

So from his perspective of working for 40 years and having had a roller
coaster ride of fame/teaching experiences (which are the stuff of legend)/
and history of the development of his work. His reflective comment was
"Sometimes you are HOT, and sometimes no one is interested in what you do.
The only way to live/work/exist as an artist is to KEEP WORKING."

I tend to whine, for which I must apologize. I need to consider what I want
clay to provide me...It does provide a continuing dialogue of ideas that I
work on, with a history of concrete results that provide a marker of what I
have learned, where I have been. A hansel and gretel trail if you will of
all I have been. The carrot of working being the surprises of discovery that
await me in the work, with the satisfaction of the occasional gift from the
kiln. Kilns do give gifts occasionally. The kiln keeps me humble, honest,
alert and if not it reminds me to pay attention.

What clay does not provide is a means to take care of my reality problems,
i.e. food, goes the whine. So, I perhaps need business
savvy. Otherwise I would not change my life...I love working with clay, and
obviously I am not willing to give up the time I spend working for an income
generating JOB that would provide the details of income ...because it takes
too much time away from clay.
Thanks, bamboo karen

on 10/13/00 10:13 PM, Dave Murphy at murphy@SENTEX.NET wrote:

> Hey Bamboo Karen:
> I am surprised to hear you talk like this. You with all the salient advice.
> I always read your posts. I don't know how long you have been at it but for
> me I can only speak. I think I did every "dog" show in the province. I
> would hear things like " this was a great show last year" and other things
> like that. I have been producing for about 12 years and have had a decent
> bit of success. I could not support a family or anything but I have a new
> gas kiln and a new car! I think to be successful as a potter you have to be
> a bit of a donkey. Stick with it and sooner or later you will be in vogue.
> We used to have a herd of cattle and of course we had the wrong breed but we
> loved them and would not change just because of fashion. We waited ten long
> hard years but it finally paid off big time. Anybody named Bamboo Karen
> probably has neat pots.
> Barbara Murphy
> Waterloo County Pottery
> Waterloo, Ontario
> Canada
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Karen Sullivan"
> To:
> Sent: Friday, October 13, 2000 2:15 PM
> Subject: marketing work???????? rambling/long/...
>> I am relatively new to this list, and perhaps this issue has been covered
>> before...
>> Some history... I have been working full time making pots for over 16
> years,
>> and I have tried a number of strategies for earning a living from my work,
>> but it continues to escape me...I tried craft fairs, one of the most
>> memorable of many significantly miserable experiences was when I was
> across
>> the isle from someone who had dixie cups with a string in the
> bottom/center
>> so it became a duck call toy when the string was pulled, which he blessed
> me
>> with using the entire day...there were many more equally as enjoyable,
> which
>> I can list and discuss if asked to do so... I have tried stores, with
> varied
>> results...I do a sale at home, my best sale. Being Irish I feel I have a
>> genetic responsibility to make Irish coffee to entice those who come to
> the
>> sale...It also smells like Christmas to smell the hot whiskey in the cold
>> air (we are speaking So. Calif.'s version of cold here). Also a comment
>> about my childhood memories of holiday dinners where everything smelled
> like
>> bourbon, or whiskey....
>> I am currently selling at a local farmers market...varied results in an
>> effort to find the illusive "stream of income" that so many view as a
>> reality of life. I do live in a relatively small town.
>> Perhaps my expectations are too high...I do pay for materials and
>> processing.
>> I guess I am asking about strategies, which I realize differs
> significantly
>> geographically. I do think there is more interest in ceramic objects in
> the
>> Eastern United States. How interesting considering my sense of the
>> importance of West Coast aesthetics and its influence. I would love some
>> discussion about how effective web sites are in selling work.
>> I hope I do not sound like I am whining....I figure if ultimately I KEEP
>> WORKING that sales will improve, I also remember the comment about the
>> definition of insanity as "doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting
>> different results." I do try to take advantage of the opportunities that
>> present themselves...and have taken on interesting projects over the
> years,
>> I made the dishes for a restaurant for awhile...All with the spirit of
>> refining the process and the work.
>> Feedback and discussion would be appreciated.
>> bamboo karen
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