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selling photos

updated wed 14 mar 01


primalmommy@IVILLAGE.COM on tue 13 mar 01

I love a debate!

A while back I saw a call for photos for a book. Emailed the author, said, "check out my website." (easy.) Author liked my stuff. Offered to mail me one of his pots if I send one of mine (I don't have equipment/skill/time to make a slide.) Cool with me. I picked out a favorite, dropped it in a box, three bucks to ship (I was already headed for the PO to ship other pots, no real effort involved.) I get a nice pot in the mail, and one day my parents will buy a copy of the book to show people my name.

I'll be proud if my work ends up in the book. Especially because it puts me in the company of "big dog" potters and a gives me a little place in written history. Yep, good for my ego.

I know potters who are happy to take a minute, drop a slide from an old show -- pots long ago sold -- into an envelope. Just like a bunch of us would get all excited about donating a recipe and sending pix of to the cookbook project. Just to be part of the community of potters!

It's a weird village, this one; internet conversations, an odd cast of characters. I get Pottery Making Illustrated and say, "look honey, my friend mel spraying ITC on a kiln". I buy "clay and glazes for the potter" and get a thrill when the names under the photos are the names in my email inbox. (Even a potter pal from ohio!) I see cindy strnad making a big pot in a magazine ad and say, "hey, so THAT'S who I've been talking to!" Putting images with personalities is satisfying in this world of faceless text. Faces, pots, who we are.

We build, over time, a context, patched together from photos, clayart, workshops, websites and articles -- a big, multimedia high school yearbook everyone can sign. Books are just another expression of it. For that, and a bartered pot, I'd gladly pay three bucks in postage and send a few emails.

I know that some potters' work - and thus time - is worth more than mine, and it wouldn't be that easy for them to contribute a photo/pot. But it's like answering clayart questions or making "empty bowls": entirely voluntary.

Maybe this means pottery books will show the best work of egotistical, no talent potters like me ;0) but the work in my clay book collection looks pretty professional to me...

enjoying the discussion! yours, Kelly in Ohio

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