David Hendley on fri 19 oct 01
Your defination of a 'workshop' is not the same as mine. Your
description of your time in Denver sounds like the work of
a kiln builder who was hired to build a kiln, not a workshop
Leveling the slab foundation, driving 4 hours to the metal
yard, and paying cash from your pocket for incedentals
are way beyond what I would consider 'presenting a work-
shop' on kiln building.
Also, in my mind, the final product one leaves behind is not
the objective of a workshop.
It sounds to me like the folks in Denver got a heck of a deal;
a kiln building workshop and a kiln designed and built for the
price of a workshop only.
Traveling and presenting workshops is a very taxing and
tiring activity. When you add in a day to get ready, a day
to travel, a day to get back home, and a day to unwind, a
weekend workshop takes most of a week.
Although I wouldn't want to do more than a handful a year,
I find presenting workshops to indeed be lucrative. I am
paid enough to compensate for time absent from the studio,
and I also sell pots to the workshop participants.
Selling pots is a real pleasure, because I am selling to other
potters who really understand what was required to make
them. I save my 'racers' for other potters.
Of course, meeting people, seeing new places, and sharing
ideas, not making money, are the true rewards of presnting
workshops. But the two are not mutually exclusive, and as
someone who makes his living as a potter, I must charge
a realistic price for my time to stay in business.
I would not do it if I could only break even.
----- Original Message -----
From: "mel jacobson"
Sent: Friday, October 19, 2001 12:08 PM
Subject: lucrative workshops
> teaching around the country is very exhilarating and exciting.
> it is a way to meet people, get the message to folks
> on a one to one basis. it is a teachers dream.
> i love it and give it more than 100%.
> it is not a money maker. just think of leaving your studio
> for four days, leaving your work and family. packing up
> and flying for a day. then returning and trying to get back
> in the rhythm.
> at best, it is a break even activity.
> those of us that do it are usually dedicated to the
> world of clay. want to give back. it would be a tough
> way to make profit. it sure is not vacation. my body and
> mind are just recovering from building that kiln in denver.
> just some things to think of:
> had to do a site plan. send plans and specs. at least 25 emails and
> work with frustration of the inspector, would not approve
> the nils burners...they did not have a ul sticker...of course
> that is crazy...ul sticker is for home appliance...could we get
> thought the thick skull..no way.
> 3" slope one way on the pad, 2" slope the other way.
> big problem.
> three trips to home depot...carry cement bags to car. money
> from my pocket..cash...pay back in 5 weeks.
> four hour trip to steel yard. pick out steel..weld brackets (thanks bill)
> pay cash.
> not enough hard brick...make do.
> children playing 6 feet from kiln over a wall. fire only on saturday.
> 500 questions
> someone wants to build a portable, on wheels gas kiln. work on plan.
> difficult idea.
> far too many sweets and snacks. need tums.
> if the kiln does not work well....my fault.
> all problems are my problem.
> boy, i made a hell of a lot of money going to denver.
> but, they learned, were excited, got a great kiln and are all
> informed about propane, orifice size, know how to home make
> a burner, know pressure, gas, fuel delivery, primary air, secondary air,
> damper control. they can measure a fire box, lay out a kiln
> shelf size. they know how to stack a kiln for maximum firing quality.
> they know what a thermocouple is, pilot control safety. they are safer
> more knowledgeable potters. their confidence is at a better place.
> i feel good about that.
> passing on the craft, that is what workshops are about.
> one to one, real time. i am blessed to be able to do it.
> ask sharlene if it is worth it. you would get a different answer.
> she does the books.
> Minnetonka, Minnesota, U.S.A.
> web site: http://www.pclink.com/melpots
Liz Willoughby on sun 21 oct 01
I have to agree with David here. Just back from Thunder Bay, where I
was royally treated, and where I finally got to see a part of Ontario
that I had never seen. The positive response from those taking the
workshop, always makes me feel like I have something important to
contribute. I learned a lot from all the workshops that I took, and
I hope that people taking my workshops also learn something of value
that they can take home with them.
Interesting thing about giffin grips. I requested one to use before
the workshop, they finally found one, and at the end of the workshop
they all wanted one.
Another plus, IF you are not going far,and by car, I have taken home
many of the forms that I had completed. This is like money in the
bank. I also take fired work, like David, and usually bring very
I normally do not work week-ends, so this time is not taken away from
the studio. But of course, preparation time takes a couple of days.
a "Balanced Life", is what I am going for. Liz, glad I do what I do.
>David Hendley said:
>Although I wouldn't want to do more than a handful a year,
>I find presenting workshops to indeed be lucrative. I am
>paid enough to compensate for time absent from the studio,
>and I also sell pots to the workshop participants.
>Selling pots is a real pleasure, because I am selling to other
>potters who really understand what was required to make
>them. I save my 'racers' for other potters.
>Of course, meeting people, seeing new places, and sharing
>ideas, not making money, are the true rewards of presnting
>workshops. But the two are not mutually exclusive, and as
>someone who makes his living as a potter, I must charge
>a realistic price for my time to stay in business.
>I would not do it if I could only break even.
2903 Shelter Valley Rd.