Carol Tripp on sun 14 dec 03
So, how do you put your name and address on? Do you use a stamp and oxide
Thanks and best regards,
>Be sure to add to your list of self promotion ideas the printing of contact
>information on the bottom of each piece of work. I sell thousands of pots a
>year and each has my name and phone number on it, and I plan to add my
>and web site address next.
>I get more orders from the bottoms of coffee cups than from all other
>advertising methods combined plus they come from all over the country and
>If people like the cup, they want to buy some for their friends so it
>actually turns into a kind of pyramid, growing a little more each year,
>reducing dependence on wholesale and shows.
>I did not attend a single show in 2003! Whew!
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Michael Wendt on sun 14 dec 03
Tony and Vince don't like the bottom stamp idea and I understand fully. On
the other hand, I would be out of business today if it weren't for the
contact information on the bottom of my pots. I must have created a false
impression of what I do... I am a production potter. I throw by hand
thousands of pots per year and sell them at the best RETAIL price I can
muster by direct sales, not wholesale or galleries.
I have one daughter in college and a second college bound next year.
I understand and totally agree with those who dislike the bottom stamp idea
for their work... for them it would be a mistake... for me it is a
Lewiston is a small town and Spokane Washington is the nearest large town,
105 miles north of here. Without thousands of pieces out there "selling" for
me every day, how would anyone ever hear of me or find me?
Most of you have never heard of me in the 30 years I've made pots, have you?
Thanks for your input,
2729 Clearwater Ave
Lewiston, ID 83501
Michael Wendt on sun 14 dec 03
For many years, I used a rubber stamp to impress the information on the
bottom while the pot was still soft. The problems with this are: you have to
pay attention to the timing since they can get too dry to impress and the
stamp is not very easy to read unless you stain it and back wash the bottom.
I learned about magnetic ink from reading about how check readers work and
realized the ink must contain iron pigments (magnetite), so I bought Van Son
magnetic ink from a local print shop and have used it since the late 70s.
Later, I discovered that rubberized ink does not need to be fired. If it is
allowed to dry, it is nearly impossible to get off even in the dish washer.
Van Son Holland Ink
97 Union St.
Mineola, NY 11501
I have also tried other pigment based products such as cobalt based oil
paints and acrylics and they work too both for bottom stamps and as stamped
decorations over and under glazes. Read the labels and choose ones that
contain metallic colorants you recognize from pottery.
Get a Speedball brayer like the ones used in linoleum block printing and a
8" x 8" square metal plate to use as a brayer surface. Put a pea sized drop
of ink on the plate and spread it until it is even. Then roll the brayer
across the rubber stamp and carefully press it onto the bottom of the pot.
The pot bottom needs to be burnished as flat and as smooth as possible to
allow clear printing.
Your bottom stamp can be quite beautiful. I did mine with a calligraphy pen
in a circle so it looks interesting and people want to read it. It has my
signature as well as what the pot is made of and the contact information...
a kind of mini history permanently affixed to the piece.
2729 Clearwater Ave
Lewiston, ID 83501
Vince Pitelka on sun 14 dec 03
> Later, I discovered that rubberized ink does not need to be fired. If it
> allowed to dry, it is nearly impossible to get off even in the dish
I second Mel's opinion of Michael Wendt and all the wonderful information
he contributes to this list, but in this case, aarghh. I'm sorry, Michael,
but this really gives me the creeps. The mere idea of stamping the bottom
of your pots with ink after the firing in order to cram on a lot of contact
information is demeaning to your pots and to you. You deserve better.
I cannot see the issue here. If you make good pots, which you do, then
people will go to the trouble to get in touch with you, except for those
people who are put off by all the information stamped onto the bottoms of
your pots. As I see it, the latter could be a lot of people.
In my opinion, what should be on the bottom of pots is a handwritten
signature and maybe the year, or a hand-carved/designed stamp. No
commercial printing. It degrades the pot, reduces the effect, makes it
common and commercial.
This is just my opinion, of course, but it is an opinion based on 35 years
of making and reading about and looking at and talking about and handling
and loving pots. I love the small touches and the subtleties. A potters
mark or signature is often a beautiful thing in itself.
Best wishes -
Appalachian Center for Craft
Tennessee Technological University
1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166
Home - firstname.lastname@example.org
Office - email@example.com
615/597-6801 x111, FAX 615/597-6803
John Rodgers on mon 15 dec 03
I'm a strong believer in "Different strokes for different folks!",
Michael Wendt wrote:
>Tony and Vince don't like the bottom stamp idea and I understand fully. On
>the other hand, I would be out of business today if it weren't for the
>contact information on the bottom of my pots.
Chris Schafale on mon 15 dec 03
The trouble with signatures is that 99% of the time they are illegible. I have
several pots that I love and have no way of finding out who made them
because I can't make out that attractive scrawl on the bottom. Michael's
right -- if you are looking for repeat customers, make it legible.
On 14 Dec 2003 at 20:45, Vince Pitelka wrote:
> > Later, I discovered that rubberized ink does not need to be fired. If it
> > allowed to dry, it is nearly impossible to get off even in the dish
> I second Mel's opinion of Michael Wendt and all the wonderful information
> he contributes to this list, but in this case, aarghh. I'm sorry, Michael,
> but this really gives me the creeps. The mere idea of stamping the bottom
> of your pots with ink after the firing in order to cram on a lot of contact
> information is demeaning to your pots and to you. You deserve better.
> I cannot see the issue here. If you make good pots, which you do, then
> people will go to the trouble to get in touch with you, except for those
> people who are put off by all the information stamped onto the bottoms of
> your pots. As I see it, the latter could be a lot of people.
> In my opinion, what should be on the bottom of pots is a handwritten
> signature and maybe the year, or a hand-carved/designed stamp. No
> commercial printing. It degrades the pot, reduces the effect, makes it
> common and commercial.
> This is just my opinion, of course, but it is an opinion based on 35 years
> of making and reading about and looking at and talking about and handling
> and loving pots. I love the small touches and the subtleties. A potters
> mark or signature is often a beautiful thing in itself.
> Best wishes -
> - Vince
> Vince Pitelka
> Appalachian Center for Craft
> Tennessee Technological University
> 1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166
> Home - firstname.lastname@example.org
> Office - email@example.com
> 615/597-6801 x111, FAX 615/597-6803
> Send postings to firstname.lastname@example.org
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at email@example.com.
Light One Candle Pottery
Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, USA
(south of Raleigh)
Lee Love on mon 15 dec 03
Michael, can we see some photos of your stamped work? I have been
thinking about stamping my claybody with my email address. Lee@mashiko.org
is pretty short.
When I attended the "MingeSota" show here in Nasu, at Western Village,
while standing with Warren MacKenzie, Nancy and my wife Jean, a guy that
bought a casserole of mine asked me if I could sign the bottom with a
"Sharpie" pen for him. I said, "Sure." I figured that he probably
wasn't going to use it in an oven but for flower arranging or something of
that nature. He later brought a friend over who was buying one of my Jizo
vases and asked me to do the same. I obliged. MacKenzie said, "Why
doesn't anybody ask me to sign my work?" Then a pause and he answered
himself, "Probably because they know I wouldn't do it!"
Actually, I think they didn't ask the favor of Warren because of
the high esteem they had for him. I was just an anonymous potter. :^)
Also, this is an example of how MacKenzie follows a set of principles but
doesn't expect others to copy him. ( Folks, please think of this the next
time you hear someone whining about his prices.)
Some of the things they do here in Japan is provide signed wooden
boxes with the more collectable and tea related work. Also, potters
usually include their history on washi paper. Mine includes my address,
phone number and email.
Lee In Mashiko, Japan
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