Clayslinger on fri 3 sep 04
My experience with demos is only at our local pioneer village where I set up
an historic studio each year.
What I can tell you is that as far as what form is best to throw - it
doesn't matter! even small mugs of 1lb get ohhs and ahhhs when they are
pulled up. And of course the fact that they are done so fast doesn't hurt
either - it impresses. You need to inform though that this is only one step
in a very long process.
I have found that making a tall cylinder into a rounded or even a bowl shape
is more impressive. Perhaps throw 5 or more pounds at a time. Go big or stay
home!! hee hee.
Mess wise, a clear plastic sheet to catch stray clay and even a line to keep
people back may help. Just set it up so that people can stand to either side
as well in front of the potter (a semi-circle if you will) that way there is
lots of room for lots of spectators.
Hope this helps, good luck.
=o) =o) =o) =o) =o) =o) =o)
Education Assistant - Literacy
I want to die like my grandmother did.
Quietly in her sleep........
not screaming in fear like her passengers!
Kathleen Gordon on fri 3 sep 04
hi folks... i am in charge of the demonstrations at our guild's next
pottery sale....we have never done this before and i was wondering if
there are tips and hints from those who have...
we are talking about wheel and hand building demos.... any comments on
which has worked better for you?
any ideas on how to keep the mess down? what has worked as the best set
up.. things we should avoid?
what to demonstrate.. what forms do folks appear to be most
interested in? what would attract the most positive attention from the
we have a full size wheel and some mini ones... have you found one or
the other to be more successful?..
i would really appreciate any ideas and experiences that you could
share about demos at a pottery show.
thanks. i always appreciate the kindness of clayarters to offer
advice....there is so much good information on this list in any one
day.. it is really awesome...and i am always inpressed with the variety
of solutions to the same problem... amazing... so thanks in advance for
your time and your ideas...
Neal on sat 4 sep 04
The Triangle Potters Guild (North Carolina) sets up a large
tent at Raleigh's big arts and crafts festival
(Artsplosure) the third weekend in May. We have had from
two to three dozen members participating. Each participant
has to work a couple of 2-hour shifts. We divide up the
labor between set-up duties, working at the cash table
(there's a centralized location for it instead of sales
from each individual's booth), demoing on the wheel, and
helping at the kids' clay table.
Someone brings a wheel, but the potters who demo bring
their own clay and tools. Each decides what to make. Some
throw off the hump and make lots of small pieces. Others
throw a huge piece that may take an hour. There's always an
audience. People love to watch a potter working.
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Jeff Brown on sun 5 sep 04
On Fri, 3 Sep 2004 17:29:40 -0700, Kathleen Gordon
>i would really appreciate any ideas and experiences that you could
>share about demos at a pottery show.
I demo frequently and have found that, as others have said..."It doesn't
mater what you make"... people will be fascinated by seeing the process of
turning a lifeless lump into one of those beautiful vessels that you have
there on the shelves...most folks are as amazed by seeing a tiny pot being
made as they are a Giant pot. At one demo, I did nothing but miniatures,
and had a constant crowd of excited people.
Keep demo separate from sales.
...you don't want it to look like you are there to give a performance when
you are really trying to sell pots....so ...it is good to have a demo area
that is separate from the sales area.
...after all, you are giving a performance....so be entertaining
The demonstrationists performing can have examples of what they are making
in the demo area, and then explain their processes while they work as
needed...referring to the finished pieces for examples.... then direct the
on-lookers to the sale display to see more examples of the work.
Another good thing to bare in mind is that ...not everybody... but most
people will be interested in the details=85what makes you work different fro=
...how do you make those handles?
...how did you make that texture?
...that square pot over there was round first?
Don=92t think that the wheel has to be spinning the whole time.
We want the public to know that there is more to the process than
just "spinnin' clay on that wheel"..so think about completing the pieces
that you start.
I like to bring home finished pots after a demo...and people like the idea
that you made that pot for them. They may be more likely to buy a pot as
they walk through the show, when they see the finish glazed piece on the
shelf that looks like the one they watched you make.
...And screwing a pot up can be fun in a crowd...not to mention, destroying
a piece that you just didn't like(quality control) ...quite dramatic.
I hope this helps Kathleen.
P.S. I would still like to get a couple of the Clayart T-shirts like ones
you had at San Diego.
950 1st NH Turnpike
Northwood, NH 03261
Kate Johnson on mon 6 sep 04
> My experience with demos is only at our local pioneer village where I set
> an historic studio each year.
> What I can tell you is that as far as what form is best to throw - it
> doesn't matter! even small mugs of 1lb get ohhs and ahhhs when they are
> pulled up. And of course the fact that they are done so fast doesn't hurt
> either - it impresses. You need to inform though that this is only one
> in a very long process.
Hi Penni and list--my experience with demo-ing was similar to yours but
somewhat different--still resulted in the same oohs and ahs, though!
> Mess wise, a clear plastic sheet to catch stray clay and even a line to
> people back may help. Just set it up so that people can stand to either
> as well in front of the potter (a semi-circle if you will) that way there
> lots of room for lots of spectators.
I did built forms rather than wheel-thrown so it was nice and intimate--made
pinch pots, and had originally intended to allow the public to do so too,
but only had terra cotta to work with--sometimes that's hard to get out of
clothing, so I thought they wouldn't appreciate it.
One of my press molds was done in a new cottonwood mold an 18th c.-style
woodworker had made for me--I used all period equipment as much as possible,
no plastic, a wood rolling pin on a sheet of fabric. They loved seeing how
it might have been done on the frontier 200 years ago. I ended up making
several inkwells, a couple of bowls, and a big serving platter as my demo
that day, to the amazement of the crowd. It was fun...and yes, like you, I
also explained the additional steps that would be necessary, and also what
it would take to find and process native clay--thanks to clay-arters, I knew
the answer to that!
So there are all sorts of ways to demonstrate in public...do what suits you
and the situation best...