search  current discussion  categories  business - misc 

catching up : business, and all that

updated mon 17 jul 06


Stephani Stephenson on sun 16 jul 06

running scared visits me periodically
this year?
business trickling in first 6 months
breaking even , sort of,
well OK, not quite.
each month
basic expenses climb
March ...had to move (again), replace car
in addition to the usual.
Projects, somewhat mundane
field tile, (though you love whatever it is from your hands
that keeps a roof over your head)
improving the studio, making what seems to be agonizingly slow progress
in developing
improving glazes, clay, making new work,
I still love the studio time, even when worrying
or being scared
about security, money, love.
Everything here is rented
foundation of sand, it feels like, though I ask is there any such thing
as security?
no time to worry. keep walking, working.
turning around to the positive
be active, not passive .
celebrate good health. reach out. Say thanks, enjoy the small moments
of the day, the large currents of life.
refocus. get back to it.
fell off a ladder a few months back...actualy
came down ladder wearing reading glasses , thought ground was closer
than it
actually was...last step was a doozie.
Luckily my body remembered how to fall. Back two three, big steps
arms paddling as if in water, not air
into a backward roll/ somersault back over , then
back up in one motion...
I admit I did not totally 'stick ' the landing !
Quick inventory of there any pain anywhere?
back, neck, hips OK..arms , wrists , OK
2 fingers hurt like hell, last joints at an odd angle, ice and a few
days and I think I just jammed them, but
I wonder would I even know if there was a tiny fracture?
my project deadlines sort of flash before my eyes... but I work with
the bent fingers OK
a couple of months later they are still sort of bent but seem to be
working OK
new studio mates
local small pottery
crew of guys,
sweet young guys,
oh and a couple of old timers
and a couple in the midle
working by the piece
or by subcontract
on a large , very large order
high end. Cone 6
going to a resort
Hong Kong
yes. that's what I said
2 long time production potters
one cranks out 80 large , large perfect punch / serving bowls
each day. some of the young men
most are high school trained. They are amazing , making serving
platters, sushi dishes
with slabs. It is business.
I marvel at this. You want a glimpse of how it is to be 25,30,35, 40
and making
a go at pots in this brave new world? There are some young ones out
I have many mixed emotions at what I see.
but I am so glad they are here. glad to see their perspective, their
maybe we are all glad to see each other embarking , surviving .
we root for each other, and it feels less scary , knowing you aren't
the only one trying to sail
your clay boat into uncharted waters .
I also like having people come to the studio to learn, I like getting
to know them
like their enthusiasm, like to share mine.
a workshop to teach this week then off to present at a conference
worrywart here... what will I say? When the time comes will I be able
to say it well?
After the conference, back to the studio to embark upon phase 2 of a
which has quadrupled in size.
from no business to slow business to slammed against the wall with
figuring out how to get it done
at all. knowing that the lead up to these large projects is more nerve
wracking than the
work itself. Wanting creative time but
looking forward to the rhythm of all out production.
and knowing rent can be paid for the rest of the year.

What strikes me, with regard to you need far fewer
customers than you think.
today a call from a customer from a few years back...would I be
interested in doing a mural?
the big project too, is a return customer, do not underestimate the
value of these good returning customers.
they really provide me with most of my work, over and over again.
My new customers are often friends of theirs....
the old adage about just surviving long enough
for the Word of Mouth to kick in...

warm regards to all on this hot summer day

Stephani Stephenson