You may know my pal from Georgia, potter Lori Buff. Lori is one of the 3 Potter Blogging Buddies Group I belong to, right? Along with Meesh, who is the third member. We exhibit together, plan challenges together, this type of thing, even if hundreds of miles seperate us in reality. We have a bottle challenge going up soon!!!! Watch for it!

OK, so Lori is involved in a class at Emory and is interviewing people.  We talked Monday, and an abridged version of WHO AM I is below.   I surprised myself, I yakked a LOT to Lori (potters can bore the hell out of non-potters, when talking about glaze etc, so talking to another potter is tres fun).  Lori on the phone surprises me--her online presence always seems focused and serious, but her reality is very light-hearted and fun loving and quick to laugh.

Just for the record???? I AM NOT the type of person to wear dark socks, baggy shorts and birkenstocks. Those socks have skulls on them.  My dear sweet and generous mother-in-law just sent me those birks to replace an ancient pair she had also given me 12 years ago....I rarely wear shorts, and only wear sockless sandals around the house...REALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1. How would you describe your art?I have about 3 different ways that I go depending on the day of the week. I have a short attention span and I get bored really easily. That's why drawing and sculpting are important to me.
The more imaginative the piece is the more appealing it is to the customers.

2. Do you make a living out of your art and related practices – or do you combine it with another job?Yes
3. How long have you been working professionally as an artist?About 15 years after leaving teaching English and pottery to special needs students.
4. Have you had a big break? If not; any turning point?Big Break- in NH 2003 the craft league, I got juried in and that helped me get into galleries and shows. But them I left NH and moved to NY where the internet thing has worked for me. Then the local TV station asked me to do some interviews, that cost me nothing but gave me a lot of contacts, I'm still working off that several years later.
5. What is your primary client base?I used to say the lady with the coach bag at fairs was my customer. You can guess a lot of things about that person. Now that's still pretty true although local demographics have changed.
6. Describe your work environment. Do you work alone or with others? In a studio or at home? Does this arrangement work for you, and if not, what would your ideal work environment look like?Half the house is the studio, I enjoy working alone more & more as I get older. I miss the interaction at Cornell but having half the house is great for doing visits. I may start charging for demos which would be applied to purchases.
7. Do you have a typical workday? How much time do you spend creating and how much on business related activities?I'm a very routine person, I get a lot done early in the morning, then an early lunch then back to work in mid and late afternoon, I even work into the evening when I'm excited about a project. I do work 7 days a week. I can go back and forth to the studio easily so I do that when I am in the process. Somedays I have to do paper work & I don't like that, it feels like I haven't gotten any work done when in fact I have.
8. Which marketing strategies have/have not been successful in advancing your career?On-line interactions are easy for me. It's so fast & so easy. That's the miracle of our tine
9. Can you share any tips on business organization or financial planning that have worked well for you?I married a book keeper who is very thrifty. I have a natural thriftiness which has helped me. Nothing hang hanging over my head.
10. Do you have any advice on how to rebound emotionally from rejection or difficult client situations?It can effect you very hard. Some people are tough about that but I'm not. However, I usually feel better the next day especially as I get excited about a new project.
11. Based on your experience, what suggestions or lessons learned would you give to someone starting out as an artist?Keep overhead low, work hard on what you think is the right thing. The more individualistic your work is the more marketable it is. We shouldn't try to compete with pottery barn. We should do what we love and have fun doing it. Have a routine.
12. How do you determine your pricing?It's always tricky, I don't like dust to collect on my stuff. I think my prices are in a competitive range. My price depends on how much time I put into something and how much I would pay for something.
13. What are your long-term career goals as an artist?Wouldn't it be great to get into the Smithsonian show?
14. Finally: Can you share something inspiring?Everything good in my life has come from clay. It's almost like magic.
Your first nameGary
Your last nameRith
Your email

Lori Buff Clayworker, Future Relics Gallery |