Gary's Third Pottery Blog

When the going gets tough, dragons gonna get going....

Gary's third pottery blog

WRITE TO ME! garyrith@yahoo.com Come see me! Open studio HERE! November 25-26 (11-4 each day); Aurora Art and Design, daily until 12/24; Cooperstown Art Assoc. daily until 12/24; Ellis Hollow Community Fair, 12/10; December 10, Little Red Wagon at the Space at Greenstar. All material on this blog unless stated otherwise is copyright Gary Edward Rith 2016

Friday, August 16, 2013

a long and windy post about CATs, CUSTOMers and 'QUE



You get your money's worth with me and this blog, right?
FIRSTly, Trevor across the street gives us a stack of gorgeous yellow squash he grew, Bronwyn gives us these gorgeous purple onions SHE grew and ditto Terri Ann, and the poblano peppers from HER garden.  People think vegetarians are humorless people who eat sawdust in the winter and raw veggies in the summer NOT TRUE!  We get to burn sh!t on the grill just like any other grilling fool....
I chopped them lovely veggies and marinated them all day in a mix of a little soy sauce, lime juice, olive oil and hot sauce with more spice...then made a pot of rice and beans with MORE hot sauce and spinach and carrots and onion....
TRY TO TOP THAT utter tastiness meat eaters! Sooooo yummy....

In other news, Tiffy has written a number of times that Baby Alex (no longer a baby, and now he has a wee baby brother!!!!) who has one of my cow jumping over the moon pieces needs to complete the whole fairy tale:  the cat and fiddle, laughing dog, dish, spoon....and I was like "NAH, I don't sculpt cats very well, sorry!" but she kept asking and asking.
Last week I got to thinking "what if I sculpted a cat like I draw them????" The result was extraordinary success which you will see below...

BUT yesterday I had a request for a very specific special order.  How do I respond to special orders?  I always try to listen, and consider, BUT I have a hard time with them, even for Tiffy and baby Alex.
This is what I replied to that person yesterday, and the wife tells me I should have written a polite sentence rather than a whole long and boring reply that says too much, (and I have not had a reply!) but here it is:


It is nice to hear from you, thanks, and I am glad you like my work.
I am afraid that an order like this is, from my perspective, fraught with peril.  I remember reading in the 1990s that a potter should NEVER take custom orders, and 16 years later I understand why.  The customer often has very specific needs and goals, and I make something and it is not quite right, then I make another, all of which has taken a lot of time and becomes frustrating.  I also usually make what my heart is most interested in making then put it out there for people to see...like a peach tree.  You can't tell a peach tree "I want this, I need that".  The peach tree makes the best peach it can and moves on.
I also work smaller than you require, and to work bigger would mean an enormous jump in price.  Lastly, the glazes on those bottles are no longer in use in my studio--I found them tricky and  have not mixed them this year.
I am not sure where you live, but if there is a potter near you, it may be wiser to talk to them in person and describe what is on your mind.
Thanks so much, please tell me what you think! Gary

Anyway, thanks for reading so far.  Look down to see Tiffy's pieces (which she asked for repeatedly for MONTHS before I figured it out) and the cat I gave to US and that very cat who inspired it all....

12 comments:

Momma Fargo said...

Great post, Gary! You made me smile today. The world is that much better with you in it. I still love my elephant t pot btw.

Tiffany said...

You're in trouble now....everyone will want these sculptures! :)

smartcat said...

Oh Spike...stardom is in your future!

What do you mean you don't/can't do cats? It all looks pretty cat-like to me. BTW I have one of you kitty magnets sitting beside me on the table!

When I looked at you grill I thought for a few seconds you were grilling mussels.....which made me look again!

Enjoy the week end.

bartster said...

As a novice, I have it easy when someone asks for something special. "I don't know how to do that yet." I like how the cat sculpture turned out!

Michèle Hastings said...

The cat came out beautifully! Will you add sculpted cats to your regular line now?

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

Yep, that kitty cat is so wonderful you're going to HAVE to make more. You made him have grace and movement, which I have yet to do with my sculptures effectively...so I know a good kitty when I see one.

smalltownme said...

Holy CATS, Gary!!! You can SO sculpt cats!

Hilary said...

I love your Hey Diddle Diddle series.. they turned out well. And I think your response to the potential customer was fine. I'd rather hear that the artist at least thought about accommodating my request and that he or she bothered to explain why not. Ya done good! (But Frank would have told me.. and has on many an occasion, that I give a windy response.)

Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

I love the peach tree analogy.

You're going to have to admit that you can sculpt cats now. We've all seen it and now the your crazy cat lady friends will all want one. :)

Have a great weekend!

Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

PS. the beans and rice look ridiculously good.

JB said...

I love the peach tree story but had interesting mental images of it moving on! A bit like the dish! I think you did a top job of the cat and it is such a popular story I think there may be more of these in the future.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Nice work! And your explanation using a peach tree was genius. I never thought of artists that way, but it makes perfect sense.

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I am a full-time studio potter, sculptor, and dog walker, married to superhawt Missus Tastycake.