Gary's Third Pottery Blog

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

Gary's third pottery blog

WRITE TO ME! 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

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

zip your lip?

(YES, my kiln is fixed now and working great :)

SO LIKE I SAY, I was at a fair all weekend.  I was so flippin' tired Monday evening I think I fell asleep at 7:15 and slept all the way through....with detours here and there through dreams:  I met the president again.  He was doing local theater in my town and liked to act!  Michelle too...they are both quite awesome...and TALL.  I am small.  They are tall.

So, at fairs, unlike McDonalds, say, or Smallmart, only nice people come up and talk to me, generally. Except for, like I said, the dude who was sleeping on the sidewalk between beers.... although I have to admit, he was friendly.  ANYWAY, you meet nice people at fairs.

BUT.  There are the 3 types of people you would rather talk to less (other than homeless winos sleeping on the sidewalk).  They might be well-intentioned and friendly, but you always wish they would SHUT UP AND GO AWAY.

1)  How many suburban or country ladies of a certain age have sniffed to their friend "hmm, that's DIFFERENT".  I mean, it may not be a huge insult, but it is so laughably small-minded and ignorant.  What are they used to?????  My work isn't THAT WEIRD.  Is it? ;)

2)  The other potters.  Oh sure, some are your friends.  But customers assume 1)  all potters know each other across the universe "oh, you must know Joe, a potter from Kathmandu?" and also 2) that we hang out with each other.  NO.  Do all plumbers hang out together?
And like this past weekend.  There is a potter at this fair every year that... I do not like.  I can't explain why.  Probably because he acts like we are competitors, which we are, in a way, competitors for customers.  But I know this:  our work is not that similar (his is brown, for example) and I have great sales at the event so I don't worry about him...does he worry about me?  But he masked a compliment to me this weekend in the guise of trying to get something from me "Ooooh, you have a wonderful burgundy red glaze!  What is the recipe?"  I just smiled and winked.  "OH! You're not going to tell me?".  There are times in life you just smile and nod, keeping your mouth shut.

3)  Which brings us to the third group of people that irk you when you are at a fair, usually women of a certain age to elderly:  the ones who chat and admire your work then tell you loudly "oh, I am trying to get rid of stuff, but your work is nice!".  Just go ahead and THRUST IN THE KNIFE AND TWIST IT then JAB AGAIN AND AGAIN until I am lying on the ground in agony....
if only people could realize that it would be be better if they said nothing or just "nice work".  The long list of people who feel obligated to tell you they are downsizing makes you wonder if they think their honesty is polite???

BONUS! 4)  The old guy.  There are always these old retirees that hang around telling you about how they used to work for the ____ and like to vacation at ____ and their grandkids ____ and kids ____ and then they moved to ____ and have you even seen ____ work, because THAT WORK IS REALLY GOOD.
You realize that for many people you don't matter, you simply have ears and they want to yak at you.

Now, that is a very negative list, and nothing like, say, the kind of nasty customer who turns up in McDonalds or Smallmart, and really, you have 1 of those for 10 awesome people.

So, who IS my customer?  Anybody and everybody.  I used to say "the woman with the Coach bag!" and that is still true :)  The person who likes to look at art, appreciates handmade, may need to give a gift to somebody, and generally understands what you do.


Anonymous said...

well that had me snickering a lot!!! i completely hear you on the various comments you write here....then there is:

1) How long does it take to make a mug?
2) When do you paint on the shiny part?
and my favorite (admittedly it's while in my showroom/studio....
"Oh that reminds me of Ghost....does Patrick Swayze show up at 3am....yeah, like i'm throwing pots at 3am!!

oh well, you gotta love em, or else you'd throw wet slip at them :)

enjoy your quiet time.

Barbara Rogers said...

Oh come those people even come to our booths? It's a club I think, and they bus from city to city doing this all the time!

Lori Buff said...

I had to laugh, that same group of ladies who are downsizing must just travel from one fair to another all over the East Coast making us feel like our art is just so much clutter. I want to recommend that they go home and clean out their house rather than take a parking space away from someone that really wants to support the arts.

bartster said...

Thought provoking in a winsome way, Gary. I love the image of being a pair of ears for people...With your OK I might try a little drawing about that. I am struck by the effect of words and also by the deep need for many (all) of us to have someone listen to us. Good post!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

RIGHT, the people who ask that GOTCHA "how long does it take to make a mug?" to which I aanswer "I have been at this 31 years, so 31 years plus, say the time to throw and trim and glaze the mug and fukking schlep 500 pounds of clay home and then there is taking orders and walking the dog and getting to THIS FAIR at 6 am to set up and later to talk to YOU: so, average it out to say 30 minutes a mug" :)

Anonymous said...

I find people exhausting, so I hear ya.

Michèle Hastings said...

I hear the "downsizing" thing at least once a week. I always say that they must have room for at least one more mug... or time to get rid of all the manufactured sh&t and replace it with handmade.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

My response to the downsize thing is "perhaps you have a son or daughter or friend with a birthday who would appreciate this!" which sounds polite to me :)

Hilary said...

This is hilarious. Everyone has their peeves and you've expressed yours with humour.

Trish said...

Hi Gary.. like a few others, you did make me the "yes, I know what you are saying" chuckle.. The good, the bad, and the ugly, all in one day..or two...etc.. Happy for you that the sales are good!..cheers. T.

smalltownme said...

You are in my kitchen, and my china cabinet, and 2 bathrooms -- the cat plaque in the Museum of Cat Art display, and "Ernest" STOLE the cat bowl to hold his shaving soap.

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