Life of an Artist
An artist wears many hats. Tasks required in the pottery business and getting the pottery out to the shows are numerous.
Production involves design and engineering processes to actually make the pieces: cut and assemble, trim bottoms, make apply handles, sand and clean ware, load and fire the bisque kiln, glazing and the final production stage, to load and fire the glaze kiln.
Once fired, the kiln is unloaded and there may be additional parts to put on such as mirrors, wicks and beads, magnets and pricing. This is the part that is romanticized about an artist’s life, but I find that a relatively small percentage of my time is actually spent in the studio in design and production mode.
Marketing of the work takes about 50% of my time and energy. It is by far the biggest challenge. The Renaissance Festival Market is a rather efficient venue for marketing. With 7 to 8 weekends of shows in one place the set up and take down is a 4 to 5 day job, but the booth is safe from weather and the crowds are usually good. With 30 years at these shows I have a large audience of return customers who greatly appreciate my work and keep coming back for more. I truly appreciate them as well.
Business tasks, record keeping, banking and credit card arrangements all require a considerable amount time and tenacity. Studio and equipment repairs as well as Renaissance booth maintenance as well, requires a jack of all trades, can do, attitude.