Archive for the Bungalow Potter Category
THE BUNGALOW POTTER ANNUAL HOLIDAY SALE
It’s my favorite time of year again! Visit the Bungalow Pottery Studio for the kick off of my Annual sale, receive 20% off prices online* and on-site. See one-of-a-kind pieces (not online) and potter’s specials prized to move.
While you visit, feel free to check out the basement studio, and see where Bungalow Potter pieces born and go through their complete handcrafted process.
STAY FOR WINE + TREATS
There”ll be wine and treats throughout the day as well, so stay and mingle a little while you shop.
FIRST DIBS THURSDAY NIGHT FOR MEMBERS ONLY.
Are you a Potter’s Circle member? Come preview 7-8pm Thursday, December 8th. Subscribers to my newsletter always get first dibs, special add-on gifts, exclusive previews and discount codes throughout the year.
This year, you can get first dibs on some incredible gifts by subscribing to the newsletter. Go online and do it now. Names must appear on the list by Thursday noon. To subscribe go to BungalowPotter.com and click halfway down on the picture and enter to sign up for the newsletter.
* Please note only items listed in-stock are available for pickup. 20% also applies to custom order pieces, but cannot be made before Christmas. No guaranteed delivery for Christmas. Discount does not apply to shipping, appliances or third-party products).
Bungalow Potter is going to be a featured vendor at the 13th Annual Tomato Art Festival this August, 2016. Come by and see my select dinnerware lines, tile, customer orders, and takeaway pieces. Also, I’ll have select tomato-themed pieces, only available at the festival (can only buy in person, not online!). For more info, please check tomatoartfest.com. I will share and post the location of my tent as well as future coupons that can be redeemed in person.
The Tomato Art Fest will return this year on Friday August 12th and Saturday August 13, 2015 for it’s 13th year!
Located in Historic East Nashville’s Five Points, which has been coined by Budget Travel Magazine as “Nashville’s version of New York’s East Village,” this FREE, costume-friendly event provides a fun-filled day.
Last year, an estimated 60,000 came to celebrate this beloved fruit/vegetable and enjoy the day’s festivities.
Noted also in the Oxford American, and Southern Living, the Tomato Art Fest was voted “Best Festival” in the 2007, 2008, and 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, 2014, 2015 by the Nashville Scene Reader’s Polls.
I remember the first kiln I bought.
It propelled me into an exciting passion (read ::addiction::) and side adventure that would soon consume more and more of my time and give me more and more success and satisfaction.
It was spring in 2013, and I emailed this girl who was posting online locally, asking if anyone had pottery wheels they’d consider selling or getting rid of. This is how I met my clay buddy, Sarah. I emailed her, just in case she came across extras. We talked, and soon we both wound up driving to a house on the other side of town. We wound up at a garage with some seriously old equipment, and someone’s homemade wheel. I spotted the kiln, an older Paragon kiln, which was in rough shape, looked old, and I assured them that it may cost a lot more to repair it than to purchase. To my excitement, they offered me a modest price and my new clay buddy and I were on our way, with a new kiln and wheel.
Our adventures occurred again, this time taking to Bowling Green and to Campbellsville, Kentucky. First, in Bowling Green, we stopped by a middle-aged woman’s house, who was moving soon. Not only did she have a kiln for sale, but offered me canning jars, extra witness cones, a fondue pot to melt sculpting mold material, and several other goodies. I shared some of the spoils with Sarah, and lauded in our treasures from the day.
Then it was off to Campbellsville, where we picked up three Shimpo brand pottery wheels from a Tim Horton’s camp for kids. They had an incredible kiln I was hoping they’d sell, but they kept it for the kids to paint bisqued tiles. We packed the car up.
Then it was time to head home. We even stopped at a little junk-tique store on the way back. I saw some cool typography on a sign, but that was about it.
Oh, and we may or may not have ran out of gas on the way home. May or may not. (unbeknownst to me, you can actually go another 20 miles even after the “Fuel Low” light comes on and the digital speedometer says “0” miles until empty hits.
Fast forward, I’ve used these two kilns and that homemade wheel from that garage ever since. I’ve added a few bins for packaging materials and other needed goods and supplies have started to build up.
Then, I decided to pull the trigger. I had a good last year, an incredible first artshow and display, and several custom orders were coming in. I wanted to up my game, get production more cost effective, and larger volume all-around. So, I decided to purchase a new kiln.
A visit to Mid South Ceramics (my local distributor) and committing of few of my firstborns later, I purchased a new Skutt 1027. It’s getting ready as we speak for its maiden “voyage” (first firing), and I couldn’t be happier.
What a great feeling it is when you dig down deep and pull from your pockets what it takes to fuel a passion, invest in yourself, your business, and increase your opportunities to do more.
This is why I throw clay, because throwing people is frowned upon.
“If we have too many of a certain type of vendor, that increased market competition puts each of those merchants at a disadvantage and it may leave customers dissatisfied with the overall market diversity.”
Not what you said to me personally last year! You only wanted one. This year there’s more potters / ceramicists, and honestly you just have no clue how to run a show. And diversity? Biggest joke ever PF.
“the selections come down to quality and originality of the work, presentation of the product, what we believe will be most attractive to the demographic we cater to”
It must be all the same style. Stuff frumpy hipster girls like. Unless you wear sharp geometric jewelry, drink out of mason jars, and subsribe to Kinfolk, and love teal chevron, you didn’t get in.
ONE OF THESE
Is a professional potters chair, the other one is not.
I first saw this on GoodElephant.com, where I love to read about Mea Rhee–a potter who has been an incredible inspiration to me. Her students got her this, apparently its the Lexus of potter’s stools.
I recently did an order and decided that instead of investing in new materials, I wanted to invest into equipment. The slab roller, the extruder, and some other high-end goodies are going to have to wait. I’ve been saving for a kiln, but this guy was a good next purchase for sure. It takes pressure off your hips and displaces it accordingly. Plus, there’s levers to adjust it up-down, and tilt. Everyone loves levers.
I finally decided to go pro and get this. Why? Because I decided I’m a professional potter. Do I feel like one? Not always. But do I train and do all the things a professional potter does? Yessir.
Somewhere along the way, I began to train like a potter. Work like a potter. Make products like a potter. Start a business like a potter. Learn like a potter.
So, I’m going to say I’m a professional potter–or, at least sit in a professional potters chair until I become one.
It always seems that around this time of year–that awkward spanse after Halloween where folks loathe to consider the approaching of Christmas until after Thanksgiving–is when the buzz starts occurring about “shopping local.”
I have a lot of thoughts about shopping local–from a blog post on my personal site to share with my councilwoman of District 7 to oppose a building of a Dollar General–to even investing the brand design of a local marketing company, called MyTown™.
But while I have opinions for my local economy and as a brand strategist, this post is about shopping local with me–that’s quite a new scenario. I just wanted to open the kimono about shopping local, and create an invitation to consider shopping with me.
When it comes to making wares (that’s what they’re called), it takes 2-3 weeks to process an order, and sometime 4-5 if I have an unforeseen circumstance, broken pot or “adventure” (as I have discovered I need to call it). So, with that said, if you wanted to buy something for Christmas, doing the math pretty much means…yeah. You probably would have to order by Thanksgiving, so there’s that. Hmmph.
But here’s some less “shop local” or “why your local business needs you,” and more of a personal invitation to why I love sharing pottery and believe they’d make great gifts this season.
- They’re personal. Pottery is such a personal medium. No two are alike, and while they can be, each on is made uniquely. Potter offers a connection that is personal and long-lasting.
- They’re practical. Pottery is such an incredibly practical thing. Industrialization has robbed us from the necessity to consider the importance that wares play in our everyday lives. Its my goal to restore pottery as a practical part of everyday living for my customers. I think that’s why I’ve shied away from making decorative pieces, they’re not for me.
- They’re timeless. Wares are one of those special, commemorative things that I love making for folks. Celebrating and taking time to share special moments goes hand-in-hand with pottery.
- They’re awesome. Pottery is one of those magical things that starts out one things and completely transforms. Wood, metal, and glass don’t hold a candle to what pottery can be. And it can’t go back either. And have you seen my store? I can’t believe how awesome pottery is sometimes. That’s why I love it so.
Quite frankly, I’d love the opportunity to provide a Christmas present to your loved ones this year. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to if we don’t get the orders in on time. December
As you’re putting together your Christmas lists, consider shopping with me. I’d love the opportunity to make something for you that is personal, practical, timeless, and just downright awesome.
This month has been some great strides for Bungalow Potter.
I’ve done my first flea market, first auctioned / commission, and last night, was a live art-pop up for a chamber event.
I’ve got facebook likes from people I haven’t personally met. I have internet orders starting to come in. And overall, I find that people 1.) love my work 2.) want it in their homes and 3.) want my to succeed and be part of it.
Today, my Facebook Page just hit 300 likes, and I’m thrilled. I have to pace myself, and I’m nowhere near quitting my day job or going to get a retail space or a studio. I can’t miss where I’m at now, and its a special, blooming place with lots happening, and lots of work that get it there. I work hard, not gonna lie. But its nice when the emotions catch up to the work you’re doing––and you feel satisfied.
I’m off to throw some canisters and more baking dishes from orders, go figure.
Thank you all. Looking forward to next month and onward.
This Saturday marked a historic, memorable day in my journey.
It was my first fair.
Bungalow Potter participated in its first event having a booth at the Handmade Harvest Vintage Farm Fair this year. With a modest $60 entry fee, this event was located just past Gallatin, in the quaint little town of Bethpage, TN. I found out about the event via facebook, and had a friend that lived nearby.
The week of was a wild ride. Monday was the last day to throw, with my friend Amanda making one-pound balls of clay to help the process out. My idea? Throw, like, 30 mugs?–yeah, I made 7. They did not come out as fast as I had anticipated, but had an incredibly large load to fire. With the new addition of place settings, platters, and test tiles, I had to add a ring and use the bisque kiln lid to accommodate the load. I started late tuesday, and was done by the morning time on Wednesday. Wednesday night my roommate helped clean the kiln dust off, wax the bottoms, and we glazed all night. He cut out around 12, and I went until 3. The kiln started at 4am, and at 7, while I slept, he closed the lid. I went into work at 10, just having turned up the kiln to HIGH. 10pm that evening, the pots were still too hot. They had to wait until Friday morning to get wrapped up, along with the other pieces. This drove me a little crazy. I wasn’t cutting it close, but they couldn’t have cooled fast enough for me. I slapped two fans on the kiln and propped the lid. These babies needed to get cool, ASAP.
Thursday night was a dry run in the back yard. I had run to Hobby Lobby for some orange flowers, Jo-Ann’s for some burlap, and Panda Express, well, for some orange chicken. Nothing would stop me now. Except, perhaps the showing of Casablanca at the Nashville Symphony. Yeah, that was at 7pm–and I still hand’t packed up yet. the dry run was still outside, stuff all over. It was a necessary feat to figure out layout, despite having done some recon at TACA a few weeks before. I had found a few tents / displays that I liked, but conceptually none that were “me”-which was ok, I’d have no problem with slapping on the stæven magic to it.
Friday was here, the car not packed yet, and I had to go to work. As usual, I drove the scooter. Downtown and back, cutting out early around noon. My friend Amanda came over, and quickly we packed the tables up, wrapped pottery in the unprinted newsprint ($3 for an end roll from the Tennessean, mind you)–and gathered all the stuff together. The preview was from 2-5, and I was not going to make it any time soon for the 1 hour setup before 2, and my own personal deadline.
Things were packed. A quick stop to the bank, and then to BusyBee Printing in Hendersonville for my signage, I was ready to go. Off to Bethpage, TN.
I finally could relax a little. Then I got a work call. The work call made the trip fly by, talking about branding, media buys, endorsement structure, and blah blah blah–and almost missed my turn. I was finally there, ready to turn in to my spot.
I tracked down the contact-in-charge, and at 4:45pm, was ready to setup. A quick call to my friend who lived nearby (for fun and help) and the timer was set. Total setup was almost 2hours. Between jujishing the pieces and styling them, it quickly became 7pm, and they were ready to lock the gate on us. Luckily, we had some music playing so they knew we were still there. Off Rachel and I went to the Greyfeather Grill in Gallatin for some dinner, wonderful conversation, and some late night strolls around Gallatin Square.
Morning came earlier than usual. I forget to eat breakfast, and forgot my lunchbox (filled with frozen coke cans) for the day. I called my helper, Amanda, and we chatted the majority of the way. Initially about “the shpeal”–the initial connection words we’d make with folks, offering them a brief understanding of the tent, “one-of-a-kinda pieces on your left and right, and our custom pieces in the back–pick your piece, your size, and then your favorite glaze–10% off bakeware, and 20% off 4 pieces or more.”
I’d not had time to put out the pricetags, which I had printed out that morning. I found the key to the cashbox, thrown the email lists inside, and everything needing a bit of fussing. 9am was here.
The first patron came in. I think I pounced on them. “Hello, welcome to Bungalow Potter… ::shpeal, shpeal, shpeal::, ::deep breathe::, ::more shpeal, shpeal, shpeal::
While I didn’t scare them off, necessarily, I definitely was discovering I needed to connect quickly, then share the message, adding “come on in,” and “rest your feet on our rubber mat, (lol)”–that one got attention. Most folks kept picking up the decorative twigs and sticks.
As the day went on traffic increased, our verbage truncated, and more quickly did I discover that you can’t sell ice to eskimos. There were the folks who wouldn’t come in, but man, did they sign up for email, essentially saying, “yes, I’m interested, but you’ll have to woo me.”
Then there were the enthusiasts. “Your work is so beautiful!” and “This is some of the best work I’ve seen,” which would launch into a long story about how they lived in Florida and had the best shows down there…::deep breaths::, ::shpeal shpeal shpeal:: ::come up for air::, –oh look a new customer–”please look around, I’ll be right back!”
Shwew. Just kidding, but not really.
Then there were the folks that saw the most value in what I did. They asked questions, wanted to customize pieces, and picked out glazes that they liked, and made purchases. hurray! My first purchase! Two cannisters (one medium, one large), a plate, and baker. I perhaps didn’t think about the 20% discount through very well. I hadn’t thought through the Square experience, and the app was getting its first use. Keeping things in sync with online was burdensome, and I hadn’t explored it enough. Luckily, the patron was patient and we went over it twice to assure it was correct–for her sake and mine. Tootle-loo! “Thanks for your business, I look forward to making your custom Bungaloware™ for your home!”
I forgot to add shipping. I hadn’t thought through the 20% discount and done the math. The $243 order was now $179. And soon my first order was feeling bittersweet. Moving on…
The rest of the day was oohs and ahhs, but no sales. Between the BBQ truck and the exhaust from the generators, we were getting high off fumes, and needed a break. So, off I went for a stroll. Met some great new friends, and saw some upcycled junk, kitschy handmade things for the country-chic connoisseur, and made my way back.
I had a few requests for lessons, and two couples inquire about getting some custom pieces done–and not just smoke in my hat, but seriously asking. I had their emails. With two potential orders for $300 each, it looked like we were going to make the sales, but just not today. They asked for me to follow up if I didn’t hear, so at this point, it was anyone’s game.
The day was wrapping up, and boy was I tired. Not just from the night before, but the whole week. It felt like a new recipe–ever get one of those? Its a tasty dish, you want to make it, but you get the recipe for the first time and its oh, so difficult. Then you make it, and you’re thinking, “seriously? that’s all it was? I stressed out way to much.” Well, I was somewhere in between that. It was a lot of work of getting things ready for the first time, but from the feedback I got, everyone felt like I was a pro.
The biggest component for me, is the extension of the concept–what’s the experience I want to create? Being a craftsman-inspired potter, Its hard to translate the bungalow into a tent. But, I could bring some rustic elements, let the products speak, and style them in a way that provided visual interest, affirmation of the brand and create an overall branded experience. I think I nailed that part.
Tear down was underway, and it seemed stuff didn’t fit exactly the way I wanted back in. So, a tote in the roomate’s car, one in Amanda’s, and we were fine.
Doing the math, I broke even. If the two orders come in, as promised, I’ll have made out ok, but $300 in sales isn’t worth returning. In evaluating a craft show, I think that the traffic, juried entry, location, and other vendors involved are important. Also, the size and location of your booth. Lastly, the overall reputation of the show too. I discovered that a.) Older women b.) artsy couples and c.) financially well-to-do folks who aren’t concerned with prices (ever) are the ones who best like my work. Art enthusiasts are nice, but they have to WANT your piece, and aren’t worried about having too many pieces.
While I didn’t make a killing, it was a positive first experience. I learned what I needed to do to successfully do a show, and even was inspired to possibly get a trailer someday–or even a vintage 14ft tow-behind camper, to make a weekend out of it. I would love to take the kitties (on harnesses of course). Perhaps go to out-of-town shows.
Who knows what this show will lead to. I’m hopeful.
This weekend, my parents came down to visit. And what better thing to do with your dad, than install a 220 line, by splitting the oven-range line into its own box!
After a trip to Home Depot (and then Lowe’s for the wire with HD didn’t have), we measures thrice, shut off power, split the line, installed a box, stripped lots of heavy wires, and ran and installed a new 220 box. Apparently there’s lots of shapes your 220 plug can be. Outs, its the a straight top, and two angled bottom plugs. Mines, the highest amperage plug, 40 amps. Our line is rated up to 60 amps, so no running the oven while I’m firing!
Apparently, it depends on your amperage. Most kilns say “Don’t change your plug,” but as long as it can handle the amperage, and your box is suited accordingly, change those plugs away! Overprotect, don’t underamp.
My kilns are a Cress, and a Paragon. Don’t get too excited though–mine are older than me probably, and got each one for $100. So far, we’ve invested $200 into kilns and $150 into wiring, making my current up-start total equalling $250.
Check out the space! I’m hoping to add a wedging table on top of the cement divider, as well as some actual furniture (non-kiln) to make the space by the fireplace a man-cave–dividing the basement into both a studio space AND a man-cave, but that’s another project. You can clearly see the separate areas.
I’m looking for:
- a woodstove
- carpet tiles
- and an old washtub-style sink.
That’s most of it for now. Check it out!