The image left is about a third of the bisqued (fired once at a lower temp) ware from the my last six weeks of making, sorted and ready for glaze. I will be loading two, maybe three glaze kilns soon to fire work for upcoming shows, workshops and for my own store, but some of the pieces I’m glazing right now are commissions. In this last making cycle, I have received requests for two cups as gifts from FL, one yunomi for a gift from TX, a bowl for a gift from NJ, three cups from NYC and a covered jar and two cups also from NYC. I’ve also just had a customer from IN contact me to purchase a vase as a gift for a relative in GA, and two local friends/customers come by to buy gifts for weddings.
I can’t relay how happy it makes me when someone calls or emails me to buy something I’ve made for themselves, let alone to buy for a friend or relative. It is truly flattering they think of my work to purchase and/or give, and wonderful when folks choose to buy from an artist instead of a retail store. I agree with fellow potter Ayumi Horie’s comment in the summer ’08 issue of CM, “Choosing to support individual artists has become a political choice, as is choosing to value their work by paying higher prices.” A $56 handmade cup lasts a lot longer and has intrinsically more value than a $56 meal.
When asked if I do commissions, I tend to widen my eyes, raise my eyebrows, shake my head and say, “Uh, no.” I think commissions have gotten a bad wrap, including by me. The requests (maybe that’s what I should call them instead) I mentioned above are by people who know, like and/or own my work, and who make general or specific preferences based on the forms, colors and surfaces I have. I am happy to do this. The orders have been as simple as wanting a Cornflower blue, medium covered jar to wanting a stamped cup in Honeycomb with that one peacock stamp I use.
So, right now, while I’m glazing, I’m thinking of you.
Thank you for supporting artists,
buying local (your city, state, the U.S.)
and giving handmade.