Upcoming Show: The Handmade Market

by - October 30, 2012

In just 11 days from now, I'll be selling my wares at The Handmade Market in downtown Raleigh. This show is huge - in a really good way. There is a talented and diverse group of vendors, and the charity donation drive is raising money for Urban Ministries of Wake County. If my memory serves me correctly, it was the first event at which I ever sold pottery. I was quite novice, and my pieces would have made excellent paperweights or decorative pieces to place at the front door to whack intruders over the head with (I've been watching too many spy shows).

The kiln is loaded to the brim with one last batch of greenware. While I know coffee mugs are what the buyers want, I just couldn't bring myself to throw more than a few this time around. A month or so ago, I had a pretty major setback during a glaze firing and lost 8 mugs in addition to some really lovely pieces. Amidst the disappointment, the insecurity and pressure to find my niche, it clicked last week that this is supposed to be a fun and creative outlet. It may be a poor business model, but I think making pieces that let me explore and progressively build on a concept rather than trying to produce and replicate something the masses will buy is the road I must choose. Hopefully, the two will intersect and people will be drawn to the fun bottles, vases and serving dishes. The shapes that currently intrigue me are the missiles on the USS North Carolina Battleship and antique milk and soda bottles.

from mrbottles.com
my son walking through the missiles

I remember my pottery teacher saying their are two professional routes to take - that of the production potter and that of the gallery potter. I don't have the history and the skills of a seasoned artist yet, but I don't think that production necessarily has to be mugs, plates and bowls. In fact, my teacher keeps it fun with hinged boxes, totems, and shrines for pet ashes (don't worry mom, I won't keep the cat's ashes when she goes). Taking the hand building course blew the doors wide open for me and inspired me to have fun again.

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