A sharing of ideas, techniques, successes and failures in the volatile world of pottery and family life.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Just one more push....

I've been going a little crazy (or should I say "crazier") trying to build my inventory back up for my last 2 shows.  I've learned a valuable lesson this season.  Well, several lessons.  But most importantly:  You can never have too much inventory!  The show I mentioned in a previous post was very successful and depleted my banks and birdhouses more than I expected.  I had been a little worried about the next show which turned into a poopy day so my inventory levels, unfortunately, weren't changed that much.  With 2 more pretty big shows left in the season I want to have my levels back up so I have a good variety.

Birdhouses & banks in various stages of production.

I know!  I've had all summer to work on inventory!  What the heck?  My show seasons typically run from March to June then October to December.  So in between is production time.  (I haven't been doing summer shows after the one bad experience I had that involved a 3 day festival, a summer storm, a tent that wants to be a kite when it grows up and lots of breakable pottery.  But that's another post.)  Any hoo, I'm very limited to how much inventory I can store right now.  I have a small one-man studio and a small area in the garage to store finished inventory, tables, displays, etc.  My garage runneth over!

I received several orders at earlier shows that are needed for Christmas and Hanukkah so there's just a little more pressure to get things done asap.  With the super long process from start to finish (approx 4-6 weeks) I've been trying to speed it up the last  few weeks by turning the heat up in the studio.  If you rush drying the clay it will crack so I had to watch very closely to make sure the pots dried slow enough and evenly.  Then I preheated them in the kiln for a few hours to make sure all of the water was evaporated before ramping it up to ^09 (1693 degrees F).  Luckily, my first rushed bisque firing was perfect.  Whew!

A whole bisque load with no cracks!  Woo Hoo!

Now, all that's left to do is glaze like crazy and get them fired sometime tonight so they'll be ready Friday to load up for Saturday's show.

The first layer of the glaze load.
More banks, etc.
Oh, and the second most important lesson learned:  DON'T FORGET TO BRING YOUR CART TO THE SHOW!  Doh!


  1. What... do I see a piggy bird house in there? Ooooooh!
    Now add an elephant for me, would you please? Love these bird houses to bits!

  2. Thanks so much! The pig is for an order but I can make you another one. I've only made an elephant once before and wasn't very happy with how he came out but, I believe, Rev. Wells bought it for his daughter. I'll have another go, just for you!