Sunday, November 29, 2009

Metaphorical Hats

Many metaphorical hats are rotated on this potter's non-metaphorical head.

The John Deere-type cap: That's good for the heavy lifting and mixing parts. That's where I bring home the raw materials, mix the glazes from recipes acquired over time, plan the ware, make it from lumps of clay.

How quickly that last sentence was typed. How slowly the process occurs to get me there. "How long does it take you to make that?" "24 years so far, and 40 minutes."

A bandanna: Load the kiln. Bisque fire, unload, apply glaze, reload and glaze-fire the pottery. Time to glaze and load: over the course of a couple of days. Gradual heat up, slow cool down: about one day.

Factory hairnet: Sort good pots from seconds. Mostly they are decent pots, for which I am grateful.

Just a headband to keep my curls off my face: Photograph the pots for the web site. I have a pro photo setup now as I gradually learn the ropes with my digital camera settings, backdrop and lights.

Pith helmet: Edit photos in iPhoto or Photoshop to compensate for inexact lighting, crooked framing of the shot, dust on the backdrop, etc. Very cool. This is for allowing the pots to look as they really do, not for faking perfection. It's a jungle among the photo options.

Thinking cap: Selling a 3-D thing in a 2-D medium is a challenge. I have to compensate with words for the lack of touchability. So I write out descriptions & sizes for the web site visitors.

Old-time accountant's eyeshade: Price the pots- not too low to justify the time and cost of making them, not too high so as to discourage purchasers. Trial and error applies here wherever experience doesn't cover.

Mailman's hat (they really used to wear those): Send the photos to my web builder to upload to the web site, which is still developing.

Everything takes so long. People are asking to see the pottery and the site is not ready. Web-a-Deb and I are working on it. Hope the people will come back when it is ready.

Businesslike chic hat, think Audrey Hepburn, 1950's: Send photos to people requesting pottery. Thankfully, there are some of these people around.

Just a pen behind my ear, like an adman, which isn't really a hat, but an accoutrement nonetheless: Think how to promote the web site.

Creative, colorful kerchief with funky colors: Meanwhile, put pots on, under the categories of pottery, stoneware, ceramics (largely redundant), handmade, and Judaica, in the hope of cultivating a market.

How many hats can I wear? Plenty!

Can I wear 'em all well? Not always. Juggling a little slowly the last few years, and it ain't because of middle age. It's that the constant changing of many hats wears me down. Now it's back to the glazing board and back on the wheel for the next making-cycle Monday. On with the John Deere tractor cap!


  1. Does a hair scrunchie count as a hat? Great blog post :)

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