April 16, 2010

Finally! Serene.............................Sophisticated......................WHY AM I NOT HAPPY???

So...This is what my Etsy Shop looks like.
Finally enjoying the glazes...
Happy with the forms...
Not a lot of excess CRAP...
And now...
I feel like maybe it bores the bejeezers out of people...
It makes me happy...
But it IS rather mellow...
I was sort of shooting for mellow though...
I' feel like I am actually really happy with my work...
And now...
Lets just say, they aren't KNOCKING DOWN THE DOOR for pottery these days...
And frankly,
Figure it out!
Comments are appreciated.


  1. I can't figure it out either - your stuff is gorgeous!!

  2. so sweet...
    but really...
    something's not right.

  3. Ok, I'm no expert in this area, but maybe if you haven't increased your prices in a while you need to do that to reflect how you feel about your new and "improved" work? I use inverted commas because I'm not suggesting that your work even needed improving, but you seem happier with your new forms and colours.

    Or maybe people need time to adjust.... when the boot leg cut came out years ago I hated it, and it took me a while to really love it and realise that it suited me very well! Now I wish there were more boot leg cut trousers (pants?) around! (I know you will appreciate the fashion example!)

  4. LOVE the analogy...
    I will not raise my prices at this point...but I appreciate this!!!

  5. i don't think it has anything to do with your work. i think its just a sluggish time of year.

    for example none of my classes ran in march and they struggled in jan-feb. but post xmas and pre tax season sucks. for my april class i have a waiting list and it came out of nowhere.

    i've also had the same issue. i feel like my work gets better yet i sell less. remember etsy is fantastic yet an over saturated market. keep doing what you are doing.

  6. i think if you like it it is all that matters, you just have to wait it out for other to see what you see...

    on another note, thanks for sharing your book list. i'm looking into several of those you mentioned, they sound right up my alley, i just finished eat, pray, love and loved it! looking into reading 'devotion' next.

    hmmmm...maybe there's a correlation here after all between what you're reading with the mellow tones of your work??? just an idea...

  7. Gina,
    Thank you. I agree with the time of year....but still... Etsy has become rather saturated and I'm not sure what the "marketing" solution is...

    Joy!!! Thanks....I loved Devotion...and she has a blog...
    I know the mellowness is completely related to my head... but I don't know... I don't think they are mellow like dead... just calm...you know???

  8. I may be naive, but maybe it's because you're selling on Etsy. Over here in the Uk hardly anyone I know has heard of it and it's not huge in the US either. Targeting markets is difficult but a site like etsy is doubly so. The likelihood of someone discovering your work by accident on etsy must be quite remote. There have been times when it has taken me an age to find what I want on it. Although maybe I'm just an idiot!

  9. Judi, I don't think anything is wrong. Your work is beautiful. Although I also sell on Etsy, I realize that buying ceramics online is a tough proposition. I do it myself, but rarely with a potter I don't know (you were an exception). I just never know what I'm getting from a photo. Although a pain, I have been finding face to face a better sales strategy - people just want to know if that mug is going to be comfortable.

    I am still committed to selling online, but am realizing the limitations. If you have a following - like some other potters - it is easier. But for those of us struggling, it's tough.

    And finally, I don't think people are opening the check books much right now. Patience my friend.

  10. Judi,

    I'm new to pottery, majored in computer proramming. So, maybe I can help a bit.

    Your work is serene, and beautiful. I've been looking at it for a while. You definitely have a "style" that suits you and the work is polished and elegant. People will be knocking down your door!

    So my advice would be, even for etsy hits, when you blog - make sure the word pottery is in every title possible. Make a list of words that describe your pottery well and define your style and use two or three you feel describe your pottery best repeatedly in your titles and tags at the end. Do the same with the etsy tags and titles...use all tags available and repeat those two or three words each time. You will target the audience you are looking for, and I know they are out there...because I have a hard time resisting when I see your pieces, and I have a house full already! Keep your etsy link at the top of your blog page. And run analytics for blog and etsy page and see which key words begin to translate into more hits.

    I hope this helps - your work is wonderful!

  11. Anonymous9:24 AM

    hi judi, your shop looks great, you're probably just not used to the changes you've been making. as far as etsy, i can't for the life of me figure it out... only that i probably don't spend enough time in etsy.

  12. Are you selling in any galleries? I think it's Etsy, not your work. I have read so many blog comments about poor Etsy sales and some dropping their sites altogether. If you aren't selling in shops and shows either, then who knows what the problem is. You love your work, it's solid, good work so it's George Bush's fault more than likely :)

  13. I'm going to work backwards.

    You may be right...about W.
    I really haven't approached galleries and I know I should. That is definitely a possible next step. Wholesale or site like artful home is a consideration. The crafty crft fairs just don't feel right...The special ones are a fortune and I'm just in a bit of a conundrum about the whole thing.
    Thank you and we're on the same page.
    That is great info. I definitely will be trying to incorporate some of your knowledge.
    I will keep at it...
    That is interesting and helpful to know. You aren't an idiot becuase when I look for something specific on Etsy, I have the same problem.

    I guess the confusion comes from the way I have been doing business in the past with Etsy and now it feels different. I suppose life is that way...isn't it?

  14. Looks pretty awesome to me!

  15. Hi Judi,
    Your work is amazingly beautiful, I love the gentle curves and flow, and your creativity--very professional, too. I would think galleries would leap at the opportunity to carry your work.
    I too get frustrated with Etsy, sometimes I feel invisible! It is amazing how insecure that can make me feel. But, I do have positive feedback from Open Studios and a few other events. Anyway, be happy!

  16. Hi Judi
    I've been doing lots of research to open my own Esty shop. Here are some links for Esty advice. I hope it helps.


    esty sellers handbook


    how alchemy works

    Esty teams (street teams)

  17. Thanks guys... I just spent HOURS re-tagging and describing my pieces and playing with google to see what works... as far as searches... i feel like I am in a better place...

  18. Anonymous6:15 PM

    Judi...you don't know me...but there is always a right place and a right time...I think your work is beautiful and I will be contacting you via e-mail. :) My husband and I were just looking for functional art. ~Lynda

  19. Hey, there's NOTHING WRONG with your work. It rocks, it isn't like other potter's work and has a unique appeal. It reminds me deeply of the southwestern aesthetic, like Georgia O'Keefe's flowers and such - but not exactly of course (because you're you), but the colors and the way the shadows fall on the pieces remind me of that.

    I think your work truly belongs in a good high end gallery, it's really cheated by merely online pictures because it looks like the sort of work that is begging to be touched! One of the pleasures of a good pottery gallery or a show is touching the pieces and I want to touch yours (I hope that doesn't seem a bit weird).

    And...anyhow I think its perfectly normal to feel unhappy occasionally - it's the thing that keeps you changing and evolving - if you were happy all the time you would never do anything!

  20. Lynda,
    Thanks a ton! I look forward to hearing from you: jtceramics@aol.com
    thank you for all of the nice thoughts...I guess I need to take the plunge and approach some worthwhile galleries... Suggestions? I can think of a few but I'd love to hear what the rest of you think...

  21. Laurie ( http://claytastic.wordpress.com ) responded to this post with a post of her own... I responded to it there but will post it here too:
    Oh boy...
    Well... what to say...
    Honestly, I definitely didn't mean my rant of a post to define success... I enjoy working and evolving... Making glazes which I have blown off ALL DAY now(retagging my Etsy site instead)is definitely my least favorite task...not a fan of the respirator.
    I have a much more "Buddhist" approach internally. I was hoping for some direction in terms of how my work is perceived, more because I am not in a group studio... I spend A LOT of time alone... I feel like I see the growth and wonder if my perception is different than others (like: am I crazy hear or is this evolution actually happening).
    I had a lot of wonderful responses to my work.... I would have(and still would) welcomed criticism: artistic, functional, and business.
    The tips that I received I immediately followed up on(it helped that I was avoiding glaze making...) and i believe it was an improvement to my web presence. I love doing the work...I just feel that one thing I LOVE about making functional art is knowing it will enter someone's life and they will enjoy it when I have moved on to the next piece and for THIS...I want to sell my work...
    Money is great but that is a success in my mission... you might say... just give the stuff away... Frankly sometimes I do....literally and figuratively when you think calculate the amount of time that goes into each piece... If wanted to make money I would have stuck with designing clothing and mass manufactured it in China...That isn't what I'm after here.
    We potters love what we love and (although I regularly try to love it) I don't LOVE making glazes...
    Now I have no more excuses...So here I go!

  22. Judi, your work is gorgeous. Brilliant. wonderful. I think the problem is being too reliant on Etsy. Start sending stuff out to galleries/stores. Aside from how wonderful your work is, it's never been seen outside of Etsy. Start hounding the bloggers - if you can find any who won't want trade for coverage. Put a press kit together. get some press.

    Etsy is over unless you want to re-tag everything "vintage" or "supplies". The few people who do sell on etsy also are media darlings. FWIW, I don't sell s##t on Etsy. Never really have.

    spread your wings. Your work is amazing.

  23. Thanks Lo. I take that to heart.


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