I mentioned this blog post in a podcast interview and was shocked to see the list was made six years ago! Granted, it still holds up and much of the content on those podcasts is evergreen, meaning it's applicable even today. Some of those podcasts have ended and others are still going strong. But what am I listening to these days for entrepreneurial advice? I thought it was time for an updated list!
Packing pottery can be a little scary! I use the double boxing method, though it's not the only way to pack up a fragile item. There are two main things you want to keep in mind when packing:
1. There are about 2 inches of packing between the object and the outside wall of the box
2. nothing moves when you shake it!
If those two things are accomplished you will be good to go. My one mistake (and the only time I had something break with this method) is I decided to pack an ornament with a mug in the same interior box. even with the pieces wrapped it was enough that ornament must have dinked into the handle of the mug. Now each object gets their own box before being packed together! I've shipped hundreds of mugs and double boxing hasn't failed me yet.
Here is where I get my packing supplies and resources for shipping. While amazon is convenient, I've been browsing eBay first to see if I can find what I'm looking for there instead. It's often cheaper with just as fast shipping!
East coast Packaging: https://www.eastcoastpkg.com
*Multi-depth boxes if ECP is not local to you: https://amzn.to/2KDRatj
*Crush Proof Boxes (lots of sizes) http://ebay.us/7bQDLr
*Rollo Printer: https://amzn.to/34TnQG8
*Rose Gold Shipping Scale: https://amzn.to/3mU7C5G
*Water Activated Tape dispenser: https://amzn.to/2KNTKwL
Cornstarch Packing Peanuts (Shipping Depot): http://bit.ly/3mXKseB
The links above with a * are affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no cost to you.
2020 was a wild year. It was emotionally draining, but I also learned so much about myself and how to navigate my recent growth spurt in my business. I detail it all month by month in this video.
It's that time of year!! Every year I try to complete my holiday shopping by supporting exclusively small handmade businesses. Normally I'm vending at markets so it ends up being pretty easy! But this year is obviously very different with no in person markets. So a gift guide will not only help me with my online shopping, but maybe you'll find something great to get for a loved one (or yourself!)
This list can be used beyond the holidays. Random gifts (especially in the colder upcoming months) I find to be even more special when it's unexpected :) Each category is someone I have to shop for, with maybe a few bonus categories! I'll update this blog post as I discover more shops on my holiday shopping journey.
If I include their instagram, that means they typically sell out within a day or two of their shop updates, so you might have to keep an eye out if you want something. I also made sure to make this list is diverse; more than half of the shops listed are owned and operated by people of color.
On to the list!
The great outdoors
A little bit ago I had the pleasure of speaking with Randell, host of The Dope Show on my experiences growing up as a black nerd, and how that influenced my career as an artist!
The Dope Show is a new podcast aimed at chronicling the experiences of BIPOC in the nerd community at large. I'm so fortunate to be a part of this! I can't wait for more from this cast. If you're a BIPOC nerd looking to join the conversation, you can find Randell on twitter or comment below, I'm always looking for fellow blerds <3
This podcast is also available on Spotify, google podcasts, radio public, and pocketcast.
I get this question at least once a week, so I thought it best to write all about it here! I use Duncan Ceramics 22k Gold Luster. It's a teeny tiny 2oz bottle, but it goes a long way. This is applied and fired after the glaze fire, anywhere between cone 020 to 018, depending on what else I got going on for an overglaze fire. The luster takes on the texture of whatever glaze it is applied on; so if applied on a matte glaze, the gold will also be matte.
Some best practices:
I think that about does it! Lusters are a great way to add a truly special touch to any pot or sculpture. I would consider this an intermediate product/technique, since basic understandings of firing a kiln are required, and it's an expensive product that requires a delicate touch. But don't let that intimidate you; who doesn't love shiny things?
If this article was helpful, let me know in the comments. Happy luster-ing!
Lately I've been getting quite a few messages and inquiries about my Etsy shop. Why do I still have it? is the same stock on your site also on Etsy? Should you shop here or there?
Last year I made the big switch and upgraded this site to include e-commerce. This was sparked by recent changes in the way Etsy markets products to buyers, prioritizing products with free shipping in search results. That's all fine and dandy, but free shipping is not something I can reasonably offer without feeling grimy about raising my prices by $15+. Since I was driving all of my own traffic anyways, this turned out to be a cost effective move too!
So now all of my shop updates, current stock, and anything else I make will be primarily listed here. NOT Etsy. My Etsy shop will not carry the same inventory either; that would be a back end nightmare!
Why still have an Etsy? It's a great way to be found by new customers thanks to their massive search engine and growing customer base. However, as a potter who makes mostly bespoke pieces it's a little tricky to take advantage of their SEO. So I decided to keep it for items I have a high quantity of (like prints and stickers) and the occasional ceramic piece to draw in new clients. I'm still experimenting with what to list there to gain new customers, but for now I have no regrets!
I hope that clears up all the Etsy mysteries. If you were used to shopping there and have recently found my site, welcome! If you have any thoughts or questions on the matter I'd love to hear them. I'm always down for some business chatting.
I'm teaching a bullet journal workshop at Craftivate! I've been using this system for about 5 years and it is the only planner/journal thing that has stuck. Believe me when I say I've tried SO MANY planners! What I love most is you can fall off for some time and hop back in and you didn't waste half a notebook/planner because of the dates. There is so much value in taking the time to handwrite your thoughts and plans. Personally, I remember it more, there's satisfaction in crossing things out, and it's one less thing to keep track of through a screen.
The class is January 29th from 6:30pm to 9pm at the Craftivate Studio. The class is $48 and includes instruction, a printed bullet journal guide, and a pencil case full of stationery to get you started on your bullet journal journey!
Do you set goals for the new year? I set goals big and small all throughout the year, but I do love the feeling of goal setting in the new year. It fits so well within a maker business since the new year is right after the busiest season for gift giving! Some goals I have:
Hey I'm on youtube now! It was one of my 2019 goals that I'm finally following through on. I'm posting new videos 1-2 times a week! You can expect chats on business topics, a little about my process, how I business, and studio vlogs. I think this is such a great way to share how these muggos come into being. And if my rambles help out a new maker/artist? even better.
Artist and maker discussing art and making. Peeks into my studio life, professional tips I stumble upon, and discussions about contemporary art and craft.