The new kit that I have been talking about for a month made its debut this past Saturday at the Holiday Show. The yarn samples came in on Friday and it was the first time we (or anyone for that matter) had seen the kits in their complete forms. We had pictures and color samples shared back and forth, but the finished pieces were put together on Friday and it was pretty exciting. The Missoula Cowl Kit turned out to be better than my wildest dreams. Perfect. I’m thankful for the partnership that has developed with Mountain Colors.
This year has been hard for so many, it might be difficult to be thankful or to find that thankful spirit within, but if we peel back just a bit, there is always a silver lining in that seemingly dark cloud. Even in a pandemic, when everything seems doom and gloom…there are potters working on LIME colored glazes.
But before I forget…Happy Thanksgiving! Brenda and I wish you all the warm fuzzy stuff of a family get-together even if you hang out on zoom and facetime.
It’s just Brenda and I for Thanksgiving this year…well not quite…we’re dog sitting. It’s a Covid thing. It looks like a quiet Christmas too, with Katy coming up and spending some time. But the crazy days of a normal holiday season…nope. Just not happening.
Starting Friday we’re participating in the SF Etsy Street Team Virtual Market. You can find out more about that event on the team Facebook page. The rest of our retail event information is sent through our newsletter and you can sign up for that HERE.
Once Upon A Time…thinking back to our growing business in the early 80’s, this time of year was absolutely bonkers. We were lucky to get Turkey Day at all…but once we finished shipping for the year (about the 15th of December), we collapsed. For a few years we were doing the Los Angeles Gift Show and the Beckman Show in LA…in July…with Santas and Reindeer prancing around (remember it was JULY…and HOT in SoCal) and booths all dolled up for Christmas…that started “the Season”…in JULY…seriously?! Then it was pedal to the metal until December 15th. By the time Christmas came around and the real Santa was landing on the roof…I really didn’t care. I just was burned out with anything red, green or white and if there was a bell or a bow…well bah humbug with that too.
This next weekend we will be stepping into the opening salvo of the “new” retail season. All the sales events will be virtual this year. Our video equipment is set up with all the cameras and lights and monitors and mixers and mics and cords running everywhere…wireless? HAHAHA hohoho. The crazy of the early 80’s has been replaced by a new array of crazy…seeing dog hair on my shirts in the monitor…now that drives me crazy. Did you know you can Photoshop dog hair from a photo easy-peezy but not quite so easy from LIVE video? It’s a different kind of crazy this year.
It certainly continues to be different this year.
When we turn the cameras off, perhaps it can be a time of reflection for us all. I’ll try if you do.
What a blast! The VOGUE LIVE virtual show this past weekend was just a lot of fun. Best part? Our tech side of the project worked just fine. We had just a small issue when we set it up but we resolved it by showtime. Something changed from testing the day before and we needed to figure that out, but we’ve learned that showing up early for the start is a requirement…not an option. Yes we learned this the hard way from shows gone by.
The big news this week is our Annual Studio Sale on Saturday the 21st…we start at 2:00 PM Pacific and it will run until about 3:30…depending on vocal chords. It’s a virtual sale of course and we’ll be broadcasting on Facebook LIVE…free to watch and win! We have unloaded four kiln loads of work just for this show…NEW stuff…pictures today are from the first of those kilns...and we may see a new colorway making its appearance in the form of a new kit…yes a kit. It’s a cowl with yarn from Mountain Colors…all inside a mug available in four colorways! Our new color? Well watch on Saturday…
SATURDAY…Annual Studio Holiday Show 2:00 PM Pacific… Facebook LIVE
Do you have a preferred platform for virtual sales? We’ve used both Zoom and Facebook and find that each has advantages and limitations on our end, but what do you think? Our equipment can be set for either platform and we have bandwidth with the addition of fiber to the property a couple months ago, but your opinion would be welcomed.
This week will see us getting the details ready for the show on Saturday. We’ll do a walk through on Friday and then I’ll start to fine tune the tools. On top of that we’re working on our schedule for later in 2021…yes 2021. Sounds crazy but it’s going to happen…2021 will get here sooner than we think but not nearly as fast as we might like. I'm pretty much done with 2020. Right?!
I’m not complaining mind you, but the news about vaccines that may become available soon is complicating the planning for us…will shows look strategically at their dates and the effects of the vaccinations? Will there be enough folks vaccinated? As of a few minutes ago, the reporting is that there is not enough vaccination contracted for to cover the “first tier”…let alone people like me (Tier 2)…or the general population (Tier 4)…so what will the shows do...will they cancel or postpone based on what the data looks like now...or gamble a bit on vaccines and plan for what might be in summer or fall? Ultimately, what will our schedule look like? I don’t know but I’m working on plans to get us where we hope/want to be seen. Let’s cross our fingers that it will all come together.
I’m afraid that 2021 will start, in a best case scenario; as a pretty rough ride for many folks...families...small businesses...
We're planning on wearing masks through 2021...even after vaccinations.
The funky new word "cray" can not fully explain the past couple of weeks...times like this deserve the fully "crazy."
We shot four videos this past week...this week will see five. We're capturing two segments of our series "Intentional Creativity with Ceramics," two segments with Vogue Knitting LIVE and of course..."Shenanigans of a Studio Potter" at it's normal Wednesday, 5 PM Pacific time.
Luckily the studio is set for the Vogue bits...Shenanigans is a casual iPhone pickup...but the IC bit...well that takes some reset of equipment and space...in the mudroom no less.
But the mudroom is crammed with projects at the moment. We're working on a pair of custome colorways for a client so glaze testing is underway. We're also making 50 mugs for a last minute idea for a client so those are taking up space. And of course our Annual Holiday Studio Sale is on the 21st and pieces are being glazes for that.
There is no room in the mudroom for anything else...it's crammed with projects in all sorts of stages. Doing Shenanigans on Wednesday should be wicked. Thankfully the concept is to shoot raw video without a lot of production...cuz that's all that the mudroom can allow this week. Raw...very raw.
So our medical group (Kaiser Permanente) uses video chats for some types of appointments. Throw one of those into the mix this week, Brenda's two Zoom sessions per day and you can get a pretty clear picture (pun intended) of cameras and video around here lately. Thank goodness we have fiber now...are we going back to DSL? No.
This week's news of Pfizer's breakthrough on a COVID vaccine was pretty stunning, even with all the limitations of it's transport and storage. I'm hoping that folks don't get too lazy with the masks and other protocols (washing and distances) and open themselves to exposures too fast...it's not over. It could take a year to get enough people to get the vaccine, either because of manufacturing/distribution or denial ...estimates are that the "general population" might begin to see a vaccine in April or May at the earliest.
Mud is like therapy. Crazy mud is like muddier therapy.
Pieces are going in and out of the bisque kiln daily...getting ready to glaze for our Studio Holiday Sale on the 21st of the month. It's a virtual sale...starts at 2:00 in the afternoon and runs about one and a half hours...fun? Yes! There will be auctions...there will be direct sales...there will be an advance preview of some pieces which can be purchase at the opening of the show (like in...have the numbers in front of you quick like)...when will that preview aired? Newsletter subscribers will know when to watch (to subscribe to to CONTACT and sign up).
But in the mean time we're vending at both the STITCHES Expo Market this coming weekend...our times have not been assigned as of this BLOG...and then again at the VOGUE Live, Virtual show on the 12 and 14th (3 PM Pacific on both Thursday and Saturday). Both shows have a plethora of very cool vendors...some new to us and some old friends.
We're excited to be involved in the virtual sales that have come out of the pandemic. It's been a wild period of learning for us (okay me)...and the learning curve has been like climbing Everest...without oxygen. Where I once held my iphone or used my Diet Coke can to prop it up to do a video...I now have tripods even :-). I think I would still be using the Coke can but found the iphone falling over as the can was emptied. Someday I'll do a video of the virtual set up from behind the camera...well cameras as we will be using as many as 4 for these sales coming up.
Fall...colors are finally coming in. With no storms for at least a week, we should be able to enjoy the color for a while. My favorite tree, coincidentally next to my mudroom door, has not turned yet. But other's which have not been spectacular in the past are stepping up their game. Do trees compete for our love?
Turkey flock is down to 6...something happened about a month ago and we went from 9 to 6...they come around every day. Stellar Jays are active around the property again. Where they went for the summer I don't know...maybe the same place the woodpeckers went...they're back also.
All this flora and fauna activity kind of points to the sequestration that will take place shortly. All the making activity will become indoor activity very shortly. No more open doors...no more wildlife sounds...and dark by 5 PM. Just me and my clay for a few months...