Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July 2012

July 16, 2012

Our July 2012 meeting was held at Rob’s house.

The Network continues to display at various Libraries around Northeast Florida. So look for these displays at the following libraries this year:

August - St. Augustine
October - Mandarin
Additionally, we are hoping to add more Libraries as the year progresses.

Clay Network will once again be participating in the Empty Bowls Program, scheduled for November 13, 2012. Mary M, has volunteered to coordinate this event. We will post more information shortly. In the mean time, start thinking of what you may want to donate to this worthy cause!

Membership Tips, Tools, Techniques and Tidbits:

Margaret brought Nylon Threads, cut in approximately 1 inch pieces, for anyone who was interested to take home. The use of thread makes clay stronger, allowing clay to stand up. To use, separate the threads, lay them out on a piece of clay and wedge them into the clay. You will need to cut the clay with sharp scissors once the nylon pieces are imbedded. Other such items to increase clay strength are paper and fiber glass. Paper is easier to wedge into the clay and fiberglass is harder and has other obvious draw backs.

Doug shared information on a product called “Fix-It” which he bought from Axner in Oviedo, Florida. He believes it works better than other products he has found such as Patch Attach. “Fix-It” joins greenware, bisque and glazed pieces. This product does not shrink like Patch Attach does which provides obvious advantages. To use, dampen both pieces, add a small amount of “Fix-It” and be sure to wipe off the extra. Cones 6 and 10 versions are available. This product is only available at Axner at their showroom or on-line store. The product is $7.95 for one pint. The one problem Doug has encountered with this product is that the product does appear to come through the glaze and leaves a rough texture; he suggests putting slip over the patch to avoid this.

Program: Rob presented the program entitled “Exhibiting Pottery”.

Proper display of pottery at a show will ensure that your skill and talent is reflected to its best possible advantage and attracts viewers and buyers. Rob points out that the type of show (i.e., Art show; street show; gallery, museum, etc) will dictate your available space and the style of display, however, there are several major points to consider when setting up your space in any venue.

1. Eye Level - It is best to set up your pieces at eye level. However, this is rarely achievable. When this is not possible, try to put your best pieces at eye level. Vina states this is especially important with the pieces you want to be judged. This piece(s) needs to be the show case of your display.
2. Obtain Interest - To ensure maximum visits to your booth, you need to grab judges and attendees interest with your booth from a distance. Pete Pinnel states that you need to start to CAPTURE INTEREST in your booth from as far as 25 feet. You then need to HOLD interest at 10 feet and OFFER A PEARL at 2 feet. Keep this in mind when designing and building your booth and displays.
3. Pay attention to line -The brain scans a horizontal line quickly, when a line is essentially flat, this signals disinterest and the eyes are ready to move elsewhere. However, when the horizon/line fluctuates at different heights or levels, the brain becomes challenged and engaged, engaging the viewer to seek out more information. Therefore you need to vary the height of your pieces as well as your overall display.
HORIZONTAL DISPLAY: Use a staggered horizontal line with pieces held at different angles.
VERTICAL DISPLAY: Use a staggered line, not having items stacked on top of each other
DISPLAY HEIGHTS: For practical purposes, taller items should be in the back and smaller in the front; however, this could prove boring and “flat”. Therefore, you need to vary the height of your pieces which may or may not be done with lifts/risers.
USE LIFTS/RISERS FOR YOUR PIECES: These can be in several forms, such as bricks; painted or cloth draped boxes; stair shaped boxes; glued Styrofoam boxes; painted concrete blocks; covered packing containers; kiln furniture; wall hangers/hooks; ceiling hangers; professional display/plate stands; home d├ęcor display/plate stands; etc. However, beware the “pretty” display stand, as you may end up having to give/sell the stand in order to sell your piece. Pedestals, both on the table
and on the floor can be used. Consider placing the floor pedestal in a bed
of rocks. In any event, make your pieces look “exclusive”.

When designing your “lift” boxes, consider making them nest within each other for easy transporting and/or making them functional to use for transporting your pieces.

4. Utilize space effectively- Avoid an overcrowded appearance by balancing your pieces and planning for negative spaces. This negative space will allow for the viewer’s eyes to come to a gentle stop and provide a focal point by creating open spaces on the table. Make good use of the display space you have and organize your display both vertically and horizontally.
5. Create patterns in your arrangement - The brain is primed to seek out patterns. While you need to avoid overcrowding, you may place pieces close together if you place the pottery in sets and arrange each set as a grouping on the table, leaving negative spaces between the sets. The arrangement can be by function, glaze color, size, etc. When arranged together, each set reads as one positive space. By leaving open negative spaces around each grouping, the display becomes attractive, interesting, and vibrant. Patterns or sets should be of opposite number or of an asymmetrical shape, as the eye looses interest with symmetry.
6. Carefully consider the background color- Color can make or break your display. If display is limited, it is best to limit the background color. Preferably use one neutral color which complements and highlights your pieces. Background colors generally come from your table covering and lift coverings as well as your shelves and tent. Keep this in mind when planning.
7. Keep the pottery as the center of attention- Accents; to use or not use? In general, embellishments will distract from the power of your pottery. You want the customer or the judge to remember your pottery, not the display. However, some people can use some accents, without detracting from their works. Such accents may include flowers, plants, rocks, fired clay, glass beads, utensils, wine bottles,
etc. Use minimally and sparingly and only if it brings the eye to your pottery. Different colored pieces of material may also be used as an accent to separate unlike pieces, most likely not detracting from your pottery if the color of the material is coordinated.


Dedicated Show Booths: Plan your display booth on a 10x 10 space. There should be a combination of shelves, pedestals and possibly tables with risers and/or shelves. Your overall booth space should be harmonious with all the display units and your pottery pieces. If your shelves are different levels and shapes, you may be able to just use shelves. If you want your customers to touch and handle your pieces, you need to display your pieces in a manner which will encourage this.

Doug suggested anchoring the corners of your booth with large pieces or display units and bring the center displays down lower.

Some resources for booth displays include:
1. Wooden shelves are popular as ceramic pieces go well with wood. Instead of buying ready-made shelving units, build the shelves yourself to fit both the size of the space and the sizes of the pieces you intend to display. Be creative in the way you build the shelves. Create varying size compartments to specifically fit your pieces while staggering both the horizontal and vertical lines at the same time.
2. A-Frame shelves-from lattice shutters were described.
3. Ready made display cases
4. Tables with risers/shelves
5. Blocks and Boards
6. Ladder-Shaped Shelves – Buy or Build the ladders out of wood. Instead of the rungs of the ladder, use wooden boards as shelves to exhibit your pottery pieces on. Make sure the wooden boards are secured to the braces of the ladder, so your pottery pieces are safe.