Tuesday, February 15, 2011

And One Huge Step...

Not known for our timing, remember we wanted to slowly build this to a business, we took a huge step. We bought a pouring table, a couple hundred molds and some clay at an auction. This allowed us to start pouring our own greenware and expand our bottom line. We found that we were getting involved in a business that was having a bit of a slump. Younger people, like ourselves, weren't interested. We found when we went to shows that had ceramic vendors we were continually the youngest there, and the older people were looking to retire.

One of our early 10x15 craft show setups.
This one was in Liberal, Kansas.
  
We currently have a mold inventory of nearly 3000 different molds. These were mostly accumulated when we found ourselves purchasing small shop inventories to build our own. I also began acquiring new molds, the very first was the piggy bank with the second being the same bank in a smaller size. We have gotten to the point if either of us want a new mold we have to be willing to remove a different one. Sometimes the greatest challenge is trying to convince each other of which mold to discard. It's a constant process of culling the worn out and "why did we purchase that one" molds. Space and time seem to be our biggest commodities.

We now offer greenware and bisque by order. Greenware is a piece that has been molded and air dried to make it semi solid. Bisque is a piece of green ware that has been fired to the heat of an 04 cone. Starting every March the 4-H kids start coming in to place their orders. They then take the greenware home and clean it and bring it back to be fired. The trick is trying to have enough variety that the same pieces are not being completed for the same county fair. For those who aren't placing the items for show in a competition we offer ready to paint bisque. Keep an eye on our Etsy store, we hope to open a section for bisque soon.

A new mold purchased Fall 2010 - Holy Family
It is shown in bisque and ready to paint.

Holy Family - finished in stains.
Look for it in my shop for the holidays.

30 comments:

  1. your booth looks great! wish you the best with your business :)

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  2. Fantastic display and I love the Holy Family, just beautiful.

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  3. I love them....what a great piece of work, good luck with your business!

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  4. That is an amazing booth, and I can only imagine the amount of work it takes to transport and set up, then break down everything! Looks like you are a pro!

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  5. It is fun growing a business, isn't it? I love your work. Best of luck in the future!

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  6. I had to chuckle at the fact that you make yourselves remove a mold before you purchase a new one!

    How long does it take you to set up for a craft show?! That looks like a lot of work but it looks great!

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  7. Really interesting post. Congrats in your work, hope it will grow.

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  8. I love love the way you set your booth! It's very neat. Also I love the blue holy family, it's stunning!

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  9. Great booth! I need to get into more shows.

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  10. what a stunning booth! i'm sure you will attract many buyers.

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  11. thats so exciting! great booth. i love ceramics

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  12. Wishing you the very best in your venture. It's interesting how we accumulate things for our passion. Great booth.

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  13. I work fairs and festivals too in summer. Your booth set-up is really nice! I'm loking forward to seeing the bisque line added to your etsy shop.

    ...and thanks for already adding my shop to your link list;) ModBrush

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  14. What a lovely set-up, and your bisque work is amazing.

    Can you add my etsy shop to your list?

    http://norahz.etsy.com

    Thanks

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  15. Lovely!
    If you can add me to your shop list, too, that would be great! I used to do ceramics a very long time ago. I love the stains used on the finished piece. Carol (jlcjbuzz0

    http://carolsjewelryorchard.etsy.com

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  16. Your craft booth looks great and very professional! Good luck on the growth of your business.

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  17. Interesting, so that's how they're made. Look forward to seeing your new bisque section!

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  18. I find that my business is in a bit of slump also. I guess that means we have to try a bit harder.

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  19. The bisque part is interesting. I didn't know that required so many molds. Wish you the best.

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  20. This is a wonderful post, and beautiful artwork!

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  21. I loved reading your post! The finished Holy Family is awesome!

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  22. wow that looks great-both the booth and the painting!

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  23. Aww I want one of those. So pretty!

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  24. That is one good looking booth!

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  25. Amazing!! How awesome to be able to get those goodies at an auction and really launch!! I can't wait to see where this takes you.

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