Monday, August 24, 2009

Pot Stamps and Signatures

Here's a couple of examples of interesting signatures.
Notice the handmade bisque stamp with the marks on the jug at the left.
I'm not so sure I would want a face under the handle of a jug, but you have to admit, once seen, not forgotten quickly.
This philosophy is a basic idea of advertising; make your product/pitch/impression memorable.
If you think about it, you really DO want the public to recognize you and your work. At least in this world, at present, the concept of product branding is so prevalent in our culture, it has become an integral part of selling your work.
Along those lines of thinking, I once read a suggestion that an artist should also include the town you live as part of your mark. That people will buy local artist's work as a memento of a trip or as a gift for family members or friends. I'm not so sure I want that to be the basis of why someone buys my work: To be classified as an interesting souvenir, but then, who can know the mind of every customer. People buy things for all kinds of reasons and I'm there to sell my work, right?
I'm also not sure that will make it more likely a piece would sell, but it might be worth considering....especially if you happen to live and work in a vacation spot or notable place.

So, back to stamps: This is an exceptionally nice custom made stamp.
I have seen these at the commercial exhibit at NCECAs and many people swear by them.

Having your own stamp made is not cheap, but I doubt you would need any more than one. The impression is very nice and crisp.
Check out his website at

Friday, August 21, 2009

More on Signing Pots

I sign my pots two ways: I write my name using a blown-out pen or a pencil--whatever is handy. My sig is pretty consistent, so it works well on a piece that will have a blazed bottom.

Other times I use the metal die for an old rubber stamp I had made years ago. The old stamp is long gone, but the die comes in handy because it's done in reverse and looks great on clay. It depends on the pot, mostly. The stamp is excellent on a flat surface such as a tile back or the bottom of a slab-built piece.

Care has to be taken when using a stamp to keep from creating stress in the clay on the reverse, but the stamp should be pressed against clay that has a good reverse support--either your hand or another flat surface.

I do also have a silicone stamp that comes in handy at times. You can go to your local rubber stamp store and order one. All you need is a well-drawn black and white image they can use to make the pattern.

You can make your own stamp out of fine-grained clay and a woodcut/linoleum tool called a veiner. The veiner can be found at an art or woodcraft supply store. The blade is shaped like a sharp V. Let the clay dry to bone hard, pencil on your design and carefully cut it into the surface. (Be sure to keep in mind the clay will shrink, so you need to make very strong lines.) Bisque the stamp and, if you want, fire it to vitrification. The incised design will be raised letters/symbols when you stamp your clay.

I did this to make a label for a company and it turned out well. (Don't have any samples, though.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sign Your Pots--The words were hardly out of my mouth

When I got this wonderful note:

"Jeanette ,
I hold in my hands a wonderful piece of art that has your name on the back . I got it for my brother years ago, but couldn't part with it. I think of him as my Mongolian man, or Inuit ?

He's not very big , mounted on linen with a label on the back with your name . He has white glaze around his face and mustache.

I'm delighted to have found your blog and hope to hear from you concerning this piece. When I saw you lived in WA I knew I had the right artist!

Thanks so much Jeanette, I'm not his original owner but love him just the same.


What happy serendipity, I say.

I well remember this piece. I didn't make many of them--maybe 3 different ones, around 1994? 1998? Somewhere around that time.

The title of this one is "Arctic Explorer".

They were small, rather flat sculptures with burnished dark clay and a wonderful white icing-like semi transparent glaze. The Japanese call it 'sugar glaze'.

I mounted these small head and shoulders pieces on a backing made of two linen over heavy cardboard rectangles sandwiched together with the piece attached on the front, on the back, a hanger and a fabric ribbon label printed with my name.

It's so cool that it has found a home with someone and even further in coolness that she has been able to find me and tell me about it. It's rare you ever know what happens to your 'children'.

Thanks, Sandy, for contacting me!