Thursday, July 5, 2012

guest post - bill perrine

Shows vs. Online


Hmmm ... Always a tough one to answer. I like the ability to share my work, world-wide, online. I have sent purchases as far as Australia, Europe and Asia.  I find I have a much better chance of reaching someone that likes my work, especially the unique or more elaborate or outstanding ones, when online. Not that I don't find people that are interested in my pieces like that around here locally, perhaps just not as often. I will always get a few gems or as we call them "gifts from the kiln gods" that are in a league of their own and I do charge a bit of a premium for those. Where I live and the areas I do shows in, there is a mixture of folks with a variety of tastes and I have found though online sales there are some areas that have more of an interest in the arts and appreciate the beauty found in handmade, wood-fired pottery.



I do however, like the ability to meet new people and having a chance to interact with them, a lot of times, answering questions about how a particular piece was made or especially with me being a wood-firer, a lot of questions about the process and my kiln. What caused something they noticed on the piece that they don't usually see in other processes.  I do enjoy sharing what I'm passionate about (can you tell?) with folks that are interested in hearing it. I also enjoy seeing the smile on someones face when they see something that strikes a chord with them. I realize at that moment, that they are seeing what I enjoy seeing in my work. There has to be something pretty special about it, that would make me want to immerse myself in the depths of the work necessary for wood firing. It is a lot of work!!  But when I get those "gifts", it is so worth it. 



There are some pieces that I don't part with, or at least not for a while, up to two years sometimes, before I put it out on there for someone else to fall in love with. There is something about pottery that is very intimate. The touching and using on a daily basis, that creates a special bond. I can imagine there are some readers that are thinking, "This poor guy has lost it", and they are free to think what ever they want of course, but I know there are some that have that "favorite mug", or special bowl or platter for when guests come over. They will put it out as a centerpiece with snacks, veggies and dip or a meal even on it. I think it takes the wisdom that comes with age about taking the time to slow down, even a little, to enjoy life's little pleasures... 




that favorite mug or glass perhaps. I bet some people even keep those pieces out on "display" all the time to enjoy daily as a "life enriching item."  Wood fired pottery is often not "loud", but has a more subtle presence to it. That mug that you pick up to drink from and pause to notice something new on it, the way the ash sprinkled one side... telling the tale of the firing, which side the fire came from or an edge where the color changes.. before drinking from it. 


So, getting back to the age old dialogue of shows versus online, I would have to say... do both!  How else can you get the opportunity for more people to be able to enjoy your work that are beyond "local" and enjoy the interaction and sharing of your "world" with interested and interesting people?


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you can find more about bill and split fire pottery here:






10 comments:

Julie Holmes said...

Bill, thank you so much for this post. I too get gift's from the kiln and design Gods...there are just pieces every now and again that flow through me from somewhere else. Those are the ones that I have trouble letting go of. Glad to hear I'm not the only one! I agree it is so exciting to have people from far away want something you made. Ironically, the one show I did was out of my state, and the one purchase made there was by a woman who lives closer to where I live than anyone else who has bought from me. Small world. I do want to do more shows...for exactly the reason you talk about. I'd like to see people interact with my art and enjoy them interacting with me. Your work is beautiful and special. Thanks so much for posting for us!

Bill Perrine said...

Thank you Julie. It seems the only way to get the best from both worlds. And then I oil paint too, just to keep my work even fresher. I carry over my painting into my pottery more and more. I am about to start the glazing cycle and I am planning on continuing with the experiments I've done in the last firings. It's an ongoing continuum...

Erika said...

Great post Bill! I love holding pottery in my hands, especially beads ;) I feel a real connection to the earth when handling pottery.
I keep my little turquoise Splitfire Pottery bowl on the mantel in the dining room to display so I can look at it whenever I walk by. Sometimes I just stand there and stare at it, admiring the colors and the drips of the glaze. Keep up the great work, Bill!

stacilouise said...

Great post! I love shows- and meeting the people who will be wearing my work. But I also love the whole world online offers.

i agree that pottery is intimate, and I love my handmade mug more then anything (from a potter friend of mine:) Just something special about hands meeting mud, meeting fire and creating something beautiful and useful.

mairedodd said...

bill, i love your work... but your passion for it is just so moving... your attention to and appreciation of the nuances of the process make it all so special... thank you so much for the post...
i find that i struggle with making enough work for shows - work that i feel deeply connected to... so, for now, online and in shops has to do... wishing you continued success -

Barbara said...

Bill, I'm so enamored with wood firing after living in NC for several years and having the experience of seeing a beehive kiln fired. so magical! Thank you for sharing your work.

Handmade pottery, especially kitchen wares are one of my most favorite things in the whole world. I aim to have a complete kitchen full of useful dishes that are all handmade someday. Piece by piece, I'm getting there. I'm actually drinking my afternoon cappuccino out of my favorite handmade mug. :)

Bill Perrine said...

Thank you all for your comments and appreciation for what I do. We are putting together a kitchen full bit by bit too.

Kelli said...

Hi Bill!!!!! So glad to see you here!! THanks for sharing!! I too have a very favorite mug I mix my daily "diet pudding" in at work. It is handmade, and I wouldn't part with it. It makes me happy. :) I also have a couple of turquoise "milk bottles" that I purchased from a very special potter (wink,wink), for Christmas gifts, that are in my kitchen..... They were just too beautiful to part with!!

Stacie said...

What beautiful pottery...I saw a sign once that said Everything Tastes Better on Handmade Pottery... and I know it must be true. Lovely work...

mairedodd said...

the confession i did not make in the first comment -
i own 3 of bill's beautiful mugs/cups... i have to know where they are at all times, and i make sure they are clean... to say they are exquisite seems about the only adjective that is near accurate...

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