The Potter’s Professional Handbook
The perfect resource for individuals wishing to take the next step in their involvement with clay. Written by Steven Branfman, The Potter’s Professional Handbook covers topics ranging from determining what a professional is to equipment selection, setting up shop, marketing your work, and much more...(Scroll for more.)
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Softcover | 236 Pages
Order code B179 | ISBN 978-1-57498-173-5
…This book provides descriptions of the items necessary for a beginning professional potter and includes visual examples of items including sales slips, purchase orders, invoices, credit slips, and even floor plans of well-known potters’ studios.
Chapter 1. The Professional Potter: Making a Career in Crafts
In the first chapter, Branfman answers the question of what a professional potter is and the role of handmade objects in our contemporary society. Do you think you want to be a professional? If you do, then you’ll want to identify your personal goals and address what you need as a professional to make that dream come true. But there are also variations on the pottery career that you may find rewarding as well and Branfman discusses these as well.
Chapter 2. The Transition to Professional
If you are a recent graduate of a university, college or art school and are hoping that this book will give you some direction and guidance in the next phase of your craft careers, then this chapter’s for you! If not, you might gain appreciate what someone might gain or lose from having had that kind of experience. A professional education iin the arts and crafts will impart some real tangible benefits, though there can be some substantial negative baggage carried along with it. You’ll enjoy the insights from first hand accounts of this journey as well as Branfman’s choices that got him to where he is.
Chapter 3. Studio Concepts: Needs, Selection, Design, Construction
The prospect of having your own studio space is certainly an exciting one. As a matter of fact, it may be the most exciting aspect of this entire professional potter thing. The thought of having your own place to work and the things that go along with it–the freedom to leave your works in progress out and unattended, privacy, and control of your workspace, etc.–can be so exciting that oftentimes inadequate thought goes into what must be considered when planning this space. Branfman discusses types of studios, legal considerations, defining your needs, locating a space, studio design, construction of your space, tools, electrical needs, contractors and tradesmen, and furnishing and outfitting your space.
Chapter 4. Suppliers, Vendors, Tradesmen, and Contractors
Despite even the highest level of self-sufficiency, you’ll always have to rely on others for a significant part of your dealings. This dependence spans the gamut from minor purchases to contracting out the design and installation of a major system such as plumbing or electrical. Most of your dealings with others will fall somewhere in between.Purchases of raw materials, tools, studio furnishings, paper goods, equipment and a myriad of additional items will occur on an everyday basis. Too often, not enough thought and planning is spent determining where to best make these purchases. You can save time and money and have the added benefit of better product if you apply some careful yet simple strategies to dealing with suppliers, vendors, and contractors.
Chapter 5. Equipment Selection, Repair, and Studio Maintenance
Evaluating and choosing equipment and learning how to keep it running are essential skills for the craftsperson. Manufacturers abound, each touting the absolute superiority of their equipment from both a performance point of view and a durability and longevity perspective. How do you choose? What do you do when a tool needs repair? How about a leaky faucet, or flickering light?
Chapter 6. Business Practices
I can feel the fear, the withdrawal, the intimidation. I can hear the excuses. “I’m not a business person.” “Record keeping was never my strong suit.” “I’m no businesswoman, I’m an artist.” Branfman can also anticipate the reasons you think this chapter might not apply to you. You’re not planning to sell your work. You’re just doing this as a serious hobby. You’re not going to be deduction any of your expenses on your taxes. Get it al out of your system because if there is one chapter that applies to everyone regardless of your “business” intention, this is it. Learn about businees types, professional assistance, rental contracts, insurance, utilities, and general organizational practices. You’ll be glad you did.
Chapter 7. Sales, Marketing, and Self-Promotion
For many, the sale of work is the most exciting and exhilarating, and yet the most difficult and intimidating aspect of thier craft practice. The idea of somebody liking your pots enough to pay money for them is very satisfying and rewarding. The two greatest compliments Branfman receive as an artist are when his work is either bought or copied! But he prefers the former. If sales are crucial to you, then that concern is undeniable. It’s important to recognize that if you are to survive as a potter, there must be some means of finacially supporting your expenses. Read about how to define your production, types of sales outlets, shipping, selling methods, pricing, and promotional tools.
Chapter 8. Teaching
Many potters enjoy teaching both to fulfill a personal need and often to supplement their income. Does teaching fit into your schedule? Branfman asks this question and provides guidance not only on assessing your desire to teach but also if you have the capacity. Where you teach is another thing. It could be iin your studio, at a school or maybe you would like to set up your own school. There are lots of options to consider and Branfman discusses all of them.
Chapter 9. The Fruits of Your Efforts
One of the essential themes in this book and in Branfman’s life has to do with forging an existence founded on honesty, integrity, and the interests that are fundamental to one’s spirit. As you begin to tie up this whole package of the professional potter, you will likely have found that the discussions and issues raised have done as much to stimulate more questions and concerns as to answer them. That is a good thing. Answers should forever be leading to questions. Learn how to measure your success, keep your interest in clay alive and work to add balance to your life. After reading this book, you will be able to really assess whether or not being a professional potter is the thing you want to do.
Become a Successful Pottery Professional!
Are you considering a change in how you practice your pottery craft? Perhaps a move from hobbyist to professional potter? If so, you’ll appreciate this expert advice from Steven Branfman, a consummate professional who has distinguished himself as an artist, teacher, and businessman.
“This book is so comprehensive and has answered so many of my initial questions regarding the start of a pottery studio and business. Steve writes in a language the layman and advance potter can both understand. The chapters are coherently laid out with the pertinent topics such as vendors, supplies, electrical needs, studio set-up, equipment making and purchasing, space needs, floor plans; the list goes on and on for the whole book. The back of the book has many vendors, suppliers and web links for reference. Although the web pages of many have changed, it is a great start on connecting with the pottery world. I highly recommend this book.” — an Amazon Reader
Steven offers friendly and useful guidance for everything from determining what a professional is to setting up shop and selling your work. His practical tips will help you make the move to professional potter with confidence. And you’ll also find comprehensive listings of resources for supplies and materials, workshops and schools, computer resources, magazines and journals and much more!
The perfect resource for individuals wishing to take the next step in their involvement with clay. Written by Steven Branfman, The Potter’s Professional Handbook covers topics ranging from determining what a professional is to equipment selection, setting up shop, marketing your work, and much more. This book provides descriptions of the items necessary for a beginning professional potter and includes visual examples of items including sales slips, purchase orders, invoices, credit slips, and even floor plans of well-known potters’ studios.