Organizing for my next sale – it’s all about the list!

I’m not quite sure when I became a list maker, but it happened within the last 7 years. I tend to be slightly scattered and have often wondered if I have an attention disorder. I think the lists started to become a big part of my daily routine when I was in graduate school from 2009-2012 – I had so much to do and so little time that it was easy to overlook a task or two. We often worked in small groups and forgetting to do your part was not cool. Now it’s just me, and I really hate not being prepared. My list is like a mind map and I really love maps!

Fast forward to today and I write monthly and daily lists, and when I’m getting ready for a sale I write a “things to make list”. I don’t beat myself up if I don’t manage to tick everything off my list because often my “things to make list” is very aggressive and optimistic. Most of the time I come very close to achieving my goals and it’s a great way to organize my time in the studio and out. For example on today’s list I was able to check off:

  • write “things to make list” ✔
  • social media posts for my business and the Colorado Potters Guild  (I’ll admit I spent about an hour+ wasting some time on Facebook and Instagram after I posted) ✔
  • create a Facebook ad for my Dabble class on Dec. 3 
  • make stuff – and start ticking items off my list (ticking things off my list feels like a wonderful accomplishment to me) ✔
  • unload kiln – happening in about an hour or maybe tomorrow morning…
  • write blog post (working on right now) ✔
  • get gas heater working in garagio  (there’s a chance of snow tomorrow) ✔
  • walk the dog and get some exercise ✔
  • take a Skillshare class on how to make tall pins ✔

How do I organize my “things to make list”? Part of it is based off of the popularity of my work at my last event – and I’m adding in a few holiday specific items like ornaments for the Holiday Pop Up in Boulder at the Food Lab. I honestly don’t know what to expect because I’ve never done an intimate pop up shop before. Obviously, I’d like to sell enough work to cover my participation fee and then some, but it’s also the last big hurrah when it comes to sales for many handmade makers until late spring when art fairs resume again so I’d like to sell a bunch. I’m making a variety of items at different price points in the hopes that I can appeal to a lot of different people.

Holiday Pop Up at the Food Lab Boulder
Holiday Pop Up at the Food Lab Boulder

If the Holiday Pop Up is a bust, my consolation is that I will have a ton of work to list in my Etsy Shop the beginning of December. I’m a little embarrassed to say that my Etsy Shop tends to be a repository for left overs at this point – with the exception of my made to order wall pods. These listings reside here all the time because I don’t keep them in stock and they’re popular. 

My goal in 2017 is to keep my Etsy Shop stocked with new work all the time. It’s hard to do because I also plan to participate in a number of different craft markets in Colorado next year as well as the biannual Colorado Potters Guild Sales. AND, continue to develop both in person and online classes. AND, find the time to volunteer my time some where in my community which I’ve narrowed down to a few places if they’ll have me. 

Are you a list maker? I’m thinking of making a digital to do list for makers – if I do, I’ll share it with you. 

1st Dabble Class on the Books!

I taught my first Dabble class at River North Workshop in Denver, CO this past Saturday afternoon. The day before on Friday, I was just a twinge nervous…I haven’t taught a class in person since 2009 and was feeling rusty.

Everyone is hard at work in clay class!
Everyone is hard at work in clay class!

On Saturday morning I slept in later than intended, and I still hadn’t packed my tools and supplies needed for my class. I had informally gathered everything that I would need the previous week and since I also teach the very same class online, I used my handy dandy tools + supply list that I created for this class, to check off everything. I’m happy to say that I didn’t forget a thing. If anything, I was over prepared! That’s not a bad thing.

Ceramicscapes Clay Class
Ceramicscapes Clay Class at River North Workshop

Two weeks prior to the class date, my class was at capacity. 8 students is the maximum amount that River North Workshop can accommodate and is actually a really nice size. I was able to demo each step and was available to students that needed help. These ladies rocked it! 

My next Dabble class is on December 3, 2016 from 12:30-2:30 PM – I’m going to be demonstrating how to make personalized handmade ceramic ornaments – just in time for Christmas!

Thank you!

thank-you-ceramicscapes

Thank you to everyone who took the time to visit the Colorado Potters Guild Fall sale this past weekend! It was so nice to meet people in person and to have such a great reception of my newish graphic work. I’m always humbled when someone likes my work enough to actually purchase it for themselves or for a gift. 

Ceramicscapes - ceramic pottery planters
Ceramicscapes – new soda fired ceramic pottery planters

The good news is that I came home with very little inventory…the challenging news is that I came home with very little inventory. My next show is a Holiday Pop-Up Shop on December 4, 2016 from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM at the Food Lab in Boulder, CO and I need to get back to work ASAP to refill my ware shelves! I’m excited to participate in a smaller show with some great vendors in Boulder and intend to make smaller items that will be perfect for gift giving.

Holiday Pop Up - Food Lab
Holiday Pop Up – Food Lab

In the meantime, I will be teaching my first Dabble class this coming Saturday – November 11, 2016 from 4:30 – 6:30 PM at River North Workshop in Denver. (Un)fortunately, It’s sold out – but, I will be offering the class again in the near future. I’m super excited to get my teaching chops on again after an almost 5 year hiatus.

Gotta run – my studio beckons.

My first Skillshare class is live!

ceramicscapes ring dishes

I’m super please to announce that I have published my first online Skillshare class! This class is for beginning students and is adapted from one I teach in person.

What is Skillshare? Skillshare is a subscription based learning community where anyone can discover, take, or even teach a class. Class topics include everything from crafts, illustration, fitness, software applications, photography, tech classes, gaming, culinary and more. The wonderful aspect of taking a class on Skillshare is that you do it at your own pace. Classes are broken up into short segments that you can pause and resume anytime you’d like from the comfort of your home.

If you’d like to try Skillshare without committing to a full blown subscription, you can sign up for a three month trial of a premium subscription for $0.99 after which time you can subscribe for a full year or cancel if it’s not for you. Use this link for your free trial.

 

Class Details:

Skill lever: Beginner

Pottery has never been more popular and now you can make easy clay dishes at home without having a pottery wheel or any other pottery specific equipment*. 

Join me in my home studio where I will demonstrate how to make slab built dishes in different shapes that can be impressed with texture, personalized text, special dates and more.

When I was a beginning clay student, the pottery wheel was super frustrating to me. After learning a few hand building techniques and best practices for working with wet clay, I had instant success. It was just enough to keep me going to enable me to graduate with a degree in ceramics.

Keep in mind, that a degree isn’t necessary – just a willingness to try and you can be on your way making pottery to keep for yourself, gift and even sell.

Warning: Clay is very addicting!

_______________

* I use a cone 6 white stoneware clay body that needs to be fired in a kiln to approximately 2232 degrees F for durability. If you do not have access to a kiln, many community pottery studios and/or private studios will often fire work for you for a small fee. Alternately, you may use air dry clay and acrylic paint or polymer clay, but these materials are not food or dishwasher safe.

I really look forward to developing more online classes in the future! I really learned a lot about formatting a class and also how to film and edit for clarity. 

Take a Class!

Take a Class Ceramicscapes

Hi friends! I’m really excited to announce that I will begin teaching again after an almost 7 year break.

Why now? This summer, my husband and I relocated to Fort Collins from Denver after our daughter started college – suffice it to say that I have a lot more time on my hands. I also love sharing my love of clay with others young and old alike. In teaching, I don’t just pass on my knowledge, I also learn so much from my students who often bring fresh ideas to the class that I may not have thought about before.

In Person Classes

I am currently teaching two clay workshops to absolute beginners at River North Workshop (RNW) in the RINO area of Denver. RNW is a an open workshop/retail store that will host my classes in an intimate setting (only 8 spots are available for each class) that will allow for lots of conversation and personal attention. Classes are approximately 2 hours long.

Bonus! – Continental Clay is a sponsor for my first two Dabble classes and has generously donated two 25 pound bags of clay that 1 lucky person will receive in each of the following classes.

Depending on reception, I will add classes in the future.

Class registration and secure payment is handled directly through Dabble.

Make Small Pottery Dishes Ceramicscapes
Make Small Pottery Dishes with Cindy Guajardo of Ceramicscapes

Class 1 – Saturday, November 12, 2016 4:30 – 6:30 PM

Clay Workshop: Make 4 Personalized Ceramic Dishes to Gift or Keep – $55.00 Class

Skill level: Beginner – no experience necessary

Learn the basics of pottery by making ceramic dishes using slab building techniques and regular tools that can be found at almost any general goods store.

Students will learn how to roll out a slab of clay by hand, cut the clay into small dish sized shapes, and then stamp a texture, personal message, date, or other saying onto the dish.

These little dishes are perfect to store jewelry, to use as tea bag holders, to use as a candle holder, to mark an important date and more.

Participants will pick up their finished work at River North Workshop two weeks after the workshop.

This quick intro to clay class run approximately 2 hours from 4:30 – 6:30 pm – perfect before heading out to happy hour or dinner on Saturday night.

CLASS DETAILS
Saturday, Nov 12 2016
04:30:00 PM
Price: $55.00

For More Class information or to Sign Up – Click here

Class 2 – Saturday, December 3, 2016 12:30 – 2:30 PM

Clay Workshop: Make 4 Personalized Ceramic Ornaments to Gift or Keep – $55.00 Class

Skill level: Beginner – no experience necessary

Learn the basics of pottery by making ceramic ornaments using slab building techniques and regular tools that can be found at almost any general goods store.

Students will learn how to roll out a slab of clay by hand, cut the clay into various shapes, and then stamp a texture, personal message, date, or other saying onto the ornament.

Your ornaments will make great gifts to give for the upcoming holidays and to commenmorate special moments.

Each student will make at least 4+ ornaments.

Participants will pick up their finished work at River North Workshop two weeks after the workshop.

This quick intro to clay class run approximately 2 hours Saturday afternoon.

CLASS DETAILS
Saturday, Dec 03 2016
12:30:00 PM
Price: $55.00

For More Class information or to Sign Up – Click here

Don’t hesitate to contact me directly for more information or any questions that you may have!

 

New Direction and Creative Explorations

Getting ready to carve rubber stamps
Mixing it up

Shortly after New Years, I didn’t have much going on in the studio…it was quiet after the holidays and a couple of online classes popped up on my radar and I thought, “Why not?”

I signed up for Molly Hatch’s/Ben Carter’s “Think Big” class and enrolled in Diana Fayt’s “The Clayer – Surfacing” class which ran concurrently for a bit. Why? I had been humming along just fine, but felt a bit bored creatively towards the end of 2014 and decided that learning something new would be a good jump start for the new year – a way to make some creative leaps with external motivation in the form of a class. I had already started the process of mixing things up in the studio, but then stalled once the holidays crept up.

I’m typically the type of person that jumps in head first and gives 110% to whatever it is I’m doing. It was no different for these e-courses. Emotionally, I was all over the place in the Think Big class. We were asked to do some real soul searching about the direction we wanted to move towards creatively, spiritually and financially. I am really inspired by Molly Hatch’s multi-faceted career as a maker and designer and I always look forward to Ben Carter’s interviews with “artists and culture makers” on The Tales of a Red Clay Rambler. At first, I didn’t think that I was interested in expanding outside of clay, but now I’m rethinking the possibilities.

I have always been a Jill of all trades, mistress of none. Yet, I have worked hard to focus on clay in the past two years in an effort to craft a career in ceramics. I have not dabbled in other mediums – I have concentrated on clay. The effort has not been for naught. I lost momentum in 2009 when I decided to go to graduate school for landscape architecture. I returned to clay in earnest late 2013. I also returned to making and working like I used to do before taking a clay sabbatical. In essence, I found it necessary to relearn how to work with the material, to understand the work flow, the making cycle and more. Going back to what I knew was easy. Switching gears is hard, but I’ve done my homework.

Graduate school was both a blessing and a curse for me. I loved stretching myself mentally and physically – accomplishing things that I never thought possible. It was a bust in that I adopted a more contemporary aesthetic that wasn’t totally authentic to me and I decided that I didn’t want to practice landscape architecture. The gifts that graduate school gave me are endurance, thick skin, humility and an ability to think bigger. Did I need to go to school to learn that? Probably not, but I can’t change the past.

Making handmade rubber stamps and testing on paper
Making handmade rubber stamps and testing on paper

The Clayer – Surfacing class was great! Diana is a fantastic instructor and was very encouraging to everyone. I wasn’t sure if I was interested in many of the techniques that she was teaching, but I love her work and have followed her on social media for years. We were given assignments every week and shared our efforts with each other and sometimes the world via social media. I have learned that I like Mishima (or the art of slip inlay) as a technique. I love creating my own patterns through the use of hand carved rubber stamps. Mono-printing on clay is cool. AND I really like hand building with clay.

I found joy again in creating, trying new things and working in multiple mediums. It was almost as if I were given permission to play and to go back to what I was doing before I went to graduate school. It’s the freedom to do what I want with no expectation of  a particular outcome. I also know that I am throwing my whole business plan out of the window.

Working out ideas on paper - seeing how they translate to a 3 dimensional object
Working out ideas on paper – seeing how they translate to a 3 dimensional object

Between these two classes, I have discovered that I actually have something to say and that I want to share these creative explorations out loud. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook just don’t have enough space to delve deeper.

~C