January 16, 2012

Pottery Bloggery Pt 1

Recently a friend told me that she had just gotten back from a conference where everybody was telling her that she needed a blog! So she came to me asking whether she really needed a blog.

My answer in short was no.

I imagine that probably surprises a lot of you. (Maybe not, since I just enjoyed a 6 month sabbatical from blogging.) But here are some thoughts on being an artist and writing about it. (in no particular order)

Why blog?

There are several motivations for writing (and keeping) a blog. Self promotion seems to be a big one. Keeping a record or log of your thoughts/your work is a good one. Polishing writing skills was my motivation.

Self Promotion

I may be way off in saying this, but I don't think many of my customers/collectors/patrons read this blog. I'm certain that some do as they tell me at shows that they do. But I think it's a very small number. The community around any blog is the group of people who have something in common with the content of the blog.

For example, "Mom" blogs are very appealing to mothers who can share and commiserate with the blog author about being a Mom. There are so many Mom blogs that they even have subcategories, like "Craft Mom"! Now I'm sure some Dads follow Mom blogs, some may even have their own blogs about fathering. But based on the huge number of women who leave comments on the Mom blogs versus the number of men, I would guess that the readership is mostly women.

So it doesn't surprise me that most of the followers of this blog are makers, themselves, since most of my content is about making pots and most of the folks I hear from in the comments and through emails seem to be potters! I write about techniques, about firing the kiln, about the joys and tribulations of making pottery, not so much about buying or collecting pots and how great I am. After all self-promotion is really about laying on the hype, something I'm not so comfortable with. I guess I'd rather write about techniques and share my thoughts with other potters as I go about the studio.

I'm sure there is plenty of interesting "backstory" for any collector of my pottery, but I haven't heard from many of them here. Maybe it's all too esoteric. Maybe too boring. If you're out there, dear lover of Kline Pottery, please chime in with your experience! Let your loving voices be heard.

Meanwhile, I must get to the muddy work of pottery. Muddy hands and keyboards just don't mix. So until the next time I can squirrel away a few minutes to continue this thread of pottery-bloggery thought, I bid you a bright and productive winter's day!

Next: The Potter-Blogger's Eye