Starting a Ceramic Business Tips

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Is it me or my Business?

Ideas

Want to make some extra money? Talk to a florist in your area and see if you can supply him with pots for his plants or flowers. He has to buy them somewhere and it may as well be from you.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Studios and workshops

Studios and workshops
If you need local council support to locate studio space and grants for refurbishment or running costs, try to get publicity in the local press to put your needs into the public eye, so that councillors and others will be supporting you before any applications go in.
You could:
• publicise the search for studio or workshop space – locally and regionally
• establish the credibility of the artists involved to potential landlords or sponsors
• publicise the studios as part of a campaign to raise funds for renovations, improvements, reduction in rent or rates, etc
• announce a group's establishment in premises to acknowledge the support of funders or sponsors
• publicise what the building has to offer to the public, to specialists, to potential users, other artists, purchasers, gallery directors, etc
, demonstrations, exhibitions
• promote future projects which need support
• publicise vacant studio space.

   
How do I start my own ceramics business?

Ceramic Business

If you are starting your ceramic business you need to take location, marketing, design and storage into consideration. You may have found a wonderful creative outlet but business is business so craft an intelligent plan and execute. Make sure if you are not a business person that you have good advisors on issues of money, management and publicity. Reap the benefits of your own business and your own product by starting a ceramic business.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Research

Research
The most important questions to address when setting out to promote or publicise what you do are:
• who are you trying to attract?
what is the most effective way to do it?
There isn't a standard format for publicity and every situation needs individual attention.
You need to:
• Plan carefully and well in advance.
• Decide which groups you particularly want to attract – business people, schools, private collectors, tourists, etc – and direct the majority of your publicity at those ‘target groups'.
• Decide on your budget for publicity and examine each item for cost-effectiveness.
• Don't under-estimate the value of free publicity – which comes from sending press releases and good photographs to local, regional and national press and media or to the specialist visual arts, crafts and media magazines.
Although colour postcards are a relatively cheap way of publicising your work to a wide range of people, they are not generally suitable for reproduction in the art and craft press and need to be supplemented by sending transparencies or black and white photographs to key magazines.

   
Is it me or my Business?

Leadership/decision making

How are you doing? Do you ever feel like the centipede that was told to put its best foot forward? When you're having trouble making a decision, try these six preliminary questions. 1. What is my real objective? Why must I decide? 2. What is my deadline? When must I decide? 3. Can I break the decision down into smaller parts? 4. Will this decision be final? Or can I change my mind later? 5. What risks are involved? Are they worth it? 6. What new information do I need before I decide? Deciding to decide is often the hardest part. These six questions will help clarify your thoughts and actions so you can make the decision and take advantage of all the opportunities that come your way.

   
How do I start a business?

Size

Size
Size is another factor to consider when choosing your place. Small studios are usually about 600 square feet. Large studios are approximately 3000. Most are generally between 1500-2000 square feet. Your size should be based on the level of activity you plan to have at your location. Here are some questions to consider:
• How many kilns you will run?
• Where will your kilns vent?
• How many tables do you plan to put in the space and where will they be located?
• Is there enough space for bisque, finished ware, kiln shelves, stilts, posts, and other storage?
• Will you need an office?
• How much counter space you need?
• Where will your paint display and serving area be located?
• Will you offer food and beverages?
• Is your shop handicapped accessible?
• Will you plan to have activities or a room for small children who are not
painting?

   
How do I start a business?

Studio Type

Studio Type
If you are generally new to the ceramics business, you may elect to begin your business as a purely contemporary studio, where customers paint on bisque, you dip and fire their pieces, and they pick them up in three to five days.

   
How do I pack my ceramics?

Packing your ceramics

1. Wrap the pieces individually in several layers of bubble wrap. 2. Get a box for each individual work, with a couple of inches space to spare all-round. Make sure the bases are already securely taped up. 3. Place a snugly fitting piece of Styrofoam on the bottom of the chosen box and lay a wrapped artwork on it. 4. Cut to size walls of one inch Styrofoam and insert them into the sides of the box. 5. Fill the empty spaces on the sides and on top with extra Styrofoam pellets, shredded paper or another filling material. Make sure all spaces are filled properly. 6. Place another piece of custom cut Styrofoam on top. 7. Close the lid on the box and tape it up securely. 8. Take this box and place it in another larger larger box, placing custom cut one inch Styrofoam pieces on the top, bottom and all sides, so you get a snug fit. 9. Place a sheet of paper with the name of the recipient and the sender (you) inside this box. 10. Tape up securely. 11. Label outside with with sender and recipient.

   
What should I keep in mind when designing my studio?

Production Flow

Good Studio layout presents a rational flow from raw materials into freshly formed ware, to adequate drying space, sufficient glazing and firing facilities, and provides for the associated services of the business.

   
Why start my own business?

Why

Opening Your Ceramic Studio
So, you've been to a contemporary studio, spent some time painting, received your finished piece, and were so pleased with the experience that you're dreaming of
opening a studio of your own. This experience has been shared by many people nationwide. And although there are rewards to running your own business, sacrifices and hard work lie ahead. Yet, with the right preparation and a little determination, the sacrifices need not be so great, and the joy can be plentiful.

   
How do I design my workshop?

The Production Area:Shelves

One of the prime requirements on the workshop is plenty of shelf space for the tidy storage of all those little things like oxides, slip, slip trailers, notebooks, special tools, banding wheels, brushes, cones- the list goes forever. Nothing could be less efficient than having all these things lying around on the benches and having no place to put your potboards down.

   
Where should I place my Fire extinguishers ?

Studio planning/design

A studio or workshop, whether in an educational institution or for private use, needs to be planned with factors including the following taken into account:1.Clear lines or avenues of access and egress (exit) and access to emergency services (fire extinguisher, shower, eye-wash, first aid cabinet, etc). 2.provision and location of emergency facilities as necessary. 3. Choice of surfaces and finishes-floor covering, bench tops, walls etc. Keeping in mind the need for easy cleaning of work areas to reduce hazards, (eg. Hose or wet mop the floor in some types of studios where dust is a problem). 4. Provision of adequate and suitable safe storage (eg. Chemical storage, clay, paper, canvasses, tools, electrical equipment etc.) 5. Safe disposal of wastes, including chemical waste. 6. Natural and artificial lighting and the control of glare and shadows. 7.Noise minimization.
8.Thermal comfort. 9. Ergonomic requirements (height of work benches, type of seating etc.) 10. Ventilation requirements (general, dilution and local exhaust). 11.Separation of wet and dry, clean and dirty, noisy and quiet activities in the workplace.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Building contacts

If you regularly deal with publicity and promotion for visual arts projects, try to build up and keep up-to-date an annotated ‘contacts' list on index cards. Having a ‘named person' on a mailing list can save considerable time and energy when you start to follow up press releases, etc. If possible, put this mailing list onto a word processor which can print out sticky address labels and personalised letters for other promotions. If you store only names and addresses on a computer for your own personal use, you don't need to register under the Data Protection Act. When working with a host organisation on a project, be sure to liaise with the marketing/press/publicity staff over development of promotional material ir order to avoid confusion and duplication of material.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Importance of Documentation

Documentation It is essential to document your work throughout the year as the visual description of your work forms the basis of all your publicity and promotion.

   
How do I best publicise my business?

Exhibitions

Whether in a public gallery or an ‘alternative' space, an exhibition always needs publicity and promotion, either to supplement what exists or to pin-point a specific aspect. Stages when promotion is needed are:
• promotion to get an exhibition –eg applying to a gallery or ‘selling' the idea of an exhibition to the owner of a disused supermarket. • pre-publicity – announcing in advance that the exhibition is planned, to fundraisers or to link with other activities
• advance publicity – to get coverage in magazines or on TV arts programmes with deadlines months in advance
For the exhibition:• launch publicity – preview, press releases locally, regionally and nationally. • creating a special event to encourage publicists – a press preview, performance or talk, etc. • publicity to announce any fruitful or newsworthy outcome of the exhibition – sales, commissions, other exhibitions and opportunities. • video film of an installation to show curators who were unable to see the show itself. • as well as the more traditional paper form, artists are beginning to use a CD format catalogue to promote an exhibition and as general promotion after the event.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Promote/publicise your work

Publicity items can be used to Promote you, your work, your services. • Brochure or leaflet – ideally with colour or good black and white examples of work, outline of experience and background, price lists or charges for commissions, workshops, etc, and details of where your work can be seen or is on sale, etc. Can be sent by post or used at fairs and exhibitions. • Covering letter – publicity material is more likely to be read if accompanied by a letter. This personalises the approach and gives a chance to say something of particular interest to the person receiving it. • For two-dimensional work, use a folder with plastic pages to present photographs, press cuttings, statements and other information for a face-to-face situation such as an interview or meeting with a client. • If showing three-dimensional items, acquire a suitable case or container to ensure professional presentation. • Press release to mark a specific occasion – the launch of a business, the making of new work or offer to run workshops.

   
How do I start a business?

Location

Location, Location, Location
Although this is a common phrase, prospective owners sometimes choose to ignore it or don't understand what it really means. In a nutshell – you have to open where the money is. Consider city populations and types. Several years ago, it was thought that a town with a population of at least 60,000 people could sustain a studio. In some cases, it could. Yet strong factors include a city's character, its affluence, and whether it is a college town, year-round or seasonal resort. Ask yourself the following:
• Have upper-income families moved to the town to make it their oasis from asphalt, traffic, and noise?
• Do other activities in which families participate, such as movies and shopping malls, exist in the area?
• Is another big city is within an hour's drive? The answers to all these play a part in determining the likely flow of traffic into your studio.

   
What should I keep in mind when designing my studio?

Notebooks

A handy aid to repeatable production throwing is to keep a throwing book. This is a handy reference to the shapes, sizes, clay quantities used, and so on for all the pots you make.
A firing book is also a necessity in order to replicate a successful firing.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Five Rules of Media Strategy

Five Rules of Media Strategy
Think of media Strategy this way: Every event is a Package to be opened, explored and looked at from many angles, trying out each element through the eyes of various media and their needs.
1. Target media that reach your desired audience
2. Go for the “Big Hit”: Maximum Reach for Minimal Effort
3. Choose the Most Unique Packaging for the story
4. Don't be afraid to look beyond the usual media
5. Try to be at the Right Place At the Right Time

Remember: the Human Factor Makes the News Media Tick

Remember to take into account the other person on the receiving end of a story pitch. Reporters, editors and producers are people, too, and have individual ways of going about their jobs. It's important to talk with them and find out what they need, how they need it, and what you can do to shape your story to meet their needs. This includes being knowledgeable about what they cover and how they go about covering it, and being sensitive to their deadlines and how they like to receive information (fax, mail, e-mail, etc.)

Don't be intimidated! The media relies on PR people to alert them to stories (some have estimated that as much as 70% of news content is initiated by outside sources). You have something to Offer them in a professional relationship between equals. By the same token, don't be offended if they don't accept everything you give them, even if you followed their directives exactly. You never know what else is happening in their corner of the world. It is their decision to make, and even though you may disagree with their choice, you must be able to continue to work with them. Never complain! Just move on to the next opportunity.

   
What should I keep in mind when designing my studio?

Blackboards/Noticeboards

Have a blackboard and notice board in your studio. You can put notes to yourself and draw pots, designs, and so on, on the blackboard, and pin photos, competition entry forms, and invitations up on the notice boards. A blackboard is handy to plan your production and especially useful if athere are two of you working in the one workshop.

   
What is the safest way to pack my ceramics?

Greenware

You always need something soft to pack greenware pieces in and those plastic bags you get from the cleaners make excellent packing material when wadded up..shredded newpaper also makes great greenware packing material.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Time Utilisation

Pre-planning and awareness of the time-scales of those who can help you is the cornerstone to success. If your role is to raise money for the project as well as to publicise it once set up, you may need to allow as long as a year to promote a small to medium-scale project properly. Make a schedule of who you need to contact and when, so you don't miss an important deadline. If you are using publicity to raise awareness and funds for a project, make sure you know who you need to approach and how long each organisation will take to reach decisions about giving money.• To gain national publicity, you'll need to circulate colour and black and white images and information at least six months in advance for glossy magazines, quarterly journals and specialist periodicals or if you are seeking a ‘feature' on a TV arts programme.. For regional publicity, allow at least three months in advance to gain coverage in monthly publications and What's On guides. For local newspapers and radio, make an initial contact around a month in advance to get an editorial feature or interview. Listings can be left until ten days in advance.• If you pay for advertising, you may be more likely to get editorial coverage in the press.• It may be fruitful to go out and meet some of your ‘target' audience ‘face-to-face' to encourage involvement and support for your project; this could include visits to schools, business clubs, etc.

   
What should I keep in mind when designing my studio?

Clay Storage

Clay Storage
Ageing of clays improves its plasticity and you will need an area to store at least one month's supply of clay so that you can allow your clay stocks to age effectively. This area is ideally placed between the clay preparation area and the production area. The clay store is best if it is dark and damp as this encourages the development of the necessary souring bacteria. The clay must be kept from drying out.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Web promotion

General promotion
Making sure your work is included on indexes, registers and multimedia databases is a valuable form of promotion. These are accessed by a wide range of people including commissioners, agents, curators, collectors and others with work opportunities on offer.
Increasingly, visual artists are looking to the Internet and to World Wide Web pages to promote their work. Although there are still issues to resolve as regards reproduction and copyright rights, the ability to make connections across the globe to new and very large audiences has proved for some artists a risk worth taking.

   
How do iIsell my ceramics?

Promoting yourself

If you want your work to get the recognition it deserves, promotion and publicity need to become as important to you as making the work itself. Promoting yourself and producing publicity needs to be done on a regular basis, rather than being left until the last minute. It is also useful to take advice from other practitioners or arts organisations. You may be able to share their mailing lists and contacts and collaborate on joint publicity.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

News release: Style

Use proper style in your news release:

Double-space your copy for legibility.
Feature the most important news up front; put additional news in descending order of importance.
Use an average of two to three sentences per paragraph.
Include the contact person's name, telephone/fax, and E-mail (if appropriate).
Don't Single-space your copy (it's hard to read).
Use ALL CAPS only in the main headline.
Make sure your sentences do not run on and on—and avoid page-long paragraphs. (Keep it short and sweet).
Always run Spell Check on your copy, and have at least one other person review the news release for clarity, factual accuracy, grammar and correct word usage (for example, the words their, there, and they're are commonly mistaken for each other).
Read newspapers and magazines and pay particular attention to writing style. Buy an AP (Associated Press) Style Book for reference.
Your news releases should have a local angle, the more localized the better. Most news release writers don't do the additional work that localization requires, and consequently they don't get local coverage. Newspapers and many magazines focus on hometown or regional activities. If you want targeted coverage, you must make a concerted effort to get it. Quote a local spokesperson whenever possible.

   
What should I keep in mind when designing my studio?

Raw Materials receiving/storage

Raw Materials receiving and storage:
The quantities you use will determine the size of this area. The location should be such that a truck can gain easy access and the minimum of handling of heavy objects is required. As a general rule 1 tonne of plestic clay takes up a space 1 metre x 1 metre x 1 metre (1 yard x 1 yard x 1 yard), whilst 1 tonne of powdered clay takes up a space of 1.5 metres x 1.5 metres x 2.0 metres approximately. You will need to be able to gain access to all your materials- it is no use having the feldspar packed under a tonne of clay. Get some form of trolley to move your materials around to save your back from strain. The storage area and the clay mixing area need not be fully walled in, in fact, it is better is it is well ventilated to disperse any dusts, but it must be rainproof.

   
What precautions should I take in the studio?

Display and Storage

Display and Storage
Many potters don't like selling from their workshops, owing to the problems with interruption, but others have periodic sale days and have some of their pots on display when buyers come. A small area at the end of the studio, closed off so that everything isn't dusty, can be set aside for this purpose. This space is also a pot storage area, somewhere for the pots to go before they are sold and to hold any build up of stock.

   
What should I keep in mind when designing my studio?

The Kiln Area

The Kiln Area
Locate the kiln as close as possible to the workshop. Have plenty of space to store kiln furniture and door bricks, and room to put pots when packing and unloading the kiln. Ventilation is of major importance in the kiln area, and an outside kiln is a good idea. The area should be free of rubbish. Fuel tanks, burners, flues and dampers should be readily accessible.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Press photographs

When sending out photographs with a press release, an application or a fundraising appeal, choose the most appropriate images for each type of audience. • Photographs should be good quality, in focus, clearly labelled with ‘this way up', name of the artist, title of work, medium, size, date, credit for photographer and return address.• Indicate if they are part of a set or are needed back by a particular date.• Make sure you send the right sort of images to the right places, human interest to the local press, slides of work to glossy magazines and supplements. Keep a record of which images you send to whom in case they ask for more!hen sending photographs by post, protect them from damage with sturdy packing. Not all recipients will automatically return photographs, so if you want them back, send a suitable stamped addressed envelope.

   
How do I start a business?

Dealing with Real Estate

When your opportunity comes to look over a location, look professional and come prepared with questions. Ask about the lease length, cost per square foot, triple net, commons, finish-out allowance, maximum capacity, signage allowances, strip center hours and requirements. You should also inquire as to when the space will become available, and/or what other terms or allowances there might be. You may also want to ask for the demographics on the area. They can get them for you.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Interviews: Be honest and as candid as possible

Be honest and as candid as possible.
Tell the truth—even if your answer is “I don't know.” Refer the reporter to another expert, or Offer to get back to the reporter with information, and then follow up on your offer.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Press release: give the media what it wants

In your release, give the media what it wants:

Create concise and well-written copy
Explain who, what, when, where, why, and how.
Get to the point quickly.
Write for media needs—not organizational egos.
Do not go over three pages in length (less is more)
Use active rather than passive tense (when possible)
Use tenses that agree (will announce, announced)

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Curriculum Vitae

A CV is a basic tool for promotion and is usually varied according to the circumstances in which it is used. You may need to accentuate some aspects of your experience or play down others. A CV, which must be typed, generally contains: name • address – including postcode. • telephone number – day and evening and, if you haven't a telephone, give a contact number for urgent messages. • date of birth – only if you want to give it. • nationality. • education – show qualifications and awards. • other professional qualifications. Experience – past projects and activities; this section can be adjusted to emphasise your eligibility for the job, commission or other opportunity • awards • commissions undertaken.• galleries where your work is on sale. • public collections. • short personal statement about your work and enthusiasms – only write this if you feel you can do it well! If possible, get your CV put onto a word processor so it can be easily updated and altered for different applications.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

News release: Compelling Visuals

Compelling Visuals
A great visual can make a huge difference in gaining news media coverage. Most Publications are looking for visuals to fill space and make for an interesting layout. Community newspapers in particular depend on outside photos. TV, too, is driven by visuals, although it needs to be happening right now (referred to as an "actuality").
Take the time to take high-quality, professional photos for your press kit to send out with a cutline (brief description of photo, your event and key people pictured) to community media. The best photos are action-oriented, provocative or include a celebrity. Black and white photos are the standard, but color is increasingly in demand (send color slides).
Visuals that generate coverage :
Are High quality. Black-and-white photographs are okay, but color is increasingly important.
Are dramatic, provocative, and action-oriented.
Feature star, celebrity, or locally-significant person.
Showcase a new or offbeat look, epitomize the issue, or are metaphorical in nature.
Are Properly Labeled and explained (who is the photographer, did you put the source of the image in context?)

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Residency

Residency
These are the stages which involve publicity and promotion:
• With artist-initiated projects, telling potential hosts what you have to offer.
• Publicising a residency for fundraising purposes.
• Once it's running, using publicity to make contact with interested people – workforce, children and staff, management, local community.
• Alerting press and media – locally, regionally, nationally.
• Publicising highlights or new developments as the residency runs.
• Publicising conclusion of residency – exhibition, completed commission, advantages for participants, value to community, etc.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Finding your nich'e

If you are making ceramics professionally -- for sale or for exhibitions -- at some stage you will have to pack and send them to another town, interstate or even overseas. Proper packing will ensure the work arrives safely.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Galleries

We are all in the "business" of producing and/or selling art. Galleries need to earn enough to cover all their costs, just as the artist does. If they are to survive, income has to exceed outgoing cash - including all the overheads and a modest profit. However, galleries are going to .be (or should be) run by the bottom line and what the accountants say more than the artist, because they have absolutely no alternative. They have no extra income from friends, family, spouse, teaching, demonstrations, day job, etc. no filling gaps in income in alternative ways. Read this great Article by: Janet Kaiser The Chapel of Art WEBSITE: http://www.the-coa.org.uk. Read On Selling and Galleries

   
What is the safest way to pack my ceramics?

Styrofoam

The next time you receive a gift or buy something new, be sure to save those pieces of styrofoam that are usually packed in the boxes. These pieces of styrofoam can also be used to hold those small bottles of lustre to prevent them from tipping oven when working on a project.

   
Where do I put my Potboards?

The Production Area: Water

A must in the workshop is a sink and tap and, if it gets cold in winter, a hot water supply as well. It really isn't a luxury-more like a necessity. The water source should be centrally located, as it is a major traffic area.

   
How do I start a business?

Definition of Success

A Definition of Success
Realize there are no guarantees in life, and that might go double for business. You can bet McDonald's does their homework before they open a new location, but even that doesn't guarantee success. However, success means different things to different people. To one person, success might mean being able to pay all the bills every month and have a comfortable, if not rich existence. In ceramics, that could mean happiness at not being in the corporate world, being creative, and helping bring the joy of ceramics to others. However, this might be completely unacceptable to another person who wants to make a lot of money, hire a manager and be on vacations often. This situation is very rare and you better be able to gamble your loan on it. You need to determine what you feel is a decent living. This does not mean gross sales, it means your salary. For instance, you most likely won't have a salary of $50,000 the first year or even the second. You might make it the third year if you do everything right and you're lucky. And even then, who's to say what's “right?”The four most critical issues a new owner must face are:
• Location
• Business know-how
• Advertising, marketing, and public relations
• Old-fashioned common sense

   
How do I start a business?

Competition

Competition
Generally speaking, it's best to be where people are. Therefore, if you have the choice between leasing a cute house a few doors off Main Street with 1500 square feet for $1,000 per month, or a 1,200 square foot shop in a new strip center across town with a popular café and new multi-theater for $2,800 per month, take the latter of the two. Advertising most likely won't make up the lost income from the lack of foot traffic. This makes the house off Main Street a losing bet. Many people who have tried it before thought it could be done, and now they are closed. The bottom line is – don't be afraid of rental costs if the location is right.

   
How do I Pack and send ceramics?

Sending tips

Tips:
1. Label the work as 'FRAGILE', although this won't always help with postal services.
2. Insure the work -- just in case.
3. Make sure the work is opened in the presence of the deliverer. If anything is broken, the company will not be able to claim it happened afterwards.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Successful Publicity

To be truly successful at Publicity is costly in terms of staff time and effort because the competition is fierce for this free resource. It also takes creativity and salesmanship, so it can't be delegated to just any warm body or volunteer.
The single biggest reason arts organizations don't receive news coverage is that they have no news or have failed to present their information so that the news Value is evident and persuasive. Always ask, “So what?” when considering a story angle. How can I spin this story so that the broadest possible audience will care to read it?
Reporters, editors and producers are people, too, and have individual ways of going about their jobs. It's important to talk with them and find out what they need, how they need it, and what you can do to shape your story to meet their needs.

   
How do I start a business?

The Production Area: Wheels

The Production Area
Although this area will contain the same basic elements in every pottery, the arrangements will vary from person to person. Wedging benches should be placed as near as possible to the clay storage. To facilitate efficient wedging, this bench should be very sturdy and set at a height just above knee level. This height allows you to put your weight over the clay and saves energy when wedging. The number of wheels and so on will determine the layout to some extent. The wheel should be placed near a good source of natural light. But if you make the view too attractive, you may spend more time looking than potting. It is a good idea to have benches around your wheel so that you have somewhere to put clay, tools and potboards.

   
How do I publicise events?

Publicising events

Your events are more likely to be successful if they don't coincide with others aimed at the audience you wish to attract. If you co-operate with other organisers or groups in your area this will help to ensure that: • you are not overlapping on dates • you save money by sharing mail out and/or print costs. Events can be linked for press purposes ie three solo exhibitions could be described as a mini ‘visual arts and crafts festival' • you aren't trying to raise funds for projects from the same firms or sponsors at the same time, or anticipating using the same facilities at the same time as other groups.

   
How do I doccument my work?

Sending doccumentation

Send slides and other material by post in a padded or hardbacked envelope. Don't send glass mounted slides as they often break, or cardboard mounted slides because they can jam a projector. Ask for Eastern Arts' free leaflet The Ubiquitous Colour Slide – an Artists' Guide for tips on labelling and sending out slides.

   
Where do I situate my wheels in my studio?

The Production Area:Potboard Racks

The potbaord racks should be put between the wheel and the area you intend to glaze or slip them. In fact, this area is usually a utility area where handles can be applied, waxing and decorating done, slips applied, glazing and finishing done and so on. In some smaller studios, the drying racks will also be the storage racks. It's useful to have twice as many potboards and racks as are needed to store pots for one firing. You can simply tell when you are ready for a firing by counting full potboards. This depends on shapes and heights, but it usually holds true with a few left over, which is better than not having enough pots. Use a ware trolley, or at least have racks out near your kiln, so that you have a good range of pots to select from when you are packing and they aren't left around where you can trip over them.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Media Releases

Media Releases :

*are “released” on the day of your event, or on the day you want to make your announcement.
*are written as a news story would be written, but from your organization's point of view.
*should be 2-3 pages in length.
(at an event ) are usually part of a press packet which contains additional information and background material.
*can also be released on the PR Wire without holding an event
*can be given to selected reporters when seeking a feature or other non-hard news story.

   
What should I keep in mind when designing my studio?

Storage bins

Plastic garbage bins can serve innumerable purposes in the workshop for clay storage, straight from the pug; for scrap reclaiming; and even garbage. Platforms of 2.5 cm board, with four small castors, can be used to make the bins easily transportable.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Ten Publicity Pitfalls to Avoid

Ten Publicity Pitfalls to Avoid:
1. Don't think everybody is as interested and informed about your topic as you are.
2. Don't forget to ask yourself "so what?" and "who cares?"
3. Avoid giving too much or too little information.
4. Don't forget that timing is extremely important.Send a news release out too late or too early, and you won't generate the attention you want.
5. Don't forget that a clear concise message and a sense of identity are key.
6. Don't include weak visuals for television and print media—but it is even worse to have no visuals at all, so make sure you have compelling images on hand.
7. Don't forget to follow up or follow through.
8. Don't forget to research the right news media target; Don't depend on old contacts and lists.
9. Don't forget to Prepare for an interview and know what you want to get out of it.
10. Don't forget to respect the reporter's needs and/or schedule.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

News releases that are newsworthy

News releases that are newsworthy define News:
Impact: “The city's largest theater festival opens Friday.”
Oddity: “They playwright's last, least-seen work will be performed…”
Conflict: “The area's leading arts organization will protest state funding cuts.”
Known Principal: “TV star and Chicago native Dennis Franz will direct The Seagull for Waukegan Theater…”
Proximity: “Park Ridge artist Bob Page will be honored with an exclusive exhibit of his work at…”
Always get the appropriate reporter or editor's name, title, and address (check spelling). And don't forget to follow up with a phone call.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Writing an effective news release

To write an effective news release, start by asking, Why is my organization sending out this release?
To announce a special event?
To let people know our organization exists?
To change public perceptions about the organization?
To position/Brand the organization as leaders/experts?
Then summarize in one paragraph the “news” in your news release.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Interviews: Stay focused on your key points

Stay focused on your key points.
Be clear and concise. Avoid jargon and unfamiliar terms. Don't stray into uncharted waters. When you've made your point, stop talking.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Press Releases: Service Orientation Toward the News Media

Service Orientation Toward the News Media Cultivating a relationship with the Media is based on mutual respect, trust and a continuing service-orientation and follow-through. As said earlier, the news media is a customer, and an important one. If you bring a customer-service orientation to your relationship with them, it will improve your results tenfold. This means shaping your stories to meet their needs, getting information to them quickly when they ask, lining up spokespersons and photo Opportunities on short notice, and making sure that their phone calls are answered immediately by a publicist or other knowledgeable person within your organization.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Publicity: Creative News Angles

Creative News Angles
With the millions of pieces of information crossing the editor's desk, a creative, smart news angle can help your story rise to the top of the stack.

As we said, randomly sending out a season announcement is likely to net you nothing. The information is usually too general and not really news (if you're in business, you should be having a season). What is it about those offerings that are significant to the outside world? Remember, just because it's significant to you and possibly to others engaged in your art form, doesn't mean it's significant to the news media and customers they represent.

Find other interesting, timely, provocative or unique aspects and develop creative ways to pitch them. Start by looking at your season creatively; you may come up with three or four story angles more apt to generate news coverage. For instance, you could pitch a profile of a visiting artistic director to your city magazine, timed to appear with the new season launch. Maybe you have a celebrity actor who will be appearing in your show that could draw the TV stations to your venue. Or perhaps a show featuring a 1910 Dusenberg can be pitched to an auto writer or antiques writer.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Photographs

• Black and white photographs – are invaluable to send to the art press and local newspapers. If you take your own, combine it with taking colour slides by borrowing another camera! • Colour prints – can be presented in folders and colour photo-copied for display purposes. Colour photocopiers can also be used to make images from slides and copies can be added to your folder. Laminated colour prints or photo-copies are a relatively inexpensive way of putting information on a gallery wall.

   
How do I Distribute a media production

Distributing a media production

Distributing a media production
• For non-broadcast film or video productions aimed at the community, direct your publicity at that audience.
• Hold a special viewing or ‘launch' and invite potential distributors.
• Seek out local outlets for local interest tapes – libraries and community video shops, etc.
• Lodge tapes in relevant archives and libraries – including educational resource centres and British Film Institute.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Follow-up

Because people who are interested invariably follow up by telephone, all publicity items should include:• telephone number• contact name. • any restrictions on contact. Anticipate the following:• If the press arranges to call, is there something or someone to photograph, and someone who can talk about the work or project? • If you are only available at specific times or days do you need to get an answering machine? • If you have been writing to sponsors and some are interested to discuss a project further, do you feel happy about having a meeting with people who may know little about art and who will expect you to ‘sell' them the idea?

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Smart Publicity Strategy

Smart Publicity Strategy
Arts groups waste lots of time, money and trees sending out a general press kit announcing their new seasons; then they wonder why nobody in the news media did anything with it. The reason? There was no Publicity strategy. A Publicity Strategy simply means looking at your offerings and choosing to focus your time and energy on publicizing the most newsworthy programs or elements, then matching them to the different news media available to you. Take a comprehensive look at the types of "free" media available in your community. Get to know what each one needs, what their deadlines are and who the decision maker is. Put together a targeted plan to help you present the right information to the right news media at the right time.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Writing a press release

When writing a press release:• keep it short – no more than one side of an A4 page• Choose your paper type and colour, type face and layout to reflect the standards and quality of your work• Choose an ‘angle' to attract the press – human interest for local press, or techniques and materials for the specialists, perhaps your international links for the nationals, etc
• send photographs where possible as visual arts and media work is inevitably poorly represented in words alone• make sure it tells the press WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN with contact name and telephone number, as most journalists follow up by telephone. Having a fax number or email address is increasingly useful.• send the press release to a named person so you can more easily follow up with a telephone call.

   
How do I doccument my work?

Film and video

• Media documentation – it can be useful to document participatory projects and installations on video or film, where images and sound track can be used to put over a complete picture of what happened. A video can be shown at future exhibitions or other events.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Press wording

Press release The wording of a press release should be composed according to the interests and priorities of local, regional, national and specialist press. Journalists make considerable use of press releases, and the free coverage they can give you is definitely worth getting!

   
How do I market my ceramics?

News Release no no's

Nearly 70 percent of daily newspapers use materials generated by news releases. An estimated 2.4 million news releases are sent out every week. The majority of these are never used because:
They are poorly written.
They have no local relevance.
They are sent to the wrong media outlet or contact person.
They don't include any news

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Media Advisories

Media Advisories:
*announce an upcoming event.
*are short (one page), snappy and to the point.
*Are designed to arouse interest.
*Should be mailed to TV news planners/news directors, radio news directors, city desks, pertinent beat reporters and editors two to three days prior to your event and should be followed up with a phone call one day before your event.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Publicity Goals

The goal of a Publicity program is the same as the rest of your communications strategy:
to reach specific audiences with messages about your organization's artistic product, while increasing awareness of your organization. What makes the Publicity program distinct from the rest of the Communications Strategy is that unlike a paid ad placement, you can't control where, when, how or even if your story will appear – the media's reporters, reviewers, editors and producers make those decisions. The content of those stories, the spin they take on your message, is also in their hands. Therefore, as intermediaries and interpreters for your message, you must attempt to understand the media's mindset as well as you understand your end customer's.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Slides

Slides – are essential for applications to arts boards, agencies, to put into specialist indexes and to send to glossy magazines. They need to be good-quality and to do your work justice. Although if you have enough experience you can achieve professional results taking your own slides, you may prefer to use a photographer experienced in documenting visual and media work who has been recommended by others. When sending slides, put them into plastic slide pages in a ring folder.

   
How do I start a business?

Business in a College town

The summer months can be fairly quiet in college towns. Therefore, you have to determine whether you can sustain three months with limited business in the summer. Moreover, keep in mind that student activities on campus are often free or part of the tuition. College kids often do not have the time or money to spare to do ceramics regularly enough to make it profitable for you.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Press releases:What's in a Pitch?

What's in a Pitch? Ask: “Is this a good time to talk?” Tell: “What's the story” in 20 seconds or less? Convince and Explain: What's in it for the reporter, for the publication? Why do they need to cover this? Get a lead: If the reporter isn't interested, does he/she know who else might be interested? Typical Pitching Strategies Mail/Follow-up Call/Fax or Deliver/Follow-up E-mail/Send File/Follow up via E-mail or Phone Also consider: Teaser mailings Postcards Tickets and other lures

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Introduction

Publicity is often referred to as "free" media to differentiate it from paid advertising. But anyone who uses it quickly recognizes that "free" is a bit of a misnomer. To be truly successful at Publicity is costly in terms of staff time and effort because the competition is fierce for this free resource. It also takes creativity and salesmanship, so it can't be delegated to just any warm body or volunteer.

   
How do I photograph my ceramic work?

Photography

Getting your work photographed by a professional photographer can be quite expensive, but you can achieve comparable quality with your own equipment in your own home with a bit of experimenting and some helpful hints. Many bad photographs of ceramic work are due to reasons easily rectified. However getting that really professional looking shot does take a bit of experience. Non-the-less, this article should shed some light on some basic rules of photographing your pottery, ceramic sculpture or any other artwork for that matter. Read On: The importance of Doccumentation: Photography Ceramics Today

   
What is the safest way to pack my ceramics?

Plastic peanuts

If you do not have a supply of those plastic peanuts to use as packing material for shipping ceramic pieces, a batch of popcorn will work

   
How do I conduct myself in an interview?

Interviews: Keep your cool—no matter what

Keep your cool—no matter what.
Be yourself—your comfort will put the audience at ease. Always stay positive and take the high road. Show compassion and caring whenever possible. Sarcasm always backfires on you. Appear relaxed and comfortable as warranted by the situation. Correct misconceptions or factual errors on the spot. Don't give credence to negatives by repeating them. If you don't like your answer, or you get lost, it's okay to ask to start over (particularly for TV and taped radio interviews).
Tip: Always place a compelling visual with the story.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Interviews:Take control of the interview

Take control of the interview.
Know the nature of the interview (will it be print or broadcast? Live or taped?) Anticipate the angle of the interview and the questions that the reporter is likely to ask. Know the interviewer. Prior to the interview, find out the reporter's name and affiliation. Set appropriate limits on the interview—there may be things you legitimately cannot speak about at the time of the interview.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Commission

Commission
This list of stages in a commission which require publicity includes some points which only apply to large-scale projects.
• Promoting yourself and your work to potential commissioners and clients.
• Publicising the project to raise funds.
• Publicising the project during consultation processes. For a public art commission, this includes through local authority planning and committee processes.
• Publicising major stages of completion and subsidiary events or related work.
• Publicising unveiling of a major piece or first showing of a film or video.
• Promoting the completed commission to specialist press or media for reviews and articles to help your career.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Press Releases: who should be on your media list

The following is a summary of who should be on your media list, though your list should continually evolve and change with the media landscape. Print: All reviewers/critics Columnists Section Editors News/Assignment editors Photo desks Zone/bureau editors National bureaus (if you have national news) Managing editors (weeklies) Radio: Reviewers News Director Community Relations Director (PSAs) TV: Reviewers/on-air talent Planning editors/assignment editors Morning Show producers Community Relations Director (PSAs)

   
How do I market my ceramics?

News Releases: Flexible, Researched Target List

Flexible, Researched Target List
Remember that things change. The longer you work with the news media, the more turnover you will see. Someone who covered the arts last year may now be working on the auto section. So you must constantly update your news media list to reflect who's now on your beat.
Materials should be addressed to the person, whenever possible, rather than to a "desk." Before you do a mailing or fax a story idea, take the time to confirm the recipient. This is not just a courtesy. Relying on a small group of old contacts can blind you to many Opportunities to tell your story in new ways. Invest in a good news media directory that offers the most up-to-date media listings for your community.

   
How do I start a business?

Leasing

Leasing
When speaking with the leasing agent, remain pleasant and professional, no matter how many times you have to call. When they ask you what kind of business you plan to operate, don't be shocked if they hang up when you explain that it is a new pottery painting or ceramics studio. Bear in mind, many landlords are looking for renters who have tried-and-true businesses that will sign long leases and are practically guaranteed success. If the leasing agent has no knowledge of the ceramics business, they may be less enthusiastic than you are.

   
How do I best promote myself and my work?

Publicising events

Your events are more likely to be successful if they don't coincide with others aimed at the audience you wish to attract. If you co-operate with other organisers or groups in your area this will help to ensure that: • you are not overlapping on dates • you save money by sharing mail out and/or print costs. Events can be linked for press purposes ie three solo exhibitions could be described as a mini ‘visual arts and crafts festival' • you aren't trying to raise funds for projects from the same firms or sponsors at the same time, or anticipating using the same facilities at the same time as other groups.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

Interviews: Be well-prepared

Be well-prepared.
Provide written support (research, reports, surveys and other documents that can help your position). Use notes to guide your comments—put your three main points on paper and keep them in front of you during the interview. Be quotable—say more than yes or no, but limit comment to within a 7-10 second timeframe (the length of an average soundbite).

   
How do I doccument my work?

Computer images

• Images on computer disk – some visual artists are putting their work on computer disk both as an art distribution method and to use for publicity purposes. Subject to compatibility, images can then be used immediately in visual arts magazines.

   
How do I promote my work?

News Releases: Media Trends for Arts Organizations

Media Trends for Arts Organizations
Decreasing Opportunities :
Reviews
Photo Ops
Main Section Print Features
TV News and Features
Radio News

Growing Opportunities:
Celebrity “news”
Business Coverage
Suburban, Ethnic and Alternative papers
Cable and community access
Public Service Announcements
Morning TV Talk Shows
Cyberpublications, on-line editions, chat-groups, listservs

   
How do I market my ceramics?

News Media Landscape

The “news media" isn't the monolith it's often presented to be. Different types of media have different purposes, editorial perspectives and needs. In addition, there are many factors, including personality and individual experiences and tastes that impact how a particular news director, editor or reviewer will respond to your information. However, they all have one thing in common: They have to make intelligent news judgments.
Newspapers, radio stations and TV newsrooms are inundated with an avalanche of information each day that they must sift through to choose the few items that fit their format, deadlines and available space or airtime. This includes what is viewed as "legitimate" news like disasters, politics and other dramatic events that represent the backbone of the news coverage and influence what's left for everything else. News people must have a way to separate the important from the trivial, the compelling from the ho-hum. They need to identify the dramatic, unusual, innovative, or inspiring story that makes people sit up and pay attention. Hence the basic journalistic axiom, "So what? Who cares?" In other words, it needs to be meaningful and important to a lot of people to justify the time and the space it takes to tell about it. If you can't show how your story rises to this level of newsworthiness, it will be difficult to get it told.

   
How do I Pack and send ceramics?

Phone

When a prospective customer calls you, particularly when you're in the middle of something, how do you react? Do you get frustrated because you're interrupted, or do you say to yourself, "Ah, this could be worth hundreds (or thousands) of dollars." If you react more like the former than the latter, you're losing money every day. Read On: Marketing by Phone

   
How do I publicise my Exhibitions?

Promote an event

Promote an event • Press release – be aware of the difference in emphasis and language between specialist magazines and local press • Invitation card or letter to specific number of identified people to come to the launch of an exhibition, commission, premiere of a media production or residency • Information sheet to accompany an event – catalogue or price list or background material for an exhibition; information on techniques, materials, background to a residency or commission • Leaflet to publicise a specific event, either sent out through the post or picked up in libraries, galleries, information centres, etc • Photographs – black and white and colour, of current and previous pieces to promote your work to potential clients, exhibition organisers, press and media, funders or sponsors. Note, however, that personal contact and word-of-mouth are often the most effective ways to attract local interest and to gain press coverage of visual arts and media events.

   
How do I sell my ceramics?

Electronic media

• Electronic media – some visual and media artists are using the Internet and the World Wide Web to raise their profile and make connections with others and to promote specific events.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

News release: Well-written Presentation

Well-written Presentation
How you present a story is as important as the creativity of the angle. People who make their living writing and editing appreciate concise, clear and grammatically correct material, and reject sloppy, unclear, verbose presentations. Always spell check your work, and have someone else proofread your material to make sure it's clear and making the point you want it to make. Invest in an Associated Press Stylebook.
If you read newspapers and watch TV, you already know how to structure your release. The lead or first line should summarize the story. The first paragraph should include the most important information, especially dates, times and places for performances. All information after that should appear in descending order of importance. This structure is often referred to as the inverted pyramid. General organizational information should be included at the end. The whole thing should be 1-1/2 to 2 pages, and double-spaced. Long lists should be relegated to an attachment or fact sheet in the press kit.
What about press kits? They're very valuable conveyors of background information. Keep them simple and save your slick graphics and fancy letterhead for other audiences. Send press kits out with each pitch letter or story idea. If you can't afford to do that, send the kit to news media after you've talked with editors and surmised their interest in delving deeper into your story.

   
What are the publicity terms?

Publicity glossary

See the full Publicity Glossary Publicity glossary

   
How do I best promote myself and my work?

Press releases

Send different press releases over a period of time, to gather momentum for a project or to emphasise different aspects of it. Don't send too much material – try opening the envelope to see how it feels to receive the publicity material. Paper-clipping the covering letter to the other items so they are read in the right order is more likely to get the recipient's attention. With a group event or exhibition, write a few sentences about each artist. End your press release with ‘Please contact..... if you need more information'. Give day-time and evening telephone numbers and say when you can be contacted – eg Monday-Thursday, 10-4, or after 6.30.

   
How do I market my ceramics?

News Releases:Fearless: Persistent Pitching

Fearless, Persistent Pitching
To start and maintain a relationship, you need to communicate. While your initial contact with the news media will probably be through mail, fax or e-mail, eventually you must talk with someone to get feedback about your story. Always follow up by phone, several times if necessary, to talk about your story. If they're on deadline, make an appointment to call back another time, and keep it.
If they're not interested, try to find out why – what are they interested in? Is there any aspect of the story that might strike their fancy? Or ask them who else at their organization might find it more "up their alley." This kind of field research can help you improve your pitch or find someone who is more interested in your story. Or it can help you be more on Target next time out. Continue this "shopping" process until you're reasonably certain you've exhausted the possibilities.

   
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Lynne Christen