I used to say that you know you've made it as a potter (ceramic artist) when someone decides the piece you sold them is worth more than they paid for it, and they sell it at auction. My views on this have changed since I became a miniaturist, because now I don't want people to resell the things I make, I want all of the best doll houses in the world to feature a piece I made :)
This post is about my old view though, because while browsing the pottery category on eBay tonight, I saw a listing for pottery that I/we (husband and I) made. It was a thrill to see it for sale, and I had the "We have arrived!" moment ♥
Only that pottery line only lasted about a year, so we arrived long after we already "went" on that.
My husband had his own full size pottery business with many regular commissions. His style was sculpture on functional pieces. His main account was for the Indian Hills Trading Post in Indian Hills, Colorado. This is the sign going into Indian Hills, and most of the tourist trade items had some version of these Indians on them.
A combination of things caused my husband to quit making his pottery. The main reason was when the Trading Post burned down and his biggest account was over. Around the same time, we closed the shop Mostly Art, and moving all the store fixtures home for storage took away any space for studio work. Still, I tried to get him interested in some kind of pottery work again, so thought of doing a line with him. For a brief time, about a year or so, we were going to be the Artus and Anna Van Briggle of our generation :) I was really into glazing with Arts & Crafts style matte glaze at the time, and figured his sculpture would transfer well into the style too. We never really got going with this pottery line though, only a few hundred pieces. His heart wasn't really in it, and I missed working in miniature.
This eBay listing has better pictures than I have of these vases, but I'm going to put my pictures in here too, because the listing won't be permanent.
The seller in the auction left off the "B" in his title of the listing, so he didn't know that "B" was really part of the name. The "B" stands for Barmore (me), and the actual bee is still my signature. My father-in-law had a hand in naming this pottery too. Van means "from" in Dutch, and Sterk (my husband's name) is also Dutch for "strong", I thought it was a great name for our business at the time :) a combination of our names that really said something too. Well, maybe the Barmore part doesn't really "say" something, it's Welsh, and I don't know what it means, but there is a place in Wales called Barmore ;)
Years later, I found out that I was copying someone else with a very similar name to mine with the bee signature. I had a mini-vacation at the Broadmoor Hotel (who also made Arts & Crafts pottery many years ago) and they had little fabric bees all over everything (bee for their "B" and Barmore and Broadmoor sound much the same). I think it's funny that I copied without even knowing I did, so kept my bee too ♥
Next post on this poor neglected blog will be about miniatures again....probably about the doll house I started putting together a few days ago.