Monday, April 02, 2007

a factory visit

The husband and I paid a visit to my man at the factory, Hector, to pick up some bisque that I needed for orders. Hector's company, Earth Needs, is located in Red Bluff, California. For the past year he's been making some of my pottery for me. I give him a piece that I've made, he makes a mold out of it, makes the piece, bisques it, and delivers it to me. I glaze the work and send it out to my stores. It's amazing. There is no way I could keep up with my wholesale orders if he wasn't doing that for me.

I had a hard time getting to the point where I felt comfortable having some of my work made out of molds. Five years ago I would have laughed in your face if you suggested I make some of my work in molds. I love to throw on the potter's wheel, I'm obsessed with it, and for me, that's what the fun is all about. But I had to get realistic about what I'm capable of actually producing. If I want to wholesale my work and get a lot of my pottery out there all over the country, I have to be able to make a consistent product that isn't sucking the lifeblood out of me. By that I mean spending all my creative juice making the same thing over and over again. I'm very fortunate to work with Hector; he's an artist himself, and a master mold maker. He understands my work and where I'm coming from, which is so important to me when I have someone producing my pottery. Here he is with some of the work he does on the side-- Hector designs big granite statues that are made in Asia and shipped over here for people's gardens, front gates, etc.

I am by far Hector's smallest client, which became even more apparent when I looked at the factory. The factory is very neat and clean, and each client has their own shelf where their molds are stored, and another shelf where finished bisque us stored. A lot of people have shelf after shelf packed with pottery and molds, and some of this pottery is going to some very big stores. My shelf was kind of tiny and looked sort of empty and lonely. But I don't care, I'm just happy Hector lets me hang around with my teeny tiny orders.

Most people have probably never heard of Red Bluff, California, because it's kind of in the middle of nowhere. But check out this view from one of the factory rooms! I doesn't get any better than this; a pottery factory in the middle of paradise: